Page 1


Minnesota News

October 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

What does “Cloud Computing” mean to your Agency? Page 16

How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers Page 28 Errors & Omissions Q&A Page 31

Branding Trusted Choice In Minnesota

New T.V. Commercials MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

Page 6

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 1

State-Wide Trusted Choice T.V. Advertising Campaign! T.V. s for ercial Comm r agenc y! you

sted u r T MN ce Choi ials rc e m Com tarting rs to Ai ember! v in No

Visit our website at www.miia.org to to sign up!

0 0 . 4 as $3week A

Questions? Contact Julie Derrer at 563.344.9034 or jderrer@totalmediaqc.com 2 The Minnesota News • October 2010


l itt l s for a


Minnesota News

October 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

MIIAB BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter K. Ohl, Jr., CIC President

Pioneer Heritage Insurance, LLC, Spicer, MN

MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

Mark Z. Moores. CPCU, ARM, AAI President-Elect

Moores Insurance Management, Inc., St. Paul, MN

Rob Wunderlich

Vice President

Wunderlich Insurance Agency, Winona, MN

What does “Cloud Computing” mean to your Agency? Page 16

David J. Szczepanski

IIABA State National Director

Garry Insurancenter, North St. Paul, MN

How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers Page 28

Chad Bjugan

Richfield State Insurance, Richfield , MN

Errors & Omissions Q&A Page 31

Roberta Gibbons, CISR, CIC

Dyste Williams Agency, Minneapolis, MN

Travis Hansen, CIC

Branding TrusTEd CHoiCE in MinnEsoTa

Reliable Agency, Inc., Cloquet, MN

nEw T.V. CoMMErCials

John Keller, CIC

MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

PagE 6

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 1

October 2010

Lindfors Insurance Agency, Fosston, MN

Jamie Larson

Larson Insurance of Fergus Falls, Fergus Falls, MN

Mark Lenz

Bearence Management Group, St. Paul, MN

Vance Prigge

Atlas Insurance Brokers, Rochester, MN

Bruce L. Sogn

Oakwood Insurance Agency, Inc., Coon Rapids, MN

Shawn Wensel, CIC

Inside this Issue

Past President

SMA Insurance, St. Cloud, MN

Mark White, CIC, CPCU

Foster Carlson White Agency, Monticello, MN

Tanner Balfany

YIP Representative

Associated Insurance Agents, Inc. Brooklyn Center , MN

MIIAB STAFF Daniel D. Riley

Executive Vice President



Shelley Waldhauser

Director of Insurance Operations 952.253.6089


Dominic Sposeto

Government Affairs Director 952-253-6075


Alan Lepley

Chief Financial Officer 952-253-6076


April Goodin

Director of Education 952-253-6074



President’s Message 7    Executive VP Message 12    MN Trusted Choice Commerical Shoot 16    What does “Cloud Computing” mean in your Agency? 25    Technically Speaking... “BOP Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage” 28    How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers 31    Errors & Omissions Q&A 33    Young Insurance Professional News 39   In The News... 45    Capital Notes: Agent Standard of Care 51   Education 54   Power in Partners

Michelle Schneider

Administrative Assistant 952-253-6070


Bernie Neff

Technical Advice 952-253-6073


Cormac Dunning

Director of Work Comp Insurance 952-253-6239


Terri Norum

Insurance Coordinator 952-253-6237


Keith B. Knapp

Director of Marketing 952-253-6243


Reach MIIAB At: 7500 Flying Cloud Drive Suite 900 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 Telephone: 952-835-4180 Tollfree: 800-864-3846 Fax: 952-835-4774 www.miia.org October 2010 • The Minnesota News 3

Vacant Property

Don’t Let Your Clients Skate By with an Inferior Vacant Property Policy.

Want Vacant Property coverage your clients will flip over? Partner with Burns & Wilcox and you partner with a national network of brokers and underwriters with unparalleled access to the leading markets for Vacant Properties. Plus, full brokerage capabilities and large limits in protection against vandalism, fire and other unforeseen claims. So, for the best Vacant Property coverage across the board, turn to Burns & Wilcox, North America’s largest specialty insurance MGA/wholesaler. St. Paul, Minnesota

651.487.2800 toll free 800.637.7318 fax 651.487.2010 stpaul.burnsandwilcox.com Burns & Wilcox is exclusively endorsed by the MIIA as a provider of choice.

www.stpaul.burnsandwilcox.com 4 The Minnesota News • October 2010

MIIAB Diamond


President’s Message Ken Ohl, CIC



For the most part it has been a quiet summer around Minnesota with the exception of a few wind and hail storms scattered around the State and the hottest and wettest summer in recent memory. We hear little from our legislators this time of year except for pleas to the public to help them figure out how to balance the budget. It’s like: “You can cut programs, just not mine” or: “You can raise taxes, just not mine.” It seems no one really has the answer. The Governor is running for President (or possibly away from this budget mess!) and the race among the three wanting to fill his “soon to be vacant position” is turning into a real horse race. (Why they would want the job is beyond me….!) We all long for better economic times but resign ourselves to the fact that they probably won’t return anytime soon. Rather than dwell on the negative, as much of the media would have us do, it seems it would be much more constructive to consider that most of us actually “are” working; most of us who own homes are “not” in foreclosure and most of us actually have health insurance. Life in Minnesota and the USA is still much better than a million other places on this planet. Be thankful you live here and be proud that you are an independent insurance agent! We do good things!


Hopefully all of you have returned your payment for membership dues which were billed over the last few weeks. The Association depends on your commitment to furthering the work we do with the State legislature and with Congress in Washington. Our voices need to continue to be heard in both places and without your contributions we most certainly could not be as effective. Thanks for your support!


Thanks also to everyone who purchases their professional liability coverage thru the Association. This program has been hugely successful nationwide. We also know that there is a great deal of competition for your business right now, so if you receive a quote with a lower cost , don’t hesitate to contact Shelley Waldhauser and/or Dan Riley at Association headquarters to let them know. They will make every effort to compete and keep your business with our Association.


Just as a reminder, we are still putting together the Trusted Choice TV advertising program and will be filming segments around the State reciting the Trusted Choice Pledge of Performance in an effort to reinforce to the public President’s Message continued on page 11

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 5

New e h t ut o k Chec ted Choice Trus rtising Adve ailable! v A s Spot

Don’t t! u O s s Mi

Contact at r e r r e Julie D344.9034 563. Click Here: http://MN.iiaa.org/video/MN_Spot01r.wmv

e c n ha LAST C n-Up & to Sig e in Participat am r g o r this P

Click Here: http://MN.iiaa.org/video/MN_Spot02r.wmv For further information on the specifics how to sign up, please click here: http://mn.iiaa.org/Events/TC%20TV%20Ad%20Packet.pdf 6 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Executive VP Message Dan Riley


State-Wide and National Television Advertising Campaign Promoting Trusted Choice and the Independent Agent

Promoting the independent agent and the professional services they provide to the consumer is the new priority for the State and National Association under the Trusted Choice umbrella. Your National Association has scheduled a nation-wide television advertising campaign promoting Trusted Choice. For more details on the specifics of this nationwide campaign please go to the Trusted Choice website to the “Advertising” tab and then “Ad Flight Schedules”. National Trusted Choice Advertising Campaign September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011

The History Channel USA Fox News The History Channel Fox News The Discovery Channel USA The Discovery Channel TNT The History Channel TNT The Weather Channel

In Minnesota, beginning in November, we will be conducting the first of many Trusted Choice advertising campaigns promoting Trusted Choice and the independent agent. These ads will focus on the difference between what a Trusted Choice independent agent brings to the table versus the competition. Today more than ever we must collectively begin to promote what an independent agent is and the superior products and service we offer. Purchasing insurance from the gecko, Gieco, or through the direct writers as a commodity is not what surveys have indicated that consumers really want when they are looking to protect their property and families. Our first state-wide tour will begin to focus on what a Trusted Choice independent agent is and how we differ from the competition. Below are the television programs that we have tentatively scheduled to promote Trusted Choice independent agents throughout Minnesota. These commercials will be on network T.V. and local cable networks. Sample Television Programming in Minnesota- Beginning November 2010 5, 6, 6:30 & 10 PM News casts Big 10 Sports CBS Morning News Dr. Phil Good Morning America Morning News Shows Nightline

Noon News Oprah Today Show Tonight Show Weekend Sports Wheel of Fortune Executive VP Message continued on page 8

