Page 1

THE

Minnesota News

June 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

• CAPITAL NOTES: 2010 MIIAB Legislative Update • ACT UPDATE: 5 Steps to Find your Inner Social Networker • Technically Speaking...Contractual Liability • Who, Not What, Is Holding You Back? • Highlights of comScore’s 2010 Online Auto Insurance Report Ethics Training Available Page 50

Featured DIAMOND Partner SECURA Insurance Companies Page 11

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 


Na�onwide Strength. Midwest Values.

Celebra�ng

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 •June 2010

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


THE

Minnesota News

June 2010

Official Publication of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

MIIAB BOARD OF DIRECTORS

• CAPITAL NOTES: 2010 MIIAB LEgISLATIvE UPdATE

Walter K. Ohl, Jr., CIC

• ACT UPdATE: 5 STEPS TO FINd yOUr INNEr SOCIAL NETwOrkEr

President

• TECHNICALLy SPEAkINg...CONTrACTUAL LIABILITy • wHO, NOT wHAT, IS HOLdINg yOU BACk?

Pioneer Heritage Insurance, LLC, Spicer, MN

• HIgHLIgHTS OF COMSCOrE’S 2010 ONLINE AUTO INSUrANCE rEPOrT

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

Ethics Training Available Page 50

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

Rob Wunderlich

Vice President

Wunderlich Insurance Agency, Winona, MN

David J. Szczepanski

IIABA State National Director

Garry Insurancenter, North St. Paul, MN

Chad Bjugan

Richfield State Insurance, Richfield , MN

Roberta Gibbons, CISR, CIC

Dyste Williams Agency, Minneapolis, MN

Travis Hansen, CIC

FEATUrEd dIAMONd PArTNEr SECUrA INSUrANCE COMPANIES

Reliable Agency, Inc., Cloquet, MN

PAgE 11

John Keller

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 1

June 2010

Lindfors Insurance Agency, Fosston, MN

Jamie Larson

Larson Insurance of Fergus Falls, Fergus Falls, MN

Mark Lenz

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

Vance Prigge

Atlas Insurance Brokers, Rochester, MN

Bruce L. Sogn

Oakwood Insurance Agency, Inc., Coon Rapids, MN

Shawn Wensel, CIC

Inside this Issue

Past President

SMA Insurance, St. Cloud, MN

Mark White, CIC, CPCU

Foster Carlson White Agency, Monticello, MN

Tanner Balfany

YIP Representative

Associated Insurance Agents, Inc. Brooklyn Center , MN

MIIAB STAFF Daniel D. Riley

Executive Vice President

driley@miia.org

952-253-6072

Shelley Waldhauser

Director of Insurance Operations 952.253.6089

swaldhauser@miia.org

Dominic Sposeto

Government Affairs Director 952-253-6075

dsposeto@miia.org

Alan Lepley

Chief Financial Officer 952-253-6076

alepley@miia.org

April Goodin

Director of Education 952-253-6074

agoodin@miia.org

5 

    President’s Message 6      Executive VP Message 9      Diamond Partner Article: SECURA Insurance Companies 13      ACT UPDATE: 5 Steps to Find Your Inner Social Networker 19      Technically Speaking… 25      Highlights of comScore’s 2010 Online Auto Insurance Report 31      Who, Not What, Is Holding You Back? 36      Young Insurance Professional News 39      Capital Notes: 2010 MIIAB Legislative Update 45      In The News... 46      Remember When... 50      Education 54      Power in Partners

Michelle Schneider

Administrative Assistant 952-253-6070

mschneider@miia.org

Bernie Neff

Technical Advice 952-253-6073

neffbj@aol.com

Cormac Dunning

Director of Work Comp Insurance 952-253-6239

cdunning@miia.org

Terri Norum

Insurance Coordinator 952-253-6237

tnorum@miia.org

Keith B. Knapp

Director of Marketing 952-253-6243

kknapp@miia.org

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 June 2010 • The Minnesota News 


Vacant Property

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

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

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

 The Minnesota News •June 2010

www.stpaul.burnsandwilcox.com

MIIAB Diamond

Partner


President’s Message Ken Ohl, CIC

kohl@pioneer-heritage.com

What is the Association doing for you?...Plenty!

I recently received an e-mail from an outstate member asking “what the Association is doing for rural agents, especially with regard to crop insurance and the proposed subsidy reductions being bantered about in Washington?” My response was as follows: In March of this year, as a part of the Big I’s National Legislative Conference and Convention, I and several other volunteer agents from around the state took time out of our schedules to go to Washington, DC and try to make a case for keeping the Federal program intact. We were there not only because we care about our own futures in this business, but because we care about the future of our business in general. Specifically we met with Representative Colin Peterson, who is the Chairman of the House Ag Committee and Representative Tim Walz who is from Mankato, the heart of Minnesota farm country. Both listened to our concerns and both gave us encouragement that they would try to keep our best interests in mind in formulating the upcoming farm bills that are still pending. However, they did say that there are some in Washington who think we are making too much money to which we replied,”…and we earn it! “. (On average, crop insurance agents see their customers at least five times each year and have a short window of time to complete detailed paperwork in the spring. Talk about an E & O exposure!) In addition, most other State Associations in agricultural states have taken on this challenge and made their own cases for the 18,000 crop insurance agents in this country who all “…earn their commissions!.” These are truly “dedicated” agents, who work long hours and “tromp” thru wet fields with claims adjusters to assure that their customers are served well by the claims process. Thanks to them and this “Federally” subsidized program we have a free flow of food in this country like no other place on Earth. We will continue to work on your behalf to keep it that way and to keep the “status quo”.

State and National Legislative Oversite: Protecting your Business!

So what else are we doing for rural agents (as well as non-rural agents)? Well as most of you know the MIIAB is, in part, an advocacy group that lobbies on your behalf in St. Paul and in Washington, DC and anywhere else we think we can be heard. We all have common interests in maintaining the viability of the Independent Agency system. To that end your Association has retained one of the best “professional” lobbyist in the State in Dominic Sposeto . Dominic is a seasoned veteran in this business and has amicable relationships with those on both sides of the isle on almost every issue facing us. We appreciate his experience and feel lucky to have someone of his caliber on board as our voice in St. Paul. He is our key to understanding the process in the legislature and offers advice on how best we can address proposed legislation which might affect our membership in one way or another. Thank you Dominic for your efforts on a daily basis and keeping us abreast of excessive legislation from interfering in our businesses.

MIIAB the Leader in Education - Take Advantage Today!

And in addition to lobbying efforts on behalf of all of our members this Association offers some of the best educational opportunities available for an insurance education with the CIC program, the President’s Message continued on page 


Executive VP Message Dan Riley

driley@miia.org

ASSOCIATION UPDATE

MIIAB/Trusted Choice Convention A Huge Success

I just want to thank all the insurance companies, insurance vendors, and members who attended the convention in April for their support. This was one of our biggest conventions. We had over 85 exhibitors at our trade show, educational opportunities for all segments of our membership, and over 800 insurance professionals attended this year’s convention. Again, thank you for your support!

