Page 1


Minnesota News

March 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

2010 MIIAB/Trusted Choice Convention & Exhibit Hall April 21-22, 2010

Doing Business in a Crazy World! Featured DIAMOND Partner Burns & Wilcox - Page 15 Featured Platinum Partner Austin Mutual Insurance Company - Page 9 Inside this Issue:

ACT UPDATE: Build a Web Presence Worthy of 2010 Assertiveness Techniques That Give You Power & How to Stand Up for Yourself Things an Internet Fax Service Can Do That a Fax Machine Can’t Technically Speaking...Car Rental Contracts Where Is the Coverage??? Oz Was No Wizard at Cusomer Service

Sign up Early to Get the Best RATE!

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 

Na�onwide Strength. Midwest Values.


2oYears in Business Richard Johnson, President and CEO

We, at RAS, are currently celebra�ng our 20th anniversary and would like to thank all of our agents and loyal insureds for their support. Due to this support RAS has grown to one of the largest work comp insurers in the Upper Midwest wri�ng over $42M in premium. Proud of our local roots, together, we all support the Minnesota business community. Because of RAS’s local presence, we provide the very best in resources helping employers manage their workers’ compensa�on risk while protec�ng profitability. We would like the opportunity to grow our business locally through our independent agency partners. Please contact us on-line at www.rascompanies.com.

You’re local, we’re local; let’s work together.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION. Our Focus. Your Opportunity.SM

 The Minnesota News •March 2010

OFFICES IN MINNESOTA AND SOUTH DAKOTA P. 800.732.1486 www.rascompanies.com www.rascompanies.com


Minnesota News

March 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association


2010 MIIAB/Trusted Choice Convention & Exhibit Hall April 21-22, 2010

Shawn Wensel, CIC President

Doing Business in a Crazy World!

SMA Insurance, St. Cloud, MN

Walter K. Ohl, Jr., CIC President-Elect

Pioneer Heritage Insurance, LLC, Spicer, MN

Mark Z. Moores. CPCU, ARM, AAI Vice President

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


David J. Szczepanski

IIABA State National Director


Garry Insurancenter, North St. Paul, MN

Roberta Gibbons, CISR, CIC

Inside this Issue:

Dyste Williams Agency, Minneapolis, MN

ACT UPDATE: Build a Web Presence Worthy of 2010 Assertiveness Techniques That Give You Power & How to Stand Up for Yourself Things an Internet Fax Service Can Do That a Fax Machine Can’t Technically Speaking...Car Rental Contracts Where Is the Coverage??? Oz Was No Wizard at Cusomer Service

Travis Hansen, CIC

Reliable Agency, Inc., Cloquet, MN

John Keller

SIgn uP EArly tO gEt thE BESt rAtE!

Lindfors Insurance Agency, Fosston, MN

Jamie Larson

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 1

March 2010

Larson Insurance of Fergus Falls, Fergus Falls, MN

Mark Lenz

T.C. Field Company, St. Paul, MN

Mary A. McClure, CIC, LUTCF

McClure Agency, Inc., North Mankato, MN

Richard F. McKenny, CIC Past President

Advance Insurance Agency, Edina, MN

Vance Prigge

Atlas Insurance Brokers, Rochester, MN

Bruce L. Sogn

Inside this Issue

Oakwood Insurance Agency, Inc., Coon Rapids, MN

Mark White, CIC, CPCU

Foster Carlson White Agency, Monticello, MN

Rob Wunderlich

Wunderlich Insurance Agency, Winona, MN

Chad Bjugan

YIP Representative

Richfield State Insurance, Richfield , 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


Michelle Schneider

Administrative Assistant 952-253-6070

Bernie Neff



    President’s Message 7      Executive VP Message 12      Assertiveness Techniques That Give You Power and How to Stand Up for Yourself 15      Diamond Partner Article: Burns & Wilcox 21      ACT UPDATE: Build a Web Presence Worthy of 2010 27      Young Insurance Professional News 29      Technically Speaking… 34      Oz Was No Wizard at Customer Service 39      2010 MIIAB/trusted Choice Convention 44      In The News... 49      Capital Notes 50      Things an Internet Fax Service Can Do That a Fax Machine Can’t! 55      Education 58      Power in Partners

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 March 2010 • The Minnesota News 


Don’t Let Your Clients Paint Themselves Into a Corner with Environmental Exposure.

At Burns & Wilcox, our environmental risk specialists have the breadth of product knowledge and unparalleled access to markets to protect your clients against any environmental exposure… no matter what industry they are in. Plus, our quick quoting capabilities mean we can have them protected in no time. That way, if a mistake does happen, it’ll be water under the bridge. 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.

 The Minnesota News •March 2010


MIIAB Diamond


President’s Message

Shawn M.Wensel, CIC shawn@smamn.com

I recently attended a local sports association meeting that my daughter is involved in. The local association appears to be financially sound and has a great program in place that consistently provides winning teams and fun for all participants. A main discussion item at the meeting was concerning the lack of volunteer support by non-board members and coaches. The parents of the children who participate were asked to volunteer 3 hours for the season. Many parents balked at the idea and were hesitant to volunteer their time. It amazes me that it is their association but many do not want to donate their time. I believe this trend is like most associations, in our busy world, and similar to the MIIAB. Our membership numbers remain strong. More and more agencies are acquiring their “errors and omissions” insurance through our membership program, but we need more agents to become active with the various boards, committees, Trusted Choice and Insurpac. Non-board member agents who have strong relationships with companies can also help with the Power in Partners program in the future. Only 121 agents gave to Insurpac last year, though MN did meet its goal. The total amount given was $26,522. Please consider giving to Insurpac this year and encourage your staff to give as well. It is important for their future and careers. A small group of Minnesota agents will be attending the National Legislative Conference and National meetings in Washington D.C. One of the main topics of discussion will be health care reform. The IIABA continues to work with policymakers to ensure that the valued role of independent agents and brokers is preserved in the reformed marketplace. The IIABA supports a modernized state regulatory system and strongly opposes federal insurance regulation either via the so-called “optional federal charter” (OFC) or “mandatory federal regulation”. Also, the IIABA strongly opposes any efforts to raise taxes on individuals or small businesses. The association strongly supports the Federal Crop Insurance Program and urges Congress to continue this valuable program. Lastly, the IIABA opposes any efforts by Congress to federally prohibit the responsible use of credit-based insurance scores. The Convention will take place soon at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Plymouth, MN on April 21-22, 2010. Please sign up early and encourage your staff to attend the convention. It is extremely important that we maintain our strong attendance numbers at the convention.

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 

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 •March 2010


Executive VP Message

Dan Riley driley@miia.org

Something for Everyone at the April 21-22 Convention

By now you have received information on our upcoming convention and exhibit hall to be held on April 21-22, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Plymouth. Our response from our exhibitor/vendor mailing to reserve booth space has been overwhelming. We could have the highest level of exhibitor participation in years! It looks like everyone wants to network this year with independent agents and their staff. Also, we have educational opportunities strictly designed for the agency owner, agency producers, CSRs, and agency managers. Our thought was that we would try to offer an array of top quality educational programs for our members this year. As you can see, these topics are very interesting, timely, and speak to the technical changes that are taking place in business and in your agency. For those on your staff that cannot make the full convention, they can register for the exhibit hall which includes visiting with vendors, a hospitality event, and entrance into the evening event featuring The Shout House Dueling Pianos… Rock n’ Roll/sing-a-long, guaranteed to be a blast! So treat your agency staff to this afternoon and evening event for their hard work and dedication to your business.

Product and Service Surveys Asking MIIAB Members for their Input

We have sent out our first Product and Service Survey to our members asking their input on our Swiss Re E & O Program and how we are performing and at what level. We thank those agencies who have filled this survey out, and we will be publishing the survey results in our publication upon completion of the survey. We want these surveys to be short and sweet and not time consuming for our members to fill out. We will be surveying our members over the next several months on our Workers Compensation Program, education programs that we offer, our legislative effectiveness on a state and national level, and a survey will be conducted for those who attend the April Convention. Again, we thank you for your feedback and we can only hope that we can improve upon our products and services offered to our MIIAB members.

Licensing Law Changes, Effective July 1, 2010

Last week you received an email from Dominic under his Capitol Notes heading that outlined from the Commerce Department information about licensing law changes that will take place July 1, 2010. We have been receiving many calls regarding these changes and we ask that you review the documentation via the link below. Also, if you have any questions, you should contact the Department of Commerce directly due to the complexity of these changes relating to your licensing renewal and your birthdates. We do not want to provide you with incorrect information that may cause you licensing problems on your upcoming renewal. You may want to copy this information off in your agency and distribute it to your agency manager and/or your licensed producers. Click below to open License Law Changes http://mn.iiaa.org/Legislative/LicensingChangesEffective7-1-10.pdf Executive VP Message continued on page 53

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 

Austinโ€™s got you covered.

Protection you can count on.

Maple Grove, MN 55369 t"VTUJO.VUVBMDPN

 The Minnesota News โ€ขMarch 2010



Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

Power in Partners



Austin Mutual – Protection You Can Count On - for 2010 and beyond… Austin continues to add to its solid financial foundation that will serve and protect our agents and policyholders for many years to come. Financially, Austin Mutual remains a solid source of protection you can count on. We continued to widen our footprint and enhance our already stable financial condition. As markets softened and economic uncertainties flourished during 2009, Austin’s commitment to our independent agency force and policyholders allowed us to grow our premium base approximately 8 percent, to approximately $90 million. In addition, our policyholder surplus was increased approximately $8 million, or 13 percent. Our new permanent home office which has been highlighted in numerous publications, not only demonstrates our commitment to the growing and ever-changing needs of policyholders and the independent agents of Minnesota, it also creates a culture that fosters team work, passion, collaboration and fun between our employees and executive staff which positively influences our interactions with our customers. March 2010 • The Minnesota News 

Utilizing Technology Supports Exceptional Customer Experience… Austin Mutual strives to satisfy customer needs at all levels. The Austin Customer Experience (ACE) comes to life on a daily basis in the Customer Service and Claims Center. All employees throughout the organization are committed and passionate about our ACE program. “Promise big and deliver more” is lived every day within our service areas. We have gone to great extremes to provide our employees with the technology and tools they need to enhance our ACE program. In particular, our service areas have access and use of our Wall Board technology that helps in servicing the disparate call volume that is critical in today’s business environment. The wall board technology visually informs team members as to incoming calls, displays call statistical data along with the posting of department goals and performance. Wall board technology also provides a platform to instantly communicate with the staff on necessary information that is required to maintain superior customer service. In addition, our Voice over Internet phone system provides a seamless environment when taking calls either in or out of the office. As we all work more and more in a virtual environment, it is imperative that communication is uninterrupted between you and our staff. Our current phone technology allows us to serve our customer and provide that personal touch on a human level that is clearly valued among our insureds and agents. A Fresh Take on Communication… To support our communication endeavors, Austin is introducing two new campaign themes; “Protection you can count on” and “Growth is Certain.” Our first new ad which is on page 8 is just the beginning of many ads that will support this campaign. Austin’s knight is the symbol to assure that we will be there when you need us. Austin’s growth and progress is directly related to the dedication of our exceptional employees and Independent Agents who represent us. Austin Mutual remains committed to our independent agency system by supporting Trusted Choice. That is evident by visiting our website and through our advertising and marketing initiatives. We believe that policyholders are best served by agents who can select from a variety of companies. We will continue to build trust and advocacy for the Trusted Choice brand which provides brand synergy. “Positive attitude and image is what brands Austin or let’s say builds trusting relationships,” states Stacy Olson, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.