Executive VP Message continued from page 7

We have developed a specific Trusted Choice ad featuring Minnesota’s landscape and local agents talking about what Trusted Choice independent agents provide to the Minnesota consumers. This first series of ads are available for agents to purchase their specific agency tags promoting their agency and geographical location. These ads will run from November thru January and are available for purchase by member agents for as little as $34 per week, depending on your agency location. The response we have received by member agents who will be participating in this first series of ads has been overwhelming. Also, the response that we have received from your company partners on the direction we are taking in promoting independent agents over the competition has been very gratifying. For further information on the specifics of this new advertising adventure, please click here: http://mn.iiaa.org/Events/TC%20TV%20Ad%20Packet.pdf

Miscellaneous Information That You Should Know

There are a number of items that I would like to bring to your attention that you might want to make note of and schedule them for the upcoming year. 1. MIIAB’s Annual Convention is scheduled for April 20-21, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis. Due to the growth in our convention with the number of agents, insurance company executives, and vendors, we have had to move our annual convention to a larger facility to accommodate the number of people at the convention. The Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis is one of the only facilities in Minneapolis that can house our convention. 2. Mike Donohoe will become the National Chairman of the National Association on September 15-16, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. At this meeting, we will be hosting the National Board Meeting in Minneapolis and we will be featuring educational opportunities for our members and a luncheon with the National Board of Directors and members of our association and they will install Mike as the National Chairman (President). This is an honor and a privilege not only for Mike, but for the state of Minnesota and all of the members of the Minnesota Association. We hope that many agents will attend this program in congratulating Mike on his dedication to our industry and for all of his service throughout the years. An announcement for this event will be coming out later in the year. 3. Are you ready to send 1099s to anyone that does business with your agency in which you have paid them over $600 throughout the year? Well that is what the new legislation that was passed recently will have you doing beginning in 2012. On page 9 of this publication I have made a copy of the letter that I have sent to Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken requesting that they appeal this portion of the law which will be a burden on all of us. We will need your support in the near future to help us convince Congress to take this out of this piece of legislation. On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff we want to thank you for your support of the association. Our hope and desire is to further the successes of independent agents in Minnesota by promoting the strengths of the products and services that our members bring to the consumers.

8 The Minnesota News • October 2010

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 9

Austin’s got you covered.

Protection you can count on.

Maple Grove, MN 55369 800-328-4628 • AustinMutual.com

Experience the feeling of security that comes with knowing Austin Mutual is on your side. From providing high-quality insurance products to delivering top-notch customer service, we truly mean it when we say “our experience improves yours.” So, whether you’re slaying a dragon, guarding the castle, or navigating your trusty steed through rush-hour traffic, count on Austin Mutual to be there when you need us.

www.austinmutual.com 10 The Minnesota News • October 2010

President’s Message continued from page 5

our commitment to professionalism, compassion and commitment to serving our customers. Finally, please advertise your membership by using the Trusted Choice logo in your office, on your signage and on your casual business attire. NOTE: we now have a revised logo which more readily identifies you as an Independent Agent. Thanks for your support! As “Red Green” always says at the end of each show: Keep your stick on the ice. We’re pulling for you!


Will your homeowners insurance cover you when… 

Your business equipment is stolen out of your vehicle?. . . . . . . . . . . . . NO!

You accidentally knock over the display next to you at an exhibition or show?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NO!

Your groceries spill onto your inventory in your trunk?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NO!

A power surge damages your computer and fax machine?. . . . . . . . . . . . NO!

Someone steals your cash box?. . . . . . . . NO!

Most homeowners and renters policies do not cover liability or damage to property from business activities.

RLI’s @HOME business protection CAN for as little as $150 per year!*


business protection Insurance coverage for your home based business

Policies are underwritten by RLI Insurance Company *Premiums start at $150 for $300,000 liability and $5,000 business personal property in the lowest rated class in the lowest rated territory. Actual price may be higher depending on your individual characteristics and coverages that you select. Not all businesses will qualify for coverage.

Your community just improved! We congratulate these property and casualty professionals for their

achievement in attaining the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. CPCUs desire to better serve consumers and are committed to the highest ethical behavior. They bring years of experience and extensive industry knowledge to businesses and communities across the world. And the CPCU Society helps support CPCUs through continued education, adherence to a strict code of ethics, and volunteer leadership opportunities. Congratulations to our newest CPCUs! New DesigNee


Paula Rylander Steven Murray Kjersten Johnson Matt Andresen Blaise S. Byrne Randy E. Davis Steven A. Krasky Kent E. Kramer Bryan Baird Andrew W. Bertram Kathy M. Kapler Scott R. Nichols Scott C. Pitzenberger Chris R. Radel Laramie Sandquist Brian L. Schlauderaff Bryan D. Shaver John H. Thompson Andrew D. Winkels Rochelle K. Belina Todd T. Bossuyt Emily G. Ostlund Scott S. Stanek Patricia M. Harris Melissa J. Romano Michelle R. Marquez Stanley Gardner John P. Buckley Mary Jo Wingate Mark Paske

American Family Insurance Aon Benfield, Inc Assurant Specialty Property COUNTRY Financial COUNTRY Financial COUNTRY Financial COUNTRY Financial COUNTRY Financial Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Federated Insurance Companies Northland Insurance Companies Northland Insurance Companies QBE The Americas RAM Mutual Insurance Company RJFAgencies State Farm Western National Insurance Company Western National Insurance Company Willis North America

aD spoNsor CompaNies

Celebrating CPCUs!

Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents Accident Fund Insurance Company & Brokers Association of America Minnesota Insurance & Minnesota Claims Aon Benfield, Inc Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Arthur J. Gallagher Company Risk Management Services Minnesota Workers Compensation Associated Financial Group Insurers Association, Inc. Austin Mutual Insurance Company MMIC Group, Inc. Berkley Risk Administrators Company, LLC Northern Capital Group Cedarleaf, Cedarleaf & Cedarleaf, Inc. Northern States Agency Chartis Philadelphia Insurance Companies Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Reliamax Cobb, Strecker, Dunphy & Zimmermann e congratulate these property and casualty professionals for Services their Risk Administration (RAS) Connie Moore & Associates Risk Planners, COUNTRY Financial in attaining the Chartered Property achievement Casualty Inc. Underwriter (CPCU) Riverport Insurance Company Ericksondesignation. - Larson, Inc. CPCUs desire to better serve consumers and are committed to the RJexperience Ahmann Company Federated Insurance highest ethicalCompanies behavior. They bring years of and extensive industry RJF Agencies General Casualty - QBE knowledge to Company businesses and communities across the world. And theInc. CPCU RJR Insurance Agency, General Reinsurance Society& helps support CPCUs through continued RTW education, adherence to a strict Guy Carpenter Company S.H. Smith & Company Hanovercode Insurance Group of ethics, and volunteer leadership opportunities. SECURA Insurance Companies Harleysville Group Hays Group Congratulations to our newest CPCUs! SFM - The Work Comp Experts The Hartford Insurance Federation of Minnesota Travelers InterAgency Trean Corporation J.A. Price Agency Twin City Group Kelly Agency Wells Fargo Insurance Services Kraus-Anderson Insurance Western National Insurance Company Maguire Agency Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Company Willis of Minnesota Zurich Small Business Solutions


www.cpcusociety.org HBP-MK 501 (06/05)

10-10 TCB CPCU.indd 1

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 11

8/20/10 7:53:45 AM

MN Trusted Choice Commerical S Lake Minnetonka - Dawn Bijou-Janes

ce n ha C LAST n-Up & to Sig e in Participat ram g o r P this

12 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Target Field - Richard McKenny

Shoot - September 15-17, 2010 Contact r at e r r e Julie D344.9034 563.

St. Paul Skyline - David Szczepanski

Big Ole Alexandria - Jamie Larson

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 13

MN Trusted Choice Commerical S

Mankato - Jay Weir

s l cia r e Comm ember Nov to Air January! Thru

Moose Lake - Yvonne Skelton, Lola Davidson

14 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Shoot - September 15-17, 2010

Spicer - Ken Ohl

Don’t ! t u O s Mis

Target Field - Chad Bjugan

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 15

MIIAB Office Automation Committee Article

What does “Cloud Computing” mean to your Agency? By Bill Hafdal - Solbrekk Business Technology Solutions, Bret Erickson – Passkey Computer Services, and Becky Jacobs - Northstar Technology Solutions It would be nice if one day, when discussing technology trends, we could outline a sure bet, a hands down - this is the way to go opinion. Unfortunately, today is not that day as there is no easy answer to this question. The goal of this article is to provide Insurance Agencies with information to consider the options that are available; to provide insight for the tech savvy agency to the agency that has minimally adopted technology in their business. So what is Cloud Computing? The Wikipedia definition is: Cloud computing is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client–server in the early 1980s. Details are abstracted from the users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.[1] Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. [2][3] How does this paradigm shift affect your Agency? Does the “Cloud” make sense for your agency? To assist you with answering those questions, we have outlined the four most common technology models found in Insurance Agencies today including definition of each model and the most common advantages and disadvantages associated with each model. On-site: All Agency hardware and software resources are located at your office. May include the following onsite network equipment: Infrastructure - Switch, Firewall and Router, Servers - File, E-mail, Application and Backup, End User Devices - Desktops, Notebooks and Thin Clients.