2011 Convention Will Be Moving To A New Location- Hyatt Regency In Minneapolis, April 20-21, 2011

Because of the growth of our convention and the large turn out by exhibitors, we have had to move our convention to a much larger facility to accommodate all of our functions. The Radisson in Plymouth has done an outstanding job over the last several years, and we thank them for their support. Unfortunately, there are not many hotels that can handle a convention of our size and we have chosen the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The convention is scheduled for April 20-21, 2011. We also will be changing our format of the convention and more importantly, we are going to make it more affordable for all of our membership to attend. Currently we are developing the details for the convention next year and we hope that you will mark your calendars for these dates. Good News: If you attended the Ethics Seminar at the MIIAB convention it has been approved to meet the new Ethics Requirements

Legislative Session Ends – Next Year Should Be A Rollercoaster Event

In this issue, Dominic, highlights some important legislative changes that happened this year at the Capitol. Dominic explained to me that this year was one of the most frustrating years that he has experienced because of the budget problems the state is experiencing. Fortunately, he was able to spearhead some major changes that will help your businesses in the future. As you know, the Certificates of Insurance issue has been on our agenda for the last several years, and according to Dominic, fixing this problem is a step-by-step process in educating the regulators, the legislators, and your clients on what a Certificate of Insurance is intended to do. This year, he made progress in this area and we hope that you will review what he has outlined in his article. Also, I would like to personally thank Dominic for all of the work he has done for us this year. He has been with our organization for over three decades and he has a reputation at the Capitol of being one of the most professional lobbyists on the Hill. Please be sure to share his update with all of your staff members in your agency.

Town Meetings Begin In July- Be Sure To Register Early

This year we are changing our format a little for our town meetings. We decided to start them early this year in hopes that we can provide you and your staff with the three CE credits in ethics that you will need for your upcoming licensing renewals. We also tied  The Minnesota News •June 2010


Executive VP Message continued from page 

this program into a legislative update by Dominic and me. Finally, Frank Whitcomb will discuss “Protecting Your Agency Future in Today’s Economic Environment”. This should be an excellent meeting for you and your staff to attend and receive a total of six hours of continuing education credits. The highlights and registration for this course are located in this publication on page 50 or on our website, www.miia.org. We all know that this has been an unusual and busy year for all of us involved in the insurance business in Minnesota. As I talk with my counterparts, Minnesota’s insurance environment and economy is much better than most areas throughout the country. We hope that our members are having a successful year and we thank you for your continuous support.

President’s Message continued from page 

CISR program, E&O loss prevention courses, Regional Town Meetings, etc. You can search far and wide and not find any better than these. So please take advantage of these programs, you won’t regret your decision.

The Best E&O Program Available in the Country

And last but not least this Association offers one of the best E & O programs available in the marketplace. Shelley Waldhauser’s experience combined with a great product from “Swiss Re” means stability in pricing and availability for your agency‘s E & O coverage. We all must remember we as independent agents sell coverages and protection, not just price, like our competition. That is why over 70% of our members purchase E&O from the association. As you can see you can get a lot from your membership in the Minnesota Independent Agents and Brokers Association. You just need to pay attention to the mail and e-mails you receive from us and take advantage of the services available to you as a member. It won’t take long to see what the Association is doing for you!

Could your customers use RLI’s PERSonAL UMBRELLA PoLICY? t Very affordable t Easy for your customer — Quotes with 10 quick questions t Limits of $1, $2, $3 and $5 million available t Rated A+ “Superior” by A.M. Best Company t Available nationwide!

Could PER

t Very t Easy t Limit t Rated t Availa

Contact MIIAB at 952.835.4180 June 2010 • The Minnesota News 


Š 2009 SECURA Insurance

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MIIAB Diamond

 The Minnesota News •June 2010

www.secura.net

Partner


Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

P

ower in Partners

Program

DIAMOND PARTNER

Mary Ver Voort, Senior Customer Satisfaction Specialist, greets SECURA customers at our home office in Appleton, Wis. We employ nearly 500 associates and contract with more than 400 independent agencies in 13 states.

110 years partnering with independent agents Launching SECURA Specialty this year was a perfect way to celebrate our 110-year anniversary as a mutual property and casualty insurer. Despite the tumultuous economy, the influx of business is surpassing all expectations and underscoring our guiding principle: success comes only when we invest in opportunities for our agents. Service first Ease of doing business reigns at SECURA. Whether we’re issuing a policy or resolving a claim, agents count on us to be knowledgeable, fast, friendly, and fair. Associates across all our lines of business — specialty, farm, personal and commercial — are committed to doing right by our agents and their customers. Our service-first philosophy shows, too, in our Top 10 national ranking for Ease of Doing Business. Deep Customer Connections conducts the survey annually to measure agent satisfaction in 11 critical areas. We’ve been a strong performer among the top 10 for the past four years, and last year we improved in all 11 areas. June 2010 • The Minnesota News 


(Front row, left to right) Allison Kruse, Commercial Lines Underwriter; Harvey Enerson, RVP–Sales; Nancy Pinter, Personal Lines Underwriter; (back row, left to right) Karri Maronek, Commercial Lines Underwriter; Phu Nguyen, Commercial Lines Underwriter; Kari Timm, Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter; and Dawn Wildenberg, Commercial Lines Underwriter make up part of the SECURA team that drives success for our Minnesota agents.

Coverage and beyond Four lines of business across Minnesota and 12 other states give our agents broad sales opportunities. By partnering with our agency force, we’re able to develop package policies that transfer easily into niche marketing opportunities through our Association AdvantageSM, MILE-STONE® Group, and new Specialty Lines programs. Pairing the right coverage with unique services and industry-leading claims satisfaction is our recipe for retention. Quality business is the only business worth retaining, and our risk management team is on a mission to help agents and policyholders reduce loss. Working in tandem with our commercial lines and workers’ compensation experts, agents can deliver effective risk management strategies that help their commercial customers increase safety, contain costs, and keep premiums in check. Personal and Farm agents have an equally strong offer. From our comprehensive MILESTONE home and auto package to our Special Farmowners Protector policies, agents bring unparalleled value to their customers. Knowledge is power Whether agents come to our headquarters office, our trainers go to the agencies, or we connect via the Internet, we provide educational opportunities to help our agents distinguish themselves as experts. Soft skills, hard skills, sales strategies, and product knowledge combine to help win and retain the highest quality business. Financial strength and stability At SECURA, our consistent A (Excellent) rating and Stable outlook from A.M. Best tells the story of our investment for the long term. Best’s analysts point to our longstanding regional business strategy, strong agency relationships, expanding products, geographical spread, and pricing initiatives as primary contributors to our A rating. Factors influencing our Stable outlook include our conservative balance sheet, effective reinsurance utilization, and strong risk management capabilities.