10 The Minnesota News •March 2010

We continue to strive to enhance our products. We are working diligently on broadening our Businessowners program and enhancing our personal lines products. “Change is never ending and we embrace change with enthusiasm,” states Cathy Harper, Senior Vice President. We at Austin understand that choice, personalized service, and technology helps build upon our brand identity. To ring in the New Year, we said, out with the old and in with the new! And with that, we took steps to introduce a fresh, new website and Facebook page that has updated information about our latest products and services. We’ve also made other basic improvements such as layout, simplified navigation, and improved search functionality. Not only did we give our site a fresh look, but we added videos, (i.e. “The Austin Story”) electronic newsletter signup, blogging, and professional product sell sheets that are available to print with just a few clicks. We understand that customers expect interaction and that is why we have engaged in Social Media. Our website provides a content management system (CMS) solution that allows us to create, enhance, and publish content quickly and easily. We have also made the site more intuitive and user-friendly, it provides us with the tools and capabilities that will allow Austin to evolve and explode in the social media world. “All of this supports our commitment to innovation and technology which will position Austin Mutual for the next generation,” states Stacy Olson. A Commitment from Austin… Austin understands that our success is built on knowledge. We are so committed to continuing education that we designed a “Training of Excellence” program for all new agents and CSR’s. This allows us not only to educate them on our programs and coverages but to build upon that long lasting relationship. Austin is committed to our communities. The Austin foundation and employees continue to give back not only in time but in dollars. The highlight of 2009 is when Austin employees contributed over $12,000 to the Austin Foundation. In return each participating employee’s name is placed in a monthly drawing and if selected gets to make a monetary donation to a qualifying charity of their choice. Thanks to the Austin team for making a difference…. We understand that trust is earned by delivering more and more value. Austin is poised for growth and is ready for the future through the partnership of our independent agents. Experience the feeling of security that comes with knowing Austin Mutual is on your side.

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 11

Assertiveness Techniques That Give You Power and How to Stand Up for Yourself by Linnda Durré, Ph.D.

Assertiveness training is one of the most important tools for managers. Rid yourself of childhood restrictions, fear, hesitation, and social misinformation. Know the difference between being aggressive – bullying, yelling, screaming, intimidation - and being assertive – being diplomatic, strong, factual, clear, and firm, which can successfully solve interpersonal difficulties with your employees and in your life. Stop being a martyr, a victim, and a doormat. Avoid blaming other people for your situation. Believe that there is a workable resolution. Take responsibility and stand up for yourself to get what you need and want from others in a caring, direct way. Good managers know how to be positive, identify the faulty behavior, and focus quickly on a win/win solution. Here are the steps of assertiveness: 1) State the Problem -- Use “The Sandwich Technique” – Start out with a positive compliment about the person, then go directly to the problem and give feedback stating it clearly and giving examples of the toxic or faulty behavior and how you want it to change, and then end on a positive note of what you’d like to have happen.. Bob: “Jack, you are a valued co-worker here, and we’ve been working together for five years. We’ve noticed your work isn’t in on time and I’m wondering what’s wrong. It’s unlike you. Is there anything I or the company can do to help you meet your deadlines?”

you don’t give me advance notice, I can’t make arrangements with the others. I need to know what’s wrong so we can correct it. When you don’t tell me what’s happening, I feel cut out of the loop, powerless, and frustrated.” 3) Offer Solutions -- Give the person various options for their behavior and how much better it would be when behavior changes.

Bob: “What can I do to help you to get the reports in on time? Do you need another administrative assistant for a few days? Do 2) State Your Feelings -- Say how the you need to partner up with someone to person’s behavior makes you feel. Use share the workload? Are there any problems words like frustrated, angry, and annoyed. at work I can take care of? Let me know so Be specific. Avoid accusations and blame. we can fix it.” Bob: “When your work isn’t completed on 4) Give An Ultimatum -- If the situation time, it slows up the whole department doesn’t improve, you’ll have to issue an because we all depend on your reports. When ultimatum. Some people like to include 12 The Minnesota News •March 2010

continued from page 12

it with the first conversation so the other person knows where they stand. State what you intend to do if compliance isn’t achieved like reporting it to the boss or HR.

co-workers, and HR to cover himself and others. He can email it, and I recommend hand delivering it so people can’t say, “I never got it.” According to a tech consultant, Bob: “If you can’t get the reports in on approximately 5%-7% of all emails never time, let me know immediately. If your work reach their intended place. Add a sentence continues to be late you are jeopardizing at the end, like, “If you have any questions your position at the company and you may about or additions to this memo, please be demoted or fired. I may have to report it respond in writing.” to our boss or HR if it’s not corrected and I’d This allows the co-worker recourse to rather not have to do that, so please get the respond, and insures that you have covered reports in on time.” your back, which is crucial in any company, 5) Look and Listen -- Hear the person’s whether you are the co-worker, boss, or response and their feedback. Be quiet and owner. People can say, “I never said that,” listen to what the person is saying and or “I didn’t agree to that,” but if you put how they’re saying it. Observe their body it in writing, then you’re covered. Ask language. Know they saying between the them to send a reply email, agreeing to the lines. Use Active Listening techniques to solution. establish rapport by paraphrasing what you hear.

Bob: “I understand that you thought you could get it done without coming to me, and now you see you couldn’t do it. I know how hard you’re working and what pressure you must feel.”

These steps of assertiveness can assist and empower you, whether you’re a co-worker, manager, or a boss in dealing with toxic situations. Be clear, firm, and compassionate. Stay focused, communicate honestly and open, and cooperate for a win/win solution. It works!

6) Dialogue -- Have an honest discussion, listen, don’t interrupt each other, and comment on each thing the person says--be Linnda Durré, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, prepared to hear them remark on each thing business consultant, corporate trainer, you have said and respond accordingly. national speaker, and columnist. She has Bob: “I’m not here to blame you, I’m here hosted and co-produced two live call-in TV to find a win/win solution that works for all shows, including “Ask The Family Therapist” of us. Let’s see how we can remedy this. on America’s Health Network, which was Perhaps an assistant will be the solution. associated with Mayo Clinic. She is the Let me schedule an assistant and get this author of Surviving The Toxic Workplace: process started right now.” Protect Yourself Against Co-Workers, 7) Resolution -- Decide what the action Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison plan will be and agree on it, perhaps in Your Day (2010 - McGraw-Hill). She has been interviewed on Oprah, 60 Minutes, writing. The Today Show, Good Morning America, Bob: “So, Jack, our agreement is that I’ll and O’Reilly, and the national and/or local schedule you for an assistant for several news on ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, Fox and weeks so you’ll be able to catch up and get CW. She has written for Forbes, Orlando your reports in on time.” Business Journal, and American Cities 8) Follow Up -- Send a letter and/or email Business Journals. For more information summarizing the discussion and what the about her consulting or speaking, contact decision was. He should cc it to whoever her at Linnda.Durre@gmail.com and 407-739might also be affected – bosses, other 8620. March 2010 • The Minnesota News 13

Protect your customers with the simple solution: Encompass.

Encompass has been around for a while, but it has a new look and a new commitment: to be the top choice for independent agents. By giving you a simple approach to selling total protection. Unique product. The Encompass Universal Security Policy—one policy for both home and auto—helps simplify your customers’ lives. And the depth and breadth of its coverage helps protect them better. Superior claims service. A 94% overall customer satisfaction rating* means your Encompass customers are more likely to refer their friends and family to you. Strong sales support. Competitive compensation, profit sharing and a nationwide network of sales and education teams give you simple ways to help your agency grow. Financial stability. Encompass is one of the largest personal insurance brands sold exclusively through independent agents. Superior claimspaying ability and excellent A.M. Best ratings make Encompass a company you can trust.

Come grow with us! Along with our new look, Encompass has new offerings coming soon. To find out more, please contact us at encompassinsurance.com *2008 Encompass customer satisfaction survey. Insurance subject to terms, conditions and availability.

14 The Minnesota News •March 2010





Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association


ower in Partners



Protection Needed for EPLI Claims

The challenging economy has put many business owners at risk. Struggling for survival, they operate with leaner and often overstressed employees, while still offering their customers goods and services. Small businesses, those with fewer than 50 employees, are especially vulnerable during this recession and many are being hit with unwarranted EPLI claims. “During a difficult economy there are more layoffs and more and more people are filing claims against their employees for wrongful termination. Even if an employer has acted appropriately he still has to defend himself against the claim,” said Greg Price, Manager of the Burns & Wilcox Minnesota office. “Employers are more likely to have EPLI claims then general liability claims in this market,” Price added. Last year President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which was intended to be a significant symbolic move on behalf of “workers’ rights” in this country. So, employers of all types and sizes, in both the public and private sectors must be more mindful of the potential for claims arising due to alleged age discrimination and wrong discharge than in the past. Dana Flanders, senior underwriter and EPLI specialist at Burns & Wilcox said that “even though employers have done nothing wrong claims can still be filed against them.” “In this economy, many people who have lost their jobs are asking looking for a paycheck from somewhere and they are turning to EPLI claims,” Flanders added. Business owners who purchase EPLI insurance have 24-hour access to a Human Resources Department which will guide them through the pre-termination process. “A small business usually does not have in-house HR resources. Nearly all of the carriers that write EPLI insurance have a toll free number where HR professionals answer March 2010 • The Minnesota News 15

questions about how to proceed with layoffs or terminations and what documentation is needed and how to draft it. They really try and help employers prevent a claim,” Flanders said. If a claim occurs, the policy coverage includes a recommendation for a trained EPLI lawyer to defend the employer. Cost cutting measures may dissuade a business owner from purchasing EPLI insurance, but the premiums can be as low as $700 per year for smaller employers; and rates are very competitive, Flanders added. “The premiums are tax deductible and agents want to be sure to offer it to their customers so they don’t have an E & O claim against them,” she said. When shopping for EPLI coverage, Flanders Branch History suggested that agents be sure to check if: Our St. Paul branch initially was formed in • The defense costs are inside or outside 1971 as Casualty Underwriters. In 1976 of the policy limits Casualty Underwriters assumed the staff and • There is third-party coverage for non- business of Northfield General Agency which employees who enter the business brought to the business additional markets and products. Casualty Underwriters grew premises and submit an EPLI claim. significantly in the interviewing years and “We’ve seen that before, a delivery person was ultimately purchased by Burns & Wilcox or a customer accuses an employee of in 1990. The branch has been at several being offensive and files an EPLI claim,” locations in St. Paul over the years. It has she explained. “Even if the employee did been at its present location since 2002. nothing wrong, the claim still has to be Staff defended. While all businesses are at risk for EPLI Burns & Wilcox has an experienced staff of 16 claims, certain businesses like auto employees to serve the retail agency force dealerships, restaurants and bars are in Minnesota and the surrounding states. harder to place risks, but we have markets Our staff is dedicated to the service of our customers and provides access to multiple for all of them,” Flanders said. admitted and non-admitted markets. *Burns and Wilcox is the designated broker of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association 16 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Our Agents Nationwide Burns & Wilcox services over 30,000 retail agents and has over 1,500 in Minnesota and the surrounding states. Since 2006 we have had a valued relationship with the Big I of Minnesota which has culminated with the Diamond Partnership which we actively support. Our Products We have multiple markets for the following classes of business: • Commercial Property • General Liability • Personal Lines Branch Management

• Professional Liability • Environmental

Gregory Price is the branch manager and is • Transportation a Minnesota native. He is a veteran of 16 • Umbrella years service at Burns & Wilcox. He has held this position for 6 years and prior to coming • Recreational accounts back to Minnesota was branch manager in • Inland Marine a specialty Milwaukee. He is ably supported by senior underwriters qualified in the multiple Our Commitment classes of business including personal lines We are 100% wholesale and have no which we offer. connections to any retail operations anywhere so our focus is always on servicing Our Markets our retail producers promptly, profitably Burns & Wilcox is very proud of the and professionally. markets we represent. Most of them are market leaders in the industry and Burns & Wilcox is their largest overall MGA. These markets include Scottsdale, Markel, Colony, Burlington, USF, and Lloyd’s, many of which MIIAB we have represented for over 20 years. In Diamond Partner addition, via our Centers of Excellence, we offer access to multiple markets for environmental, umbrella, recreational risks, large brokerage and many others.