16 The Minnesota News • October 2010



• Full Control of security, backup, redundancy and business continuity options

• Increases complexity of infrastructure

• Better performance if network infrastructure is maintained to current standards

• Upfront costs/Capital investments

• Management system available if Internet connection is down

• Support and maintenance of hardware and software • Agency responsible for network uptime, security, management of system backup, hardware and software upgrades, disaster recovery and solving technical challenges

Desktop Hosting: Agency management software and any other application required to run your agency are hosted by an independent hosting provider. May include the following onsite network equipment: Infrastructure - Switch, Firewall and Router, End User Devices - Desktops, Notebooks and Thin Clients. Advantages


• Data Security, Backup and Disaster Recovery is responsibility of vendor

• Dependent on third party for uptime, security and service escalation

• Frequently includes software licenses and upgrades

• Less control over end user environment and application integration

• Frequently includes unlimited help desk services

• Can have decreased performance

• Beneficial for Remote Access and Branch Offices

• Many different delivery models, understanding which model will best serve your agency can be a confusing undertaking

• Most IT expenses become a budgeted operating expense

• Increased cost for Internet connectivity

• Can reduce support costs Application Service Providers (ASP) and On-site: Agency management software is hosted by the software developer and other applications required to run your agency are located at your office. May include the following onsite network equipment: Infrastructure - Switch, Firewall and Router, Servers - File, E-mail, Application and Backup, End User Devices - Desktops, Notebooks and Thin Clients. Advantages


• Ability to work on hosted application from any location

• Loss of integration and flexibility

• Hosted data is backed up by Provider and located offsite for disaster recovery • Vendors specialize in the application or service that is being hosted. • Hosted software upgrades are included and managed by the developer • Minimizes complexity and resources required for on-site server

• Dependent on third party for uptime, security and service escalation • Locked into developers upgrade cycle • Dependent on Internet connection to access business critical applications • Requires on-site server with associated support costs • Can have decreased performance • Increased cost for Internet connectivity

• Decreased upfront costs October 2010 • The Minnesota News 17

Trust the


Let SFM quote your workers’ compensation business. Call (800) 937-1181 or visit www.sfmic.com

SFM–The Work Comp Experts Claims, legal and medical expertise. Optimal results in preventing injuries and controlling costs. Highest levels of customer satisfaction and retention. A leading regional insurer, specializing in workers’ compensation.

www.sfmic.com 18 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Cloud Computing Services: Agency management software is hosted by the software developer and all other applications or services e.g. e-mail, backup and intranet are hosted by another independent hosting provider. May include the following onsite network equipment: Infrastructure - Switch, Firewall and Router, End User Devices - Desktops, Notebooks and Thin Clients. Advantages


• Ability to work on hosted application from any location

• Loss of single vendor to go to for problem resolution or accountability

• Vendors specialize in the application or service that is being hosted.

• Dependent on third party for uptime, security and service escalation

• Includes off-site backup and disaster recovery

• Locked into vendors upgrade cycle

• Hosted software upgrades are included and managed by the developer • Minimal upfront capital investment

• Dependent on Internet connection to access business critical applications • Increased cost for Internet connectivity • Can have decreased performance • Application integration can be challenging

In closing, each agency must choose which model aligns with their technology principles; in our opinion the important factors to consider are control of your data, management of onsite equipment/support or managing hosted vendors, existing technology plan and costs; i.e. infrastructure, hardware, software and support. We recommend consulting with your agencies trusted technology adviser to help navigate all options available, to help find the model that will serve your agency the best and to help ensure a successful transition into the “Cloud” if it makes sense for your agency. The three people involved in writing this article have years of experience evaluating and recommending technology decisions, strategy and direction. We follow new technology developments closely and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Bill Hafdal, Solbrekk Business Techology Solutions, billh@solbrekk.com Bret Erickson, Passkey Computer Services, bret@passkeyinc.com Becky Jacobs, Northstar Technology Solutions, Becky@northstar-tech.net

References from Wikipedia 1. Danielson, Krissi (2008-03-26). “Distinguishing Cloud Computing from Utility Computing”. Ebizq.net. http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/saasweek/2008/03/ distinguishing_cloud_computing/. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 2. “Gartner Says Cloud Computing Will Be As Influential As E-business”. Gartner. com. http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=707508. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 3. Gruman, Galen (2008-04-07). “What cloud computing really means”. InfoWorld. http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/ what-cloud-computing-really-means-031. Retrieved 2009-06-02.

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 19

Liz Walther

Commercial Lines Field Underwriter

"As an Integrity field underwriter and agency advocate, I develop strong relationships with agents and together we capitalize on profitable growth opportunities in key markets."

Discover the Integrity difference, contact Cathy Beaudin at 800-348-1741 ext. 8326. www.integrityinsurance.com 20 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Real Life Personal Umbrella Claims Show Why Basic Insurance Is Not Enough. Insureds need RLI’s Personal Umbrella Policy. A Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) is a necessary addition to insurance protection for most insureds. Are you aware of the importance of this valuable coverage? One of the best ways to understand the need for a personal umbrella is to review actual claims examples. It is very clear that an incident arising from just normal daily activities can expose all of us to the potential for a large claims suit. Listed below are actual RLI PUP claims. These claims show the very real consequences of situations that quickly exhaust underlying liability limits and threaten the net worth of the people involved. Claim Scenario #1 The Insured’s 18 year old son was driving the Insured’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend, the Claimant. The car left the roadway and struck a tree. The Insured’s son told the police that a vehicle cut him off, but there were no witnesses and no evidence of any impact with another car. The Claimant has no recollection of the accident. The Claimant, a 19 year old college student, was hospitalized for over a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries. She was in a wheelchair but is now able to walk with crutches and continues with physical therapy. She has a right drop foot as a result of the injuries. The Insured’s personal umbrella policy limit was paid. Claim Scenario #2 Claimant, age 2, was on the Insureds’ property with his grandparents who were there to care for 2 horses owned by the Insureds. The Insureds were out of town on vacation. The Claimant was kicked by one of the horses, taken to the emergency room, and then life flighted to a larger hospital. The Claimant was given a 5% chance of survival and underwent surgery for a cracked skull (a piece of which was missing) with 30% damage to the right side of his brain. He survived and is residing in a neighboring state at a rehabilitation center. A large payment was made under the personal umbrella policy. continued on page 23

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 21

The key to growing your business is

ne policy. Shouldn’t you be selling it? The Encompass® Universal Security Policy can make life simpler for you and your customers. • ONE POLICY for home, car, power sports, umbrella liability and more makes it easier to provide your customers with complete protection. • ONE BILL just once a year means higher customer retention. And your customers will be happy to know they can earn discounts for combining their coverage. • ONE DEDUCTIBLE is all that’s owed in case of a loss to multiple lines. So for example, if a tornado damages your customer’s home and car, they won’t pay twice. Encompass is one company you can bank on. We offer independent agents competitive compensation, profit sharing and a nationwide network of sales and education teams.

To learn more, contact us at www.encompassinsurance.com/newagents.asp

Encompass Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL and its affiliates. Availability from a particular company varies by state. The smaller of the two deductibles is waived.