10 The Minnesota News •June 2010


We introduced our Specialty Lines products in February 2010 with launch events throughout our states of operation. Since March 1, we rolled out eight Specialty programs — six property and casualty and two professional liability — opening new sales opportunities for our agents across hundreds of business and niche categories.

MIIAB Diamond

Partner

Franchise value SECURA doesn’t have an agent on every corner. In fact, we work very hard at building and preserving franchise value by appointing enough agents to cover a given area, but not so many that they lose the power of their value proposition. What we have in abundance is service and expertise. Market managers — like Kevin Benz and Dan Hoolihan in Minnesota — are on the ground helping agents win business every day. Underwriters work directly with our agency force both in person and from our home office. With support from risk management, claims, automation and customer service, our agents have the resources they need to attract, write, and retain quality accounts. To learn more about our company, visit www.secura.net.

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 11


Liz Walther

Commercial Lines Field Underwriter

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

Discover the Integrity difference, contact Cathy Beaudin at 800-348-1741 ext. 8326. 12 The Minnesota News •June 2010

www.integrityinsurance.com


ACT UPDATE: 5 Steps to Find Your Inner Social Networker By Katie Herbst Westfield Insurance

Social networking is not new. This may surprise you, but let’s take a closer look at the terms. “Social” means forming cooperative relationships and interacting with other people. “Networking” is the cultivation of productive relationships in business. As an insurance agent, you’ve been doing these things your entire career! The only change is that social networking has expanded to the Internet. Hearing about all the new technology can be daunting. My advice is to push that to the back of your mind, and focus instead on how our society is changing – and how it is staying the same. You may be thinking, “I’d like to push all of this to the back of my mind, and ignore it completely.” Consider this: with 14 billion web searches a month, 300 million people on Facebook, 42 million on LinkedIn and 10 million on Twitter, there is no doubt that your customers are seeking information online. You may not personally like Facebook or want to deal with having an agency website, but in this case, it’s not about you. If your customers are there, you’d better be there, too. Step One: Take a deep breath, and recognize that you already know how to do this. Let’s take the mystery out of what your customers are doing online. People are connecting, collaborating and sharing in new ways on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, to name a few - but this is the same stuff you’re used to doing on the golf course, at a cocktail reception or during a local chamber meeting. An experienced insurance agent is constantly meeting new people and cultivating relationships. Social networking sites are simply an open invitation to expand and enrich your network. They are not designed to replace face-to-face interaction but to enhance it. No one is suggesting you throw out your old relationships playbook. The social web gives you some new ways to build relationships by staying connected with people in between meetings and events. It also helps you strengthen those connections by easily sharing valuable information where and when your customers and business partners are looking for it. Step Two: Do what you’ve been doing – now do it online. The best way to get a feel for social networking sites is to try one. I recommend starting with LinkedIn. It’s mostly for business contacts, while Facebook is a mix of personal and professional that you may not be ready for yet. Spend a half hour one evening setting up your free LinkedIn profile. Once you enter your industry, title, experience and other details, the site will start making recommendations for people to add to your network. continued on page 15


Speak softly and carry

A BIG CLUB

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

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

www.aaa.com 14 The Minnesota News •June 2010


continued from page 13

Groups are a great way to actively participate on LinkedIn, leading to new people and new relationships. For example, if you’re trying to get more business in a certain market, search for a group by industry (for example, a restaurant owners association). Join the group, listen to what people are saying and be ready to contribute your expertise when the opportunity arises. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping into the conversation, go back to the skills you’ve honed at in-person networking events. Just as you would introduce yourself and engage in conversation with a person standing in front of you, start discussions online by getting to know people and sharing information back and forth first. You wouldn’t barge into a cocktail reception shouting that you sell insurance and throwing business cards at people. The same principles of networking apply online – don’t start self-promoting until you’ve established a connection with some people and have shown the value you bring to the table. You might start by offering your expertise in a discussion on the restaurant owners’ group about risk management. If you are willing to help people first, your return on the social web will be greater. Step Three: Listen. Really listen. Part of your relationships with customers is talking with them and listening to what they need. Through social networking sites, you can listen to customers and prospects to learn about their needs and how your services fit in. When you’re “connected” with them through sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, you can read their status updates and find out what’s new with their business, or follow their discussions to shed light on problems to which you might have a solution. If your customers are blogging, or an account you’re trying to win has a blog on the company website, you should be reading it. Another way to listen is by subscribing to Google Alerts for your agency (www.google.com/alerts). This will send you an email any time your agency name is mentioned online. Whether the comments are good or bad, if you aren’t aware of what is being said, you can’t respond. It is critical for your reputation that you know what people are saying about your business. If it’s good, celebrate and thank them. If it’s bad, figure out what the problem is (by asking and then listening) and see how you can solve it. Think about the last time you had a complaint from a customer that you were able to resolve, resulting in a satisfied customer. If that had taken place online, the silver lining is that not only do readers see the complaint, they also see your timely and helpful resolution. Step Four: Go back to your business goals. As you get more comfortable with what your customers and prospects are doing online, look for opportunities to leverage social networks to accomplish your business objectives. Let’s go back to the example of attracting more business in a certain market. Find out what these people are doing online: What are they saying? How do they use the web? Is there a group on LinkedIn or a following on Twitter? Are they researching insurance online? Then ask yourself: How can I connect with these people? Do I have expertise in this area that I could share through a weekly blog or Facebook post? When it comes to attracting new business overall, your presence on the social web should be directed at bringing new people to your website, where they can be turned continued on page 17


I used to think EMC was ju st for niche commercial programs. Then again, I used to think babies

came from storks.

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

www.emcinsurance.com

MIIAB © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2009 All rights reserved