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 17

18 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Thank Your Customers.

It works!

age ver es 50% a The y los mers o The pan ust com its c ears. ng of y 5 y eplaci 7 r r e 6eve t of b cos em can more th imes ve. t ensi exp


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.

$6.50 each

For e v that y ery month ou do n’t co or co m n your municate tact cl w 10% o ients, you ith lose f you r influ ence.

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

Only 3% o personal. f our mail is How do yo you walk ouutfeel when box & see to the mail ersonal card addreasp sed to you? Your clients & prospects are no diffe rent.

Logon for complete details and easy ordering

www.miia.org Click on TouchCardz 866-664-4770 ext 707

“With TouchCardz, you thank them when they receive it, & you thank them again when they get the check!” -Frank Whitcomb, Education Consultant at Encompass Insurance © 2009 Meridian Media Group, Inc.


March 2010 • The Minnesota News 19


WHEN IT COMES TO INSURANCE, BE PROGRESSIVE! Progressive Insurance means great coverages, low rates, and quick claims service for all your customers.

Progressive is a proud supporter of the MIIAB and Trusted Choice campaign. MIIAB Diamond


©2009 Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. 09A00206 (03/09)

20 The Minnesota News •March 2010


ACT UPDATE: Build a Web Presence Worthy of 2010 By Matthew Marko Marketing Process Manager Progressive Insurance

The day you hung your first sign outside of your office you took the step to say, “We’re here.” By taking the same pride in building an agency Web site, you tell online visitors that you are open for business. Auto insurance is one of the most shoppedfor products on the Internet, and interest is growing. Seventy-three percent of people use the Internet to search for insurance information, but 67 percent still prefer to buy from a local agent . It should be clear that locals are searching for your agency. If they can’t find you, they may call an agency down the street.

Start by building a quality site Whether you develop a site on your own or use an outside resource, your site should: • Reflect your agency’s brand. Clearly set your agency apart from others in your area. Show your logo, local office and team members’ faces rather than generic stock photography. Talk about what makes your agency unique. Include customer testimonials.

• Show all of the ways customers can interact with you. Include real-time online quoting, phone number, address with a map, an e-mail address and a short contact form. Our company, as well as others, offers a real-time online quoting banner agents can place on their site. Some comparative rating vendors offer tools you can put on your site to enable consumers to get online multiple quotes that then feed into your agency rater. • Provide easy ways for customers to make self-service changes. This can be as easy as providing a link to your carriers’ online self-service sites or a form for your customers to fill out that is automatically routed to you. • Incorporate search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the technical term for moving your listing up the ladder on sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. The higher your listing appears on the page when someone types in “[Your City] continued on page 23

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 21

W H AT I S T H E S I LV E R L I N I N G ® W O RT H TO YO U ? There are many reasons why West Bend is the company of choice for independent insurance agencies throughout the Midwest. We offer distinct franchise value to our agents through superior agency relationships, ease of doing business, overall compensation, strong financial performance, stability, commitment to outstanding service, product knowledge, and education/ training. So while in today’s market it might seem like selling low-cost policies would be easy, there’s a tremendous value in selling a West Bend policy. It will deliver when you – and your customers – need it to. Because the worst brings out our best.® That’s the Silver Lining.®

1900 South 18th Avenue West Bend, WI 53095 (262) 334-5571 thesilverlining.com

22 The Minnesota News •March 2010


MIIAB Diamond


continued from page 21

insurance,” the more likely people will click on that link. We’ll talk more about SEO in the next section of this article. • Be built with measurement in mind. Google Analytics, a free service, can tell you how people arrived to your site, what pages received the most attention, the key words people typed in search engines to find you and other valuable information. A professional Web development partner can link Google Analytics to your site or you can do it yourself by visiting www. google.com/analytics . • Be personal and be local. Your neighbors are looking for a hometown resource. Your site should have links to other local businesses and organizations. Reference the areas you serve and clearly show that you are committed to your community. • Be updated regularly. No prospect or customer wants to visit an outdated web site, and, just as importantly, search engine rankings reward sites that are frequently updated. Try to post new content to your site at least once a month. Better yet, start a blog on your site where you answer common insurance questions, describe your agency’s involvement in the community or share local news and events.

Broaden your reach A quality Web site is a necessary first step. It is your agency’s Internet “hub,” the place you want online users to eventually reach – whether they get there from an Internet Yellow Pages listing, a search engine, a carrier Web site or a social media site like Facebook. But it’s equally important that you constantly work to attract people to your site. When someone types in a business name or “[Your City] insurance” into Google or Yahoo, some of the top listings that show up are “local listings.” Try it. Type your agency

name and city into one of those sites and see where you end up on the list – if at all. Local listings are like Internet phone books that show your company’s phone number, address (sometimes even a visible map of your area), background information, and Web site. These listings are free, but you have to claim them and check them for accuracy and consistency. Our company has run agent surveys indicating that fewer than 1 in 5 independent agencies have claimed free online local listings. Don’t let your agency miss this high-impact opportunity. To start, claim your free local listings at Google, Yahoo! and Bing. (Tip: to get started on Google, for example, type “Google local listing” into the Google search engine and select the Google Local Business Center.) Make sure your agency information is consistent and accurate, that each listing links back to your agency Web site, and that you choose appropriate business categories and keywords. Take note of how your highest-ranking local competitors are listed and mirror that format. Your agency also should claim free listings at localeze.com, infousa.com, yellowpages. com and superpages.com – the more listings your agency claims, the better.

Attract “searchers” Next, help people find your Web site when they perform searches on sites like Google and Yahoo! for common insurance terms. That’s called “Search Engine Optimization” and it’s driven by two main factors: your content and the Web sites that link to yours. You can control both. Use Google Analytics and Google Keywords to better understand the words people use to search for insurance in your area. For example, if you have an agency in Boca

continued on page 23

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 23

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. Together, we meet our customers’ unique insurance needs by providing a mix of coverage, expertise, and relationship-based service that no other team can bring to the table.

Western National is proud to be a Trusted Choice® company partner

MIIAB Diamond

24 The Minnesota News •March 2010



continued from page 23

Raton, Fla., and you discover that people search for “Boca Raton insurance” most, those three words need to be integrated into your home page copy.

To boost SEO: • Create separate pages for each product line. • Write for humans. Tell people exactly what you offer and why you’re the best. Integrate search terms, but don’t repeat them.

Is that the best you can do?

• Work with a local Web development partner that can improve your SEO. Behind-the-scenes metatags, link-building strategies, keyword optimization and other tactics can improve your search engine rankings. Ask for local references of any partners you consider. • Link to carrier sites and ask carriers to link to yours. For example, all of our agents can be linked to and from our agent locator site. • Start a Facebook “fan” page and be sure to have a listing on LinkedIn. These social networking sites also feed search engines.

Keep them coming back Agents most successful on the Internet are those who invest ongoing time and money in their online presence. These agents respond quickly to online inquiries. They designate team members to keep content fresh and regularly check online listings for consistency. And, most of all, they measure their results with online analytics and by the business generated through Internet activities. Editor’s Note: Please visit the “Websites & Social Media” quick link at www.iiaba.net/act for more tips on websites, search engine optimization, blogs and other social media issues. Matthew Marko is a Marketing Process Manager for Progressive Insurance. He works to provide local marketing strategies, tools and co-branded collateral to help independent agencies grow their businesses. E-mail him at matthew_marko@progressive.com. Matt prepared this article for ACT. For more information about ACT, contact Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director at jeff.yates@iiaba.net. This article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.


client requests a coverage change and needs the updated policy immediately. But it will take a couple of hours. Is that the best you can do? Real Time speeds up policy changes and many other customer-service processes. And, Real Time is already on your agency’s automation system! Visit getrealtime.org to get started!

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 25

Š 2009 SECURA Insurance


AcQQSaaWa¿\RW\UO\ORdO\bOUS 7Tg]ceO\bb]eW\g]cVOdSb]Q][S^`S^O`SR/US\baY\]e bVWaBVOb¸aeVga][O\gQV]]aSA31C@/b]U`]ebVSW`PcaW\Saa >ZSOaSQOZZcaOb&##&!"#E`WbSg]c`]e\acQQSaaab]`g

26 The Minnesota News •March 2010





Young Insurance Professionals

“Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.” –Colin Powell As I finish my year as Chairperson of the Young Insurance Professionals, I reflect on the accomplishments we have made this year, the future direction of this group and our role in the MIIAB. I think of all the individual YIP committee members and what we accomplished as a board. It was a great team! “Thank you” for your help! But this group is ever changing and we cannot rest on our laurels. To continue to be the best group we can be, we need to keep growing with great people. You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.”-Napoleon Hill This is the part where you can help, become involved with the YIP board. Maybe you have been waiting on the sidelines thinking that you should get involved, but never get around to doing it. Now is your chance! Terms for current board members end at the State Convention in April, so now is your chance to apply for a board position. You can apply for a nomination up to March 5th, 2010. Voting for new board members will take place at the YIP Committee meeting on March 9, 2010. There are numerous positions available so pick an area that you are interested in. All positions list the responsibilities underneath. Some of you may say, “I can’t do it I don’t live in the Twin Cities area” or “I don’t have the time”. Let me dispel some of those statements. “I can’t do it because I don’t live in the Twin Cities area” Although we meet in the MIIAB offices in Eden Prairie technology provides us with the convenience of phone conferencing so you do not physically have to be in the office to contribute as a board member. We currently have board members as far south as Mankato and as far north as Fergus Falls. “I don’t have the time” The time commitment is pretty minimal. The board meets the second Tuesday of each month except July and December. We all know that commitments come up so if you can’t make a meeting or two don’t fret about it. You can be as involved as you want to be. With all the changes in the insurance industry, we need to be proactive in helping shape our future! Join the YIP Committee today and help become part of the MIIAB of the future. If you are interested in pursuing one of these positions please visit the Young Insurance Professional page on the MIIAB website (www.miia.org) to access the nomination form or click the link below. http://mn.iiaa.org/YIP%20EVENTS/2010%20YIP%20Officer%20Nomination.pdf Chad Bjugan Richfield State Insurance

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 27

When one is helping another, both are strong.