MIIAB Diamond

www.encompassinsurance.com 22 The Minnesota News • October 2010


continued from page 21

Claim Scenario #3 The Insured hosted a party at his home. Among the guests was the Claimant, a family friend who was also the Insured’s financial advisor. The Claimant brought his wife, infant, and 2 year old child to the party. The Insured gave the Claimant a jug of spring water for him to use to mix formula for the infant. The 2 year old child also had a drink. Shortly thereafter, the children became ill. The family left the party, and then took the children to the hospital. The hospital requested the water jug which was found to contain arsenic. An old label was found wrapped around the handle with the word “weed killer” printed on it. The Insured had apparently mixed a solution of weed killer in a jug similar to the ones used for spring water and mistakenly given it to the Claimant. The infant died and the 2 year child survived after being in critical condition. The Personal Umbrella policy limits were paid out. Claim Scenario #4 The Claimant and Insured have been longtime friends, live on the same street, and the Claimant had been to the Insured’s home on many occasions. The Insured lives in a home with a brick patio which had been constructed in the 1960s. Bricks were replaced one year before the incident. An area of the patio is bordered by an 18 inch retaining wall with a flower bed between the wall and the brick patio. The Insured, Claimant, and another Friend met at a club, had a few drinks, and all returned to the Insured’s home where they sat on the patio in lawn chairs and continued drinking. At approximately 11:00 PM, the Insured went inside to the kitchen. The Friend also entered the house to call a cab. When the Friend went back outside, the Claimant was no longer on the patio. He found the Claimant unconscious on the ground on the other side of the patio retaining wall. The Claimant remembers falling, but does not remember how it happened. According to the Insured, on other occasions when the Claimant had been at the home, a patio table was in front of the retaining wall. The table had been removed, exposing an area of the wall. The Claimant, age 56, sustained a spinal cord injury which rendered him an incomplete quadriplegic. He underwent surgery and was on a feeding tube for several months. He was able to return home 6 months after the incident, but continues to suffer partial paralysis of his arms and legs. He uses an electric wheelchair to get around his house and requires assistance with some activities of daily living. The Claimant owned his own business and was married 1 month before the incident. His wife now cares for him at home. The settlement to the Claimant exhausted the underlying coverage limits and payment was made under the personal umbrella.

For more information on the RLI Personal Umbrella contact us today! Terri Norum Doeden, 952-253-6237, tnorum@miia.org

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 23

When it comes to protecting your reputation, you may find us surprisingly fierce. With over 30 years of serving the U.S. insurance agents market, we’re the most experienced provider of professional liability coverage. Yet it’s not just our longevity in the market that may surprise you; it’s our commitment. As more than 20,000 insurance agencies across North America have discovered, we’re fiercely committed to protecting what matters most – your business, your financial assets and your reputation. At Swiss Re, we always work with the same raw material: risk. And what we work to create for our clients is always the same product: opportunity. See for yourself at www.swissre.com/insurance

© 2009 Swiss Re For more information on our Insurance Agency professional liability program, please contact your state association. Shelley Waldhauser, Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association 7500 Flying Cloud Drive, #900, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 P) 800-864-3846/X-6086, F) 952-835-4774, D) 952-253-6086, C) 612-812-6437 swaldhauser@miia.org Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas, a member of the Swiss Re group. Westport is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The_Minnesota_News_PrimIns_Lion_Cat_EN_USA_PL_A_151009.indd 1

24 The Minnesota News • October 2010


26.10.09 13:53

Technically Speaking… Bernie Neff, CIC, CPCU neffbj@aol.com

BOP Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage Equipment breakdown coverage is the fourth Optional Coverage under the ISO BOP program. It was originally called “Mechanical Breakdown Optional Coverage” and it has remained relatively unchanged since the ISO BOP was introduced in 1976. With the 2010 revision, some significant – and needed – changes were made. We have to remember that the BOP was created for the “smaller” commercial risks and it was designed with this purpose in mind. Thus, the original Mechanical Breakdown coverage was fairly limited in scope. It only covered boiler units, pressure vessels and air conditioning units with 60,000 BTU’s or less. It only covered mechanical breakdown as its only peril. And it required that a loss had to manifest itself immediately. You probably remember that we had to add the BOP endorsement BP 04 59 to get roughly the same coverage that a good “Mechanical Breakdown” or “Equipment Breakdown” form would cover. With the 2010 broadening of the Optional Coverage into Equipment Breakdown protection, this endorsement is being withdrawn. Here is a summary of the 2010 Equipment Breakdown features: 1. It provides that all limitations relating to steam boilers, steam pipes, steam engines, steam turbines, hot water boilers or other water heating equipment do not apply to this coverage. 2. It provides that all BOP exclusions relating to any electrical apparatus, steam apparatus or mechanical breakdown does not apply. 3. There is exclusionary language in the Outdoor Signs Optional Coverage with regards this coverage, and this is also removed. 4. Provides for a fixed dollar deductible. However, if none is chosen, then the regular property deductible applies. 5. Allows for an increase or decrease in the 72 hour time period deductible that is found in the “Period of Restoration” definition in the Business Income and Expense coverage that applies to Equipment Protection. 6. It amends the definition of what a “computer” is. Computer means: a. “Programmable electronic equipment that is used to store, retrieve and process data; and b. Associated peripheral equipment that provides communication, including input

Technically Speaking...continued on page 27

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 25

Speak softly and carry


AAA sells insurance products through Independent Agents. What makes us different from other insurance carriers? Simple. We’re a club, not just another company — creating marketing opportunities in select Midwestern markets that aren’t available through other companies. Here’s your opportunity to share in AAA’s brand strength — while enjoying a competitive commission structure, outstanding contingency program and innovative co-op advertising resources. Contact Vicki Hanson at 952-707-4952 or vicki.hanson@mn-ia.aaa.com

Insurance underwritten by Auto Club Insurance Association or MemberSelect Insurance Company.

26 The Minnesota News • October 2010


Technically Speaking...continued from page 25

and output functions such as printing and auxiliary functions such as data transmission. Computer includes those used to operate production type machinery or equipment.” (The definition of “Computer” that is found at the end of the Property section of the BOP states that these types of computers (to operate production machinery or equipment) are NOT covered). 7. Provides for a Suspension Clause that allows any authorized representative to suspend coverage immediately should they note the covered equipment is in, or exposed to, a dangerous condition. (This is a common element found in most Mechanical or Equipment Breakdown policies). 8. Allows for a reinstatement clause to restore coverage that has been suspended once the dangerous condition has been removed. This is a broadening of coverage from the old Optional Coverage, but is basically the same protection as was provided by the (now removed) endorsement mentioned before – BP 04 59 (Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage Endorsement). The insuring agreement is straightforward: “We will pay for direct loss or damage to Covered Property caused by or resulting from a mechanical breakdown or electrical failure to pressure, mechanical or electrical machinery or equipment.” Then there are four take-aways: “Mechanical breakdown or electrical failure does not mean any: (1) Malfunction including but not limited calibration, cleaning or modification;




(2) Leakage at any valve, fitting, shaft seal, gland packing, joint or connection; (3) Damage to any vacuum tube, gas tube, or brush; or (4) The functioning of any safety or protective device.” One of the most common (and expensive) causes of loss in this area of equipment and machinery is electrical arcing. The electrical control panels on some client’s buildings may cost $50 – 100,000 to replace after this peril strikes. And don’t forget that we would also provide coverage for the loss of income and/or extra expense loss as well. Providing this coverage as an Optional Coverage in the BOP signals the fact that ISO is recognizing we are writing larger and more complicated risks under the program than was originally intended. This is definitely a more common need in today’s insurance world. Remember, today’s modern leases will make your BOP client absolutely liable for ANY LOSS to the owner’s building, whether liable or not. This should be a consideration (with appropriate discussion) with most of our BOP clients.

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 27

How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers…and What You Can Learn From Them By Jill Cook-Richards No matter where you’re currently employed, you likely have to deal with a few difficult co-workers on a regular basis. Whether these people test your nerves by being publicly hostile, gossiping behind your back, or being stubborn and unyielding to new ideas, they’re enough to make you want to quit. But in today’s economy, quitting any job is simply not an option. Therefore, your best bet is to learn not only how to get along with difficult people, but also to learn a few lessons from them. Realize that no matter how difficult someone seems, working together harmoniously is possible. With a little self-reflection, understanding, and patience, you can get along with anyone. Following are a few suggestions for making difficult co-workers more bearable. • Understand the dynamics of business relationships. Any workplace-from a highly formal and technical environment to a relaxed and close-knit company-ultimately becomes an extended family. That doesn’t mean you have to invite your co-workers over for holiday dinners. It simply means that people tend to extend their personal relationships from their family to their professional relationships. In other words, if someone has a problem with their mother or father, it’s probable they’ll have a problem with their male or female boss. If they’re in a family where siblings are jealous or competitive, or where they’re bullied by each other, that kind of relationship will develop with their co-workers. This phenomenon is called transference-whereby you transfer your personal relationships into the workplace. The best way to overcome this is to focus on your personal life and make it as good as it can be. Mend your personal relationships, talk out problems with parents or siblings, and get your home life in order. By doing this, you’ll be stronger to handle the work relationships and will start transferring your positive personal relationship aspects rather than the negative ones. • Keep your work relationships in perspective. Whatever you do, don’t try to make friends in the workplace. Remember that you’re there to do a job, not to make friends. If you happen to work with someone you like and a friendship develops, that’s fine. But don’t force it or think you have to be friends with all your co-workers. If you can keep this concept in mind, you’ll be able to look at the relationship from a purely professional perspective and keep your emotions out of it. The more you can leave your emotions out of the workplace, the more peace of mind you will have there. • Commit to learning from every relationship. Every difficult person you encounter in the workplace is actually helping you learn something you can use for your future. For example, suppose you have a boss who undermines your efforts or who berates you. You certainly don’t like being treated like that, so you make a mental note that when you’re in a leadership position you’ll never act like that. This is 28 The Minnesota News • October 2010

