Page 1

Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker Septemb er/O ctob e r 2 0 1 1

AM Best Market Share Data

I’m celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Tanya Wentzel, Des Moines Branch Marketing Manager The way insurance is bought and sold is changing. We know it will continue to change. We’re advancing ways to interface with agency management systems and streamline the process for agents. We’re expanding the use of data analytics to identify risks that are a better fit for our agents and our company. Although technology is crucial to our future, we will continue to focus on what distinguishes EMC in the marketplace—responsive, local service delivered through a network of branch offices.

Home Office: Des Moines, IA | 800.447.2295 © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2011 All rights reserved

TABLE OF CONTENTS September/October 2011


Vol. 16, No. 5 The bimonthly magazine of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents EDITOR Rebecca Spriggs OFFICERS OF KAIA President Mark Lowry | President Elect Lee Hays | Vice President/Treasurer Tim Tyner | Secretary/Assistant Treasurer Bob Wood | State National Director Greg Renn | Immediate Past President Cindy Hower |


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Zone I Director Jim Wilkinson | Zone II Director Rob Lessen | Zone III Director Lyle Davidson | Zone IV Director Lee Gleason | Zone V Director Lonny Claycamp | Zone VI Director Scott Strong | Director at Large Jim Runnebaum | Director at Large SueAnn Schultz | Director at Large Christine Teagarden | Director at Large Dusty Davis | YAC President Ross Hendrickson |

F E AT U R E S 12 COVER STORY A.M. Best Market Share Data

18 KS Sends 6 to Tournament 22 A New Era of Workers Comp

K A I A P R O F E S S I O N A L S TA F F Executive Director | Kerri Spielman Vice President of Operations | Marcia Moore Director of Communications | Rebecca Spriggs Director of Education | Erin Lesser Director of Events | Beth Roybal Membership Services Rep | Deanna Dinwiddie


16 6 Ways Agents Fail

d e pa r t m e n t s President’s Message 2 Industry Partner Programs 3 New Members 3 Agents Council For Technology 4

25 CRS of the Year 28 Crop Article

Commissioner’s Column 7 Young Agents Committee 8 Trusted Choice Committee 10 Technology Committee 11

Insurance Services Rep | Amanda Hanson

Education Classes 30

Insurance Services Rep | Lisa Parkhurst

Advertising Index 31

Public Relations Coordinator | Katie Hobson Marketing Representative | Bob Harris

Kansas Filings of Interest 33

Intern | Emily Wood

815 SW Topeka Boulevard | Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 232-0561 | (800) 229-7048

w w w. k a i a . co m

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker c/o the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents, 815 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66612. (785) 232-0561. Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker (ISSN#1069-1847) is published bimonthly by Agency Services Corporation of Kansas (ASCK) a subsidiary of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents, 815 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS. (785) 232-0561. Periodicals postage paid at Topeka, KS 66612. The Kansas Association of Insurance Agents was formed September 1, 1992, through the combination of the Professional Insurance Agents of Kansas (PIAK) and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kansas (IIAK). The Association was formerly affiliated with the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and is currently affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA).


Rollercoaster of a Year Click… Click… Click… my palms are sweating, my heart is racing. My hands do a quick double check that my belt is secure while my mind tries to remember what I had for lunch.


Then my car crests the peak and drops, curves and flips upside down. I am not sure if I should be feeling excited or afraid.


he rollercoaster of my year as President of KAIA started with more advice from friends and other past presidents than I could fit in a binder. Little did I know it still wouldn’t be enough as KAIA would not only be transitioning leadership, but we would be undertaking projects and setting goals that will define KAIA for many years. Usually I like change, but admittedly I like the kind of change that consists of slow adjustments and minor course corrections. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and my year as president of KAIA proved to be a challenge in many ways, but a blessing in others. The year started off with a bang at the newly revamped Management Conference. Our organization was transitioning from a mentor in Larry Magill to new leadership, and along with this transition were new challenges. It took some time, but once we arrived on the backside of some of these challenges we named Kerri Spielman as our new Executive Director. Kerri’s history and knowledge regarding KAIA made her the perfect fit for moving us forward. I want to give Kerri special recognition for her dedication to KAIA. The list of accomplishments throughout the past year is too long to review in depth, so I’ll give you the cliff notes version of just some of the highlights.

Had another fantastic turnout and schedule of classes for th the L Larry Magill Rural and Small Agents Conference. • Developed a legislative agenda and worked with multiple partners to have an unbelievable year in lobbying for our agents. • Sent a tremendous group of leaders to Washington D.C. ffor our national legislative day. • Hired additional staff to develop more member programs and benefits.


• •

Continued to increase membership. Developed and implemented additional educational opportunities. t • Added a marketing representative to promote and assist members. • Partnered with a company to develop the Trusted Choice Agency App for members and became a national i A leader on agency technology. • Began the implementation of a plan to convert our second d floor to an education conference center. • Received the IIABA Gold Award for our educational programs. • Held a planning session to look to the future for KAIA. A I could continue all day with the events and activities taking place at KAIA, but I would be remiss if I didn’t qualify these accomplishments. Each of these and the countless other accomplishments is a collective effort of the dedicated staff, board and committees serving our association. I have long held that our business is all about relationships. Our association is as well. During the ten plus years I have been involved on committees, the board and now the executive committee I have learned these relationships are what make it special. I will forever treasure my friendships and relationships developed from my time on the board and my term as president. While it wasn’t always easy it was all worth it. The thousands of emails and thousands of miles are coming to a close as my roller coaster returns to the platform safe and sound. With the close of my term as President all I can say is thank you to all of you who made my year so special. Thankfully,

Mark Lowry

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/october 2011


2011 Industry Partnership Program The Industry Partnership Program was initiated by the KAIA Board of Directors to give company partners greater recognition and more options in a single annual sponsorship. Our tiered program allows partners to decide which level of sponsorship is most appropriate. This one-time solicitation allows maximum exposure to the KAIA membership throughout the entire year at our most popular events. This year’s revamped program offers many benefits that were not included before: paid membership dues, priority selection of booth placement at the Rural & Small Conference, special recognition on the online event registration pages and event/ education registration packets; not to mention a free ad in the KIA&B magazine.





NSI/West Bend Mutual


Cornerstone National Insurance Company

Allied Insurance

Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland Progressive Insurance

America First Insurance Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies

Goodville Mutual Casualty Company Marysville Mutual Insurance Company State Auto Insurance Companies

Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company

Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc.

Continental Western Group


Columbia Insurance Group


Farmers Alliance Insurance Companies

Capital Premium Financing

Kansas Mutual Insurance Company

MJ Kelly

Mid-Continent Group

TAS Insurance Buckeye Insurance Group MetLife Auto & Home

KAIA NEW MEMBERS Marshall Loeffler Agency Shawnee, KS LIA-Concordia, dba Peoples Concordia, KS Bayouth Agency, LLC Liberal, KS

Tier One Insurance Shawnee, KS

Murphy Insurance Agency Kansas City, KS

Gardner Insurance Agency, LLC – Lawrence, KS

United Healthcare Overland Park, KS

Accurate Insurance Agency, Inc. – Shawnee, KS

Navrat’s Office Products Emporia, KS

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



Sales and Servicing Strategies to Grow Your Agency’s Business | BY Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director

Recent research offers invaluable insights about what drives personal lines consumers to choose particular providers for insurance, what’s important to them in making their decisions and how they want their insurance providers to interact with them. This article pulls relevant consumer data from five different studies and then outlines how independent agencies might use this data to enhance their personal lines operations and strategies to attract and retain today’s changing consumer and compete effectively with the direct carriers and others.


ecent consumer studies provide several insights that can be helpful to independent agencies to attract new personal lines business, as well as to retain current clients. In my article last month, I cited some of the findings in these studies to outline how independent agents can use the technology tools now available to them to attract online auto insurance shoppers and offer them a better value proposition than the direct carriers.1 Below, I drill down further into the comScore and J.D. Power & Associates research2 to ferret out additional trends in automobile and property insurance consumer preferences and behavior that independent

agencies can use to gain competitive advantage.

Consumer Reasons for Buying Direct or Through an Agent What struck me about the comScore research was that the reasons given by most consumers for buying from an online carrier rather than through an agent were not very compelling and could be effectively overcome by agencies if they were to use available online tools and were able to get across their “value add” message to consumers while they are in the shopping process.3 The top five reasons given by consum-

ers for not using a local agent were: • I found it more convenient to use a website or 24 hour toll free number—29% • It was faster to purchase online or via a toll free number—28% • I got a quote online and decided to purchase online—26% • I prefer to use a website or toll free number—20% • It was cheaper to purchase online or via a toll free number—20%.4 In contrast, the top reason given by consumers who buy through an agent would be difficult for the direct carriers to match: • I like having a real person who

Let us be your silent partner… We’d like to be your partner. We are known for our friendly and professional employees, our excellent customer service, and one of the best agency compensation programs in the industry. We are rated “Excellent” by A.M. Best. We may be silent, but we listen to your needs, loud and clear. Salina Branch Salina, KS 67401 • 785-825-5531 •


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

I can visit with or call—39%. Followed by: • I have always used a local agent—31% • The local agent quoted me the best price—28% • I wanted a local agent from one company to help me with all my insurance needs—25% • Recommended by a family/ friend—23%.5 Based upon this research, as well as comScore’s additional finding that 81% of the consumers who use an agent find their agent to be valuable,6 it is no wonder consumers insuring through an agent are more loyal than consumers who use a direct carrier (70% of online purchasers are seriously considering changing their insurance company, compared to 50% of those with a local agent7). While most agency clients value the relationship they have with their agent, their loyalty goes only so far. Client shopping has hit unprecedented levels, even for agency clients, as every independent agent knows. In addition, as consumers get more comfortable doing business online in other areas, they are increasingly willing to try new distribution methods for insurance as well. For example, in 2011, the percentage of agency clients “not likely” to consider using a distribution method other than a local agent (online, toll free number) was down to 25% (versus being “likely” or “neutral”); the “not likely” percentage having been 34% in 2009.8

Communicate Proactively & Regularly with Clients A major way for agents to keep clients loyal to them is to communicate with them regularly. When agents inter-

act with their clients often (monthly) or even rarely (a few times a year), the percentage of clients “not likely” to consider an alternate distribution method rises to 26-27%, whereas if the agent never contacts the client, the percentage “not likely” to consider another distribution method drops to 17%.9 Similarly, J.D. Power & Associates found in its research that day to day policy service interactions “most influence a customer’s overall satisfaction with their insurer, and hence their likelihood to both renew their policy and recommend their insurer to others.10 One would expect this finding to apply equally to the client’s satisfaction with the agent. Agencies should use each pro-active outreach to clients and each service interaction to communicate and live the agency’s “brand” to reinforce it with their clients. Every agency employee should be trained to clearly articulate the agency’s special “value add” succinctly and to understand what “living” the brand entails.