Workers’ Compensation Specialists, LLC

For more information contact: Cormac Dunning Director of Insurance cdunning@miia.org P: 952.253.6239 F: 952.253.6242

Terri Norum Insurance Coordinator tnorum@miia.org P: 952.253.6237 F: 952.253.6242

Protecting Your Customers MIIAB, 7500 Flying Cloud Drive, Suite 900 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 28 The Minnesota News •March 2010


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

Car Rental Contracts, Where is the Coverage??? In our last issue, we discussed the problems with renting cars. Fun as it can be, renting a car can present a real challenge when there is damage to the rental vehicle. I am going to assume that our rental car accident did not hurt or kill anyone, although we will briefly discuss this issue also. For now, let’s see what can be used to cover a rental car that has been damaged or destroyed. When our clients ask us about rental cars, that is usually what is on their minds. From my experience, there are seven places to look for coverage: 1. The rental contract 2. A Personal Auto policy 3. A Business Auto policy 4. Personal and Commercial Umbrellas 5. Credit cards 6. Our wallets, purses and money holders 7. Your E & O coverage. Let’s look at each one. 1. The rental contract is first in line because it is the easiest to use. All you have to do is say “yes” to the rental car person behind the counter and the “coverage” is added to your rental agreement. Please take a minute and look at the problems involved with this solution by re-reading the article we published last month. It is expensive ($1529 per day) and it is easy to lose the coverage. Remember the glass of wine, or having someone drive who is not listed on the rental agreement, or driving on unpaved roads? As mentioned in that article, this solution leaves much to be desired unless you put your clients on notice as to the pitfalls involved. Having said this, I must add that depending on the rental agreement is the only way to cover certain types of claims. Here is one example that illustrates how this rental car problem constantly keeps evolving over the years – and just gets worse from the standpoint of the renter. This is an actual case that cost one renter a lot of his wallet, purse and money holder cash. He rented a fairly new station wagon that was later determined to have a value of $28,000. (I am going to round everything off). He declined the rental agreement coverage because of the cost and the fact that his agent told him “it was covered” under his Personal Auto policy. He had an accident that caused serious damage to the vehicle. In the past, rental companies would take the car back and usually fix it unless it was a total loss. In this case, they sent the damaged vehicle as is to the auction yard. It fetched $11,000 at the auction. The insurance carrier, which had Physical Damage coverage on the rental vehicle, correctly adjusted the claim on the basis of fixing the vehicle. It paid what it would have paid had it been fixed - $8,000. The renter received a demand for $9,000 and paid for it on his large-limit credit card. And there went a lot of wallet, purse continued on page 31

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 29

Trust the


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.

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

30 The Minnesota News •March 2010


continued from page 29

and money holder cash! The only way that I know to cover this type of claim is to buy the rental car coverage and not violate the contract. I must admit, this is a disturbing new development that can cost your client a lot of money. And based on what has been communicated to me, it is a trend that the rental companies are implementing on a much more frequent basis. 2. Let’s look at what we can expect from the Personal Auto Policy (and this would include coverage that would be part of a Personal Lines Package). This is second in line, as this is where most insurance coverage for rental cars is found. The reason is simple – even if the rental is being used for business, the rental is almost always in the individual client’s name, and that individual is the person who signs the contract. This will automatically trigger the Personal Auto policy of the individual who signed the agreement, or the one who was driving at the time of the accident. As long as the rental is a type of vehicle that the PAP will cover, the liability coverage will be triggered. This is subject to policy exclusions and limitations, of course. As I mentioned in the previous article, the rental companies have managed to make their liability coverage EXCESS in most states (see the ISO chart at the end of that article). And they will only provide the liability limits that they are legally required to provide ($30/60/10 in Minnesota). If you want more, you have to buy more at the rental counter. Even then, their additional coverage still may not be primary – you will have to read their rental agreement to see (usually found under the paragraph in the rental agreement entitled “Supplemental Liability Insurance”). The Physical Damage is triggered in the PAP if your client has Collision and Other-ThanCollision on at least one vehicle. Just look at the Physical Damage coverage section and see what is provided for “non-owned autos.” Again, this is subject to the exclusions and limitations of the policy. This will also require that the insured client pay the policy deductible. In the 40 states that do not have a statute requiring the PAP to cover the rental car damage under the Liability section of the policy, this is where most rental car damages will be paid. The good news about the PAP policy is that you can have that glass of wine, or drive on unpaved roads, etc., and still have coverage. The bad news if that the loss of use (which you agree to be liable for) is not covered under the Physical Damage insuring agreement, and only $20 per day coverage is later added back under the Physical Damage Supplementary Payments. You might want to check the personal policies that you sell – some carriers will provide more than $20 per day, especially if the policy is a Personal Lines Package. In most cases, the PAP will only provide $20 per day. Now let’s look at how this Personal Auto coverage is changed in Minnesota by our state statute that requires rental cars be covered under the liability section of the policy. This statute gives us the best rental car coverage in the country (in my opinion). Our auto policies are changed to cover our obligations to the rental company. Our Property Damage liability coverage will automatically respond to a damaged rental car claim with no deductible, up to its limits. Even if we have low limits (say, $10,000 PD) the law provides up to $35,000 per rental car. If we have a $500,000 CSL limit, then that limit applies (again, we are ignoring any BI losses). It will cover “claim expenses” and the full “Loss of Use” demand since that is part of the Property Damage liability coverage. We take our coverage anywhere we go in the policy territory (U.S., territories, possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada). Anyone from out of state also enjoys the same coverage if they rent their car in Minnesota. There is no foreign coverage unless it is provided by a special Personal Lines Package – check with your carriers on this, as they sometimes provide worldwide coverage for autos. However, there are a couple of areas that the Minnesota statute does not cover. One is based on the size: “any vehicle that is not a private passenger auto, pickup or van, or a truck with a registered gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less.” The other is based continued on page 32

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 31

continued from page 31

on the length of the rental contract: the rate for the rental has to be determined either on a daily or weekly basis (our statute says “30 days or less”). Let’s assume a Minnesota resident goes to Florida in December for two months and rents a car. Let’s also assume their friends from Wisconsin do the same thing. Both would appear to be outside any coverage provided by the Minnesota statute. Their coverage would then fall back on the Physical Damage coverage discussed above. 3. The Business Auto Policy can also provide coverage for rental cars. Symbol #1 or #8 will provide liability coverage for rental cars. This is often on an excess basis. For example, if I (the employee) rent the car in my name and cause a serious liability problem that uses up all of my personal insurance, the BAP can provide excess coverage if the car was being used for business purposes. If the rental is done in the business name (this usually requires a predetermined contract with the rental company), then the BAP will provide primary liability coverage. Symbol #8 can also be used to trigger Physical Damage coverage under the BAP. Simply use this symbol in the Comprehensive and Collision section of the Declarations, and you have blanket coverage for any rental vehicle that the BAP is called upon to cover. The coverage is far from perfect – the insured will have to pay the deductible, the loss of use is also restricted to $20 per day (there is an endorsement now to increase this to any amount you wish) and there is a specific exclusion for “Diminution in Value” claims. Also, there may be a need to provide the Drive-Other-Car endorsement in certain circumstances. This whole scenario of using Symbol #8 for rental car physical damage losses is also dependent on the commercial entity being willing to cover these losses. Note also that our Minnesota statute provides coverage for personal autos under the Commercial Auto Property Damage liability limits, the same as in the Personal Auto discussion above. 4. Personal and Commercial Umbrellas may also be called into play for rental car losses. They would be excess of the PAP or the BAP for liability losses, and also may cover international liability losses that the PAP or BAP will not. The Personal Auto policy territory is typically the “US, its territories & possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada.” The BAP is the same, except it will also cover 30-day rentals of private passenger cars on a worldwide basis. Terms are: up to 30-day rentals only, no driver is provided, and the claim is settled in the above-mentioned territory. Whatever coverage is provided, the umbrellas will cover as excess. But a true umbrella also will cover world-wide (except perhaps for sanctioned countries) and may provide limits over its “self-insured retention.” This is usually $1,000, $250 or less for personal umbrellas, and $10,000, $5,000 or lower for commercial umbrellas. First dollar defense is usually provided. You would have to check to see if either umbrella would be of any help for a physical damage loss. Umbrellas in the 1960’s to 1980’s often did cover these losses, but that coverage has largely been taken out in our umbrella forms of today. 5. That takes us to the subject of credit cards. You must be very careful here. If you have a gold or platinum card of your own, you might check the “flimsy little comic book” that comes with the cards and read what your own card will do. Here are some typical features. The cards are not standardized, so expect differences. Most will cover rental car losses if there is no other coverage (like the rental agreement, the PAP, the BAP, etc.). They are designed to be the only solution to the rental car loss. You must use the card to charge the rental to activate this coverage. Often high-value vehicles will be excluded (DeLoreans, Bentleys, etc., and some exclude SUV’s and off-road vehicles). Some cards will have a dollar limit.

32 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Here is the critical thing to check. Each card will have its own exclusions, and then it will often add one more – “no coverage if you violate the rental car agreement.” Remember the unpaved roads and the glass of wine? Don’t fall for the advertisement that comes with the card and promises the world – every card has its own limitations. I have seen some high-end cards that make many promises but leave some serious deficiencies when you read the fine print. One exception: I have read one Diners Club card that is really good and seems to back up its promises and provides excellent coverage. Also, American Express promises to cover any rental car damage if you sign up for their special program. Cost is $20 per rental (from one to forty days). But I have not read all the fine print yet. Please read their “prohibited uses” section and see for yourself. Sorry, there is no easy way here. I personally consider my credit card to be a last resort if all else fails (yes, it is fairly high-end and yes, it takes a lot away). 6. Your insureds can pay for losses themselves. Then, see #7 in the list of coverages on page 1 of this article. Granted, most rental car losses do not end up in lawsuits, but you can lose some very valuable clients. Remember the $9,000 loss for the rented station wagon? Somehow, that was the agent’s fault and the insured took his rather substantial BOP and his personal lines business elsewhere. And he bad-mouthed the agent to other insureds in his particular profession, so the agent lost some substantial business, and all because of a new trend in what the rental agencies are doing. One suggestion I have is to be consistent in what you tell your clients. Several insurance agencies and groups have used this subject as a basis of in-house discussion and learning for everyone who works with and communicates with clients. They have then formulated their own answer in writing and everyone has a copy with them or by their phone. For example, if you are going to recommend to your clients to buy the rental car coverage, then you need to warn them that it will be expensive and that they must not violate the contract, and perhaps give some specific examples (drinks, medicines, unauthorized drivers, unpaved roads to name a few). These insurance groups will mail, fax, email or verbalize their answer as needed. They call the rental agencies (or you can check many of the charges they will make online) and ask what the various coverages cost. They keep copies of rental agreements that they themselves have used. Consistency is a key here and it will take a little work. And you need to formulate your own answer – one that you are comfortable with. It should be clear that we need to inform our clients to pre-plan their rental decisions prior to their trip. It is far better to plan ahead and budget for these expenses, than to try to decide who should be listed on the rental agreement, do I need the Collision Waiver coverage, do I want the Supplemental Liability insurance, etc.? Don’t figure out your best moves relative to car rental insurance at the rental counter. Do it ahead. Remember, renting a car can impact your own life, as well as the lives of family members and friends who are looking to you for answers. It is a struggle to attempt to answer most of the rental car questions that we have to deal with. There are so many facets to this problem that it is impossible to cover everything. And, as I mentioned, it keeps on evolving. I did not even go into detail about the topic of specific state statutes that impact rental car situations. (You might want to use the Internet and see what is going on in your state with reference to rental cars.) However, I hope I have primed the pump and that you will do the further work necessary to be comfortable with this topic. Happy renting!