called learning by opposite. When someone is displaying a behavior you don’t like, you become more aware of what you want to do and who you want to become as you move up in the workplace. Learning by opposite is very powerful. So rather than let the difficult people frustrate you, see them as teachers who are helping to shape you into the person you want to become. • Take responsibility for the relationship. If you’re having a problem with a difficult co-worker, stop and look at your role in the relationship. Are you playing the “two wrongs can make a right” game, where you do something that you know will set the person off just because he or she annoyed you recently? Remember that every relationship is a two-way street, so look at yourself and how you’re contributing to the difficult behavior. Remove yourself emotionally from the situation and concentrate on your own strengths so you can make the relationship less difficult. If the other person doesn’t change or still blatantly doesn’t like you, that’s okay. Stop caring what others think. The only thing that matters is what you think about the other person. If you don’t like the way you’re thinking about someone, then make some changes in your thinking and internal dialogue. In the end, the only person you can change is yourself. • Accept the relationship. Face it…difficult relationships are a part of the business world. Therefore, don’t look for the elusive perfect workplace. It simply doesn’t exist. The best approach is to accept that people think differently, act differently, and respond to situations differently than you do. Then, do what you can to look at the other side of the fence. Get an understanding of the other person’s point of view or where they’re coming from. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or like them. You just have to accept that they have a different way of handling stress or approaching situations. When you can make this mindset shift, you’ll be more patient, understanding, and forgiving of others…and they won’t seem as difficult anymore. • Ditch the Difficulties Remember, none of your co-workers were hired to please you. Each person was hired because they possess a certain skill and can do a certain job-not because they are friendly or easy to work with. As such, a few difficult ones are bound to be in the mix. So don’t quit your job because of your difficult co-workers or even a difficult boss. Chances are you’ll find the same kinds of difficult people in your new workplace anyway. Instead, work to ease the difficult relationship by focusing on yourself and your own mindset. When you make yourself the focus rather than the difficult co-worker, you diffuse the relationship and become both happier and more productive in all aspects of life.

About the Author Jill Cook-Richards is a Life Coach and Counselor. She consults business executives, health care professionals and educators. She is a regular columnist for several magazines and has spoken at all types of companies, corporations, and associations such as Blue Cross, UPS, and the Mayo Clinic. She has also worked in television, radio, and the movie industry. She is the author of the upcoming book “How to Heal Any Relationship from A to Z.” To reach Jill call (904) 396-4060 or email JillCookRichards@yahoo.com.

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 29

WE CAN HELP your CustomErs INsurE ANytHING oN Four WHEELs, tWo WHEELs or No WHEELs At ALL. THE ONE STOP-SHOP THAT SAVES YOUR CUSTOMERS AROUND $550 ON THEIR AUTO INSURANCE. Partner with a leader. It’s no secret why drivers use independent agents. You offer quality service, and a convenience second to none. But Progressive can help too. Because Progressive is not only a leader in auto insurance, but also truck, boat, motorcycle and RV. Plus, drivers who switch to Progressive save an average of $550 on their auto insurance. So no matter what you’re helping your customers insure, together — we can help them insure it for less.

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Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Auto insurance prices and products are different when purchased directly from Progressive or through independent agents/brokers. Not available in all states. Market positions from Highline Data’s 2007 written premium data, NAIC 2008 market share data, and 2008 Millward Brown & Harris Interactive survey data. 10A0065.B (01/10)

www.progressiveagent.com 30 The Minnesota News • October 2010


Agent’s questions about Errors and Omissions, and how E&O losses can be prevented. By Mary LaPorte, CPCU, CIC, LIC, CPIA our agency management system, we can forward the date of a suspense Q: With once it has been given the chance to be processed. If a delay in something occurs, do you recommend closing the suspense and marking it as unsuccessful and then starting a new suspense for the same request? Do you feel it is an acceptable procedure to change the date of the suspense and move it forward according to our belief that it will be handled in a matter of 2 weeks or whatever time frame the agent or CSR feels it will be handled properly? Mark, Lincoln NE agency management systems will allow you to add notes to an open A: Some suspense or “Activity”, and the system locks in the date and time of the note.

This creates good documentation. A typical situation may be a follow-up for a policy change request. When the suspense comes due, the CSR may send a 2nd request to the carrier and add a note to the open suspense indicating that the 2nd request was made. In this case, it is acceptable to forward the date of the follow-up and not create a second suspense item. If your agency management system does not support this feature, it is better that you close the first suspense item and create a new suspense for the 2nd request. Simply making a notation in the first suspense does not lock in the date of that second activity, and that practice should be avoided. Dates should not be forwarded just because a CSR or producer is too busy. That would be a poor defense in an E&O situation. A common occurrence is when CSRs use the follow-up date that defaults with the suspense item (such as 30 days), when realistically, it should be longer. Encourage CSRs to set follow-up dates for realistic time frames, and that should eliminate having to look at the Activity too soon and forward the date needlessly. The agency procedures should communicate time frames for follow-ups, while encouraging CSRs to use their best judgment in each situation. A good rule of thumb is not to forward the date unless there was a reason, and that reason should be documented in the note field provided within that suspense. Mary LaPorte is a consultant and educator with a strong background in Errors & Omissions loss prevention. Forward your E&O questions to marylp@laporteinsuranceconsult.com. ©2010 LaPorte Consulting, LLC. All Rights Reserved

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 31

Na�onwide Strength. Midwest Values. At RAS,

workers’ compensation is our primary focus. It is what we do, and who we are. We partner with our agents to help employers control the rising costs of managing a workforce while protec�ng profitability. We have a proven history of solid performance throughout Minnesota and con�nually develop new ways to overcome the difficult issues inherent to workers’ compensa�on. We have a team approach to deliver excep�onal service, including:  LOCAL CLAIMS MANAGEMENT AND CASE MANAGEMENT  INJURY ASSISTANCE CENTER

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32 The Minnesota News • October 2010


Young Insurance Professionals

Social Networking Event November 8th Come and enjoy a social networking event for all Young Insurance Professionals on November 8th 2010 5-7 pm at Famous Dave’s Uptown Minneapolis. This social networking event is a great opportunity to enjoy some great food and drinks while talking with other young agents and meet with your company representatives. We will also have free dance lessons provided by an experienced instructor that is a YIP committee member and his wife after words there will be a live band at 8 pm.

WANTED…. Are you interested in learning more about the Association?

Would you like to become involved in helping to build our industry? Do you enjoy meeting and working as a team on projects? We are looking for your insurance professionals who would like to participate on the YIP committee. The committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. You can meet at the Association office or you can teleconference in to the meeting. Please contact Tanner Balfany 763-549-2221 or Tbalfany@associatedagents.com

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 33

I used to think EMC was ju st for commercial lines. Then again, I used to think the moon was

made of cheese.

INTRODUCING EMC ChOICE® hOMEOwNERs PROGRaM wITh EqUIPMENT BREakDOwN COvERaGE EMC’s new homeowners product provides three levels of comprehensive coverage with outstanding features and cost-saving benefits. Our premier policy, the EMC Choice® Homeowners program, includes equipment breakdown coverage. Even our most basic level of coverage provides better-than-average protection with identity theft resolution service and extra coverages such as silverware theft, refrigerated property, lock replacement, personal injury, identity fraud expense, golf cart liability and many more. Learn about these exciting new coverages by contacting your local EMC branch office.

Minneapolis Branch: 800.362.4670 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA

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34 The Minnesota News • October 2010


© Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2009 All rights reserved



5/1/09 10:07 AM

to our Trusted Choice Partners in Minnesota

Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 35

Some good things make other good things even better.

It’s what our independent agency partners do every day with the quality insurance programs from Western National. Collectively, we tackle our customers’ unique insurance needs by providing a mix of coverage, expertise, and relationship-based service that no other team brings to the huddle.

Proud supporter of Minnesota’s trusted independent agents

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36 The Minnesota News • October 2010



Thank Your Customers.

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A 5% increase in customer loyalty will add 20% - 80% to your bottom line profit…It is much wiser to spend money on customer retention than acquisition.

Just saying thank you to your clients…particularly new clients, can increase your business by 7%.

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www.showyourgratitude.com October 2010 • The Minnesota News 37

More Coverages.