GEICO has appointed employee agents in various areas and Esurance has introduced an advertising campaign touting the availability of a person when wanted to supplement the online options it offers.

Offer the Communications Options Clients Want One of the major findings of the research is that clients are now in the driver’s seat and they increasingly expect their agent and carrier to be able continued on page 26 »

Agencies will strengthen their client relationships in this way, as well as counter the direct carriers’ efforts to neutralize the agent’s value proposition. The direct carriers understand that many consumers want to deal with a real person in certain situations. This is why

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


How can you make more money from your exisiting business?

It’s easy. Let us finance your insureds’ premiums. With exclusive profit sharing programs and a staff that speaks 9 different languages, financing insurance premiums has never been so easy or so profitable.

We finance.

Insureds benefit.

You profit.

service as unique as a two dollar bill sm

1-800 -767- 0705

728 M Mechanic St. x Emporia, KS 800-362-3 3543

We offfer a wide variety of productts and sservices at affo ordable prices, from a home gro own Kansas ned and operatted business. own

We arre here to he elp you in any y way y we can and d are a onestop-shop as we offer o Trusted d Cho oice Member pricing on:

Spe ecialty Ad dvertising g Emb broidered d Apparel C Custom Printing P O Office Su upplies & Office Fu urniture! Call or visit our e for more website details! Look for the d Choice® Trusted Button on our site:

StayuptodateonthelatestnewsfromKAIAsuch asevents,classes,agencyvisits,andmore. Uponreachingourgoalof300“likes”wewillbe givingawayafreeregistraƟontooneofour events.FindusToday!


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011


Health Benefits Exchange “Kansas volunteers from the business, insurance, organizational and governmental communities are meeting now and in the coming months to forge ideas on providing Kansas solutions for Kansas health insurance.”


wrote that in a monthly column in March of this year. The column talked about the work that those volunteers were doing as part of a “health benefits exchange.” Those words are just as true now as they were then. Although the scope of the exchange planning process has changed since the state’s withdrawal from the $31.5 million federal “early innovator grant,” the idea of planning for an exchange has not. The federal Affordable Care Act allows states to plan their own benefit exchange, which is designed as a one-stop online marketplace for consumers and businesses to find health insurance plans they can afford. The technology built in to the exchange would allow Kansans to comparison shop for plans. This exchange is scheduled to take effect in 2014.

Kansans to receive the best coverage for their needs. That’s where agents should come into play. One factor that I am uncertain about is the role of navigators in this process. If Kansas doesn’t have a Kansasbased exchange, and is forced to use a federal-run exchange, the role of consumer navigators could overtake that of agents. We set up eight work groups back in January to consider all the aspects of setting up an exchange that works best for Kansans. These are the committees: Agents/ Navigators/Brokers, Background Research, Funding/Financial, Governance/Legal/Legislative, Medicaid Integration, Consumer Outreach/ Education/Information, Insurance Market Issues and Focus/Business Operations. Those committees have reported regularly to our Exchange Planning Steering Committee, which meets monthly.

SANDY SANDY PRAEGER PRAEGER Kansas Kansas Insurance Insurance Commissioner Commissioner

For more on the committees and their work, we have special section on our website that has the committee meeting minutes and recommendations. It’s called the HBEX (Health Benefit Exchange) work groups mini-site, and you can access it from the right side of our home page. One item to keep in mind regarding all the talk about the federal health reform law: Unless it is repealed, the law contains provisions that say that a health exchange for each state HAS to be built. In our case, it has to be coordinated and integrated with the Medicaid system. That’s why the exchange process continues—because we firmly believe that we have to work for Kansas consumers, agents and companies to keep the reforms at the state level.

If Kansas does not implement the exchange at the state level, under the law the federal government will run one for us. It’s been my feeling all along that we want a Kansas exchange that meets our needs, one that is designed by Kansans for Kansans. And included in that equation is the role of agents in helping consumers through the process. Even though an exchange design has an “apples to apples” approach in providing health insurance coverage alternatives, there is still a need to provide one-on-one advice and explanations in order for

General Liability, Automobile, Umbrella, Inland Marine, Surety and Surplus Lines

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



What an opportunity... What an opportunity it has been to serve as your Kansas YAC Chairman this last year. Having the opportunity to serve on the KAIA board as the representative for YAC has provided such an insight into the day-to-day operations of our association and the significant benefits of being active in our industry.


y experience provided me the opportunity to see firsthand why the KAIA is known amongst the industry associations as one of the best in their workings on every facet of our industry. I was able to absorb years of experience from agency principles on the board that provided guidance on industry challenges, legislative regulation and agency management. Besides the board meetings that allowed me to listen and learn what a powerful advocate the KAIA is for each independent agent in Kansas, I had the privilege to serve on the Legislative Committee under the leadership of Bob Wood, and witnessed 16 years of Work Comp wants and needs legislation to make this critical coverage more attractive to the marketplace and clean-up regulatory challenges for the betterment of our clients.

I attended the Big I Legislative Conference & Convention in Washington, D.C. in April of this year along with many fellow board members and KAIA staff. We had a message on numerous legislative matters involving aspects of our industry, and had excellent one-on-one meetings with our Kansas congressional delegation. Our message was well received and it was obvious that the Kansas congressional delegation values the input of the KAIA and its members for direction on these matters that involve our clients and existence in this industry. The Kansas YAC raised hundreds of dollars for our annual Safety Grant that benefits local communities and we also raised money to meet our Kansas’ INSURPAC goal by participating in the President’s Classic Golf Tournament held in Hays this year. Furthermore, we started a tradition of having a YAC golf team to com-



pete against the fields of players, and this too was a huge success and well received. We also held our Kansas YAC Conference at Flint Oak, known as “America’s Premier Hunting Resort” and had a wonderful venue for young agents to bring their families to enjoy all the activities of the resort, network with fellow young agents and attend some valuable CE opportunities. This annual conference allows young agents to network and create friendships in an industry in which it’s nice to know that you can always pick-up the phone and call a peer for advice on our ever changing industry. I recently attended the KAIA board’s Planning Retreat in Wichita and was impressed with how well the KAIA is focusing on one, three and five year goals to continue to build the strength of the independent agent force. However, at the same time, I valued that the board remains true to our core values, but not afraid to take the lead in cutting edge technology that has recently received national attention for the benefit of our members. What an opportunity it’s been to serve in this role. A role that I would strongly encourage any young agent that wants a better understanding of how the KAIA can benefit the stability and growth of your career in this rewarding industry. Life is about change, and please know that the Kansas YAC is recreating itself to become more attractive to young agents across the state and strive to do a better job of showing the benefit to agency principles of the benefits of being a member of this organization. The stage is set and I congratulate Jo Erin Stuteville with the Elliot Insurance Group as the incoming Kan-

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

sas YAC Chairwoman and encourage you to support her as she takes our organization in a direction that will ensure we have a strong upcoming generation of independent agents to continue the tradition of excellent insurance service in the independent insurance industry. It has been an honor to serve in this role and I know that I personally and professionally benefited from this experience and feel as though the KAIA is not only my association to protect my livelihood, but is now a part of my extended professional family. What an opportunity it has been. ROSS PICTURED WITH HIS FAMILYAMY, JACK (9) & MAX (4)

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



I am a Trusted Choice Agent Do you remember the patriotic commercial that featured individuals from across the United States, each proudly proclaiming, “I am an American” ?


t stands out in my mind as a great representation of the values that America embodies: independence and the freedom to make our own choices. The “I” statement demonstrates a fantastic allusion to the Big I. Independent Insurance Agents are more than small business owners. Our business truly resembles our country’s values to the core. We offer choices to our customers. At the end of the commercial, the screen cuts to black, and in very simple

text, the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” appears. The Latin phrase means, “Out of many, one.” Trusted Choice® agencies range from large, multi-state agencies to smaller, one-person offices in rural Kansas, yet we are united in our stance that insureds deserve to have a policy tailored to their needs. Companies who understand the value of a nationally recognized consumer brand that offers Americans exactly what they have desired from our country’s inception (and dating all the way back to the Puritans who trekked

To Som e Co It ’s a Co m panie s mmodity To Us It’s a Promise! CWG policy policy isis aa promise promise AA CWG to be there when you need us us to be there when you need today, tomorrow and 50 years today, tomorrow and 50 years from now. now. Continental Continental Western Western from Insurance has written policies for Insurance has written policies for over 100 years with an emphasis over 100 years with an emphasis on reasonable reasonable premiums premiums and and on fast, fair claims service. Call fast, fair claims service. Call 1-800-456-7688 or or visit visit our our 1-800-456-7688 website at website at

JIM RUNNEBAUM Trusted Choice Committee Chair

here in hazardous conditions from Europe) have invested in the Trusted Choice® campaign, and by extension Trusted Choice® agencies. On behalf of Kansas Trusted Choice® agents, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Kansas Trusted Choice® Industry Partners. Eight of KAIA’s Industry Partners, including one domiciled company – Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc. - have not only invested in helping KAIA bring quality programs and events to our members, but also have invested in the Trusted Choice® brand. In becoming Trusted Choice® Company Partners, companies can expect to: • Network – with the industry’s premier agents and brokers. • Recruit – new talent for your distribution force. • Improve – the competitive position of the independent insurance agency system. • Access – the industry’s best research. • Shape – state insurance laws. • Improve – the industry’s image. • Create – a more diverse insurance workforce. • Influence – legislation on Capitol Hill. • Keep Pace – with technology trends. • Leverage – consumer marketing and branding. • Improve – agent performance through Best Practices. • Connect – with tomorrow’s agency principals. • Leverage – the clout of the premier association for agents and continued on page 27 »


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011


The Tao of “Like” Theory of social-media engagement Now that you have your Facebook fans, people are following you on Twitter and connecting with you on Linked in, how do you keep them from hitting the “dislike” button?


LYLE DAVIDSON Technology Committee Chair

Engagement is an on-going process of give and take. You have to prove that you are invested in your customers and their interests. They want just as badly as you to have people engage with content on their own walls and pages. Thus, you have to provide them with something that they want other people to know about.

“Emotion in general leads to transmission, and awe is quite a strong emotion,” he said. “If I’ve just read this story that changes the way I understand the world and myself, I want to talk to others about what it means. I want to proselytize and share the feeling of awe. If you read the article and feel the same emotion, it will bring us closer together.” –Dr. Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania Researcher

In Daniel Burrus’ May issue of Techno Trends, he encourages businesses to “go opposite,” with the idea that, “Looking where no one else is looking helps you see what no one else is seeing—and then do what no one else is doing.” Several articles regarding engagement through social-media have struck me as pleas for this principle.