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 33

Oz Was No Wizard at Customer Service By Kevin Baker In The Wizard of Oz, the title character is beloved and revered by all the people in that magical land over the rainbow. Yet when you look at it from a small insurance business/customer service perspective it’s really hard to understand why.

a real person. Make it easy for them. Actually publish your phone and email information in the ‘Contact Us” section. Even better, add a “Call us” button on the site that automatically makes the call for the customer.

In fact, the Great and Powerful Oz is probably one of the best examples of what not to do if you want to grow your insurance business. Let’s take a look at some of his mistakes, and see how an alternative strategy might suit your business better.

• Hide behind a gatekeeper. When Dorothy and friends finally get to Oz, they think they’re going to make an appointment and see the Wizard. Instead, the gatekeeper says Oz never sees anyone. (The gatekeeper is the same actor who plays the Wizard, but I’ve never been sure if it’s the Wizard in disguise or the movie production company saving a salary.) When clients or prospects call your insurance business, can they get through to the person they’re calling? You want to make sure your phone system makes it easy to get to the right person. A virtual phone system helps with that, because its virtual receptionist can direct callers to the right extension – even if they’re not sure what that extension is. It also provides options to forward office phones to home, mobile or other phones, making you and your

• Be difficult to reach. In order to seek an audience with the Wizard, Dorothy and her friends must first navigate a strange and unfamiliar landscape with confusing twists and turns. It’s a little more difficult than the simple advice to follow the yellow brick road. How tough are you to reach? Is your contact information (phone number and/or email) clearly spelled out on your Web site, or do you hide behind a contact form? Clients and prospects don’t like filling out forms. They want to speak to 34 The Minnesota News •March 2010

employees reachable even when you’re out of the office. • Work in an ivory tower. Or in this case in Emerald City. The Wizard only knows his own perspective because he never sees or talks to the regular people. He thinks it makes him mysterious, which is true. But it also means he has difficulty relating to the people who need his help. It’s important to maintain regular contact with clients, prospects, business partners and others so you can seek out their perspectives and points of view, and understand better what motivates them so you can deliver what they want. • Go back on your word. The Wizard tells Dorothy if she and her friends want him to grant their requests, they must first bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West – a daunting task. When they return after fulfilling their end of the bargain, though, the Wizard starts to backtrack because he knows he can’t actually do what he promised. As a small insurance business you have to know what your capabilities are, then A) be sure not to promise things you can’t deliver, and B) deliver on the things you do promise. All that being said, the one thing the Wizard got right was creating that larger than life image. Today, small insurance businesses have the opportunity to make themselves look larger and more professional by using tools and technologies that provide the same capabilities as those enjoyed by large enterprises.

Speaking of phones, moving from employees using personal phone numbers to a virtual phone service for small insurance business adds a lot of features and capabilities, such as voicemail, smart call forwarding, delivery of voicemail to email, recorded greetings and messages and the previously mentioned virtual receptionist, that make the business look and sound more professional. These services are available for a very small monthly cost, yet they can have a huge payoff in your ability to serve customers and prospects more effectively. Oz may have been great and powerful, but when it came to customer service he left a lot to be desired. Learn from his mistakes and you’ll have more happy clients saying there’s no place like your insurance company. Kevin Baker is my1voice Product Marketing Manager for Protus, provider of the highest quality Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) communication tools for small-tomedium businesses (SMB) and enterprise organizations, including my1voice (www.my1voice.com), the cost-effective, feature-rich virtual phone service that travels with the user from phone to web, award-winning MyFax, the fastest growing Internet fax service and Campaigner, an email marketing solution with advanced automation features. Kevin can be reached at kbaker@protus.com

A simple example is making your main business line a toll-free phone number. Unless you have a compelling reason that your number must remain local, having a toll-free number gives the impression you do business on a national (or at least regional) basis. It’s not exactly balls of fire and floating heads, but it is impressive on a business level.

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 35

I used to think EMC was ju st for niche commercial programs. Then again, I used to think the moon was made of cheese.

MAKE EMC YOUR CHOICE FOR MAIN STREET BUSINESS When you think main street business, start thinking about the EMC Choice® Businessowners Program. Small and midsize businesses will enjoy the flexible coverage options designed to meet their specific insurance needs, the added value of free loss control services, plus the responsive service from an EMC branch office nearby. So if you still think EMC is just for niche programs, think again. Count on EMC ® for your main street commercial lines marketing, too. For more details, contact your local EMC branch office.

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


MIIAB © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2009 All rights reserved

Diamond 3431_MN News_Cheese_C_7.5x10clr.indd 1

36 The Minnesota News •March 2010



3/11/09 4:53 PM

Just for Fun...

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 March 2010 • The Minnesota News 37

Dawn Green

Personal Lines Underwriter

"We try to make things easy for our

agents – it’s the little things that can make a big difference."

Discover the Integrity difference, contact Cathy Beaudin at 800-348-1741 ext. 8326. 38 The Minnesota News •March 2010


2010 MIIAB/trusted Choice Convention

Doing Business in a Crazy World!

2010 MIIAB/Trusted Choice Annual Convention 80+ tors i b and i h Ex 750+ Atten dees Exhibit Hall

April 21-22, 2010 er t s i Reg and ly Ear 10% e Sav

Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Plymouth, MN

MN Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association 7500 Flying Cloud Dr Suite 900 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 P: 952-835-4180 F: 952-835-4774 www.miia.org

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 39

Convention Highlights Wednesday April 21, 2010 Opening Luncheon / Awards • 11am -1pm

Keynote Speaker: Ken Ohl, CIC Incoming MIIAB President Pick Only One!

Afternoon Sessions • 1pm - 3pm

2 Non-Company Sponsored CE Credits Pending

“Top Ten Coverage Countdown”

Chris Amrhein, AAI, Amrhein & Associates

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the seminar! We’ll be “countin’ em down” with the IIABA’s Virtual University Top 10 Coverage Issues! Join VU wonk Rock and Rolling Chris Amrhein, AAI, for the musical insurance event of the year. Jazzy scenarios, spiritual coverages and downright honky tonk tales of the insurance world, recorded LIVE before your eyes and ears.

“Risk Management in the Workplace”

Lori Berdahl and Stan Kulzer, Risk Administration Services, Inc.

The 76 million American babies born from 1946 to 1960 are known as the baby boomers. This generation represents the largest population over the age of 50 in our history and has changed our view of “how one ages”. More active in every regard and continuing to work longer than previous generations, this group is prone to fewer workplace injuries but has greater severity and lost time when injuries occur. This presentation will focus on the 3 most common work place injuries among baby boomers, work and age related risk factors, and what employers can do to help their aging work force be productive longer by reducing the most common trio of injuries. Learn how to promote positive injury outcomes through stay-at-work (SAW) and early return-to-work (RTW) that impact your Workers’ Compensation’s profitability. The response of the employer and medical community following an employee injury can promote recovery, function, and well-being or can lead to needless disability and disruption of social and economic lifestyle. This session will review the medical, physical and psychosocial benefits of having an employee return to work early or stay at work following a workplace injury. The session will go on to review the financial implications of time off for both employee and employer. Various medical groups positions statements including the Medical Disability Advisor, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine will be discussed. Finally, employer strategies for implementing a solid stay-at-work/ early return-to-work program will be discussed.

“Social Networking”

Matt Lehman, Progressive Insurance

Did you know that more than 235 million unique visitors visited Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube in October, 2009? They did. Social Networking is the largest growth area on the Internet, and we’ll help you: • Understand exactly what social networking is and how it is evolving over time • Learn best practices across multiple industries for servicing and acquiring customers • What are the coming trends in social networks

The Exhibit Hall • 3pm – 7pm See over 80 exhibitors displaying the latest products and technologies of interest to independent agencies and agents. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres provided. ROCK ‘N ROLL / SING-A-LONG / DUELING PIANOS • 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Sponsored by the Young Insurance Professionals Dueling Pianos are two piano players/singers performing at two, face to face grand pianos performing the classic rock ‘n roll hits from the 1950s to the present. It’s request driven by the audience and it’s the great music hits of all time combined with great showmanship, energy and comedy. WE SELL ONE THING . . . . FUN! 40 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Thursday April 22, 2010 Annual Busines Meeting Breakfast • 7:30am - 9am State & National Issues Facing Independent Agents

Keynote Speakers: J. David Daniel, 2010 IIABA Chairman, Shawn Wensel, CIC Outgoing MIIAB President and Dominic Sposeto, MIIAB Lobbyist

E&O Seminar • 9am – 3:30pm “Best Practices of Errors and Omissions – 2010”

Lisa Burnside, CIC, CPCU, Burnside Dynamics, Forest Lake, MN

This course will encourage the attendee to become familiar with specific policies, procedures, and practices from E&O carriers, agency management consultants, state executives and education directors, and agency owners and principals. In addition, by the end of this course, the student will be able to focus on the positive side of agency management and emphasize that providing outstanding customer service will benefit the agency in a number of ways, including increasing revenue and decreasing E&O claims, and to learn that good E&O loss control makes good business sense (Box Lunch Provided). (6 Non-Company Sponsored CE Credits Approved)

Pick Only One!

Morning Sessions • 9am - Noon

3 Non-Company Sponsored CE Credits Pending

“Street Level Ethics”

Chris Amrhein, AAI, Amrhein & Associates

It often appears that the majority of what passes for “ethics training” is having little or no effect on individual or corporate behaviors. Case in point: Enron, which has become the poster child for lack of ethical behavior, had an extensive ethics program in place, evidently to little effect. Perhaps this is due to the fact that majority of ethics courses fall into two basic camps: those that are primarily morality essays, and those that are basically an academic exercise. Both have key flaws. “Street Level Ethics” takes a different approach. The main objective is to lead the workshop participants to start “wading into the pool” of what constitutes an ethical dilemma. Realistic case studies are included for analysis. The course objectives are for each participant to confront the complexity of the issues, recognize the possibilities of multiple solutions, and then begin formulating a personal approach to choosing a valid ethical solution when confronted by such situations in their own daily activities.

“Incentive Compensation”

Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group

If you are an agency owner or manager, have you ever thought about changing how you compensate your employees? Are you still giving monetary increases based on how long someone has been with your organization, instead of their enhanced productivity? Are salaries growing at a faster pace than agency revenue? That can happen easily in a soft market. What if you could learn how to start rewarding your employees for achieving agency goals? Everyone works hard and most employees want to do a good job, but the most productive employees deserve the greatest compensation. Al Diamond, member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Broker’s Virtual University, president of Agency Consulting Group, and past president of AAIMCO (American Association of Insurance Management Consultants), will teach you how to transition your agency and your employees into 21st Century compensation practices. Leaving the old “Merit” rating practices and cost of living adjustments behind, and adopting new payroll reward programs, will positively affect your bottom line!