Diamond 3431_MN News_Stork_C_7.5x10clr.indd 1

16 The Minnesota News •June 2010

Partner

www.emcinsurance.com

3/11/09 4:55 PM


continued from page 15

into leads. An effective website brings leads into your agency through a strong callto-action such as, “Request a quote.” If your website is not set up to do this, you need to take another look at your web strategy. If you need assistance, there are lots of service providers with expertise in working with independent agents. Social networks can also provide new ways for you to improve retention by staying connected with customers between renewals. You have a lot of value to offer your customers all year long, and one way to share it easily and effectively is through your Facebook page or a blog on your agency’s website. Step Five. Address risks up front – and make a plan. The three most common concerns about social networking are employee behavior, customer complaints and E&O exposure. Each of these deserves its own article, but the bottom line is that you must talk openly about these concerns and plan how to handle them. At Westfield, we have a Social Media Advisory Committee that includes marketing, legal, HR, IT and information security. Getting all the right players involved up front can help you seize opportunities while managing risks. Note that I said “managing” and not “avoiding” risks. You can’t control employee behavior, but you need to have a social media policy to educate employees and set expectations. ACT provides a great resource, “Creating a Social Web Policy for Your Independent Agency,” that will help you through this process. It also offers two example policies from real agencies, as well as an article on E&O considerations when using social media (www.iiaba.net/act at the “Websites & Social Media” quick link). These materials can help you start the conversations that need to happen in your agency – and don’t forget to include your HR, legal and IT partners. If you’re avoiding social networking for fear of what your customers will say about you – let me suggest, they’re already saying it. As I mentioned in Step Three, if you aren’t listening, you aren’t prepared to respond. And, if you aren’t participating in the social web, you have no place to respond. To plan your responses, list the scenarios you are most concerned about and determine how you would handle them. For example, if an employee says something offensive when representing the company online, what would you do? What can you do to make it less likely that this will happen? If a customer blasts your service on Twitter, how will you respond? Walking through these scenarios will help you work out important decisions in advance so you are more confident you can handle them appropriately and quickly if they arise. Once you have taken these five steps, you’ve entered the world of social networking, where you will discover exciting opportunities to reach new people and businesses and communicate with your existing clients on a more regular basis. Katie Herbst is Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Westfield Insurance. Katie can be reached at: www.linkedin.com/in/katieherbst, www.twitter.com/katieherbst, or katieherbst@westfieldgrp.com. Katie 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.


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.

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18 The Minnesota News •June 2010

swaldhauser@miia.org




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

CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY

This is a subject of great interest lately, tied in with the issues about additional insureds, certificates of insurance, unruly third parties looking for all kinds of coverage under our various liability policies, etc. Many questions have come in relative to Contractual liability and how it works in our everyday policies, namely the General Liability, the Business Auto and the Umbrella/Excess forms. In the GL policy, the coverage is found in a strange place – the Contractual Exclusion (#2.b. in Section I, Coverage A). It starts out with a complete Contractual exclusion, and then allows coverage for an “insured contract”. It requires that the Contractual coverage be in place before an assumption of liability is undertaken. The exclusion also makes it clear that defense costs (“…reasonable attorney fees and necessary litigation expenses”) for a party “other than the insured” are covered if they have been assumed in the insured contract and if they are a covered occurrence under the GL. The Contractual coverage makes the definition of “insured contract” a critical part of the coverage in the GL. Definition #9 accomplishes this in Section V where the definitions are located (in the back of the GL form): Numbers 9. a. through 9. e. refer to what we used to call “incidental contracts” in older forms – that is they are so incidental to the business world. They are leases, sidetrack agreements, easements, ordinance-required indemnifications of a municipality (like a parade permit which will probably include a Hold Harmless agreement) and elevator maintenance agreements. All contain a “Hold Harmless” agreement in which the person signing the insured contract agrees to pay for and defend a third party under certain circumstances. For example, in the lease agreement, the tenant (lessee) agrees to hold the owner harmless should anyone on the premises be injured and sue both the owner and the tenant. The advantage to the owner is obvious – his/her insurance will not (hopefully) be involved in defending the claim and the exposures are thus transferred to the tenant’s insurance. Number 9. f. of the definition provides some interesting language: “that part of any other contract or agreement pertaining to your business under which you assume the tort liability of another party to pay for bodily injury or property damage to a third party or organization.” Note that the contract is not required to be in writing. Also, that the definition only applies to bodily injury or property damage claims, and does not cover getting done on time for a project, does not cover the quality of work (other than indirectly as it might cause a BI or PD claim), does not provide guarantees, etc. Tort liability is defined as a liability that would be imposed by law in the absence of any contract or agreement (in other words, torts caused by negligence, carelessness, etc.). Finally, the definition makes it clear that it only covers claims brought by a third person or organization. Technically Speaking...continued on page 21

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 19


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20 The Minnesota News •June 2010

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Technically Speaking...continued from page 19

The definition ends with the statement that some contracts are not covered, as regards indemnification of a railroad, indemnification of an architect, engineer or surveyor, or any assumption of liability by the insured if he/she is an architect, engineer or surveyor. The railroad exposure can be covered by various Railroad Protective (and other liability) forms and the other abovementioned exposures would need a professional liability form to cover the architect, engineer or surveyor. Every time your client signs a contract that contains a Hold Harmless agreement, it is covered by the GL as long as it meets the requirements of the definition. One problem is that we may not know what kind of agreements our clients are signing. There are three types: 1. The Basic form –our client did it, our client pays. 2. The Intermediate form – our client and the third party both did it, our client pays. 3. The Broad form – the third party did it, but our client pays. Today’s additional insured endorsements (07/2004 ISO edition) agree to pay only for the Basic form contracts listed above, so the GL Contractual coverage must also be changed to avoid paying for the Broad form contracts. This is accomplished with the 07/2004 edition endorsement “Amendment of Insured Contract Definition” (CG 24 26). It changes the insured contracts definition in the GL form in one place (9.f.): “…provided the bodily injury or property damage is caused in whole, or in part, by you or by those acting on your behalf”. Note how these words restrict the GL Contractual coverage to Basic form contracts only. Without this endorsement being added to the GL, the GL form will cover Intermediate and Broad form contracts. In Coverage B of the GL (Personal & Advertising Injury Liability), Exclusion #e. takes all Contractual coverage away. Various endorsements can be used to bring some or all the coverage back to this Section of the GL. They are often company-specific. Finally, in the Supplementary Payments Section, there are several paragraphs devoted to defense coverage for the third party who will enjoy the benefits of Contractual liability – the indemnitee. There are several requirements for the indemnitee to fulfill, and if the indemnitee does not do so, he/she will still be covered, but the defense costs will come out of our client’s GL limits. For example, if the indemnitee does not cooperate in the settlement of a claim in various ways (does not forward suit papers, provide information that is needed, etc.), and it costs $50,000 to defend that indemnitee, the $1,000,000 GL limits just became $950,000. This is one area where it is to be benefit of our insured to make the indemnitee an additional insured – where they will get a defense and the defense costs will be over and above the limits. Now, how about the Contractual coverage in the Business Auto Policy? It has the same definition of “insured contracts” that the GL has, except: 1. The lease of premises is a bit different (no mention of the damage to premises by fire, since it would not apply here). 2. There is no elevator maintenance agreement (we are talking about autos). . It adds a #6 (H.6.) – which provides contractual coverage for: “That part of any contract or agreement entered into as part of your business, pertaining to the rental or lease by you or any of your employees of any auto”. It then goes on to state that this Contractual coverage will not cover the actual damage to the rental car. Technically Speaking...continued on page 23

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 21


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Technically Speaking...continued from page 21

This is critical coverage as every car/truck rental agreement contains 5/9/07 10:03 AM Page 1 a Hold Harmless agreement, in favor of the rental company. Note the “any auto” language would cover cars and trucks, and any vehicle that meets the definition of auto.