Trusted Choice® recently hosted a campaign with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They donated $171,590 through a fundraiser on their Facebook page. For every “like” they received in July, they donated $10 to Make-A-Wish. They made a commitment to give $100,000 no matter what, and were willing to give up to $300,000. In some ways this fundraiser was everything Crepeau is decrying against. However, Trusted Choice® found a way to go opposite and make their campaign for more likes about their customers instead. They appealed to their communities’ emotions. Moreover, they made helping America’s youth as easy as clicking a button. Who wouldn’t do it if given the opportunity? In thirty days, the Trusted Choice® page went from 4,781 fans to 22,300. They gave their fans a reason to “like” them.

Neicole Crepeau, a contributing social-media blogger for {grow} asks, “Are we killing our customers with engagement?” There have been several rumors that Facebook’s user numbers are dropping. People are disliking companies, at the same time that so many businesses are diving head first into social-media. A major issue for many companies is that they do not really know how to best use social-media platforms, like Facebook, to their full potential. They are trying to get away with using the same methods they have used in other marketing campaigns. But social media platforms are not about making your brand look good. Social content ranks highest when it is re-shared, liked, commented upon. Translation: you need to produce content your users care about. In 2010, the New York Times published an article entitled, Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome, in which author John Tierney delves into research from the University of Pennsylvania outlining the kind of content that people are most likely to forward onto their peers. The results are surprising. Rather than the outrageous, comic relief articles you would expect to find, the Penn researchers found that people really wanted to share, “articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list.” Rather than self-fulfilling motives, Dr. Jonah Berger says they learned that what readers are really seeking is “emotional communion.”

Doug Clark, Audi of America’s general manager for social media and customer engagement told Farhad Manjoo, Fast Company Magazine, “[T]he equation to measure [ROI from social-media] doesn’t exist.”* The only real measurement is how many people like their page and engage with it on a regular basis. In the article, Manjoo says that “What’s more interesting is that brands truly don’t seem bothered by this. Being on the leading front of marketing while not having to account for their efforts liberates them.” Companies are pouring dollars into their social-media campaigns, and not expecting any returns, but rather discovering the value of a “like” or a comment on their posts. It’s word-of-mouth in its best possible form. Think about it. You make changes to your relationship status if, and only when, you are ready for your best friend’s mom to share the juicy news during her next visit to the salon. At that point, everyone will know already because it will have shown up on their feed along with the 8,000 comments a post like that entreats. continued on page 27 »

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


A.M. Best



Market Share

Listed by line of coverage


hese charts tell the story on how Kansas fared in 2010 by line of coverage. Please keep in mind that the loss ratios shown are pure loss ratios and not combined, which you can estimate by adding 30%, plus or minus, for expenses. If you are looking for new markets, these lists are a good place to start. Some of the names will not be familiar but that is because Best uses the group name rather than the name used in Kansas or that may be the most familiar member of the group.

All Lines (Kansas P/C) Premiums Written (000) 243,588 158,646 143,576 124,806 124,220 109,230 98,738 88,936 70,689 68,437 63,250 58,689 51,386 50,285 49,296 45,862 39,527 38,299 28,121 22,838

Market Share 4.9 3.2 2.9 2.5 2.5 2.2 2.0 1.8 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2 1 1 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.5

Adjusted Loss Ratio 49 28.7 58.8 42.2 77.9 43 45.2 45.8 43.1 30.9 80 47.8 -26 49.3 32.0 71.3 17.6 27.8 58 60.7

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Grp Ks Farm Bur Grp Amer Family Ins Zurich/Farmers Liberty Mutual Ins Cos Nationwide Grp

564,926 358,831 356,973 257,371 199,655

11.4 7.2 7.2 5.2 4

57.7 54.7 54.9 57.7 49.6

All Companies




Top 20 Independent Agency Companies St.Pauls Travelers Grp ACE INA Group Progressive Grp Great American PC Amer Intern Grp EMC Ins Group Hartford Ins Grp QBE Americas Group Old United Casualty Allianz of America WR Berkley Grp CNA Ins. Cos Chubb Grp of Ins Farmers Alliance FMH Ins Group Cincinnati Ins Grp X L America Grp Old Republic Columbia Ins Group Accident Fund Group Zurich Fin Serv NA NAU Country Ins Co.


2006 Rank 1 4 3 11 2 5 6 12 15 7 13 14 9 19 16 18 17

2007 Rank 1 3 5 4 2 6 7 19 11 13 8 12 14 18 20 17 16 15

2008 Rank 1 2 5 4 3 6 7 20 13 10 8 12 14 17 11 18 16 15

2009 Rank 1 2 5 4 3 6 7 20 14 10 9 11 13 16 17 18 12 15



9 19

8 19

1 3 2 4

1 3 2 4

1 3 2 4



1 3 2 4 5

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011


2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

1 2 3 4 5

If you need contact information on any of the carriers, call KAIA and we will be glad to help. You may also use our Agency Guide to Company Appointments list on our website, This list is for KAIA members only and you will need your username and password to

access it. It is one of the best kept secrets in Kansas and is the best list of independent agent markets you will find anywhere, from anybody – period. When looking at some of the lines, especially some of the commercial insurance lines, it is worth not-

Kansas Private Passenger Auto No-Fault Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Progressive Group Travelers Group Hartford Ins Group Farmers Alliance Co Columbia Ins Group Traders Ins. Co. Buckeye Ins Group State Auto Ins Co QBE Re Group-US Hallmark Ins Group

Written (000) 12,748 2,806 1,278 954 860 851 730 513 404 399

Market Share 11 2.4 1.1 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Group Amer Family Ins Farmers Ins Group Kansas Farm Bureau Berkshire Hathaway

27,457 14,338 11,001 9,448 5,762

All Companies

115,878 100.0

23.7 12.4 9.5 8.2 5.0

Loss Ratio 58 47.5 59.3 51.6 110.1 39.7 74.3 98.2 56.8 51.3

60.4 60.2 57.8 61.9 51.1

2008 Rank 1 3 4 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 4

ing that a lot of the premium volume that appears in the Direct Writer category is really written by independent agents. Consider that Nationwide owns Allied, Allstate uses both channels, and Liberty Mutual’s independent agent channel is now bigger than their direct. Cat-

egorizing carriers is getting more difficult all the time. Hopefully these reports will be useful to your agency as you manage your company relationships. Please let KAIA know if there is other information that would be useful to you in managing your operation.

Workers Compensation 2009 2010 Rank Rank 1 1 2 4 3 5 4 7 5 6 6 8 7 9 8 10 9 10

1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4 5

Top 10 Independent Agency Companies St.Paul Travelers Grp Hartford Ins Group EMC Ins Cos. W R Berkley Group Accident Fund Group Amer Intern Grp Zurich Fin Serv NA AmTrust Financial Group ACE INA Group Cincinnati Ins Cos

Premiums Written (000) 37,417 29,458 26,147 23,447 22,838 22,078 19,904 12,084 10,388 7,862

Market Share 9.7 7.6 6.8 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.1 3.1 2.7 2.0

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 75.8 1 37.6 4 49.2 5 108.0 3 60.7 6 108.8 2 17.4 7 97.0 13 54.4 8 76.5 11

Top 5 Direct Writers Liberty Mutual Nationwide Grp Amerisafe Ins Group Berkshire Hathaway Farm Bureau P&C Group

46,165 19,153 7,012 6,508 3,744

11.9 4.9 1.8 1.7 1.0

70.5 50.7 102.8 50.5 62.8

All Companies




Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Old Republic Gen CNA Ins Cos Travelers Ins Group EMC Ins. Cos Allianz of America Hartford Ins Grp Assurant Group Chubb Grp of Ins Amer Intern Grp Zurich Fin Serv

Premiums Written (000) 7,563 10,938 8,963 6,259 6,002 4,639 3,337 2,883 2,762 2,755

Market Share 6 8.6 7.1 4.9 4.7 3.7 2.6 2.3 2.2 2.2

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 27.1 1 49.1 3 37.8 2 16.4 6 35.8 5 27.9 7 37.2 9 24.4 10 14.1 4 -25.9 8

2009 Rank 1 2 3 5 4 6 10 8 12 9

Top 5 Direct Writers Liberty Mut Ins Cos. State Farm Grp Berkshire Hathaway Nationwide Group FM Global Group

16,357 6,665 4,580 4,023 3,333

12.9 5.3 3.6 3.2 2.6

66 32.2 42 77.1 -15.8

1 2 4 5 3

All Companies




1 2 3

2009 Rank 1 2 3 4 6 5 7 18 8 10

1 2 3 5

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5


Inland Marine

Other Private Passenger Auto Liability Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Progressive Group Travelers P C Group Key Insurance Co. Hartford Ins Group Farmers Alliance Cos Traders Ins Co. Columbia Ins Group State Auto Ins Cos Buckeye Ins Group QBE Re Group-US

Premiums Written (000) 63,185 18,677 11,847 9,355 5,568 4,222 3,851 3,495 2,443 2,353

Market Share 10.1 3 1.9 1.5 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.4

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 58.6 1 65.2 2 52.9 12 68.1 4 60.3 5 56.9 92.2 7 54.0 8 46.5 9 70.9 10

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Group Amer Family Ins Grp Farmers Insurance Group Kansas Farm Bureau Liberty Mutual Ins Cos.