“Strategies to Enhance Agency Productivity“

Angelyn Treutel, CPA, Treutel Insurance Agency, Inc.

Living in today’s fast-paced world may leave you feeling as though you are “drinking from a fire hose”. You may find it difficult to continuously evaluate all of the available technology and how your agency might operate more effectively. This session will take you through agency technology developments from the Past and Present and will help you position your agency to succeed in the Future

Afternoon Session • 12:30pm - 3:30pm 3 Non-Company Sponsored CE Credits Pending

“Agency Valuation”

Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group

Have you ever thought of buying an agency? How about a book of business within an agency? Do you own an agency and wonder sometimes how much it is worth? Are you counting on the proceeds to fund your retirement or to pass on to your heirs? Many people think that the value of an agency is 1.5 times commission. Some agencies are worth much more and others are worth much less. Come and learn exactly how to determine the value agencies and books of business. Al Diamond, member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Broker’s Virtual University, president of Agency Consulting Group, and past president of AAIMCO (American Association of Insurance Management Consultants), will explain the ins and outs of valuing books and agencies in simple and distinct terms. With over 30 years of experience, he will give you tips on how to maximize the value of your agency and what key information must be known in order to determine the appropriate value of an agency you might want to buy. It is more than EBITDA! (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.). This class is a perpetuation planning must. (Box Lunch Provided) March 2010 • The Minnesota News 41

MIIAB/Trusted Choice Annual Convention Schedule at a Glance Tuesday, April 20

Thursday, April 22

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Trusted Choice Company Luncheon (closed)

7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Registration

5:30 p.m. –9:00 p.m. Past Presidents/Board of Directors Reception and Dinner (closed) Sponsored by Progressive

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Annual Business Meeting Breakfast State & National Issues Facing Independent Agents Keynote: J. David Daniel, 2010 IIABA Chairman; Shawn Wensel, CIC, Outgoing MIIAB President; and Dominic Sposeto, MIIAB Lobbyist

Wednesday, April 21

9:00 a.m. – Noon Morning Break out Sessions (Pick only one)

9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Registration

“Street Level Ethics” Chris Amrhein, AAI, Amrhein & Associates “Incentive Compensation” Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Opening Luncheon and Awards Presentation Keynote: Ken Ohl, CIC, Incoming MIIAB President

“Strategies to Enhance Agency Productivity“ Angelyn Treutel, CPA, Treutel Insurance Agency, Inc.

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Afternoon Break Out Sessions (Pick only one) “Top Ten Coverage Countdown” - Chris Amrhein, AAI, Amrhein & Associates “Risk Management in the Workplace” - Lori Berdahl and Stan Kulzer, Risk Administration Services, Inc. “Social Networking” Matt Lehman, Progressive Insurance

9:00 a.m. – Noon & 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. “Best Practices of Errors and Omissions – 2010” Lisa Burnside, CIC, CPCU, MOUS, Burnside Dynamics (must attend all six hours to receive CE credits and Westport E&O 10% loss control credit) 6 Non-Company Sponsored CE Credits Approved (Box Lunch Provided) 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. “Agency Valuation” Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group (Box Lunch Provided)

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Exhibit Hall

NOTE: Must preregister for Best Practices of Error and Omissions or Agency Valuation to receive a complementary box lunch

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Rock n’ Roll/Sing-a-Long/Dueling Pianoes/Cash Bar Sponsored by the Young Insurance Professionals

2010 Power in Partners Program As of 1/19/10

Diamond Partner

Burns & Wilcox EMC Insurance Companies Encompass Insurance Progressive Insurance SECURA Insurance Company West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. Western National Insurance

42 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Platinum Partner

AAA Insurance Austin Mutual Insurance Company Integrity Insurance Risk Administration Services, Inc. SFM-The Work Comp Experts Swiss Re

Gold Partner

Allied Insurance General Casualty Companies Indiana Insurance Midwest Family Mutual North Star Mutual Companies The Hanover Group Zurich North America Small Business

Silver Partner

AM Trust North America ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services Meadowbrook, Inc. Newman Long-Term Care Premium Financing Specialists, Inc. Robert A. Schneider Agency, Inc. S.H. Smith & Company State Auto Companies Travelers Companies.Inc Westfield Insurance Wilson Mutual Insurance Company Workers Compensation Specialists

2010 MIIAB/Trusted Choice Convention April 21 - 22, 2010 Pre-Registration Form Please complete one form per participant. Photocopy for your associates. Pre-registration deadline is April 12th, 2010

Continuing Education

Registration Check which applies:

Agent 

Company Representative

Registration Type (circle amount)



Full Convention Registration



Opening Luncheon Only



Full Convention Registration Young Insurance Professional Rate



Insurance Company & Exhibit Hall



Please indicate which seminar(s) you plan on attending. Courses have been filed for CE in MN and are pending approval except for E&O which is approved for 6 CE.

Wednesday, 1-3pm (pick only one)  Top Ten Coverage Countdown  Risk Management in the Workplace  Social Networking Thursday, 9am-3:30pm (all day) 1/2 hr lunch break  Best Practices E&O (Box lunch provided)


Thursday, 9am-Noon (pick only one)  Ethics Total Due: _______________  Incentive Compensation  Strategies to Enhance Agency Productivity *Registration received after April 12th will incur an Thursday, 12:30pm-3:30pm  Agency Valuation (Box lunch provided) additional 10% fee NOTE: Box lunches only provided for individuals registered for Agency Valuation and Best Practices E&O Name:_____________________________________________________________________________ MN Insurance License #:______________________________Designation(s):____________________ Agency/Company:___________________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________ City:_________________________________________State:_______Zip_______________________ Telephone:_________________________________FAX:____________________________________ Email:_________________________________Spouse/Guest Name:________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Credit Card Payment: 



Card Number:______________________________________Expiration Date:____________________ Cardholder Name:__________________________________Security Code:______________________ Billing Address of Cardholder___________________________________________________________ Signature:_______________________________ (952)835-4180 - (800) 864-3846 - Fax: (952)835-4774 - Email: miia@miia.org Make check payable to MIIAB and return to 7500 Flying Cloud Dr, Suite 900, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 43

In The News...

Swiss Re reported net income of CHF 506 million for the full year 2009. Earnings per share were CHF 1.49. The estimated excess capital at AA level increased to more than CHF 9 billion. During 2009, Swiss Re’s core business continued to demonstrate strong earnings power, while the company significantly de-risked and strengthened its balance sheet.

CHF 1.00. This is the first step in returning to a normal dividend policy.

Stefan Lippe, Swiss Re’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today, I am proud to say: we have come a long way. First, we have fully restored our capital position. Second, we have significantly de-risked and strengthened our balance sheet. And third, we have maintained the strong earnings power of our core business through underwriting profitability and cost discipline throughout the Group. These robust achievements for the year enable us to continue to support our clients and generate value for our shareholders.”

Fourth-quarter 2009 profit of CHF 403 million

Shareholders’ equity rose substantially by CHF 5.7 billion in 2009 Swiss Re returned to profit in 2009, reporting net income of CHF 506 million, compared to a loss of CHF 864 million in the prior year. Net income was impacted by impairments of CHF 2 billion, mainly in the securitised products portfolio, and by mark-to-market losses of CHF 1.9 billion on corporate bond hedges. The unrealised gains on these hedged corporate bonds of CHF 2.6 billion are reflected in shareholders’ equity. Earnings per share were CHF 1.49, compared to CHF –2.61 in 2008. Shareholders’ equity increased to CHF 26.2 billion at the end of 2009, compared to CHF 20.5 billion at the end of 2008. For the full year, return on equity increased to 2.3%, compared to –3.4% in 2008. Book value per common share was CHF 67.7, an increase of 11.1% compared to CHF 61.0 at the end of 2008. Given the restored capital strength of the Group and the continued healthy operating performance of its core business, the Board of Directors proposes to increase the dividend to 44 The Minnesota News •March 2010

George Quinn, Swiss Re’s Chief Financial Officer, commented: “In 2009, our capital position improved steadily quarter by quarter. At year end, our estimated excess capital at AA level was more than CHF 9 billion. Our declared priority is to regain AA rating and to redeem the convertible perpetual capital instrument. The substantial improvement in our financial flexibility increases our confidence that we will achieve these targets.” Swiss Re reported net income of CHF 403 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to a loss of CHF –1.7 billion in the same period of the previous year. Earnings per share were CHF 1.18, compared to CHF –5.34 in the fourth quarter of 2008. Annualised return on equity was 7%, compared to –3.4% in the prior year period. Property & Casualty operating income increased to CHF 853 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to CHF 409 million in the prior year period. With natural catastrophe losses at low levels, the combined ratio improved to 88.3% (or 86.5% excluding unwind of discount), compared to 104.6% (103.3%) in the prior year period. Life & Health reported operating income of CHF 88 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to operating income of CHF 224 million in the prior year period. Own credit spreads tightening negatively impacted the result in the quarter. The benefit ratio increased to 84.0% in the reporting period, compared to 81.1% in the same quarter of 2008. Asset Management reported a return on investments of 3.3% for the fourth quarter, compared to 4.9% in the prior year period, reflecting the shift to higher-quality assets and short-term investments, as well as impairment losses of CHF 248 million. Legacy generated operating income of CHF 34 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a net operating loss of CHF 3.1 billion in the prior year period.

Strong full-year 2009 core business results

Improved cost base

Even at the peak of the financial crisis, Swiss Re’s client franchise proved its strength and sustainability. This has resulted in strong results from the company’s core business segments in 2009.

Demonstrating its pronounced commitment to increased effectiveness and efficiency, Swiss Re achieved net savings, after restructuring costs, of CHF 205 million in 2009. This is significantly above the original target of CHF 100 million for the year, and the company is well on track to meet its cost saving target of CHF 400 million by the end of 2010.

Property & Casualty continued to deliver excellent results. Operating income increased 39% to CHF 3.8 billion in 2009 from CHF 2.7 billion in 2008. As a result of careful underwriting and lower levels of natural catastrophe losses, the combined ratio improved to 88.3% (or 86.5% excluding unwind of discount) for the full year, compared to 97.9% (96.1%) in 2008. Life & Health operating income increased to CHF 746 million in 2009 from CHF 697 million in 2008. The benefit ratio improved 3.1 percentage points to 82.4% for the full year, compared to 85.5% in 2008. Improvement in the financial markets, favourable mortality experience as well as the positive outcome of an arbitration matter related to a 2001 reinsurance agreement were partially offset by unfavourable results from the discontinued variable annuities business. Despite the shift towards lower-risk and shorter duration assets and the lower yield environment, Asset Management achieved a return on investments of 1.8%, compared to 4.7% in the prior year. Swiss Re increased the allocation to government securities and reduced its corporate credit hedging, increasing the company’s exposure to high grade corporate bonds in the third quarter of 2009. Swiss Re will continue to adjust its hedging programme as credit market conditions stabilise. Significant reduction in Legacy exposure Swiss Re succeeded in significantly reducing risk in Legacy during 2009. The company terminated substantially all of its exposures in the Portfolio CDS, and liquidated several positions from the former Structured CDS. Financial Guarantee Re exposure was significantly reduced by the commutation of CHF 9.2 billion notional protection. Swiss Re expects a further significant reduction in the remaining Legacy exposures in 2010. For the full year, Legacy generated operating income of CHF 139 million, compared to a net operating loss of CHF 5.9 billion in 2008.