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Interesting to note, there is no Amendment endorsement to change the Contractual coverage in the BAP to just covering Basic agreements. Therefore, if your client signs a Broad form Hold Harmless agreement with respects to autos, there is coverage for it. Also, there is no mention of limiting the indemnitee’s defense costs in the Supplementary Payments section.

Is that the best you can do?

The Exclusion (#B.2.) in the BAP is different from the one in the GL policy. It is shorter and does not mention having the Contractual coverage in force before there is a loss, nor that it covers defense, etc. However, today’s rental car agreements will have that taken care of in its language. Finally, the ISO Umbrella/Excess policy will provide “following form” Contractual coverage. It contains the same definitions and exclusionary language that is found in the GL and the BAP. It comes down to this: if the GL or the BAP covers the assumption of liability, then the Umbrella will also, but only on the same basis. No more and no less. One last thought – Umbrellas may be non-standard if the form is not based on ISO. You will need to check out its Contractual coverage language. A valued client requests a coverage change and needs the updated policy

Contractual coverage is criticalimmediately. to our clients in says today’s – a world which our clients Your CSR it’ll takeworld her a couple of hours.in Is that the best you can do?may not cover everything they agree to, we will take sign agreements frequently. While we There’s a better way. not It’s called “Realwhat Time” size and using it to we makeare a talking care of the BI and PD exposures. And it does matter of risk policy change will speed customer-service response times. Real Time is just about – from the larger Commercial Packages to the smallest BOP risk, the coverage is a few clicks away on your automation system! included in our everyday forms. Visit getrealtime.org to get started!

Say goodbye to double entry In the recent AUGIE survey, most agents said double-entry is their major automation “time-waster.” There is a better way. It’s called “Real Time.” Real Time can simplify your agency’s workflows, eliminate double-entry and reduce the time it takes to get a rate or check a customer’s claim. And, Real Time is a few clicks away on your automation system! Visit getrealtime.org to get started!

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 23


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24 The Minnesota News •June 2010

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Highlights of comScore’s 2010 Online Auto Insurance Report By Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director I. comScore’s Sample • The survey includes only online consumers (referred to as “consumers” below and throughout the survey). ComScore passively observes a panel of one million U.S. consumers and specifically surveyed 2000 online consumers in February and March, 2010. II. Online Shopping • 72% of consumers have used the Internet to find auto insurance information at some time. • 71% who see an ad and want to learn more, go online to the referenced website, a search engine or to find an agent. • 52% of consumers shopped auto insurance in 2008, whether online or off line and 39% of those switched insurers. • 50% of online insurance shoppers are under 35. • 44% of online shoppers are on the Internet 20+ hours a week. • 21% said they are more likely to shop for insurance due to the current economy (up 3 percentage points from prior year). • 44% of consumers said they are happy with current company and are unlikely to consider changing (down from 50% 3 years ago). III. Online Quoting • 67% of those who shopped for auto insurance in the past year went online to get a quote (up 4%), while 22% went to a multiple carrier agent to get a quote (down 3%) and 22% went to a single company agent (down 4%). • 38.8 million quotes were submitted online in 2009, a 21% increase from 2008. (Online quotes had actually gone down 1% in 2008). • 73 million quotes were started online in 2009 (about 50-55% of these quotes were completed). (Source—comScore webinar, May 6, 2010). • 83% of online quotes were from insurer sites and 17% were from aggregators (including online agents and lead generators). See page 7 of survey for percentage of online quotes by carrier. continued on page 27

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 25


to our Trusted Choice Partners in Minnesota

Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

26 The Minnesota News •June 2010


continued from page 25

IV. Online Purchases • 2.8 million auto insurance policies were purchased online in 2009, up 22% from 2008. • 23% of 18-24 year old shoppers purchased their policies online versus 9% of those 55+. • 22% of online quotes were taken to online policy purchase initiation in 2009 (up 2 percentage points). • 78% of consumers who have received an online quote at some time said they have made a purchase offline soon thereafter. 59% of these offline purchasers have bought from a local agent in person, 35% have bought from an agent on the phone, and 27% have bought over a toll free number. • 63% of consumers said they originally purchased their auto policy with a local agent (down from 68% in 2008). 45% buying from an agent bought in person and 18% bought from the agent over the phone. • 17% of consumers said they originally purchased their auto policy online (up from 15% in 2008) and 15% said they originally bought over a toll free number (up from 13% in 2008). However, if the consumer has had the policy less than a year, the percentage who bought online jumps to 26%. V. Changing Perceptions of Buying Online • 35% of those who haven’t purchased auto insurance online to-date say they are likely to do so in the future (up 7 percentage points from prior year). • The number one reason given by those who are unlikely to purchase online is because they want to speak to or meet with a person (66%; but this is down 5 percentage points from the prior year). • Fewer consumers are indicating resistance to online purchases because of a reluctance to provide personal information on a website. • Providing a discount would be the biggest incentive to encourage reluctant online purchasers to purchase online, followed by guaranteed website security. VI. Consumer Buying Habits • 49% of purchasers of auto insurance said price was the most important factor (62% of online purchasers compared to 45% of those who purchased through an agent). • The survey provides good information on the reasons why consumers chose to buy through an agent (top four—wanted real person; have always used an agent; wanted local agent from one company who could help with all insurance needs; agent quoted best price) (p. 29). • The survey also provides good information on why consumers chose not to go through an agent (top four—convenience; speed; started with a toll number and wanted to finish by that method; prefer website or toll free number) (p.30). • The survey provides a ranking of factors that would cause consumers to consider changing companies (p. 31); and the coverage features consumers are willing to pay for (pp.36-37). continued on page 29

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 27


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VII. Changing Processes • 82% of online auto insurance purchasers completed all forms online (21% of phone purchasers were referred to website to complete forms). • Over the last three years, the percentage of consumers getting their bill or payment reminder through the mail has declined to 64% from 70%. The percentage getting their bill by email has increased to 31% (up 4 points), and 24% of those still getting their bill by mail would like to get it by email. 4% of consumers get their bill or payment reminder by text message (up from 2%). • 34% of consumers pay their bills online through a bank site or carrier site. • Mobile apps are being used primarily for reviewing payment balances & bills, filing claims and providing claims information. (Source: comScore webinar, May 6, 2010) VIII. Implications of the Research (My Perspective) • Independent agents need a strong presence on the Web, to be recognized by search engines and have the capability of taking consumer quotes online. Effective use of social media tools can greatly help agents in building their search engine positioning, particularly with local search. • The high level of shopping creates good opportunities for independent agents if they are visible on the channels where consumers shop. • The high level of shopping also highlights the importance of agents’ protecting their renewals by reaching out to clients and demonstrating the valued added counseling and services they provide. • As price has become more important to consumers, independent agents can often beat direct carrier prices because they have several carriers to choose from, now that efficient and effective real-time comparative rating tools are available for them to use. • Independent agents and their carriers need the capability to have their customers complete all necessary forms online, by using e-signature technology.