Sentry understands trucking is your number one priority. That’s why we constantly review and enhance our coverages to provide you with the insurance protection you need. Some of the important coverages we provide include: • Unlimited towing coverage • Pollution liability • Unladen liability* • Enhanced deductible options • Bobtail coverage* • Blanket additional insured endorsement • Cargo pollution cleanup • Accident travel coverage • Workers’ compensation Learn more about the products and services Sentry provides. Call today.

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Property and casualty coverages are underwritten by a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, Stevens Point, WI. For a complete listing of companies, visit sentry.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details. *Some coverages available at additional premium.

38 The Minnesota News • October 2010


11/07 (4)

In The News... Region IX News The Greater St. Paul Region IX Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers held their Annual Meeting on September 9th, 12:00 p.m. at Grumpy’s Café in Roseville. Gerald Fraher, Fraher Insurance Service, William Post, Sherman Insurance Agency and Jeff Zignego, Zignego Agency Inc., were elected to the Region IX Board. They replace board members Jim Tubbesing, Western Insurance Agency, Inc., John Gleiden, Sherman Insurance Agency and Phillip Sterner, Sterner Insurance Agency. Updated Region IX Bylaws were voted on and approved. Combined with the Annual Meeting, local insurance expert Bernie Neff taught morning and afternoon courses for a total of six continuing education credits. With 55 members in attendance, the morning topic was Additional Insured and Certificate Requirements and the afternoon topic was the 2010 Business Auto Policy.

Expert Education for All Insurance Professionals September 14, 2010, Austin, TX – The first obligation of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is to provide expert education in order that professionals may respond intelligently to current client needs. The William T. Hold Seminars prepare those in the insurance industry for the needs of their clients. These innovative courses are available for all insurance professionals and are offered in the classroom and online. Attend an open enrollment class, host an in-house class at your own facility or take an online course at your own pace. More subjects, more opportunities, more educational choices....that’s what everyone is requesting. The William T. Hold Seminars

explore current and relevant topics for producers, account executives, and account managers. The classroom agendas are created from more than 40 topics, ranging from personal lines to commercial lines to life and health to risk management. The information is reinforced with excellent workbook materials and informal Q&A with the faculty -experienced insurance industry professionals. A wide range of four-hour topics are available online with new courses being developed. All insurance professionals are eligible to attend a William T. Hold Seminar and benefit from the following: •

Generous CE credit in most states

Expert instruction

State-specific discussions

Networking opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere - AND NO TEST!




Designated CISRs and CSRMs can combine two four-hour online William T. Hold Seminars courses to fulfill their annual update requirement. For more information visit our new website at www.TheNationalAlliance.com or call 1-800633-2165.

ACUITY Named Best Mid-Sized Company to Work For ACUITY is the Best Medium-Sized Company to Work for in the nation, as named by the Great Place to Work Institute. “ACUITY is the top Medium-sized employer in the nation for the second time, and has been in the top five on the Medium list for many years now. Since their ‘renaissance’ year in 1999, they have solidified a culture that embodies some of the best things we could ask for in a company—

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 39

What kind of insurance company makes it their business to know small business? Just ask businessowners throughout the Midwest who chose SMARTbusiness™, West Bend’s commercial insurance program that provides protection tailored to the unique needs of small businessowners. In addition to specialized coverages, West Bend’s loss prevention specialists can provide your customers with a program to keep their business, customers, and employees safe. SMARTbusiness ... another Silver Lining from West Bend.


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www.thesilverlining.com 40 The Minnesota News • October 2010


meaningful, all-inclusive, appreciative, family-like, proud, and just overall generous,” said Marcus Erb, Senior Consultant and Senior Research Partner with the Great Place to Work Institute. “When we look at ACUITY, we see a company whose name matches its culture—one of direction towards and awareness of what it actually means to be a great workplace.” “There are thousands of companies across all industries that are eligible to be considered as a top employer,” said Ben Salzmann, ACUITY President and CEO. “To be honored for seven consecutive years as a top five company is an amazing and humbling achievement.” In selecting a Best Company, the GPTWI evaluates the relationships between employees and management, between employees and their work, and between employees and other co-workers. The GPTWI considered many components of ACUITY’s work environment and culture, including financial and other benefits, continued education opportunities, recognition for job performance, worksite facilities, employee participation in corporate planning, and overall staff morale. Additionally, the responses by randomly chosen ACUITY employees to a comprehensive “Great Place to Work Trust Index” survey accounted for two-thirds of the scoring. “Trust-based workplace cultures make a better place to work for employees and create a competitive advantage for the organization,” said Ricardo Lange, President of Great Place to Work Institute. “Those advantages include being able to perform better financially and be better prepared to weather economic downturns, receive more qualified job applications for open positions, enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, foster greater innovation, creativity, and risk taking, benefit from higher productivity and profitability, and enhance public perception as an organization both clients and customers can trust.” “Because ACUITY has stable, experienced, and satisfied staff, we are more efficient and productive. We are making better decisions in

critical areas such as underwriting and claims. And, we’re able to go the extra mile for agents and customers because we build long-term business relationships,” said Lynn Coady, ACUITY’s Vice President - Human Resources. “Being a Great Place to Work is the foundation of our success. It has a huge impact on both our bottom and top lines, as well as the level of service we provide,” Salzmann said. “But most important, it reflects the type of company we are committed to being.”

Donya Wilson named Vice President of Personal Lines for Integrity Insurance Integrity Insurance has named Donya Wilson as Vice President of Personal Lines effective September 6. “I’m pleased to announce that Donya Wilson has joined the Integrity team. I believe Donya’s strong actuarial background, her prior involvement with Integrity’s business planning, plus her experience working with independent agents as a personal lines underwriter makes her an excellent addition to our team,” said Joe DiMartino, President of Integrity Insurance. Wilson previously served as the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Actuarial Planning of Grange Insurance, an affiliate of Integrity Insurance located in Ohio. DiMartino states, “Donya will play a vital role in ensuring our personal lines business continues to meet the needs of our agents and policyholders through the introduction of new products, competitive pricing and profitable growth opportunities.” Wilson holds a Masters in Business Administration from Capital University of Ohio and has 19 years of insurance experience.

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 41

© 2009 SECURA Insurance


Success is finding an advantage. Sometimes you need a little help getting to the top. Agents know this. That’s why so many choose SECURA to grow their business. Call 1-800-558-3405. Write your own success story.

www.secura.net 42 The Minnesota News • October 2010



RJF Agencies’ sales team expands with addition of Ryan Watkins Sales approach and culture were the primary draw for the young entrepreneur. RJF Agencies recently hired Ryan Watkins as its newest business insurance and risk management advisor. Watkins, who spent the past seven years with Associated Financial Group, brings with him tremendous experience working with clients in a variety of industries to solve their risk challenges.

eager to find a business partner and advisor rather than just another insurance peddler. This approach is how he established himself at previous employers, and fits well with RJF’s sales methodology. “I work hard to develop deep and long-term relationships with my clients,” Watkins said. “It’s the only way to provide appropriate support and guidance to them. RJF’s sales process systemizes this type of approach, and they back that up with people and a leadership team who genuinely care about helping their clients. It’s an exciting place, with a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

His focus is to identify and work with companies

CLASSIFIED ADS POSITIONS AVAILABLE Bank Midwest is seeking an Insurance Agent for the Cottonwood County market (Windom / Westbrook MN). Will sell insurance products to the general public with an emphasis in P&C, Health, Life, and Commercial lines. Three to five years experience preferred. Competitive compensation, full benefit package, and employee stock ownership plan. Send cover letter and resume to: Bank Midwest, Attn: Recruiting Manager, PO Box 248, Spirit Lake, IA 51360. North Star Mutual Insurance Company of Cottonwood, MN has an opening for an Assistant Claims Manager. The person hired to fill this position will assist in the orderly review of outstanding claims and will assist in the supervision, direction, and training of in-office staff. This position requires extensive property/casualty claims handling experience. Management experience is also required. See www. nstarco.com or call the Human Resources Department at 507-423-6262 for an application. WANTED TO BUY No listing this month AGENCY FOR SALE No listing this month LOOKING FOR AGENCY No listing this month To post a classified ad please email ad to kknapp@miia.org

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 43


Auto-Owners Insurance is “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Claims Experience, Two Years in a Row” according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Thank you agents! A special thanks to all the independent agents proudly representing Auto- Owners Insurance. Your ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction has paid off once again. Thank you for partnering with us to take care of our policyholders!