January 2010 renewals: Continued focus on profitability Swiss Re continued to focus on disciplined underwriting during the January 2010 renewals, with restored industry capital and the absence of hurricanes partially delaying the market hardening. Through consistent pruning of unprofitable business, the repositioning of the Credit and Surety portfolio and the shift from proportional business to non-proportional business, Swiss Re achieved a further increase in the profitability of the company’s reinsurance portfolio. The company reduced its January renewals premium volume by 15%, boosting the long-term rate adequacy of its portfolio to 108%, compared to 106% in 2008. Consequently, Swiss Re estimates a 2010 treaty year combined ratio for Property & Casualty of 93%, assuming a normal level of natural catastrophes. Outlook Stefan Lippe said: “The strong fundamentals of our business underpin my confidence in the future. Few reinsurers can match the size and diversification of our portfolio. And fewer still can match our capital strength, our underwriting performance and our ability to innovate. Based on these strengths, we are well placed to reinforce our competitive edge.” Having made considerable progress in the past year, the Group believes now is an appropriate time to re-establish targets. Swiss Re aims to achieve a return on equity of 12% over the cycle. This target reflects the lower yield environment and the shift in the company’s asset portfolio towards lowerrisk and shorter duration assets. There is still work to be done in 2010, including the continuing optimisation of the investment portfolio and the further unwinding of the remaining Legacy positions. Swiss Re expects this process to be March 2010 • The Minnesota News 45

largely completed in the course of the year.

and related lines offer a tremendous growth potential.

Industry Launches Personal Lines Initiative

The Alliance will leverage social networking and a Web site platform to:

Unique, Online Alliance Will Shine Bright Light On Independent Agency Channel Opportunity to Grow Share Encouraging independent agency owners to take a fresh look at the opportunity presented by personal lines of insurance, a powerful and motivated coalition within the Independent Agency System today announced the launch of the Personal Lines Growth Alliance (PLGA). The PLGA (www.personallinesgrowth.org) will bring a unique focus to personal lines in the distribution channel by showing independent agents and brokers the potential for growth, sharing knowledge and resources, and positioning them with their consumers. The Alliance consists of a growing cadre of agents, carriers, service providers and trade associations. “Personal lines represents much more opportunity than a simple ‘accommodation sale’—and it’s time for more independent agency owners to get excited about it,” says PLGA Chair Steve Brooks, CIC, CPIA, president of Steve Brooks Insurance Services, based in Westlake Village, Calif., a leading independent agency in personal lines. “While it gets more attention, the commercial piece is not the sole driver of growth, stability and profitability for independent agencies,” Brooks says. “In fact, the personal lines opportunities for our distribution channel are unprecedented. Today’s agents and brokers can offer consumers strong carrier markets, fast service with real-time technology, choice of products and pricing, and overall superior value.” The personal lines segment is ripe for market share growth by the IA channel, Brooks says. While independent agents and their carriers command 80% of all commercial lines, they only write 34% of personal lines. Moreover, commercial lines is mired in a prolonged soft market, and recent economic worries have put downward pressure on premiums, with reduced payrolls, inventories, auto fleets and other soft conditions. Meanwhile, private-passenger auto, homeowners, umbrellas 46 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Convince independent agency owners of the value and stability of personal lines insurance products in today’s market, and show how they contrast with the commercial lines activities on which most agents rely for their main revenue stream Provide agents with insight to the wide choice of personal lines marketing and sales strategies, as well as strategies to enhance customer relations Educate agents on the efficiencies of today’s personal lines processing and workflows. Brooks says the technology piece should be a particular driver of change for the mindset of many independent agency owners. “Agency leaders 30 years ago began calling for more efficiency within the personal lines universe,” he points out. “They said inefficiency was the source of the high expense ratios that prevented independent agencies from successfully competing with direct and captive writers. The playing field has now been leveled, and it’s time for our side of the industry to capitalize on our opportunity.” Brooks says the Alliance will operate as a virtual association, leveraging the strong resources and educational material already available by its partners. “We won’t compete with other associations or reinvent the wheel,” Brooks says, “although we do intend to move the wheel forward. The Alliance will be a leverage point to highlight personal lines-focused growth tools available to agents from carriers, associations and education organizations.” Membership in the Alliance initially is free and open to interested parties.

ACUITY Sets Growth Records in 2009 ACUITY announced its 2009 growth results, which showed continued strong performance across its 19-state operating territory and record-setting achievements. Personal lines surpassed 150,000 in-force policies and $200 million in written premium, both of which were all-time records. New business revenue was

also up nearly 10 percent. In commercial lines, ACUITY set a new policy count record, finishing the year at more than 83,000. Growth in commercial lines was propelled by writing $140 million in new business premium, an amount that surpassed 2008 by more than $5 million. At nearly 55,000, ACUITY also set a new mark for quote requests received, besting the previous year’s record by more than 15 percent. The quote hit ratio also exceeded 35 percent for the third straight year. “ACUITY’s record increase in business in 2009 shows we are offering independent agents the pricing, coverage, and service they need,” said Wally Waldhart, Vice President - Sales and Communications. “We are tremendously proud of the strong partnerships we’ve built with our

agents and thankful for the trust they have placed in ACUITY.” ACUITY’s record growth in 2009 is especially noteworthy considering the current economic conditions. “The insurance marketplace remained tremendously competitive in 2009 at the same time the recession has put financial pressure on individuals, families, and businesses,” said Ben Salzmann, ACUITY President and CEO. “Our growth in both new business premium and total policy count shows we are pricing both competitively and fairly,” Salzmann added. “It also enables us to fulfill our mission to protect and enhance the financial well-being of our customers and to rebuild shattered lives.”

CLASSIFIED ADS POSITIONS AVAILABLE CSR Commercial Lines position available. Full time, competitive salary, with benefits, located in western suburbs. Send Resume in confidence to: classifieds@miia.org

WANTED TO BUY No listing this month AGENCY FOR SALE No listing this month

Large metro agency seeking agents to join agency. Lucrative commission splits; outstanding work environment; and competitive companies to choose from. Send inquiries in confidence to: classifieds@miia.org


Foster Carlson and White Agency is interviewing to hire a highly motivated individual to produce new personal and commercial lines business. We offer personal and commercial CSR’s to help with your day to day work, many insurance company contracts, a very generous commission split, 401k and health insurance. Please email your resume to avelishek@fcw-insurance.com

To post a classified ad please email ad to kknapp@miia.org

I am interested in purchasing a small to medium size P/C agency in Central Minnesota. If interested I can be contacted at agency1buyer@gmail.com

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 47

MIIAB would LIke to Thank Our Gold and Silver Partners

Real people, bringing you real value.


www.westfieldinsurance.com MIIAB 2009.indd 1

Risk Placement Serv 5HFHQWO\1DPHG  Largest MGA/ Underwriting Manager 



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 Clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Circle of Protection Box 48, Cottonwood, Minnesota 56229

â&#x20AC;˘ Multiple Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) solutions â&#x20AC;˘ Highly rated carriers â&#x20AC;˘ P&C marketing program â&#x20AC;˘ Independent agency with 18 years of LTCI leadership â&#x20AC;˘ Partners in Power sponsor

Rated â&#x20AC;&#x153;A+ Superiorâ&#x20AC;? by A.M. Best

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Insuring Homes, Farms, Businesses and Autosâ&#x20AC;? (800) 625-9267 NewmanLTC.com/MIIAB

A Member of the National LTC Network

48 The Minnesota News â&#x20AC;˘March 2010

Long Term Care Insurance is All We Do! ÂŽ

www.nstarco.com Phone - 1-800-622-5230 Fax- 1-507-423-6323 â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Personable Company - Keeping You on Courseâ&#x20AC;?

Capitol Notes Capital Notes


By Dominic Sposeto domo@aol.com

Fire Safety Surcharge – Under Attack Fire fighters from around the state are mad and they are not going to take it any more. They came out in force at the capitol this week to stop the governor and the legislature from raiding funds from the Fire Safety Account to help balance the state budget. Last year, the Governor recommended and the state legislature agreed to a transfer of $2 million from this dedicated account to the state’s general revenues. This year, the Governor has proposed taking over $10 million over the next three years.

this account for fund their fire fighting and response activities.

The fire fighters are seeking legislation that would directly appropriate $4.4 million to various training programs. They hope to enact this law to keep the accounts expenditures dedicated to fire safety. Without this legislation, they are justifiably fearful that the fund will be raided once again. Organizations supporting the dedication of these funds include; the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, the Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters, the Minnesota State Fire Department Association, the The Fire Safety Surcharge was enacted Fire Marshals Association of Minnesota, in 2006 and set a .65 percent on all the International Association of Arson homeowners and commercial fire insurance Investigators, and the National Fire Sprinkler policies. The Fire Safety Surcharge replaced Association. The League of Minnesota Cities the state fire marshal gross premium tax and the Insurance Federation of Minnesota of .5 percent that was assessed since the are also supporters. 1900s. The fire safety surcharge is now disclosed to those who pay it, and applied to more contemporary fire safety programs. Dominic Sposeto The Fire Safety Account pays for fire fighter MIIAB Lobbyist training, fire related response team training, hazardous materials and decontamination training and the office of the state fire marshal. According to the Minnesota State Fire Department Association, our state ranks 47th in state per capita spending on fire service. Minnesota cannot afford to fall any further behind. The state also has 18.000 volunteer fire fighters who count on

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 49

Things an Internet Fax Service Can Do That a Fax Machine Can’t! By Steve Adams

Big hair. Cabbage Patch Kids. Padded shoulders. Faxing. All things that were popular in the 1980s that today make us wonder what we could’ve been thinking. Right?

wherever the machine is located. If you’re out of the office and an important fax comes in, you either have to go back to the office to get it or have someone forward it to another machine that’s closer to where you Not quite. While the first three may are. With an Internet fax service, though, (thankfully) have been tossed on the scrap faxes are sent and received through your heap of bad ideas, faxing remains a vital email account – which means you can view part of the business world. Despite the inbound faxes anywhere you can get an widespread popularity of that ‘90s invention Internet connection. And on any device, – email – faxing is still used on a daily basis including your smart phone. by real estate agents, insurance brokers, Improve privacy. Fax machines generally medical personnel, construction companies sit in a common area since they’re usually and their suppliers, lawyers, truckers and shared by an entire department or office. If many other small and large businesses to you receive a fax, it sits there in that common send documents quickly and securely. area where anyone walking by can read it. One thing that has changed, however, is Not exactly the picture of security. Because the way faxes are being sent and received. Internet fax services deliver faxes directly While a fax machine was essentially the only to your email in-box, the information they choice back in the ‘80s, today more and contain is kept private. They also allow you more users are opting to use an Internet to send faxes from your desktop instead of fax service (aka fax by email). And for good a common area where anyone passing by can see the information. That’s something reason. to keep in mind particularly if you’re faxing Internet fax services are far more suited medical, financial or other information to the way business is conducted in the protected by the law. new millennium. Need proof? Following are some examples of the things an Internet fax Increase security. Faxes are already a secure means of sending documents service can do that a fax machine can’t. between two parties. But a good Internet Let you go mobile. When you use a fax fax service adds an extra layer of security by machine, you are pretty much tied to encrypting messages, preventing them from 50 The Minnesota News •March 2010

being intercepted by unscrupulous parties. copy of The Breakfast Club on VHS and move This added encryption is an advantage over to an Internet fax service instead. sending documents via email as well. Keep a team informed. Fax machines are a one-to-one proposition: the document goes in one machine at the sending end and comes out in one machine at the receiving end. If you’re working with a team and everyone needs to see the document, someone has to make and distribute copies. If some of the team members are out of the office at the time they won’t see it until they get back. Internet fax services allow you to specify simultaneous delivery of faxes to multiple email addresses, assuring everyone has the information they need in a timely fashion no matter where they are.