MIIAB Members: If you would like to receive the full survey report contact Keith Knapp at kknapp@miia.org June 2010 • The Minnesota News 29


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30 The Minnesota News •June 2010

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Who, Not What, Is Holding You Back? The answer will surprise you! By Shari Bench Who’s holding you back? You probably spend time thinking about what you want in life, but how often do you consider why you have yet to achieve what you want? Maybe you desire a raise or a promotion. What is your barrier? Maybe your company isn’t providing opportunities for growth. Maybe your boss has yet to realize your value, your co-workers are a problem or your employees don’t work hard enough. It’s time to realize that most of your barriers are created by you. Here are the 10 steps in eliminating the things in life that hold you back. 1 - Examine your Thoughts: How you think about yourself and your opportunities are in direct alignment with your results. Believe in yourself and your ability to create the results you want to achieve. Sometimes your thoughts are ingrained so deeply you are not even aware of how negative they may be. Make a conscious effort to replay your thoughts during the day. Recognize negative thoughts, discard them then replace them with positive and encouraging thoughts. Continue this process until you have retrained your thoughts to be naturally be positive and encouraging 2 - Clarity: Lack of clarity can weaken your progress. If you know you want to do something different but have not brought clarity to the results you are trying to achieve, you are stifling your progress. Invest time in yourself and your future by allocating time to contemplate the results you wish to achieve. If you have become frustrated and confused about what you really want, this is where you begin. Each day create an environment (meditate, take a walk, relax) where you can clear your mind and place yourself into your professional future. 3 - Habits and Choices Your habits lead to the choices you make (consciously or subconsciously) which bring the results you currently have today. If you want to change your results you must change your habits and choices. Once you have examined your thoughts and created clarity on your future, you must bring your habits and choices into awareness. 4 - Eliminate Self-Justifications: If you want to make progress you must stop justifying that it’s ok to be where you are. Be aware of justifications that take you out of the game: continued on page 33

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 31


Thank Your Customers.

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“It’s too hard, it will take to long, I’m not smart enough, People just don’t understand, Change is not safe, The economy is so bad I should be grateful for what I have, I’ll start tomorrow”. The reality is dealing with justifications will feel as if you are arguing with yourself. Your head wants you to stay safe and will sound intelligent as it tries to keep you from making progress. 5 - Eliminate the blame game: Until you are willing to take full responsibility for your results, blame will seem appropriate. While blaming, you become a victim and changing your results will become impossible. Why? Because if you are blaming others you are telling yourself you have had no say in where you have ended up in life and it is someone else’s responsibility to change your results. Eliminating blame releases a shadow over your thoughts, and you begin to see the accountability you have had all along and the opportunities that are all around you. 6 - Self-reliance: Create a healthy reliance on yourself to succeed. Although you want to realize the responsibility you have over your own results, you also want to avoid having an attitude of having to do it all. As you determine what your goals are, begin to consider what you need and who can help you achieve each of your goals. 7 - Lack of accountability: Taking responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. As you begin to create clarity around your desired results, it’s important to have accountability built into your progress. Without accountability, it’s easier for justification to start derailing you which can prolong your ability to meet goals. 8 - Lack of education and knowledge: It has been said the only thing standing between where you are and where you want to be is learning something different. Education is a valuable tool and should be considered as such for the rest of your life. Don’t let your education discontinue once you have finished school. As you evaluate each of your goals, identify the education you will need to achieve the results you expect. 9 - Fear of pain or failure Fear has to be one of the most powerful emotions you’re facing. This can create significant momentum for change or shut you down all together, preventing any progress from occurring. How fear effects each person is going to be very different. Your fear will expand and possibly elevate and intensify to a level much greater than it actually is upon experiencing it. Keep in mind experiencing.

The degree of your fear will be relevant to the change you are

10 - Relationships The reality is you will live up to or down to the standards of those with which you spend most of your time. It is in these personal and professional relationships you have found comfort. Evaluate these relationships and begin to reduce negative influences. Although listed as a final step, this is one of the most important places to begin. Through your habits, beliefs and actions, you have strategically aligned with people who influence your outcome. Ensure you are continuously looking at the relationship alignments you have created within your life. continued on page 35

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 33


West Bend is honored to receive the Company Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers. We extend our sincere appreciation to our agency partners for their trust and loyalty, and to our associates for their hard work and dedication. You are The Silver Lining.

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www.thesilverlining.com 34 The Minnesota News •June 2010

Partner


continued from page 33

This article began by asking “who’s holding you back?” then continued explaining that by blaming others you become a victim and lose control over your own destiny. By reading this article, you have already created an awareness of barriers that may be present in your life. Continue to recognize that if something or someone is perceived to be holding you back that you have the absolute power to remove these barriers. About the Author: Shari Bench is a certified trainer and author of the forthcoming book, “Five Essentials of Transformation; Change your life one thought at a time.” Her many programs on leadership, career enhancement, relationships, and health and wealth break down the barriers to create incredible results. For more information, please visit www.effectivetransformation.com.

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June 2010 • The Minnesota News 35


News

Young Insurance Professionals

The 2010 Midwest Young Agent Conference on July 15-17 2010 is upon us!

The Midwest Young Agents Conference has earned a national reputation as one of the finest career-enhancing events of its kind for young insurance professionals, Agents, CSRs, CSAs, company representatives (and their families) to learn, network and relax. The 2010 program is again loaded with valuable educational sessions and a wealth of activities for participants of all ages and experience levels. Our young agent planners have assembled the best program ever. It will be of unlimited value to those continuing to advance their careers in our great profession — regardless of age. We invite every independent agency to make the commitment to advance their young professionals’ skills and provide essential networking opportunities. They are the keys to the future of our companies and agencies and a vital part of your success. The Minnesota Young Insurance Professionals is offering scholarships to attend the Midwest Regional Young Insurance Professionals Conference this summer! The YIP mission is to offer education and networking opportunities for our membership. We have resources available to you and we are giving priority to firsttime attendees. There is one $500 full scholarship available and three $250 partial scholarships. Apply today! Space is limited and fills fast. The deadline for lodging is fastapproaching. A few words about the conference... You can earn up to 11 CE credits on topics such as shifts in customer demands, legal E&O, legislative environment and legal changes and cyber liability. Wisconsin Dells Kalahari Resort is very family friendly with over 150,000 sq feet of water park. It’s a casual environment where you’ll be able to have a lot of fun and exchange ideas with your peers from the Midwest. Apply now and experience this great opportunity for you and your family this summer! Conference Application: http://mn.iiaa.org/YIP%20EVENTS/10%20YIP%20MWYIP%20App.pdf Scholarship:http://mn.iiaa.org/YIP%20EVENTS/10%20YIP%20MWYIP%20Con%20Schol.pdf Questions? Contact the 2010 YIP Chair Tanner Balfany at Tbalfany@associatedagents.com or 763-549-2221