122,221 89,661 65,419 50,010 24,301

19.6 14.4 10.5 8.0 3.9

57.3 46.9 58.7 64.7 61.4

All Companies




1 2 3 4

2009 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 7 6 8 9

1 2 3 4

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

2 1 5 4 3

2010 Rank 3 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


Homeowners Multi Peril Top 10 Independent Agency Companies St. Paul Travelers Grp Farmers Alliance Hartford Ins Group Marysville Mut Ins Bremen Farmers Chubb Grp of Ins Upland Mut Ins Inc Allianz of America Cincinnati Ins Cos EMC Ins Cos

Premiums Written (000) 44,301 11,020 10,872 9,383 9,332 7,375 7,004 6,546 5,587 4,581

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Group Amer Family Ins Farmers Ins Grp Kansas Farm Bur Allstate Ins Group All Companies

Commercial Auto Physical Damage Market Share 5.5 1.4 1.4 1.2 1.2 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 59.4 1 45.8 5 62 2 59.4 6 61.6 3 43.8 4 54.3 8 43.8 7 49.9 9 83.8 11

2009 Rank 1 3 2 5 4 6 8 7 9 10

194,140 114,935 86,250 70,683 38,286

24.2 14.3 10.8 8.8 4.8

57.1 69.0 63.5 65.0 53.4

1 2 3 4 5




1 2 3 4 5

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

Farmowners Multi Peril Premiums Written (000) 13,508 8,586 4,866 4,779 4,688 3,743 3,340 2,306 1,650 1,161

Market Share 8.9 5.7 3.2 3.2 3.1 2.5 2.2 1.5 1.1 0.8

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 54.1 1 73.2 2 87.4 5 63.8 3 66.9 4 71.7 7 58.2 6 69.6 8 31.9 9 129.9 13

2009 Rank 1 2 5 3 4 6 7 8 9 11

Top 5 Direct Writers Kansas Farm Bur Nationwide Grp State Farm Grp Amercian Family MutualAid eXchange

68,448 11,628 9,109 6,431 2,074

45.3 7.7 6.0 4.3 1.4

63.2 77.7 68.4 51.6 21.7

1 2 3 4 5

All Companies




2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

Commercial Multi Peril Liability


Top 10 Independent Agency Companies St. Paul Travelers Grp W R Berkley Grp Hartford Ins Group Tokio Marine US Group Cincinnati Ins Cos CNA Ins Cos QBE Americas Group Chubb Grp of Ins Allianz of America Columbia Ins Grp

Premiums Written (000) 9,273 5,459 3,631 3,338 2,854 2,360 2,266 2,233 1,589 1,303

Top 5 Direct Writers Nationwide Grp Amer Family Ins State Farm Grp Liberty Mutual Ins Farmers Ins Group

Market Share 10.7 6.3 4.2 3.9 3.3 2.7 2.6 2.6 1.8 1.5

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 24.3 1 8 2 3.8 3 62.7 5 12.9 6 11.8 7 90.9 23.1 8 69 4 20.6 11

2009 Rank 1 2 3 4 7 9 8 5 6 10

10,239 5,033 4,390 4,275 3,237

11.8 5.8 5.1 4.9 3.7

12.1 4.7 39.6 54.5 43

1 2 3 4 5

All Companies




1 2 4 3 5

Premiums Written (000) 7,479 6,385 5,229 5,182 4,173 3,003 2,929 1,867

Market Share 9.2 7.9 6.4 5.7 5.1 3.7 3.6 2.3

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 53.8 2 53.9 4 73.3 3 58.3 1 34.8 5 71.4 64.1 7 54.8 8

2009 2010 Rank Rank 1 1 2 2 4 3 3 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 9 8

Farmers Alliance Hartford Ins Group

1,816 1,400

2.2 1.7

39.5 40.7

10 12

10 13

9 10

Top 5 Direct Writers Nationwide Group Ally Insurance Group State Farm Grp Liberty Mutual Ins Cos Farm Bureau P&C Group

7,291 2,886 2,626 2,172 1,935

9.0 3.6 3.2 2.7 2.4

70.4 42.2 45.7 48 62.6



2 3

2 4

1 2 3 4 5

All Companies




Commercial Auto No Fault

Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Farmers Alliance Bremen Farmers QBE Americas Group Upland Mut Ins Inc Marysville Mut Ins Travelers Ins Group Buckeye Ins Grp Columbia Ins Grp Kansas Mut Ins ACE INA Group

1 3 2 4 5

Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Travelers P C Grp EMC Ins Cos Old Republic Ins Group W R Berkley Grp Zurich Fin Serv Great Amer P&C Progressive Grp QBE Americas Group

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

Top 10 Independent Agency Companies St.Paul Travelers Grp Progressive Grp EMC Ins Cos. Old Republic Gen Zurich Fin Serv Farmers Alliance W R Berkley Arch Insurance Group Columbia Ins Grp Canal Group

Premiums Written Market (000) Share 333 7.9 318 7.6 247 5.9 228 5.4 190 4.5 162 3.9 120 2.9 108 0.8 96 2.3 79 1.9

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 34.5 1 22.2 1 74.3 5 26.5 3 -99.9 4 -12.1 9 0.3 6 60.1 12 45 10 26.4

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Group Nationwide Group Liberty Mutual Farmers Insurance Group Ameri Family Ins Grp

551 472 112 70 70

13.1 11.2 2.7 1.7 1.7

41.4 12.9 -14.7 59.4 8.9

All Companies




2009 2010 Rank Rank 3 1 2 2 5 3 4 4 1 5 6 6 8 7 7 8 10 9 10

1 2 3

1 2 3



1 2 3 4 5

Other Commercial Auto Liability Top 10 Independent Agency Companies St. Paul Travelers Grp EMC Ins. Co. Old Republic Zurich Fin Serv NA W R Berkley Grp Progressive Grp Amer Intern Grp Great Amer P&C Cincinnati Ins Cos Hartford Ins. Group

Premiums Written Market (000) Share 13,949 10 10,294 7.4 9,535 6.8 8,052 5.8 6,777 4.8 5,159 3.7 4,816 3.4 4,285 3.1 2,979 2.1 2,955 2.1

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 50.7 1 25.4 3 46.3 2 45.7 5 55.9 4 66.4 6 88.1 7 12.1 9 48.9 12 48.8 10

Top 5 Direct Writers Nationwide Grp Liberty Mutual Berkshire Hathaway State Farm Grp Senetry Ins Group

14,284 5,945 3,151 2,431 2,217

26.3 41.3 42.0 24.8 116.5

All Companies

140,004 100.0

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

10.2 4.2 2.3 1.7 1.6


1 2 3 5 4

2009 Rank 1 2 3 5 4 6 7 10 8

1 2 3 4

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5

Pp Auto Physical Damage Top 10 Independent Agency Companies Progressive Grp St Paul Travelers Grp Hartford Ins Grp Farmers Alliance Columbia Ins Grp State Auto Ins Co Buckeye Ins Grp QBE Re Group -US Key Insurance Co Cincinnati Ins Cos

Premiums Written Market (000) Share 57,159 8.3 19,269 2.8 9,298 1.4 7,441 1.1 5,559 0.8 4,160 0.6 3,151 0.5 2,853 0.4 2,402 0.4 2,395 0.3

Adjusted Loss 2008 Ratio Rank 59.6 1 54.6 2 55.3 3 51.5 4 53.8 5 51.2 7 63.9 8 70.3 9 46.5 52.5 11

Top 5 Direct Writers State Farm Grp Amer Family Ins Farm Bureau P&C Grp Farmers Ins Grp USAA Group

141,682 98,968 64,196 63,970 32,640

62.9 51.9 53.8 53.7 87.8

All Companies

687,788 100.0

21 14.5 9.4 9.3 4.8

1 2 4 3

2009 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 4 3

2010 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5


September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


6 ways Agents Fail Their Workers’ Comp Customers

By Kevin Ring, Lead Workers’ Compensation Analyst for the Institute of WorkComp Professionals

Like most agents, you work hard at writing new accounts, what salespeople through the years have referred to as “getting the fish in the boat.” But it doesn’t take a master angler to know that once you get the fish, you must still make sure it doesn’t jump out. Then it’s back to square one. Whether agents spread themselves too thin, lack the resources to follow up efficiently or are just too darn complacent, they can fall into the trap of not servicing their clients’ workers’ compensation needs properly. Perhaps they don’t even realize it. Any one of these possibilities can cost customers money including increasing their workers’ compensation costs, and can potentially cost agents their business.


Agents who blindly copy other agents’ work. Think of it as taking over as manager of a baseball team and doing nothing more then copying the old manager’s lineup. Maybe the guy playing third base should really be playing first base. This happens when an agent gets a new commercial account and does little more than copy the workers’ comp employee classifications the previous agent used. There are more than 600 classifications used by the National Council of Compensation Insurers (NCCI). Many of them cover similar but not identical operations. The rules about who is covered by these classifications are commonly misunderstood, as in a recent situation where employees of a steel retailer were misclassified because they also did some painting of the metal they sold. The painting classification was far more expensive and the classification should never have been used. So right from the start, the agent is failing a client, through nothing more really than sheer laziness. Take time to walk the site to make sure you are familiar with the operation, what they do, and who does it.

2. Agents who ignore valuation dates. Eighteen months after a workers’ comp policy’s inception date, the insurance company takes a snapshot of the current status of all claims, including what has been paid and also the money that the insurance company expects to pay. But those numbers may not be correct. Maybe the reserves are too high because they thought an injured


employee was going to need $25,000 for surgery, but only required $5,000 of physical therapy. Maybe another employee was deemed by a doctor eligible to return to work, but the adjuster never got this information. Agents should take advantage of their agency management system to keep track of upcoming valuation dates and to speak with the adjuster at least 60-90 days before the date to better understand all the facts and figures. Otherwise, once the date has past, the ship has sailed and your client will have to suffer the overcharge for a full year.

3. Agents who don’t get involved in the premium audit from the beginning. When agents don’t get involved in helping clients with their premium audits until after the fact, there can be a problem when the employer receives an unexpected bill. But by then it’s like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. It’s important that agents be more proactive and more involved in the process before the auditor shows up. By doing so, they can educate the employer prior to the audit on such items as what money they give employees that applies to workers’ compensation and what money doesn’t. But you can’t leave it up to the employer to draw you into the process before it happens. Times have changed. When the economy was booming, and rates were going up, an agent might get a call from an employer questioning why a $5,000 bill arrived in the mail. The agent would review the account, explain the situation to the client, and even if the bill still had to be paid, there was good will because at least the agent made the effort. Today, as workers’ comp rates decline and payrolls have thinned out, employers are likely to receive a check in the mail for a workers’ compensation rebate instead of a bill. Since it’s a check, they aren’t asking the agent about it. By not having that conversation, the agent is denied the opportunity to determine if the employer qualifies for additional funds. Be proactive from the outset.

4. Agents who let insurance companies handle 100% of the claims. When a worker is injured on the job, most employers

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

automatically call the insurance company. Makes sense since the agent isn’t the one who cuts the checks. But in truth, the agent should be involved when there is an injury to monitor the process. By doing so, the agent can stay updated on all communication between the medical staff and the employer and the adjuster, find out when the injured party can return to work, make sure there is a plan in place for that to happen, and generally keep the flow of communication moving between the doctors, the human resources department and insurance company.

to offer a “free air conditioning system check up” to his clients. He split up his list and mailed the offer as a special opportunity they had for being a client.

By not getting involved, the agent is pushing all the responsibility to the insurance company, a third party that the employer has no direct relationship with. The employer chose to do business with you. They trust you to make sure their employee injuries are being dealt with appropriately.

Use the workers’ compensation skills you’ve been taught to benefit your customers. Be involved in the process from the start and chances are you will both reap the rewards.

What employer would not appreciate an agent’s participation in the process? What employer would not want another set of trained eyes keeping track of claims? It’s an expense to have an employee off the job when it isn’t necessary. Helping to facilitate getting an injured employee back to work as quickly as possible can only benefit a client.