Auto- Owners Insurance ranks highest among auto insurance providers in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008-2009 Auto Claims Studies. SM Study based on 11,616 total responses, ranking 25 insurance providers. Excludes those with claims only for glass/windshield, theft/stolen, roadside assistance or bodily injury claims. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed June 2008 - June 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

www.auto-owners.com 44 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Capitol Notes

MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

The LegisLaTive and PoLiTicaL newsLeTTer of The Mn indePendenT insurance agenTs & Brokers assocaTion

Agent Standard of Care

For years a behind the scenes battle has been raging between the securities and insurance regulators over the regulation of annuities. On one side is the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and on the other is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, NAIC. The SEC would like annuities to be deemed an investment product subject to their regulation while the NAIC deems annuities to be an insurance product issued by insurance companies subject to their regulation. The NAIC, supported by insurance agents associations, including IIAMB and NAIFA, and the life insurance industry has won the day. So far. Another victory of sorts occurred this year with the passage of the financial regulation reform law or as it is formally entitled the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010”. This new law, places considerable new regulation on financial institutions and their products. However, it leaves insurance, including annuities, alone which continues their regulation by state insurance commissioners and not the SEC. However, a portion of the Dodd-Frank Act addressed the standard of care investment advisors/agents must provide to their clients. This raises a long-standing dispute between fee-based financial planners and commission-based life insurance agents/financial advisors. An attempt was made to require that all person’s offering investment advice, regardless of products, be required to maintain a “fiduciary standard”. The fiduciary standard was established for persons selling securities under Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and has been interpreted through various judicial decisions. It sets a very high standard of care in which the advisor must act at all times in the best interest of the consumer. The fiduciary standard would exceed the current “suitability” standard that applies to licensed insurance producers who sell investment products including life insurance and annuities. The IIAMB along with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, has opposed expansion of a one size fits all regulatory scheme. They successfully lobbied Congress and this provision was not included in the final bill signed by the President. Instead, the Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to study the issue for six months and them come back with recommendations on the appropriate regulation of persons offering investment advice. The IIAMB has called the universal fiduciary standard a huge mistake that will increase the likelihood of second-guessing and litigation for its members for years to come. The NAIFA has viewed the fiduciary standard as an attack on the commissioned-based compensation model that has adequately served Middle America for decades. They believe that this universal standard of care would dramatically increase the cost of compliance by life insurance producers, force them to change their business models and perhaps even leave the business. The life industry points out that fee based financial planners and investment continued on page 47

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 45

When one is helping another, both are strong.

Workers’ Compensation Specialists, LLC Protecting Your Customers

For more information contact: Terri Norum Insurance Coordinator tnorum@miia.org P: 952.253.6237 F: 952.253.6242

MIIAB, 7500 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 900 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 46 The Minnesota News • October 2010


continued from page 45

brokers target the most wealthy who can afford to pay their up front fees. Most Americans look to their community based, insurance professionals to provide basic financial security and advice incidental to the products they sale. Insurance producer groups and the life insurance industry would like Congress to continue the exemption from the Investment Advisors Act for insurance professionals selling commission-based financial products.

Is that the best you can do?

A major part of the life insurance industry’s argument relates to the fact that insurance producers are limited to offering products approved by their companies. They do not have access to all the products available in the marketplace. The can only be accountable for the products the sell and must assure the suitability of the product based upon the individual needs of the client. Another argument points out that all insurance producers offering investment advice are already licensed and regulated by their state. They are further subject to the best practices required by their broker-dealer. The SEC report on the standard of care for insurance producer is due out next month. You can rest assured that no matter which direction their recommendations take, it will be a significant fight in Congress. Dominic J. Sposeto MIIAB Lobbyist

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PUPMK-500 (2/08)

PUPMK-500 (2/08)

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 47

MIIAB would LIke to Thank Our Gold and Silver Partners Phone 763.521.4499 Fax 763.521.4482 www.tstlaw.com

A New Way for Insurance Agents To: Improve Policyholder Retention Increase “Word of Mouth” Referrals Gain a New Competitive Edge, Especially Against

Rolf E. Sonnesyn Phone 612-520-8604

Internet Insurance Competition Better Control Loss Ratios To Find Out How Contact Brenda at: 651.739.4289 or brenda@icchelps.com

Insurance Defense

Our portfolio includes an emphasis on the

MN Agent Ad:Layout 9:09 AM Page 1 defense 1of 5/3/10 insurance agents

Proud to be a Trusted Choice® member company General Casualty® – for all your insurance needs. generalcasualty.com The links logo is a registered service mark of QBE Insurance Group Limited. General Casualty is a registered service mark of General Casualty Company of Wisconsin. All coverages underwritten by member companies of QBE. © 2010 QBE Holdings, Inc.


Full Service Broker with expertise to handle all risks - Large or Small Specially designed programs to handle a variety of Risk Placement Services, Inc. unique risks Recently Named: Largest MGA/ Underwriting Manager *Business Insurance Magazine 10/09

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ROBERT A. SCHNEIDER AGENCY 7300 Metro Blvd, Suite 355 n Minneapolis, MN 55439 952.938.0655 n Toll Free: 800.862.6038 n www.RPSins.com/RAS

Success Takes More Than A Few Ingredients Satisfy your appetite for business with a strong partner. Talk to us about how we can partner with you–and provide the right ingredients to grow and succeed. 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 250 Bloomington, MN 55437 (952) 897-3000 www.hanover.com

Close the Gap in Your Client’s Circle of Protection Box 48, Cottonwood, Minnesota 56229

• Multiple Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) solutions • Highly rated carriers • P&C marketing program • Independent agency with 18 years of LTCI leadership • Partners in Power sponsor

Rated “A+ Superior” by A.M. Best

“Insuring Homes, Farms, Businesses and Autos” (800) 625-9267 NewmanLTC.com/MIIAB

A Member of the National LTC Network

Long Term Care Insurance is All We Do! ®

48 The Minnesota News • October 2010

www.nstarco.com Phone - 1-800-622-5230 Fax- 1-507-423-6323 “A Personable Company - Keeping You on Course”

Finding the  best  business  technology solutions does  not have to be difficult.  ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

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www.wilsonmutual.com we make IT easy 

y t i s r e v i n U l a u t Vir Online Courses: The VU offers a wide variety of online classes to enhance and expand insurance technical and business skills. When taking an online class through the VU, MN Independent Insurance you can be confident you or your staff is learning the highest quality education available Agents & Brokers Association online. You do NOT have to be a member or subscriber to take an online course since a separate fee is charged. Research Library: For those who seek a smarter way to research, the VU provides access to hundreds of insurance, business and technology articles written by volunteer faculty and other contributors. Technical insurance articles often include links to full sample ISO forms. You’ll also find white papers and articles on many issues affecting today’s insurance marketplace. Expert Advice: Sometimes you need answers to questions that can’t be found in the research library. To help with these “just in time” issues, we have assembled a faculty of leading experts from around the country. Big “I” Members can submit questions to our “Ask an Expert” service and a response is usually sent within 3-5 business days, but often sooner. All of this can be accessed on the web at www.independentagent.com/vu

DON’T GET BITTEN BY AN E&O CLAIM YOU COULD HAVE AVOIDED. Swiss Re policyholders written through the Big “I” Professional Liability Program have access to an exclusive risk management web site. Log on today to fish for E&O claims frequency data, real-life case studies and analysis, sample client letters, sample agency procedures, agency E&O self assessments, podcasts on important E&O topics, and much more.

www.independentagent.com/EOHappens October 2010 • The Minnesota News 49




Invest in your agency’s profitability with industry-leading insurance training for your staff from Hartford School of Insurance. Moving yourTraining businessPrograms in the right direction. Entry-Level Hartford School of Insurance entry-level training programs are intense, concentrated classroom training that prepares your New Producer or CSR to “hit the ground running”. Visit our website for program specifics. Commercial Lines New Producer Program*

November 1 – November 19, 2010 (Minneapolis, MN)

“I’ve been to quite a few schools similar to this one and the Hartford School of Insurance program was by far the best…..” “I highly recommend Hartford School of Insurance to anyone and everyone looking to break into the insurance industry.”

*Please allow time for in agency pre-work

SPECIAL MIIAB DISCOUNT Use Voucher Code PROMO200 to receive $200 off this MN session. 5432 ANY STREET WEST | TOWNSVILLE, ST 54321 | 555.543.5432 TEL | 555.543.5433 FAX

Webinars and Workshops Webinars and Workshops are designed for agency professionals including producers, account managers, marketing managers, management and claims professionals who want to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Please visit our website for a full listing of upcoming insurance coverage, sales skills and agency management offerings.


For the full 2010 training schedule, program descriptions, and testimonials, visit our website. Registration is easy! Multiple payment options are available.


50 The Minnesota News • October 2010


Please contact our Education Consultant at: 860-547-4378 or email us at AgentEdu@TheHartford.com

2011 MIIAB CIC Program Schedule MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

It’s easy to register - by fax, phone, mail or on-line!