36 The Minnesota News •June 2010


MN Young Insurance Professionals 2010 Scholarship Application Form 2010 Midwest Young Agents Conference Dates: July 15th – 17th 2010 Location: Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

First time Attendee

1-$500.00 Full Scholarship 3-$250.00 Partial Scholarships

The MIIAB’s Young Insurance Professionals are offering whole and partial scholarships for the above event. To be eligible for the Young Insurance Professional Agent’s Conference Scholarship, you must:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Be a Young Insurance Professional and a member of the MIIAB Register & attend the conference or convention Attend all of the Educational Sessions while at the conference or convention Complete the contact information form below And submit your completed form by 06/07/10

Young Insurance Professional Attendee Contact Information

Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Agency:__________________________________________________________________ Street Address:____________________________________________________________ City,State,Zip:__________________________________Phone:______________________ Email:___________________________________ Fax:_______________________ First Time Attendees will be given priority in being awarded scholarships If you are not a member and interested please fee free to contact us about signing up Email your completed application form to MIIAB - YIP Committee Attention: Tanner Balfany Email: Tbalfany@Associatedagents.com ___________________________________________________________________________ If you have any questions about the MIIAB Conference Scholarship, please contact Tanner Balfany, YIP Committee’s Awards and Scholarships, at (763) 549-2221.

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 37


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

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

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

www.auto-owners.com 38 The Minnesota News •June 2010


Capitol Notes

THE LEGISLATIVE AND POLITICAL NEWSLETTER OF THE MN INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS & BROKERS ASSOCATION

2010 MIIAB Legislative Update

The 2010 legislative session went right down to the constitutional deadline for adjournment as legislators and the governor continued their debate on the state budget deficit. In fact, the ultimate agreement on balancing the state budget could not quite get agreed upon and processed on time. So Governor Pawlenty immediately called the legislature back into a special session that last under 8 hours. The Governor, employing his usual brinksmanship, pulled off another successful confrontation with the state legislature getting his way on the most of the budget that had to address a $3 billion budget deficit. In the end, the legislature agreed to 85 percent of the governor’s unallotments, which had been thrown out by the Supreme Court four days earlier, including 1.5% cuts to all state departments, $180 million in aid to local governments and $50 million from the state college system The legislature added some further cuts to medical providers under state health programs. In all, they cut nearly $1 billion from the state budget but to the governor’s liking did not raise taxes. The remaining two-thirds of the deficit were addressed by postponing payments to school districts, which many feel is just kicking the can down the road. The new budget, barring another recession, should get the state through the remaining 13 months of the current two-year biennium. However, it did little to address the “structural deficit” we face. The state simply spends more that it takes in from taxes and other revenues. Budget projections for the next biennium suggest a $5 - $6 billion budget deficit. Fortunately for the MIIAB none of our sponsored legislation was tied to the budget debate. Most of the legislation we worked upon this year was part of two insurance bills that were enacted by the state legislature. The highlights of our very successful legislative agenda are as follows: Certificates of Insurance - After several months of meetings with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Administration, insurers and representatives of local units of governments, the MIIAB prepared legislative changes to last year’s certificate of insurance legislation. This year’s legislative changes were enacted and hopefully will go a long way to addressing some (not all) of the problems that many agents are experiencing. Here are following changes that were made to the new certificate law (Chapter 60A.39) that were part of the Department of Commerce’s 2010 market assurance bill. Subdivision 1. Issuance. A licensed insurer or insurance producer may provide to a third party a certificate of insurance which documents insurance coverage. The continued on page 41

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 39


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 40 The Minnesota News •June 2010

cdunning@miia.org


continued from page 39

purpose of For the purposes of this chapter, a certificate of insurance is to provide a document that provides evidence of property or liability insurance coverage and the amount of insurance issued, and does not convey any contractual rights to the certificate holder. Subd. 4. Cancellation notice. A certificate provided to a third party must not provide for notice of cancellation that exceeds the statutory notice of cancellation provided to the policyholder or a period of notice specified in the policy. Subd. 5. Filing. An insurer not using the standard ACORD or ISO form “Certificate of Insurance” shall file with the commissioner, prior to its use, the form of certificate or memorandum of insurance coverage that will be used a similar alternative “Certificate of Insurance” covering the same information for use by the insurer. Filed forms may not be amended at the request of a third party. The goals of these alterations to last year’s certificate law were to emphatically state that certificates convey no contractual rights to those requesting proof of insurance and that cancellation notification periods are established by state law or by periods of notice contained in the insurance contract. The last section requires the use of ACORD or ISO certificate forms of similar forms containing basically the same information that are filed with the commissioner. This was put into the law at the request of several insurers who either use a proprietary certificate or who are not members of ACORD and unable to use their copyrighted forms. A section of new law was added to address the responsibility of insurers when dealing with cancellation notice requests. It clarifies that a request for notice on a certificate does not in itself require the insurer to provide such notice. Insurers are only legally required to provide notice of cancellation to a licensing agency for which insurance is a requirement for the maintenance of a licenses or unit of government on whose behalf the insured is providing services. Here is that language Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 60A.36, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: Subd. 2a. Third-party notices. An insurer shall provide notice to a third party if: (1) the policyholder has, separately from the certificate, notified the insurer of the identity of the third party; and (2) the third party is a licensing authority authorized by statute to receive the notice or a state, city, or county governmental unit on whose behalf the insured is providing services. While this law clarifies the responsibility of the insurer, it does not stipulate how, the agent on behalf of their policyholder, alerts the insurer to the need for this statutory notice. This is something the MIIAB will attempt to address with our insurance partners. However, this is a huge step in the right direction, since our insurance companies now agreed that they have legal responsibility to receive certificates and when necessary provide cancellation notice to certain third parties. This should be a big improvement over current practice. The changes to the certificate law are effective August 1, 2010. continued on page 43

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 41


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 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

42 The Minnesota News •June 2010

I

BIG MARKETS


continued from page 41

Our proposal also amended several sections of professional licensing law to assure that licensing agencies get the notice privileges provided to the policyholder. The following language was added to several sections of professional licensing statutes including plumbers, master electricians, motor carriers, private detectives, water conditioning installers, pipe fitters, and manufactured home installers. “In the event of a policy cancellation, the insurer shall send written notice to the commissioner at the same time that a cancellation request is received from or a notice is sent to the insured.” Promotion Items or Gifts: The MIIAB was able to work with insurers to develop language exempting certain promotional items and gifts from the state’s anti-rebating law. Recent Commerce Department rulings questioned whether these types of items given to the public were rebates under our old and fairly vague anti-rebating law. The Insurance Federation of Minnesota brought this concern to the attention of the state legislature. Language developed by the MIIAB and MIF was ultimately added to the Commerce Department’s Omnibus Insurance bill that should clarify everyone’s concerns. Our proposal would exempt any promotional advertising item or gift of $25 or less from state statutes prohibiting rebating. Continuing Education: There were two provisions sponsored by the MIIAB that were contained in another technical insurance bill. One would eliminate the need for CE sponsors to provide each agent with written course approvals, since course completion is now being uploaded to the state licensing site. The other would allow the MIIAB to offer CE courses at company or agency locations without the course being consider “company sponsored”. Several other pieces of insurance legislation were enacted including a law to limit the activities of roofing contractors, allowing minor’s to purchase auto insurance and instituting tougher restrictions on repeat DWI offenders. I will provide a more detailed summary of these and other newly enacted insurance laws in a more comprehensive legislative summary. Dominic J. Sposeto MIIAB Lobbyist

CIC Training May 5th, 2010 Prairie Conference Center

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 43


Trust the

experts.