5. Agents not educating the Human Resources department. Agents who build a positive relationship with HR personnel are doing everyone a favor. Most HR departments are under staffed and in some companies, the person with HR responsibilities was “assigned” the job without training. Unintentionally, it’s easy to “hire” a workers’ compensation claim, someone who is not fit for the job. Agents can be helpful by sharing their pre-employment experience in medical and drug screening, background checks, and knowing not only what to ask in the interview process, but how to ask it, based on the physical requirements of a position. How not to assume that a 6-foot, 240-pound man can easily lift 50-pound boxes off a truck, when a simple medical test may show that there’s a past history of back trouble that limits lifting to only 20-pound boxes. And the knowledge of how to withdraw a job offer may be very helpful to clients.

6. Agents not helping clients make more money. Write this down. First rule of business: employers are more interested in making money than saving money. Use your own contacts to benefit your clients. For example, an insurance agent in Florida insures 2,000 homeowners and five HVAC contractors. The agent received approval from the contractors

Everyone appreciated the gesture, the contractors made some sales, and with so many competitors vying for his business, the agent was able to build what Preston Diamond, president of the Institute of WorkComp Professionals, once labeled “an alligator-filled moat around the client.”

Kevin Ring is the Lead Workers’ Compensation Analyst for the Institute of WorkCompProfessionals, the Asheville, NC-based organization that trains insurance agents to help employers reduce Workers’ Compensation expenses. A licensed insurance agent, he leads workshops, analyzes Workers’ Comp programs and is the co-developer of a Workers’ Comp software suite that helps insurance professionals in working with employers. He can be contacted at 828-274-0959 or


You’ve offered each of your clients a personal umbrella policy.



September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


Kansas Sends Six to

Big I Trusted Choice®

Junior Classic


“This was the second year I participated in the Big I National Championship. Both tournaments were two of the greatest experiences of my junior golf years. I will compete for the University of Kansas beginning this fall and the Big I helped me prepare for college golf. Everything about the tournament was first class including our state qualifying tournament run by Mr. Chad Fuqua. I have met many wonderful people and enjoyed a lot of great competition at the Big I. I wish you future success with the championship. I wouldn’t change a thing. It was an honor to represent the state of Kansas in 2010 and 2011.” --David Auer Kansas Big I Trusted Choice® Junior Classic State Qualifier Champion


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

A special thanks to all of our member volunteers at the Trusted Choice Big “I” Junior Classic Golf Tournament State Qualifier: Brandi Ogunnowo, Billi Hedrick, Bob Wood, Lori Estelle, Jim Runnenbaum, Lyle Davidson, Ron Bolz, James Lowe, Bob Jones, Larry Fuqua, Chad Fuqua, Tim Tyner and Austin Renn.

Despite oppressive heat temperatures, ninety-four junior golfers from all over the state of Kansas competed July 12-13, at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, KS, to earn seats in the Big I Trusted Choice® Junior Classic golf tournament. Strategically placed coolers were stationed along the course to keep the players hydrated throughout the two-day tournament. Both Mackenzie Thayer, Garden City, KS, and David Auer, Wichita, KS, defended their first place titles a second year and made plans to continue their golfing careers at the University of Kansas. This year KAIA introduced a live scoring feature to the tournament. Members of the association volunteered both days to help with the venture. The volunteers were positioned at every third hole where they collected and then texted players’ scores back to the tournament coordinators. In the clubhouse, players and spectators could view the updates on a flat screen television. Many parents expressed genuine gratitude for providing the live scoring this year, adding that it really helped them enjoy the experience that much more.



Thayer shot a two-day score of 155, a full 6 points ahead of the second place finisher, Audrey Judd, Olathe, KS. Thayer’s is an inspiring story of perseverance and triumph. “She walks with a limp, always rides a golf cart when playing, and a support hose she wears on her left leg hides visible veins, a trait of [Klippel Trenaunay Weber Sydrome (KTS) a condition that restricts circulation in her leg and causes her to limp].,” reports Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal World. Because of a Supreme Court case involving golfer Casey Martin (who as the same condition), Thayer is able to remain competitive on the greens. Kansas was well represented at the national tournament at Reunion Golf & Country Club in Madison, Mississippi, as the KAIA was able to fund travel accommodations and entry fees for both girls, as well as four players from the boys’ division including Auer, second place finisher, Parker Miller, Kansas City, KS, Alex Forristal, Prairie Village, KS, and Sam Stevens, Wichita, KS. Auer held his own the first day with a fourth place finish of 71. He took 28th with a four-day score of 300, just two points behind Stevens, Don’t Your Policyholders who took 27th, and six Deserve A Company with an points ahead of Parker Miller, who took 44th place. In the girls’ division, Judd finished 25th with a four-day score of Rating from the A.M. 323. Renowned as the nation’s largest junior stroke-play golf tournament, the Trusted Choice® Big “I” National Championship is one of the longest running junior golf events in the country. Previous participants include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Kellee Booth, and Grace Park. The tournament will be held at the University of Texas Golf Club, Austin, Texas, in 2012, and at the Country Club of North Carolina, Pinehurst, North Carolina, in 2013.

Best Company?

Check Out All KANSAS MUTUAL Has to Offer:

- Competitive rates - Excellent service for over 115 years - Simple online quoting system - Optional coverage available for sewer back up & replacement cost on rental dwellings - Easy access to our personnel 1.800.873.5642 AGENCY INQUIRIES WELCOMED IN SELECTED AREAS OF KANSAS

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


NASON ASSOCIATES, INC. IS YOUR AVIATION INSURANCE HEADQUARTERS We at Nason Associates have daily contact with the worldwide aviation marketplace to help with uncovered exposures that are in your client’s path. If you have clients who are involved in flying or the aviation industry, our experience and marketing skills can provide you with a complete insurance program.

ALL TYPES OF AVIATION COVERAGE: Aircraft Hull & Liability, Aviation Products Liability, Airport Liability, including Products & Hangarkeepers, Aviation Non-Ownership Liability, Work Comp, Aviation Property Coverage NASON ASSOCIATES, INC. 5700 BROADMOOR ST., #905 MISSION, KANSAS 66202 (913) 677-1550 FAX# (913) 384-9350

Provide Service & Security to your clients with; x Code Enforcement and Refrigerated Products up to $500 on all Homeowner & Farmowner policies. x Identity Theft 911 services for ALL Policyholders x Auto/Homeowner/Farmowner Multi Policy Discounts x Online rating and submission for new and endorsement transactions. x Agency Download to your management system x Agency Contracts Solicited 800-369-4324


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

Success is ďŹ nding an advantage. Today, the faster you move, the more likely you are to succeed. Agents know this. That’s why so many choose SECURA to help their business grow. Call 1-800-558-3405. Write your own success story.SM

A New Era of

Workers Compensation Passage of HB 2134 and 2139 has brought about significant amendments in the Kansas Workers Compensation Act. This article is a first in a series highlighting some of the more important amendments. As with any legislation, the true impact of these amendments on workers compensation issues will be clarified through their application by the Division of Workers Compensation and the courts in determining claims. Until such time as such decisions are issued, this series is intended to educate employers on the expected changes brought about these amendments by providing an historical perspective along with the intended effect of the more significant amendments.

Introduction The Kansas Workers Compensation Act, K.S.A. 44-501 et seq., last underwent major revision in 1993. The amendments contained in that revision were intended to address shortcomings in the law relative to the protection of both the rights of the injured worker as well as the rights of the employer. Since that time however, the application of the provisions of the Act had shifted resulting in the erosion of the ability of the employer to challenge and defend questionable claims. The erosion was gradual and brought about primarily from decisions issued by the Division and appellate courts, which required interpretation of the Act’s provisions to apply them to a particular factual situation. In recent years the appellate courts have issued opinions in which it has rejected any standard under which it is asked to interpret


the Act and applied a “plain reading” standard. Simply stated, the appellate courts have declined to continue to interpret the Act and held that if the language of the applicable provision is unambiguous, then it will apply the plain reading of the language for its’ determination. This shift on how the appellate courts applied the law brought about significant decisions on different aspects of the Act. Two of the more detrimental decisions to employers were Bergstrom v. Spears Mfg. Co., 289 Kan. 605, 214 P.3d 676 (2009) and Tyler v. Goodyear, 43 Kan. App. 2d 386, 224 P. 3d 1197 (2010). These decisions essentially eliminated the employers ability to challenge an injured workers claim to an award based upon work disability by eliminating any “good faith” requirement on behalf of the injured worker to seek and maintain post-injury employment. The effect of these two

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

decisions drastically increased the exposure on claims involving general bodily injuries by conceding a work disability claim if the injured worker incurs a significant post-injury wage loss, even if the post injury wage loss was the result of a personal choice by the worker and not connected to the work injury in any way. In response to this shift, the legislature undertook a comprehensive review of the Act resulting in the passage of numerous amendments to its provisions. The amendments took effect as of May 15, 2011. The following sections outline some of the more significant changes as they affect employers and insurance carriers. Significant Changes for Employers and Insurance Carriers A. Affidavit of Exempt Status

Under HB 2134 New Section 27 a new form was made available to support a specific defense. This defense is available to contractors who employ independent contractors to deny liability for such independent contractors but not employees of such independent contractors. The defense is centered upon the ability of the contractor to obtain an Affidavit of Exempt Status from an independent contractor. This affidavit creates a rebuttable presumption that the independent contractor is not an employee of the contractor for purposes of workers compensation coverage and therefore the contractor is not responsible for workers compensation claims made by the independent contractor. The purpose of this affidavit is intended to confirm and establish from the outset the defense available to contractors. In addition to the affidavit the independent contractor must likewise complete the Exempt Status Worksheet which accompanies the affidavit. The worksheet contains acknowledgments and verifications to be made by the independent contractor establishing that they are neither an employee of the contractor nor should they be considered a statutory employee of the contractor. Although neither the affidavit nor the worksheet need to be filed with the Division prior to them taking affect, given that they only create a rebuttable presumption, it is important that they be completed in its’ entirety, along with the notarization of the subcontractors signature with the original retained by the contractor. If for some reason the independent contractor does seek to file a workers compensation claim against the contractor, the completed and notarized affidavit along with the worksheet will need to be produced before such defense will be upheld in the claim. It is important to note that a civil fine of up to $1,000.00 per offense can be imposed upon the subcontractor for falsifying any informa-

tion on the worksheet or affidavit and the same amount of fine can be imposed upon the contractor for willfully requiring an employee or a subcontractor to complete the affidavit/worksheet while knowing that the employee and/or subcontractor is required to be covered under a policy of workers compensa-

tion insurance. Most importantly however, this defense only applies to the independent contractor and not to employees of the independent contractor. Therefore, it would be a good practice for a contractor who intends to utilize this affidavit to have the independent contractor verify and confirm that he/she has no

RELATIONSHIPS IT’S WHY WE STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD “I’m a mom, and for me excellent communication is important. The same holds true for my role as a Bond Underwriter. Developing personal relationships with our customers is essential—it’s who we are.”

Robyn Shepherd Bond Underwriter—professional listener and “customer care” expert Connect with Robyn on LinkedIn!