Please select Seminar date 1/12 - 1/15/11 Eden Prairie Commercial Property 2/9 - 2/11/11 Plymouth *Ruble Graduate Seminar 3/9- 3/12/11 Eden Prairie Personal Lines 4/6 - 4/9/11 Eden Prairie Life & Health 5/4 - 5/7/11 Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 6/15 - 6/18/11 Walker Personal Lines 7/20 - 7/23/11 Eden Prairie Agency Management 8/24 - 8/27/11 Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 9/28 - 9/30/11 Plymouth *Ruble Graduate Seminar 10/19 - 10/22/11 Eden Prairie Life & Health 11/9 - 11/12/11 Eden Prairie Commercial Property * Must be a dues paid member of CIC or CRM to attend a Ruble Graduate Seminar Dates and locations are subject to change. Before making any travel arrangements, call to verify the dates, location, start time and availablility when registering for a program.

All courses begin Wednesday’s at 8:00 a.m., Thursday’s from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and Friday’s from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Important Information All participants must present photo identification to the on-site registrar at the institute. Cancellations received within 7 calendar days of a program will incur a $75 non-refundable fee. If you do not cancel and do not attend the program, you will incur a $125 fee. The balance of the registration fee may be refunded or transferred to another course. You may substitute an eligible person for the same event anytime at no charge with notification prior to the course. These courses have been approved by the MN Commissioner of Commerce for 20 hours of Insurance continuing education.


Method of Payment Check Enclosed (Payable to MIIAB) or Charge to:



In accordance with Title III of the American with Disabilities Act, we invite all registrants to advise us of any disability and any request for accommodation to that disabily. Please submit your request as far as possible in advance of the program you wish to attend

$421.00 $420.00

Seminar CIC Institutes Ruble Graduate Seminar

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Card Number Expiration Date Signature _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name on Card Security Code (3 digits) Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name MN Insurance License # DOB Designations _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Agency/Company Phone Email _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip Return to: MIIAB, 7500 Flying Cloud Dr, Suite 900, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 P: 952.835.4180 F: 952.835.4774 E: tnorum@miia.org www.miia.org

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 51

2011 MIIAB CISR Program Schedule MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

It’s easy to register - by fax, phone, mail or on-line!

Please select Seminar date - These courses have been approved by the MN Commissioner of Commerce for 8 hours of Insurance continuing education (**Dynamics of Service has been approved for 7 hours of Insurance continuing education)

1/5/11 - Rochester Agency Operations 1/26/11 - Eden Prairie Personal Auto 2/2/11 - St. Cloud Commercial Property 2/16/11 - Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 3/1/11 - Shoreview Agency Operations 3/22/11 - Eden Prairie Personal Residential 4/5/11 - St. Cloud Personal Residential 4/7/11 - Duluth Agency Operations 4/26/11 - Eden Prairie Commercial Property 5/3/11 - Bemidji Commercial Casualty 5/5/11 - Rochester *WTH Personal Lines 5/17/11 - Mankato Agency Operations 5/25/11 - Eden Prairie *Dynamics of Service 6/2/11 - Shoreview Personal Residential 6/7/11 - Duluth Personal Auto 6/8/11 - Fergus Falls Commercial Property

6/9/11 - Grand Rapids Commercial Casualty 6/22/11 - St. Cloud Commercial Casualty 7/13/11 - Worthington Commercial Casualty 7/14/11 - Brainerd Commercial Property 7/19/11 - Shoreview *Dynamics of Service 7/27/11 - Rochester Commercial Casualty 8/3/11 - Eden Prairie Agency Operations 8/9/11 - Thief River Falls Personal Auto 8/11/11 - St. Cloud *Dynamics of Service 9/8/11 - Alexandria Personal Residential 10/5/11 - Duluth *Dynamics of Service 10/6/11 - Rochester Personal Auto 10/13/11 - Mankato Personal Residential 10/25/11 - Eden Prairie *WTH Commercial Lines 11/2/11 - Shoreview Commercial Casualty 11/15/11 - St. Cloud Agency Operations

Method of Payment Check Enclosed (Payable to MIIAB) or Charge to:



CANCELLATION POLICY: Registration fee is fully refundable if cancellation is received seven days prior to class. A $30.00 fee will be charged for cancellations less than seven days before the scheduled class. NO SHOWS will NOT receive a refund. In accordance with Title III of the American with Disabilities Act, we invite all registrants to advise us of any disability and any request for accommodation to that disabily. Please submit your request as far as possible in advance of the program you wish to attend

* NEW!!!

You are no longer required to have your designation or to be a dues paying member of the National Alliance to attend the William T. Hold or Dynamics of Service Seminars. You can also use these courses to update your CISR designation.




CISR Seminar


William T. Hold Seminar (WTH)


Dynamics of Service

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Card Number Expiration Date Signature _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name on Card Security Code (3 digits) Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name MN Insurance License # DOB Designations _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Agency/Company Phone Email _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip Return to: MIIAB, 7500 Flying Cloud Dr, Suite 900, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 P:952.835.4180 F: 952.835.4774 E: tnorum@miia.org www.miia.org

52 The Minnesota News • October 2010

2011 MiiAB Errors & omissions Seminars MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

these courses have been approved by the MN Commissioner of Commerce for 6 hours of Insurance continuing education


totAL AttEnDEES REquiRED At A (6 houR) SEMinAR

PoSition in AgEnCy






















Cost per person

$151.00 MIIAB Member Price $166.00 Non-Member Price

Agencies that attend this seminar will receive a 10% loss control credit on their Westport E&O Premium. Once an agency attends the seminar the 10% credit will apply for 3 years if the agency remains claim free during the 3 year period.

Method of Payment Check Enclosed (Payable to MIIAB) or Charge to:



CAnCELLAtion PoLiCy: Registration fee is fully refundable if cancellation is received seven days prior to class. A $30.00 fee will be charged for cancellations less than seven days before the scheduled class. no ShoWS will not receive a refund.

In accordance with Title III of the American with Disabilities Act, we invite all registrants to advise us of any disability and any request for accommodation to that disabily. Please submit your request as far as possible in advance of the program you wish to attend

Please Check Location 1/20/11 - Eden Prairie 8:30am-3:30pm

Prairie Conference Center 7500 Flying Cloud Dr Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952.835.4180 3/8/11 - St. Cloud 8:30am-3:30pm Best Western Kelly Inn Hwy 23 & 4th Ave St. Cloud, MN 56301 320.253.0606 4/21/11 - Eden Prairie 8:30am-3:30pm Prairie Conference Center 7500 Flying Cloud Dr Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952.835.4180 5/12/11 - Fergus Falls 8:30am-3:30pm Best Western/Bigwoods Event Center 925 Western Ave Fergus Falls, MN 56537 800.293.2216 6/21/11 - Morton 8:30am-3:30pm Jackpot Junction 39375 County Hwy 24 Morton, MN 56270 507.644.3000 7/26/11 - Walker 8:30am-3:30pm Chase on the Lake 502 Cleveland Blvd Walker, MN 56484 888.242.7306 8/16/11 - Rochester 8:30am-3:30pm Doubletree Rochester 150 South Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507.281.8000 9/27/11 - Duluth 8:30am-3:30pm Holiday Inn & Suites 200 West First St. Duluth, MN 55802 218.727.7492 11/16/11 - Eden Prairie 8:30am-3:30pm Prairie Conference Center 7500 Flying Cloud Dr Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952.835.4180

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Card Number Expiration Date Signature _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name on Card Security Code (3 digits) Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name MN Insurance License # DOB Designations _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Agency/Company Phone Email _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address City State Zip Return to: MiiAB, 7500 Flying Cloud Dr, Suite 900, Eden Prairie, Mn 55344 P: 952.835.4180 F: 952.835.4774 E: tnorum@miia.org www.miia.org

October 2010 • The Minnesota News 53

Power in Partners

2010 ower in Partners Program

Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association


Listed below are the companies who strongly support the Indepenent Agency System and the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association



allied insurance General Casualty Companies Grinnell Mutual reinsurance Company indiana insurance Midwest Family Mutual north star Mutual insurance Companies the Hanover Group Zurich north america small Business



ACUITY AmTrust North America ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services Meadowbook, Inc. Newman Long-Term Care Premium Financing Specialists, Inc. Prime Insurance Company Robert A. Schneider Agency, Inc. S.H. Smith & Company, Inc.

54 The Minnesota News • October 2010

Solbrekk Business Technology Solutions State Auto Companies The Hartford Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche, PA Toshiba Business Solutions Travelers Companies, Inc. Westfield Insurance Wilson Mutual Insurance Company Workers Compensation Specialist

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