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

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

44 The Minnesota News •June 2010

www.sfmic.com


In The News...

Minnesota Land Title Association Thanks Governor Pawlenty for Standing Up for Homeowners and Outlawing Dangerous Private Transfer Fees

Governor’s signing of new bill protects consumers from additional costs and loss of equity in their home Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) took swift action Wednesday to protect Minnesota homeowners by signing the Transfer Fee Covenant Act. The new law places a ban on private transfer fee covenants (also known as “Wall Street Resale Fees”), a dangerous new financial scheme that steals home equity, lowers home resale values and adds another layer of difficulty to selling a home. The Minnesota Land Title Association had urged Governor Pawlenty to sign the legislation, and is thrilled that the Governor has taken action. Said David Welshons, President of the Minnesota Land Title Association, “Today the Governor stood up

for Minnesota homeowners, and showed greedy Wall Street investors that their dangerous financial schemes won’t be permitted in our state. Across the country, developers, in consultation with Wall Street advisers, are attempting to add language to home purchase contracts requiring that a percentage of the sales price be paid to the original corporate owner of a property every time the property is sold, typically for 99 years. The right to collect these “Wall Street Resale Fees” would then be securitized and sold to enrich investors at the cost of stealing equity from consumers, forcing homeowners to pay a large fee to sell their homes and adding a complicated legal roadblock to the home sale process. Minnesota becomes the 11th state to have restricted the use of Wall Street Resale Fees. The Minnesota Land Title Association is proud to stand with Governor Pawlenty, and thanks him for taking action to protect homeowners across the state.

CLASSIFIED ADS POSITIONS AVAILABLE

AGENCY FOR SALE

No listing this month

No listing this month

WANTED TO BUY No listing this month

LOOKING FOR AGENCY 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 To post a classified ad please email ad to kknapp@miia.org June 2010 • The Minnesota News 45


Remember When...

46 The Minnesota News •June 2010


June 2010 • The Minnesota News 47


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

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

Rolf E. Sonnesyn Phone 612-520-8604

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

Insurance Defense

Our portfolio includes an emphasis on the

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

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ROOFING

www.wilsonmutual.com

Workers’ Comp InsuranCe For more InFormaTIon, CaLL: (800) 381-9347

y t i s r e v al Uni

Virtu

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

W W W. a m e r I s a F e . C o m www.amerisafe.com

www.independentagent.com/vu

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 49


MIIAB/Trusted Choice Town Meetings “Don’t Gamble On Your Future...Get Educated!”

Please Check your requested Location July 7, 2010 - Prior Lake

Schedule

Mystic Lake Casino 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. Prior Lake, MN 55372 952.445.9000

July 21, 2010 - Duluth Area

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Registration

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

“Ethics - It’s the Law” - Gloria Thompson (applied for 3 Ethics CE)

Lunch and Legislative Update - Dominic 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Sposeto (applied for 1 CE)

Black Bear Casino 1785 Highway 210 P.O. Box 777 Carlton, MN 55718 218.878.2327

July 29, 2010 - Onamia

Grand Casino-Mille Lacs 777 Grand Ave Onamia, MN 56359 800.626.5825

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

“Protecting Your Client’s Future in Today’s Changing Economic Environment” - Frank Whitcomb (applied for 2 CE)

August 10, 2010 - Morton

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Reception - compliments of MIIAB/Trusted Choice

August 24, 2010 - Thief River Falls

Cost: $99 for 6 filed CE credit, including 3 Mandatory Ethics Credits, lunch and reception! Method of Payment Check Enclosed (Payable to MIIAB) or Charge to: VISA Mastercard 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

Jackpot Junction 39375 Cty Rd 24 Morton, MN 56270 800.946.2274

Seven Clans Casino 20595 Center St. E. Thief River Falls, MN 56701 800.881.0712

September 14, 2010 - Walker Northern Lights Casino 6800 Y. Frontage Rd NW Walker, MN 56484 866.652.4683

September 28, 2010 - Red Wing Treasure Island Resort/Casino 5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd. Red Wing, MN 55066 800.222.7077

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Card Number Expiration Date Signature _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name on Card Security Code (3 digits) Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name MN Insurance License # Email _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Agency/Company Phone _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 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

50 The Minnesota News •June 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:

VISA

Mastercard

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

$421.00 $420.00

Seminar CIC Institutes Ruble Graduate Seminar

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

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 51


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:

VISA

Mastercard

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.

Cost

Seminar

$148.00

CISR Seminar

$158.00

William T. Hold Seminar (WTH)

$158.00

Dynamics of Service

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

52 The Minnesota News •June 2010


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

AgEnCy StAFF SIzE

totAL AttEnDEES REquIRED At A (6 houR) SEMInAR

PoSItIon In AgEnCy

PLuS ADDItIonAL REquIREMEntS

1

1

ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER OR OFFICER

NONE

2-7

2

ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER OR OFFICER

ONE PRODuCER OR CSR

4

ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER, OFFICER AnD ONE ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER, OFFICER, OPERAtIONS MANAgER OR PRODuCER

tWO PRODuCER’S OR CSR’S

6

ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER, OFFICER AnD ONE ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER, OFFICER, OPERAtIONS MANAgER OR PRODuCER AnD ONE CSR

tHREE PRODuCER’S OR CSR’S

10

ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL, OWNER, PARtNER, OFFICER AnD tWO ACtIvE AgENCY PRINCIPAL’S, OWNER’S, PARtNER’S, OFFICER’S, OPERAtIONS MANAgER’S OR PRODuCER’S AnD tWO CSR’S

FIvE PRODuCER’S OR CSR’S

8-20

21-50

51+

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:

vISA

Mastercard

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

June 2010 • The Minnesota News 53


Power in Partners

2010 ower in Partners Program

Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association

P

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

DiamonD

Platinum

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

GolD

Silver

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

54 The Minnesota News â&#x20AC;˘June 2010

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

The MN News June 2010  

Official Publication of MIIAB