Managing General Agency Since 1920 Property/Casualty t Professional Liability t Surety Commercial Transportation t Personal Lines t Premium Finance


September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


employees and will only engage other independent contractors in work after securing such affidavit from them. If the contractor cannot obtain such verification and confirmation from the independent contractor, the contractor should require the independent contractor to produce proof of workers compensation coverage. B. Failure to Use Guards - Drugs/ Alcohol –Horseplay K.S.A. 44-501 has been amended to deny compensation for a work related injury if the work related injury results from 1) the workers deliberate intention to cause such injury; 2) willful failure by the worker to use such guard or protection as required by statute and provided for the employee; 3) workers failure to use a reasonable and proper guard which has been voluntarily furnished by the employer; 4) workers reckless violation of the employer’s workplace safety rules and regulations or; voluntary participation in horseplay or fighting with a co-employee for any reason. It is important to note that the amendment also maintains the exclusion from any defense based upon the failure to use guards or protective equipment when, under the totality of the circumstances, it was not reasonable to use such equipment or the employer approved that the work performed at the time of the accident be performed without such equipment. This provision is not new in its entirety but has been expanded to include a defense in the event the accident was the result of a deliberate intention to cause injury by the worker and to exclude accidents due to voluntary horseplay or accidents resulting in fighting between co-workers. The provisions pertaining to drug/alcohol use have been amended from the standpoint of shifting the initial burden of proving the drug/ alcohol caused or contributed to the accident from the employer to that of establishing a rebuttable presumption that such use contributed to the


accident if the test results meet or exceed certain levels expressed in the statute. Additionally the employers right to require the worker to undergo post-injury testing and have the results admitted into evidence has also been clarified. This clarification allows for the collection of samples and the admission of the test results if 1) mandated by a written policy of the employer which was in place prior to the date of accident; 2) if the test was performed in the course of an autopsy or during medical treatment for reasons related to the health and welfare of the worker which was not otherwise requested by the employer; 3) upon written consent or by the worker prior to the date of accident to the employer that the worker would submit to such testing following a work related accident or as volunteered by the worker after a work accident. Under this provision the test sample must be collected timely and a split sample must be made available to the worker within 48 hours of a positive test. In the event the worker refuses to undergo such testing at the request of the employer, the right to compensation will be forfeited if the employer had sufficient cause to suspect that the worker used drugs or alcohol or if the employer maintains a policy which clearly authorizes such post-injury testing. It is considered that the employer’s policy clearly authorizing post-injury testing will likely have to be in writing. The primary change in this defense brought about by the amendment is the shifting of the initial burden of proving the contribution of the drug/alcohol toward the accident/injury from the employer to a presumption. It is recommended that employers be counseled to implement such written policies that would afford for the collection of samples following post-injury accidents and establish the samples admissibility into the claim record. In addition the facility designated to collect the sample should be made aware of the requirements of the testing and the

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

chain of custody requirements for the collection and maintenance of the sample, especially the maintenance of the required split sample. C. Pre-Existing Conditions The amendments brought about by HB 2134 maintained the reduction in compensation based upon pre-existing functional impairment. However, these amendments expanded how such pre-existing functional impairment is determined and how such reduction will be applied to an award of compensation. Previously it was the employer’s burden of proving the amount of pre-existing impairment which should be reduced from an award. The method of establishing such pre-existing impairment was not clearly defined under the old law and the standard implemented by the Division and courts was somewhat stringent thereby making it either overly difficult or uneconomical for employers to be afforded a reduction based upon pre-existing disability. The amendments have loosened the standard implemented by the Division and courts to a more equitable level. Under the amendments to K.S.A. 440-501 if pre-existing functional impairment has been determined either through settlement or judicial/administrative determination in an Kansas action, the percentage basis for such prior settlement or award will conclusively determine the amount of functional impairment to be preexisting. If no such prior settlement or determination has been made in Kansas the standard for establishing pre-existing functional impairment is the same as under the old law, which is that of being based upon competent evidence. In addition to amending how pre-existing impairment is established, the amendments also clarify how the credit/off-set for such preexisting functional impairment will be determined. Under the new provisions if the pre-existing impairment was the result of a prior work injury sustained

CSRY Awarded to Sandy Kirk while working for the same employer against whom the new award is being sought, the reduction is based upon the “current dollar value” of the pre-existing impairment. The “current dollar value” is calculated as the compensation rate applicable for the current injury multiplied by the amount of pre-existing functional impairment. This method of calculation appears to provide for a reduction in the rate at which the new award would be paid which is different than the method utilized in all other cases involving a reduction in compensation due to preexisting functional impairment. In those other cases, employers are afforded a credit for the amount of pre-existing functional impairment which is how the old law was intended to operate by reducing the amount of impairment to be utilized in the permanent disability compensation calculation. Whether the expected benefit from this change is realized appears to be questionable as it has the appearance of penalizing employers who retain injured workers. To be Continued ... The amendments reviewed in the article are but a few of the ones enacted by the recent legislation. In upcoming issues reviews of other provisions of the new legislation

will be made which will include changes to the rules on causation; work disability and medical care. All of these changes will have some impact on workers compensation claims. Some of these changes will be beneficial to employers and insurance carriers and some will not. Regardless of the changes, educating employers and carriers on the changes will allow them to implement and/or update their policies and procedures and avoid costly errors and be better prepared to manage their risks. About the Author Matthew S. Crowley is a partner in the firm of Larson & Blumreich, Chartered in Topeka, Kansas. He has practiced in the area of workers compensation defense for over 23 years representing both insurance carriers and self-insured employers. In addition, Mr. Crowley is a frequent speaker on workers compensation law and has consulted with individual employers and associations in the development of workers compensation legislation and internal claims handling procedures. Mr. Crowley can be contacted at (785) 273-7722 or

Each year, a group of exceptional insurance professionals are chosen by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research to represent their states and compete to become the National Outstanding CSR of the Year. This award, regarded as the foremost national award of its kind, recognizes the contributions and commitment of those who serve clients within the insurance industry. Each state winner receives a framed certificate and is eligible to compete for the national honor, which carries a $2,000 cash award, a gold and diamond pin, $1,000 cash award for the nominator, and a scholarship for the recipient’s employer to any program offered by The National Alliance. Additionally, the name of the Outstanding CSR of the Year is inscribed on a sculpture permanently displayed at the national headquarters of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research in Austin, Texas. This year, Sandy Kirk, AINS, AU, ARM, CPIW, CPCU with IMA of Kansas, Inc. in Wichita is the Kansas winner. Here is her winning essay: “Four Ways To Enhance Customer Service In The Technology Age” Was it only 25 or so years ago that insurance companies implemented their on line rating programs? Policy issuance soon followed. Technology was here to stay. I was part of that initial training and remember how difficult it was to convince co-workers that technology would make their jobs easier. Change is difficult to embrace. The same holds true for our clients. Fast forward to 2011; clients can go on line and access a variety of services, from billing information, to issuing certificates and pulling loss runs. This client online access is of concern to some agency personnel. They fear they will be replaced by technology. Utilizing the following four actions will enhance and preserve our relationships with our clients and ensure that we, as Service Account Managers, do not become obsolete. 1. BE RESPONSIVE - Automation has given us back some of our time, so let’s make sure we use it to respond to our clients and their requests in a timely manner. I still believe that people appreciate being able to pick up the phone and have a personal conversation. Set pre-determined response times. Do your best to respond within those set time frames, even if your response is to tell them you need additional time to complete the task. continued on page 30 »

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


SALES AND SERVICING continued from page 5 to interact with them via the channels they use in everyday life.11 We have seen that this means that direct carriers offer some option for consumers to deal with a “real person.” For agencies, it means supplementing their personal client interactions via phone and in person with increasingly robust online options including email, website portals and social media. Most agency clients still want to talk with the agent when the issue involves counseling, such as policy coverage, obtaining a quote, adding or changing drivers or cars, price changes and billing inquiries. However, there are certain routine transactions where most agency customers’ first preference would be to do them online such as to make a payment (45% online vs. 31% talk with agency), update contact information (43% online vs. 36% talk with agency), order insurance cards (41% online vs. 37% talk with agency). With verify payment receipt, agency customers’ top two preferences do not even include talking with the agency (33% online vs. 30% by email).12

it is also time for them to begin to offer their clients the convenience of using e-signature tools for required applications and other signed documents. It is important for technology providers, carriers and agencies to work together to respond to these changing client preferences by developing agency website portals that provide customers with these online servicing capabilities. Enabling clients to make payments to the company through the agency portal should be the first priority, given that online payments constitute 44% of overall consumer online servicing visits.13 As agencies increasingly offer online quoting and make sales by phone, it is also time for them to begin to offer their clients the convenience of using e-signature tools for required applications and other signed documents. Currently, 87% of all online auto insurance purchasers using other distribution systems have been able to sign all required documents electronically.14

Tired of waiting on hold or leaving voice mail? Not with M. J. Kelly COMMERCIAL AUTO… We have markets for short haul, long haul, public auto, rentals, law enforcement, and more! Good drivers (and not so good drivers)—we can handle your needs. Our Public Auto Coverage will help bring in some extra fare. M. J. Kelly Company offers a full range of coverages including Auto Liability, Physical Damage, Cargo, and Excess Auto. Excess Auto Liability is available with limits up to $4 million excess of $1 million for select Public Auto Risks.


Company. We value your business and your time! We believe in personal service—knowledgeable professionals providing quick turnaround on quotes. M. J. Kelly is celebrating 35 years of business. Like you, we’ve weathered storms. Our growth is steady; our company is strong; and our service is exemplary. We stand the test of time (yours and ours). Call us for personal service and professional solutions. Don’t forget to finance with M. J. Kelly’s in house financing, BARCO Finance.

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

Trusted Choice continued from page 10

Growing Agency Client Interest in Other Online Communications Email is second only to calling as agency clients’ preferred method of contact to the agency, beating out visits to the office. 77% of agency customers send or receive emails with the agency. As might be expected, greater percentages of younger clients (18-34 years) use email as their first method of contact with the agency.15 While the trend to use social media for business purposes is still emerging, 20% of 18 to

24 year olds would have an interest in interacting with their agents via a social media outlet like Facebook or Twitter. This level of interest contrasts with that of agency clients overall, where 86% express not being interested in interacting with their agents in a social media context.16 One wonders, however, if this overall interest level will change when consumers start to use social media more regularly in their daily lives and begin to see how valuable consumer information can be conveyed to them by their providers. Another emerging trend is for consumers to use their mobile devices to access business accounts. As of 2011, 12%

of consumers with the mobile capability to do so have accessed an insurance site via their mobile browser, while 10% accessed an insurance site via an app. Only 9% of insurance consumers have used text messaging to communicate regarding their insurance. With regard to those who have used a mobile device for their insurance, the top functions used in descending order have been to pay a bill, access the insurance policy, text or chat with an agent, find the nearest insurance agent or office, update personal information, find useful tips or tools, find the agent’s contact info, continued on page 32 »

brokers. Agent accessibility to the program is expanding, as Trusted Choice® has made it easier for agents and brokers to join at the state level, which means more exposure for company partners among your target audience. Consumer reach has also grown, with 1,896,889,560 media impressions as of summer 2010. If you are an agent or a company, and have not already joined the movement, visit and learn more about what it means to “live the brand.” “Trusted Choice® Insurance agencies are the Trusted Choice® when you’re in need.”