Steve Adams is the vice president of marketing for Protus, a provider of communications tools for small-to-mediumbusinesses and enterprise organizations, including the MyFax (www.myfax.com) internet fax service; my1voice, a virtual phone service; and Campaigner, an e-mail marketing solution. He can be reached at sadams@protus.com.

Keep faxes organized and available. Fax machines generate paper faxes that can get mis-delivered, buried on a desk, mis-filed, smeared, destroyed or thrown away. Once the fax is gone, obtaining another copy can be difficult. Because Internet fax services deliver electronic files, faxes can be stored on a hard drive or server where they can be pulled up quickly anytime they’re needed. A good Internet fax service will also archive faxes for several months to a year, providing an extra backup as well as an additional means of accessing faxes while you’re out of the office. Reduce cost and environmental footprint. Operating a fax machine can be expensive. There’s the cost of the machine itself, plus a dedicated phone line, the cost per call if it’s on a toll-free number, paper, toner and electricity to keep it ready to send and receive faxes 24x7. An Internet fax service eliminates nearly all of those costs completely, and limits paper cost to the faxes you choose to print – all for just a few dollars a month. As an added bonus, the paper, toner and energy savings also help you make your office a little greener. Let’s face it – fax machines are just so 1980s. If you’re still using one, it’s time to put it in the attic next to your legwarmers and that March 2010 • The Minnesota News 51


Workers’ Comp InsuranCe For more InFormatIon, Call: (800) 381-9347 | amerIsaFe.Com www.amerisafe.com

We are known for transportation, BUT… Did you know we have a FULL HOUSE? Northern States Agency, a Managing General Agency & Wholesale Broker for over 55 years, providing a wide range of commercial insurance: x Inland Marine & Cargo General Liability x Umbrella & Excess x Property x Professional Liability x Garage x Miscellaneous E & O x Commercial Auto x Directors & Officers x Excess Auto • New for 2010: Workers Compensation x

Our underwriters average over 10 years experience with NSA Same day or next day response on submissions Great Service, Great Products, Great People 2145 Ford Parkway, Suite 202 St. Paul, MN 55116 P: 800-328-0828 • F: 651-646-1971 www.nsa-mga.com

52 The Minnesota News •March 2010

Your TOTAL Solutions Provider


Executive VP Message continued from page 

Below, we have listed the contact information for the Department of Commerce if you need to contact them with questions about any of these licensing changes.

y t i s r e al Univ

1-800-657-3978 (MN only, 8 AM - 4:15PM) 651-296-6319 (8 AM - 4:15PM) 651-284-4107 FAX licensing.commerce@state.mn.us education.commerce@state.mn.us Robert.Commodore@state.mn.us Robert P Commodore Senior Director Consumer & Industry Services (Consumer Services, Licensing, Product Filings) MN Dept of Commerce 85 7th Place East Suite 600 www.commerce.state.mn.us/

New Ethics Requirement

The new ethics requirement is causing many questions as well. As you all know, effective July 1, 2010, you will be mandated by the Department of Commerce to take a 3 hour ethics course. Dominic has been working with the Commerce Department in trying to get from them exactly what is needed in this course for their approval. At this time, they do not have a recommended outline, however, it will be coming soon. We have asked them to look at our upcoming Convention education and our 3 hours of ethics for approval, but we have not heard anything to date. We will be conducting ethics courses beginning in July, but we are waiting for information from the Commerce Department.


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, you can be confident you or your staff is learning the highest quality education available 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

Once again, thank you for your support and we hope to see you at our upcoming Convention in April!

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 53

Thank you

to our company partners in Minnesota

Are you walking the E&O tightrope by not offering personal umbrella protection to your clients?

In today’s crowded field of personal umbrella options, one carrier stands out; RLI, with its “stand alone” personal umbrella policy. Why RLI?  20% of agency E&O claims are from failure to procure coverage.  100/300 auto limits available for most customers.  Flexibility to take advantage of RLI's personal umbrella and still get auto or home Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

iiicoverage from any carrier.  Competitive, low premiums for increased limits of liability, up to $5 million on A+ iiirated paper.  Friendly, broad underwriting so most people easily qualify for the program. iA simple, self-underwriting application that lets you know immediately if the insured iiiis accepted and offers automatic, direct billed renewals.  Support your association by accessing the RLI personal umbrella.

For more information on this program, please visit

www.independentagent.com/RLI For assistance please call: Terri Norum ph: 952-253-6237 tnorum@miia.org

54 The Minnesota News •March 2010



2010 MIIAB CIC Program Schedule It’s easy to register - by fax, phone, mail or on-line! 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.

Please select Seminar date 1/13 - 1/16/10 Eden Prairie Commercial Property 2/3 - 2/5/10 Plymouth *Ruble Graduate Seminar 3/10- 3/13/10 Eden Prairie Personal Lines 4/14 - 4/17/10 Eden Prairie Life & Health 5/5 - 5/8/10 Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 6/16 - 6/19/10 Alexandria Commercial Property 7/14 - 7/17/10 Eden Prairie Agency Management 8/4 - 8/7/10 Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 9/15 - 9/17/10 Plymouth *Ruble Graduate Seminar 10/6 - 10/9/10 Eden Prairie Life & Health 11/10 - 11/13/10 Eden Prairie Personal Lines * 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.

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 nonrefundable 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. Cost

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

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

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 55

2010 MIIAB CISR Program Schedule

It’s easy to register - by fax, phone, mail or on-line! Please select Seminar date - Each course is 8 MN CE credits, sponsored

1/21/10 - St. Cloud Commercial Property 1/27/10 - Eden Prairie Agency Operations 2/9/10 - Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 2/11/10 - Rochester Personal Auto 2/17/10 - Shoreview Commercial Casualty 3/9/10 - St. Cloud Personal Residential 3/17/10 - Eden Prairie *WTH Commercial Lines 3/18/10 - Duluth Personal Auto 3/23/10 - Eden Prairie Personal Auto 4/1/10 - Eden Prairie Personal Residential 4/6/10 - Rochester Commercial Casualty 4/8/10 - Fergus Falls Commercial Casualty 4/27/10 - St. Cloud Personal Auto 5/4/10 - Duluth *WTH Commercial Lines 5/12/10 - Willmar Agency Operations 5/13/10 - Shoreview *WTH Personal Lines 5/18/10 - Thief River Falls Commercial Property 5/19/10 - Eden Prairie Commercial Property 6/2/10 - Rochester **Dynamics of Service 6/8/10 - Mankato Personal Auto 6/9/10 - Eden Prairie Agency Operations

general non-company

6/15/10 - Alexandria **Dynamics of Service 6/23/10 - St. Cloud Agency Operations 6/24/10 - Shoreview Commercial Property 7/8/10 - Rochester Personal Residential 7/20/10 - Brainerd Agency Operations 7/22/10 - Eden Prairie Dynamics of Service 8/10/10 - Duluth Commercial Casualty 8/12/10 - Eden Prairie Commercial Casualty 8/18/10 - Worthington Personal Residential 8/25/10 - Bemidji Agency Operations 9/9/10 - Rochester Commercial Property 9/14/10 - St. Cloud *WTH Personal Lines 9/21/10 - Shoreview Personal Auto 9/23/10 - Eden Prairie Personal Auto 10/5/10 - Hibbing Commercial Property 10/12/10 - Detroit Lakes Agency Operations 10/13/10 - Eden Prairie Personal Residential 10/21/10 - Mankato Commercial Casualty 11/2/10 - Duluth Personal Residential 11/3/10 - Eden Prairie Commercial Property 12/7/10 - Eden Prairie 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

* REQUIREMENT FOR WILLIAM T. HOLD SEMINAR (WTH) You must be a CISR, ACSR or CPSR designee and a dues paying member of the National Alliance to attend and get credit for WTH. For inquiries on dues, please call the National Alliance at 1-800-531-5197.

** REQUIREMENT FOR DYNAMICS OF SERVICE The Dynamics of Service program satisfies the update requirement for all dues paying members of the National Alliance. However, you do not need to hold the CISR designation to attend. For inquiries on dues, please call the National Alliance at 1-800-531-5197.




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

56 The Minnesota News •March 2010

2010 MIIAB Errors & omissions Seminars 6 MN CE Credits - general, non-company sponsored


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 1/20/10 - Eden Prairie 8:30am-3:30pm Prairie Conference Center 7500 Flying Cloud Dr Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952.835.4180 3/10/10 - St. Cloud 8:30am-3:30pm Best Western Kelly Inn Hwy 23 & 4th Ave St. Cloud, MN 56301 320.253.0606

4/22/10 - MIIAB Convention

9:00am -12:00pm & 12:30pm - 3:30pm Radisson Hotel and Conference Center 3131 Campus Drive Plymouth, MN 55441 763.559.6600 5/18/10 - Fergus Falls 8:30am-3:30pm Best Western/Bigwoods Event Center 925 Western Ave Fergus Falls, MN 56537 800.293.2216 6/22/10 - Morton 8:30am-3:30pm Jackpot Junction 39375 County Hwy 24 Morton, MN 56270 507.644.3000 7/28/10 - Walker 8:30am-3:30pm Northern Lights Event Center 6800 Y Frontage Rd. NW Walker, MN 56484 218.335.3151 8/26/10 - Rochester 8:30am-3:30pm Ramada Hotel 1517 16th St. SW Rochester, MN 55902 507.289.8866 9/22/10 - Duluth 8:30am-3:30pm Canal Park Lodge 250 Canal Park Drive Duluth, MN 55802 218.279.6000 10/20/10 - 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

March 2010 • The Minnesota News 57

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





58 The Minnesota News â&#x20AC;˘March 2010

allied insurance General Casualty Companies indiana insurnace Midwest Family Mutual north star Mutual insurance Company the Hanover Group Zurich north america small Business AMTrust North America FirstComp Insurance ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services Meadowbook, Inc. Newman Long Term Care Premium Financing Specialists, Inc. Robert A. Schneider Agency, Inc.

S.H. Smith & Company, Inc. State Auto Companies Travelers Companies, Inc. Westfield Insurnace Wilson Mutual Insurance Company Workers Compensation Specialist

Profile for MIIAB

The MN News March 2010  

Official Publication of MIIAB

The MN News March 2010  

Official Publication of MIIAB

Profile for miiab