TAO OF “LIKE’ continued from page 11 Now, as small business owners, we shouldn’t expect to have thousands of page “likes.” It’s just not a reasonable expectation. Nor do we need to devote vast amounts of the green stuff to the cause. However, each of us should be able to find unique ways in which to reach our customers’ emotions. What is special to your community that you can incorporate with your page? Maybe you sponsor a local sports team by promoting them through your page like Heritage Insurance Group. Maybe you can support local charity groups on your agency’s birthday like Al Shank Insurance Agency. Perhaps you can give away tickets to the local rodeo, or help raise funds for the county or school library. Rather than sharing photos of your agency, go opposite and share inspiring stories about your customers; better yet, share useful content that you can find with the Trusted Choice® RSS feed (available at www.TrustedChoice. com/agents). Everyone likes a good story, moreover, everyone wants a good story to share. *Manjoo, Farhad. ““(Like) + (Retweet) =

$$$?” Fast Company, June 28, 2011: 86-89, 117.

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


And the


Thunder Rolls... By Katie Hobson, KAIA Public Relations Coordinator

lose your eyes. Picture a rolling sea of green stalks blowing ever so slightly along with the morning breeze. Silky tassels are just beginning to ease out from the protective cover of the corn husks. Aside from the wind and the cheerful choir of crickets, not a sound can be heard for miles. It’s a pleasant picture, almost medicinal in its soothing effects. It’s not only food; it’s a way of life. Now imagine a classic Midwest cumulonimbus cloud building, straightline winds of 70 miles per hour, hail the size of grapefruit. If you’ve lived through it, you can picture it. Now imagine that your livelihood is dependent upon this field’s production. Can you feel the tension ccreeping reeping b ack iin? n? tension back

Farming is an incredibly risky, yet et o extremely vital business. There are so yyo our ur many external factors that can affectt your ollu o uttel ely outcome, over which you have absolutely ample am zero control. Kansas is a perfect example ever ev ery of the challenges that farmers face every up p-year. As one of the world’s largest suprrole ollee pliers of wheat, Kansas plays a key ro ha arrssh h in the farming world. This summer, harsh ng climate, wicked heat, and devastating arm ar msss.. storms have taken a toll on Kansas ffarms. the th Yet, hope abounds. Farmers across the me to to state cling to hope that rain will come he bring them a bountiful harvest with tth the ffeeddnext season. It is with the help of thee fedteed by by eral crop insurance program, directed th heeyy independent insurance agents that they la an ntt.. can recover their input costs to re-plant. la an nd Up north in Norton, KS, in the land wa w as of abundant rain, a major concern was idw id weesstt the oppressive heat plaguing the Midwest ool oo this summer. Would the evenings bee ccool lii-enough for the corn to properly pollifals fa lse nate? Or would the stalks portray a false


sense of hope as happened in the fields elds ld ds Ci ity ty? just a few hours southwest in Dodgee C City? ndow nd ow The pollination stage has a short window evver eral al of just three to five days, in which several gold gol ld is is variables must be met if the edible gold eecctltly to reach maturity. Otherwise, a perfectly ma ma ajo jjo or healthy crop can quickly become a major loss. ice ce® Trent Richmond, a Trusted Choice® says ays ay agent for The Bridges Group, Inc., says n. that drought is no stranger to Norton. me me They experienced five years of extreme g as as weather from 1999-2004, receiving ea arrr.. little as five inches of rain in a full year. riissk sk “Crop insurance is the best tool for risk mo m on nd d saves farms,” Richmond to said. Not only does it allow farmers to so, o, iitt stay in business another year, but also, sor ort of of is necessary in order to receive any sort rro om business (farm or operating) loans from the banks. High corn and wheat prices aree weesst almost a tease for farmers in Southwest

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

Kansas where the drought is at its worst; but Richmond reports that the Northern regions of Kansas are producing strong yields this year, despite the hundred-plus degree weather. In other regions, the outlook is not so fruitful. “This year has been particularly tough,” admits Monica Meininger, a Trusted Choice® agent for Snell-Nelson Insurance Agency, Inc. in Ashland, KS. Ashland sits in the thick of the Great Plains’ drought. Meininger says that adjusters are “working their tails off” to get all of the claims paid. After only a month or two into the season, many grain sorghum farmers are already claiming their fields as a loss. Some farmers in the area are reexamining their options after several disappointing seasons. Meininger works with farmers in Kansas and Oklahoma. One optimistic farmer from Harper County, OK, is even taking his chances

with canola, a crop that is not yet approved for the northwest Oklahoma crop insurance program. With the dry weather Kansas and Oklahoma are having this year; it could turn out to be a positive move. Without the federal crop insurance program, many farmers would probably have to consider other occupations entirely. As it is, they will earn back just enough to keep them going for another year. Livestock farmers are dealing with similarly difficult decisions. Many already have to figure out how they will sustain their herds this season. The ground has just been so dry that there is no pasture grass. The mills are working around the clock to produce “cake,� a supplemental feed made from the ever-stacking cornfield losses. Some farmers have chosen to rent fields in Eastern Kansas, to allow their stock to graze. Others have been forced to sell their herds completely. Even in the midst of so much devastation, Meininger has a hopeful lilt to her voice, “We will be fine,� she says, “this too shall pass.� Just shy of the Colorado order is Carol Bloesser, a Trusted ChoiceŽ agent for First Tribune Insurance Agency, Inc., in Tribune, KS, “We have some great corn in the north western section of Greeley County and some corn that is or should be cut for silage or feed in other parts of the county. It is HOT. Don’t know how good the corn will turn out with the continuing hot weather. We will just have to wait and see. Our corn harvest is not until October.� Bloesser truly lives in a farming community with just eight hundred people in the whole town, and only five hundred more in the whole county. Ninety-three percent of her premium comes from crop insurance. Bloesser provides a unique perspective in that she is an independent insurance agent and a farmer too. She says that crop insurance is an expensive but necessary tool. Banks require that farmers insure their fields in order to receive business loans. Bloesser notes that crop insurance is the only guarantee that she and other farmers will stay in business for another season. In spite of the seemingly overwhelming burdens that farming can create, Bloesser encourages young agents just getting started to get into crop insurance. She points out that while it is a very different product that changes twice a year, and comes with its share of complications, “it is a solid business to supplement P&C.� Becoming a

successful crop insurance agent demands that you should “concentrate on what you have� and she says it’s a good plan to, “take a year or two to know your area products.� Hope continues to pervade Kansas farms, yet more heat is presenting itself on the horizon in the form of political turmoil. In the spring, The National Association of FSA County Office Employees made a bid to take over the federal crop insurance program. While the proposal never moved beyond that level, it represents only one piece of a larger puzzle. What will happen with crop insurance in the new farm bill? Will the 2008 bill be renewed? How will budget cuts affect the program that has already taken a 6 million dollar hit? The KAIA has a vested interest in legislation regarding crop insurance and will continue to stay on top of the issues. Be sure to catch the Nov/Dec issue of KIA&B in which the KAIA will report on the political climate surrounding the federal crop insurance program.

Ringwalt & Liesche Send submissions to: 1IPOFt'BY 3-!OBUJPOBMJOEFNOJUZDPN 







Why Quote with Ringwalt & Liesche? t"


September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


KAIA is the leading provider of agent continuing education in the state, managing both the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)and Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation programs of the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. • Kansas CE Requirements • Designation Certification • Ethics • Westport E&O Loss Control • Certified Insurance Counselor • Certified Insurance Service Representative • Upcoming CE Opportunities Register online for any of these classes at Erin Lesser Director of Education Kansas Association of Insurance Agents


CSRY- SANDY KIRK continued from page 25

2. STAY CONNECTED - Make sure you maintain personal contact with the client on a regular basis. Relationships are important for any business, especially insurance. People want to do business with professionals they know and trust. Use technology to set reminders of important dates and facts about your client that you can include in your conversations or correspondence. Remember to have face to face meetings; these are still appreciated by the client and may be the very reason they remain your client.

Personal Lines Institute November 9-11, 2011 Register online at

Phone: (785) 232-0561 Toll Free: (800) 229-7048 Fax: (785) 232-6817

Scan with your mobile device.

E-mail: or





12 WTH Topeka 20 IP Overland Park

3 PR Overland Park 8 PA Overland Park 16 AO Wichita


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

3. BE KNOWLEDGABLE - Fumbling around your computer system and carriers sites is not the image you want to project. We need to make sure our insurance education and computer skills remain up to date. By doing so we will be ready and able to assist our clients whether they are having problems understanding their coverage options or they are experiencing difficulties accessing their account online. Another aspect of being knowledgeable is having excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. Insurance can be difficult to understand; it has a language all its own. Polishing our communication skills will allow us to respond in a clear, concise and helpful manner. 4. OFFER ADDED VALUE - How do we differentiate ourselves from the competition? One way is to offer additional services to our clients. Make sure the client is aware of the additional services you offer and that these services are relevant and important to the client. Our clients can’t appreciate the added value if they don’t know what is available. Provide training for your clients to enable them to take advantage of online technology. Don’t get caught up in daily tasks and forget to follow through on the things that matter most to the client. Remember that technology is not the enemy. Mastering new technology can help you become more important to your clients and your employer. By finding ways to use automation to assist you in being responsive, connected, and knowledgeable while offering added value, you will enhance your relationship with your clients now and well into the future. Doing so will ensure that you do not go the way of the dinosaur and become obsolete.



For information about advertising, contact Katie Hobson at, or visit





COMPANY Kansas Mutual Insurance Company


American Mining Insurance Corp


Mid-Continent Group




Midlands Management Companies


Big I Markets


M.J. Kelly Company


Bremen Farmers Mutual




Columbia Insurance Group


Continental Western Group


EMC J.M. Wilson Kansas Fire/EMS Pak

Inside Front Cover 23 5

Progressive Ringwalt & Liesche

Back Cover 29

Secura Insurance Companies


Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc.


United Heartland


We are currently looking for a full time personal producing agent from the Overland Park, Kansas office. This is a personal producing position with the primary responsibility being the sales of commercial P&C products to small and mid-size accounts throughout Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, as well as increase volume of profitable business within the assigned territory. Candidates must possess a minimum of two (2) years prior experience in direct commercial sales and excellent knowledge of property and casualty insurance. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are also required, as well as a high level of competency in MS Office products and an ability to self-motivate. Valid P&C license, clean driving record and proof of insurance required. Forward cover letter and resume to: Daniel Tharp, National Sales Manager at fax: 877-262-0703.


SW Missouri on Table Rock Lake. Established in 1980. Owner retiring. Superior building owned by agency. Major companies. 90% historical retention. Excellent opportunity to work where you boat and fish. Reply to

September/October 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


PERSONAL LINES continued from page 27 receive an insurance quote, change coverage, limits or deductibles, receive policy alerts, track a current claim, and report an accident.17

Additional Strategies to Grow Personal Lines The consumer research points to additional ways in which independent agents can attract online shoppers and take business from the direct carriers. Consider these possibilities: 1. Sell convenience as part of your agency’s value proposition. As discussed above, most of the shoppers that buy from a direct carrier do so because they believe the online approach is more convenient, when in fact independent agents can shop multiple carriers and take care of servicing needs with a simple phone call or comparative rating portal, along with providing professional guidance at the same time. 2. Bundle auto insurance with a quality property insurance product and provide the discount. Many direct carriers cannot offer consumers comparable property products. Also, 25% of non-bundling consumers said they did not even think about using the same company for multiple policies. In addition, 52% of non-bundlers said they would consider switching to the same company if they received a bundling discount.18 3. Sell renters insurance. 27% of consumers rent rather than buy a home and that percentage is likely to rise in the aftermath of this tough economy. Many renters are currently uninsured, since they represent only 14% of those with property insurance.19



3 4

4. Understand that buying a new

or used car triggers a lot of shopping by consumers. Next to looking for a lower price, buying a new or used vehicle is the most common reason for shopping and 33% of vehicle purchasers shopped their insurance and chose a new insurer. 53% of these shoppers who switched carriers were agency customers (and may or may not have stayed



with the agent).20 5. Offer clients the option for pay as you drive insurance, if you have it available. Of the 25% of consumers who have heard of this type of insurance, 55% said they would “definitely” or “probably” be interested in purchasing it.21 6. Point out the coverage enhancements and optional coverages that your various carriers offer and ascertain which are most important to your clients. This reinforces the benefits of having a professional advisor in your client’s mind and debunks the myth conveyed in most direct carrier advertising that personal lines policies are commodities, where only price and convenience matter.


Creating a Strong Online Presence The consumer research discussed above provides valuable guidance on how independent agencies can reshape and refocus their personal lines operations to respond to changing customer expectations and preferences. The challenge remains, of course, that the independent agency has to be able to get the attention of the increasingly online consumer as a first step, in order to convey its value proposition and the better experience it can provide. I believe independent agents finally have the technology tools available to them to create a strong online presence, particularly in their local communities, along with the needed tools to process personal lines business very efficiently. Implementing Real Time, download and going “paperless” can greatly enhance the agency’s efficiency and operations. These technology tools create the time needed for agency employees to reach out to clients to bolster relationships, protect renewals, cross sell and attract new prospects. Finally, agencies now have the tools available to enhance online marketing and

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: September/October 2011

service—more effective websites, agent portals for consumers to obtain online comparative rates, free local search and social media sites. 1 “The Independent Agents’ Opportunity to Take Back Personal Lines,” . The article outlines how independent agents can give consumers a more efficient shopping experience than the direct carriers, where they can get quotes from multiple carriers in one stop. And independent agents can offer prospects the value add of personalized professional counsel and debunk the myth reinforced by massive advertising campaigns that auto insurance is a commodity and that the coverage and limits bought are not important. 2 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Shopping Report (May 2011) & 2011 Auto Insurance Servicing Report (May 2011); comScore 2010 Online Property Insurance Report (November 2010); J.D. Power & Associates 2011 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study (May 2011); J.D. Power & Associates 2011 National Auto Insurance Study, Management Discussion (June 2011). 3 See “The independent Agents’ Opportunity to Take Back Personal Lines” for more details on how agents might do this. 4 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Shopping Report, p. 46. 5 Op. cit., p. 43. 6 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Servicing Report, p. 7. 7 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Shopping Report, p. 7-8. 8 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Shopping Report, pp. 44-45. 9 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Servicing Report, p. 12. 10 J.D. Power & Associates 2011 National Auto Insurance Study, p. 1. 11 J.D. Power & Associates 2011 National Auto Insurance Study, p. 4. 12 Op. cit., p. 3. 13 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Servicing Report, p. 35. 14 Op. cit., p. 13. 15 Op. cit., pp. 8 & 35. 16 Op. cit., p. 9. 17 Op. cit., pp. 33-34. 18 comScore 2010 Online Property Insurance Report, pp. 7 & 21. 19 Op. cit., pp. 4 & 12. 20 comScore 2011 Auto Insurance Shopping Report, p. 12. 21 Op. cit., pp. 39-40.

Jeff Yates is Executive Director of the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) which is part of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Jeff can be reached at ACT’s website is www. This article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed as an official statement by




Eff. Date


Inland Marine Workers Compensation Commercial Auto Private Passenger Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril General Liability Commercial Multi-Peril General Liability Workers Compensation Commercial Multi-Peril Commercial Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Commercial Auto Commercial Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril Commercial Auto Farmowners Workers Compensation General Liability Homeowners Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Private Passenger Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Homeowners Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto Commercial Multi-Peril Commercial Multi-Peril Fire & Allied Lines General Liability Commercial Auto Commercial Multi-Peril Commercial Auto Commercial Auto Commercial Auto Commercial Multi-Peril Fire & Allied Lines General Liability Commercial Auto Workers Compensation Private Passenger Auto General Liability Commercial Multi-Peril Fire & Allied Lines General Liability Commercial Auto General Liability Commercial Auto Commercial Multi-Peril Commercial Multi-Peril General Liability Commercial Auto General Liability General Liability General Liability Commercial Multi-Peril Private Passenger Auto General Liability General Liability Commercial Auto Commercial Multi-Peril Commercial Multi-Peril General Liability Commercial Multi-Peril General Liability Commercial Auto General Liability General Liability General Liability General Liability

Rate Revision Policy/Program Withdrawal Rate Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Revision Rate Revision New Policy/Program New Policy/Program Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Policy/Program Revision Rate Revision New Policy/Program Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision New Policy/Program Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Withdrawal Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Policy/Program Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision New Policy/Program Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision New Policy/Program Rate Revision New Policy/Program Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision Rate Revision

Amica Mutual Insurance Company Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group Bituminous Fire & Marine Insurance Co Buckeye Insurance Group Buckeye Insurance Group Buckeye State Mutual Insurance Company Buckeye State Mutual Insurance Company Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Continental Casualty Company Continental Western Insurance Company COUNTRY Financial COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company Depositors Insurance Company EMC Insurance Companies EMCASCO Insurance Company Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company Employers Mutual Casualty Company Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Group Firemens Insurance Company of WA, D.C. Goodville Mutual Casualty Company GuideOne America Insurance Company GuideOne America Insurance Company GuideOne Insurance GuideOne Insurance GuideOne Insurance GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company GuideOne Specialty Mutual Insurance Co Hartford Insurance Group Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company Hawkeye-Security Insurance Company Hawkeye-Security Insurance Company Hawkeye-Security Insurance Company Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies Massachusetts Bay Insurance Company Midwestern Indemnity Company Midwestern Indemnity Company Midwestern Indemnity Company National Liability & Fire Insurance Co Nationwide Group NCMIC Group Netherlands Insurance Company Netherlands Insurance Company Netherlands Insurance Company Netherlands Insurance Company NIPPONKOA Insurance Company Limited USB Northland Insurance Company Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Pharmacists Insurance Group Phoenix Insurance Company Professional Solutions Ins Co Property and Casualty Ins Co of Hartford Property and Casualty Ins Co of Hartford RLI Group RLI Insurance Company SECURA Insurance A Mutual Company SECURA Supreme Insurance Company Sentinel Insurance Company Ltd Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd The Hanover Insurance Grp Prop & Cas Cos Travelers Group Travelers Group Travelers Indemnity Co of America Travelers Indemnity Company Travelers Indemnity Company of CT Travelers Property Casualty Co of Amer

09/01/2011 08/22/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/06/2011 08/17/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/22/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/17/2011 08/06/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/17/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 09/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 08/01/2011

5.70 % 0.00 % -9.50 % 3.92 % 3.47 % 3.92 % 3.47 % 2.70 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 4.95 % 6.00 % 6.00 % 1.80 % 0.90 % 0.90 % 6.00 % 0.90 % 14.90 % 5.03 % -2.40 % 22.70 % 7.20 % 0.00 % -16.70 % -4.20 % 18.60 % -16.70 % 0.00 % 8.50 % 0.00 % 3.30 % 2.80 % 3.00 % -4.61 % 3.30 % 3.00 % 3.20 % 4.80 % 0.00 % 2.80 % 3.00 % 3.20 % 0.00 % 1.80 % -3.00 % 2.90 % 3.20 % 3.00 % 4.80 % -1.30 % 9.00 % 2.90 % 3.20 % 3.00 % 4.80 % 0.20 % -3.90 % -3.00 % 0.00 % 8.50 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 10.20 % -18.00 % 0.00 % 2.50 % 0.00 % 2.70 % 9.00 % 1.40 % -3.90 % -4.00 % -6.20 %



More Agents are Selling Preferred Auto Policies and Earning Higher Commission in Kansas with the Signature Agent Program. ®

Congratulations to the following agents who have joined Progressive’s Signature Agent Program in January. Riney C. Dean Insurance, Inc. Liberal

Parker Haskins Dodge City

PIB Insurance Brokerage Wichita

They join an elite group of agents already in the Signature Agent Program. Albright Insurance Winfield

Munson Insurance Agency Arkansas City

Dillon Insurance Agency Manhattan

Roquet Insurance Agency Topeka

Insurance Planning, Inc. Hays

Southern Kansas Agency, Inc. Howard

Krueger Insurance Management Newton

Thomas L. May Insurance Services Wichita

SIGNATURE AGENTS RECEIVE: 15/12 commission on preferred auto business. A $2,000 marketing allowance to co-op with Progressive on advertising or marketing materials. Recognition as a Progressive Signature Agent in select advertising, along with special signage for your agency and identity items for your staff. Free one-year subscription to Progressive’s online directory listing program, ListAgent. Advance access to our new Vehicle Datafill features on FAO. You can join the program in January or July by writing an average of one preferred auto policy a week over the previous six months. Then, just keep writing one preferred auto policy a week throughout the year to maintain your Signature Agent status and benefits. Contact your account sales representative to learn more about how you can become a Signature Agent.

©2011 Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, Ohio. 09A00214.01.AP2.KS (04/11)

KIA&B- September/October 2011  

The official publication of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents

KIA&B- September/October 2011  

The official publication of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents