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INSIDE PIA National’s Federal Legislative Summit | 8 Analysis U.S. Supreme Court Takes on ObamaCare | 10

AIG & TARP

Profits for the Taxpayer? Maybe. | 16

Cover © Some rights reserved by iowa_spirit_walker

April 2012 | Published Monthly


We’re celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Tanya Wentzel, Des Moines Branch Marketing Manager Troy Boysen, Minneapolis Branch Commercial Underwriter Connie Jarzynka, Omaha Branch Claims Adjuster Emails and teleconferencing may be time-savers, but there is no substitute for the one-to-one relationships with insurance professionals who know you and your community. Early on, EMC Insurance Companies realized the value of being close to agents and policyholders. That value continues to pay off in products and services tailored to individual market needs. Whatever the future holds, insurance will always be a relationship business and EMC will continue to keep those relationships as close to your office as possible.

Omaha Branch: 800.338.9735 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA

www.emcins.com Š Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2012 All rights reserved


?

Did you

know

Did you know that on March 21-22, 2012, PIA members from across the country came to Washington, DC to meet with their Members of Congress as part of PIA’s annual Federal Legislative Summit? Hundreds of other independent insurance agents used PIA’s online grassroots action center to send their personalized messages to Capitol Hill. These agents know that laws made in Congress can have devastating effects on their businesses. They also know that PIA has the tools, information and support materials to arm a grassroots movement. Here are some of the important issues these agents were fighting for: • • • • • • •

National Flood Insurance Program Health Care Reform Crop Insurance Regulation of Insurance Tax and Regulatory Burdens on Businesses Natural Disaster Legislation Producer Licensing

PIA will continue to fight for the best interests of professional insurance agents. If you are not a PIA member, please join the fight. Contact us for a membership application or visit us online at www.pianet.com/AboutUs/joinpia.

National Association of Professional Insurance Agents 400 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2353 www.pianet.com | membership@pianet.org | (703) 836-9340


Top Stories PIA National’s Federal Legislative Summit | 8 The once a year trip to Washington D.C. and the hallowed halls of Congress is over. Analysis U.S. Supreme Court Takes on ObamaCare | 10 It was three incredibly intense days. Nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. PIA National’s Take on the Healthcare Debate | 13 PIA’s strategy on healthcare reform is best summed up with two words — agents first. Staying Ahead of the Hard Market | 14 The debate continues. Some say we’re in a hard market and others don’t. Meyer Shields is a financial analyst for Steifel Nicolaus. Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance | 14 The committee is the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance or FACI for short.

Insurance Jobs — Rising | 15 GreaterInsuranceJobs.com did a survey of companies, agencies and brokerages. The firm’s conclusion — there are jobs to be had in insurance. AIG & TARP Profits for the Taxpayer? Maybe. | 16 The question hangs in the air like a helium balloon on its last legs. Health Care Spending & Salaries | 16 Spending on health care is dropping. Well, at least the rate is dropping.

Calendar of Events Upcoming Events Calendar 2012 | 18

Advertisements Wanted, For Sale and Opportunities | 19 Contact us to place a classified ad.

Update McCarren-Ferguson Repeal | 14 As a reminder, the McCarren-Ferguson Act was passed in 1945. M&A — Flat in 2011, Going up in 2012 | 15 2011 was a good news/bad news year for mergers and acquisitions. April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 4


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IS YOUR E&O X-DATE HERE? PIA for Nebraska and Iowa PIA Association for Nebraska and Iowa is committed to focusing its resources in ways that cast the most favorable light on its constituents. We are dedicated to providing the type of programs, the level of advocacy, and the dissemination of information that best supports the perpetuation and prosperity of our members. We pledge to always conduct ourselves in a manner that enhances the public image of PIA and adds real value to our members.

SUBSCRIBE or comment Professional Insurance Agents NE IA Attention: Editorial Main Street Industry News 920 S 107 Avenue, Ste. 305 Omaha, NE 68114 Email: office@pianeia.com Ph: 402-392-1611 www.pianeia.com

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Top Stories

PIA National’s Federal Legislative Summit The once a year trip to Washington D.C. and the hallowed halls of Congress is over. Hundreds of PIA members from around the nation participated in PIA National’s annual Federal Legislative Summit. The March 21 and 22 event was a major success — or so said PIA National President Thomas Adderhold. “In America, ‘We the People’ are the government. And we are the people. That means, quite literally, that all of us are the government. Our lobbyists do great work for us all year round on Capitol Hill. But once a year, all of us make the trip here, to let our lawmakers know personally that all across the country, Main Street Professional Insurance Agents want only the best — for our customers, and for our country.” For his support of the nation’s independent insurance agents, PIA National named Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Stivers as the 2012 PIA National Legislator of the Year. PIA National President & CEO Len Brevik said, “Congressman Stivers is unique in that he came to Congress with an understanding of insurance and the value of independent agents. Prior to Congress, he served in the Ohio Senate where he chaired the Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee. A member of the Financial

Services Committee, he has established himself as a leader and has become a strong ally for insurance agents in the fight against federal regulation.” Brevik said with the push toward more federal regulation of insurance, the congressman understands that regulation needs to stay with the states where it belongs. “While the Federal Insurance Office continues its study on potential federal regulation, Congressman Stivers has requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also conduct a study; one that will show the many merits that state-based insurance regulation provides.”

Other awards: •  Brad Butler of Tennessee was named the 2012 PIA Professional Agent of the Year •  North Dakota agent Dan Weber was named the PIAPAC Person of the Year. •  Corvallis, Oregon’s Maureen Sexton is the 2012 CSR of the Year. •  Donna Chiapperino — President of PIA New York 2010-11 — was presented the 2012 PIA National Young Person of the Year Award. n

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 8


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Top Stories

Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court Takes on ObamaCare It was three incredibly intense days. Nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One business organization — the National Federation of Business — and 26 states want the justices to toss the act out and declare it unconstitutional. The Obama administration defended the law and says what Congress did, and President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010 is constitutional. Now we wait. Chances are the justices have already made their decision. On Friday of last week, away from the spotlight, the cameras and all the hype, the nine justices met and experts say they have likely already made their decisions. This is what they’re deciding: •  Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — that

piece that requires everyone to purchase health insurance — constitutional. Can the government make you buy something? •  If the justices do find the individual mandate unconstitutional will the rest of the law fall? If so, should the entire act be declared unconstitutional? •  The argument that the states are being coerced into expanding the Medicaid program to support the act. If they refuse to expand the program, they will lose all federal Medicaid funding. Sam Baker of the political publication The Hill said there are five questions that will shape the court’s decisions: 1. Is this about healthcare or health insurance? 2. Where do the mandates stop? 3. What constitutes an “activist” approach?

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 10


Top Stories 4. What happened to the Necessary and Proper Clause? 5. Why does the mandate exist? Where do the mandates stop? With the decisions made, two of the justices will be selected to write the majority opinion and the minority opinion. No one knows when the decisions will be announced but it will be sometime between now and June 25th when the 2011-2012 session ends. All agree that Justice Arthur Kennedy will be the swing vote. From his questions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s sessions it appears that Kennedy does not believe the individual mandate — at least — will stand up. Kennedy worried out loud to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli that the law “changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also agreed there are many, many things in the law that are questionable. She — however — questions the wisdom of throwing the whole thing out. Pundits from each side of the argument will tell you they did well. UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler said the lawyer for the states — Paul Clement — did very, very well. “He's famous for being able to make arguments without notes, without stutters. The arguments this week showed his skill again.” As for his counterpart from the administration, Donald Verrilli? Winkler said he did an “okay” job. “He had very good

answers to key questions but often phrased them in artfully. He also failed to remind the court repeatedly of the deference the court owes Congress.” That was done a few days late by President Obama on Monday. Stanford’s health and law professor Henry Greely thought Clement was impressive. Verrilli and his counterpart were not. “They were stumbling for words, having a hard time coming up with crisp answers. It looked to me like Clement did the better job of oral advocacy. But oral argument is a performance. It's a performance that is vaguely related to the outcome of the case. It's one window into one moment in a process.” The Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro said Clement knocked it out of the park while Verrilli and his deputy Edwin Kneedler did not. “But I think it would be going much too far to say that even if the government did a terrible job, and I'm not saying that they did, that that necessarily lost them the case.” And how does Shapiro think this ends up? “I agree with the conventional wisdom that Kennedy is the swing vote on the individual mandate and I think it's more likely than not that they will vote to strike it down. On severability [whether the rest of the law survives without the mandate], that is less easy to predict.” The last word belongs to President Obama. On Monday he spoke for the first time about the three days of oral arguments before the court. Obama said, “I’m confident that this will be upheld, because it should be upheld.”

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News |www.pianeia.com| 11


Top Stories In his remarks the president reminded — or maybe even lectured — the U.S. Supreme Court that it is an unelected body and he warned them against engaging in judicial activism. “I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years, what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”

Obama said the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is already helping this nation with its healthcare insurance woes. He pointed to 2.5 million young people unable to get insurance who are now benefitting from their parent’s plans — plans they can be on until they are 26. Obama also pointed out to insurers no longer being able to deny insurance for those with preexisting conditions. “There's not only an economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there's a human element to this. And I hope that is not forgotten in this political debate,” Obama told reporters. n Source: PIA National, Wall Street Journal, New York Times. LA Times, MSN, Fox News, CNN, The Hill

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 12


Top Stories

PIA National’s

Take on the Healthcare Debate PIA’s strategy on healthcare reform is best summed up with two words — agents first.

Since the start, our focus has been narrow. We have concentrated on protecting the business interests of professional insurance agents and brokers. While PIA members will be affected no matter which way the U.S. Supreme Court rules, none of the challenges the court heard are specific to our particular issues. The most important at this point is the compensation issues affecting agents and brokers. Since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), PIA has worked to ensure that professional independent insurance agents and brokers remain an integral part of our nation’s health insurance delivery system and are fairly compensated. PIA fought successfully to guarantee and to secure legislative language so privatesector, licensed professional insurance agents and brokers can sell health insurance policies offered by the health

insurance exchanges envisioned in PPACA. We have opposed rule-making by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that has the effect of cutting agent and broker compensation. PIA supports H.R. 1206 and S. 2068 to fix this problem. The bill removes agent compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) calculations and will protect consumers that rely on the valued role of a licensed insurance agent.

What It Means to Agents:

It is important to note that all of the press coverage and discussion that comes from these three days of oral arguments can best be described with one word: speculation. Although these three days of arguments are being conducted in open court, the Supreme Court’s deliberations are not conducted in public. That means that all of the punditry you are hearing from the media, politicians and other interested parties — while it may be informed, learned, perceptive and quite entertaining — is nothing more than educated speculation. No one really knows how the court will rule. n PIA Position Paper – Health Care Reform (Updated 2/2012) Download PDF Here

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News |www.pianeia.com| 13


Top Stories

Staying Ahead of the Hard Market The debate continues. Some say we’re in a hard market and others don’t. Meyer Shields is a financial analyst for Steifel Nicolaus. Shields thinks statistics on 2011 direct written premiums and direct-loss ratios make a good case for a hard market — or at least a harder market. He said direct-written premiums for property casualty saw a hike of 1.3% in 2011 and ended at $168 billion. The direct-loss ratio for 2011 is 67.5. That’s up 2.7% from 2010. Commercial lines is still iffy. In 2011 the directloss ratio rose 8.4 points to 60 but the decline is evidence of inadequate pricing. However, directwritten premium growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 was up 5% and that indicates stability and perhaps rising rates. Weather losses caused increases for homeowners of 3.5% to $71.6 billion and he expects it to continue to rise. Storm losses caused a 14.8 point rise in the direct-loss ratio which ended at 75.8. Fitch Ratings released a report last week saying U.S. commercial lines insurers saw increased property losses and poor underwriting results. Translation: underwriting results were weakened significantly. However, Fitch does see momentum ahead for rate improvements but underwriting capacity will inhibit strong profitability. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods released its annual report on industry loss reserves: 2011 GAAP and Statutory Loss Reserve Development: Observations and Implications. It notes loss reserves for the industry for 2011 were “adequate” but it looks for reserve deficiencies in the future. “Based on our reviews to date, we’d say the industry’s reserves at year-end 2011 are generally adequate, with recent inadequacy offset by older reserve redundancies. We believe investors looking

at the P/C industry today need to have a longerterm view and patience given the industry trends, even if investing in insurers with stronger balance sheets,” the report said. n

Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance The committee is the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance or FACI for short. The group is made up of insurance industry experts whose expertise ranges from actually working in insurance to academia to consumer advocacy. Several members are state insurance commissioners and administrators. FACI advices the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) on insurance matters. In turn, the FIO advises the U.S. Treasury and Congress on the same subject. Last week the 15-member FACI held its first meeting and elected Marsh & McLennan Companies President and CEO Brian Duperreault as its chairman. “I am honored to have been appointed Chairman of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, and look forward to working with my fellow members to help the Federal Insurance Office serve the public with informed recommendations on issues facing the industry.” n

Update

McCarren-Ferguson Repeal As a reminder, the McCarren-Ferguson Act was passed in 1945. It gave antitrust exemptions to insurers to allow them to compare losses and also established the states as the regulators of insurance. The loss comparisons allow small and mid-sized insurers to develop sound actuarial models and sound pricing strategies that they could not develop with their own limited policyholder loss

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 14


Top Stories experiences. This is vitally important to insurance consumers because it enables these small and mid-sized insurers to offer competitively priced insurance products and to remain in business. A bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week that included an amendment by Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar. It repealed the McCarren-Ferguson exemptions for health insurers. Realizing his mistake, Gosar amended his amendment to explicitly exclude property and casualty insurance and life insurance from the antitrust exemption repeal. The bill was the Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act (H.R. 5) and it passed by a vote of 223-to-181. What It Means to Agents: Without the ability to share loss data, as afforded by McCarran-Ferguson, many small and mid-sized insurers would ultimately go out of business. The end result of removing the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption would actually be a marketplace dominated by a few, “too-big-to-fail,” national insurance companies. PIA, the American Insurance Association (AIA) and a broad group of industry organizations oppose the repeal of McCarran-Ferguson. The White House has threatened to veto H.R. 5 and Senate Democrats also oppose the legislation. The continued opposition of Senate Democrats and President Obama may ensure that the legislation will not be signed into law. n

PwC expects overall value to improve in 2012 and the number to increase. Another study from Guy Carpenter — Property & Casualty M&A Outlook for 2012 — expects losses from storms to increase mergers and acquisitions in 2012 because the losses will drive rates up and stabilize a market that has been soft since 2004. It also says insurers are doing better since the 2008 financial crisis than banks. Insurance had no exposure to the bad mortgage market. n

Insurance Jobs - Rising GreaterInsuranceJobs.com did a survey of companies, agencies and brokerages. The firm’s conclusion — there are jobs to be had in insurance. Right now it contends there are 13,000 openings and by the end of the year we’ll see 27,000 more. The survey results are from 126 entities across the U.S. They have 319,000 employees total which means — according to GreaterInsuranceJobs.com — they represent 15% of the industry. Here are the results: •  31% of those surveyed will hire 51 or more employees in 2012.

M&A

•  11% will hire more than 200.

Flat in 2011, Going up in 2012 2011 was a good news/bad news year for mergers and acquisitions. Deal value rose but the number of M&As basically stayed the same. PricewaterhouseCoopers new study Balancing Uncertainty and Opportunity: 2012 US Financial Services Insights said there were 310 deals in 2011 and 304 in 2010. The value of transactions went up 43% to $12.9 million. In 2010 the value was $9 billion.

The firms are looking for all kinds of help: sales, call center employees, claims adjusters, people to manage accounts, customer service and IT. GreaterInsuranceJobs.com also reports what you already know. Skilled professionals are very, very hard to find. Hiring them once you find them can be even harder. n

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News |www.pianeia.com| 15


Top Stories

AIG & TARP Profits for the Taxpayer? Maybe. The question hangs in the air like a helium balloon on its last legs. Though it is no longer rising or that buoyant, the balloon is still hard to catch. Will the taxpayers actually see profit from the bailout of banks from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the bailout of AIG? Some say yes. Others say no. AIG CEO Robert Benmoche is a yes. In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Benmosche said the $182 billion bailout of

AIG in 2008 is going to result in a $5 billion to $10 billion profit for the government. A couple of years ago the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said we’d lose about $36 billion on the deal. But AIG disagrees. A chart posted on the firm’s website says $182.3 billion was authorized but $20.9 billion was left on the table. So all that was borrowed was $161.4 billion. Repayments have been made and all that is left — so says AIG — is $44.7 billion. Of that $35.7 billion is common stock owned by the U.S. Treasury and $9 billion is from Maiden Lane II which is held by the Federal Reserve. TARP watcher Neil Barofsky says there will be no profit. The U.S. loses money on the AIG deal. Period. He notes the U.S. Treasury has been dumping AIG stock for $29 per share. The stock cost the government $43.53 at the bailout. So the sales are a loss — not a profit. “My complaint with Treasury is when they put out their break-even number for the sale of common shares, instead of using 1.1 billion as the denominator they used 1.6 billion and

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 16


Top Stories

described that as the Treasury investment. I'm not critical of the notion that the taxpayer may break even on the AIG bailout, my problem is the transparency issue.”

people have a lot of ambivalence about it, but had the government not done it — over two administrations — effectively we'd be in a much worse position than we are today."

He hopes Benmoche is correct but doesn’t think the math works.

Looking at TARP as an entity the CBO’s latest estimate is that the program will end up costing the taxpayers $32 billion. That’s better than the $34 billion estimate in December of 2011.

Jim Millstein structured the deal for government as an officer of the U.S. Treasury. He now runs his own company, Millstein and Co. Millstein is very critical of what he calls Barofsky’s nitpicking. “The bigger point is that the federal government actually did something important and effective and it was controversial and

Part of the report looked at the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. The CBO says we’ll lose about $19 billion even though the two firms have already paid $35 billion back. n

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News |www.pianeia.com| 17


Calendar Of Events

Upcoming Events Calendar 2012 For information and to register Click Here or call (402) 392-1611.

Start Date

Class

Type

Location

April 17, 2012

CPIA

Position for Success

Lincoln, NE

April 17, 2012

CPIA

Position for Success

Des Moines, IA

April 17 -20, 2012

CIC

Agency Management Institute

Lincoln, NE

April 19, 2012

CISR

Insuring Personal Residential

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

May 9, 2012

CISR

Insuring Personal Residential

Des Moines, IA

May 9 -11, 2012

CIC

Life & Health Institute

Cedar Rapids, IA

May 10, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Casualty

Davenport, IA

May 16, 2012

CPSR

Commercial Casualty

Lincoln, NE

PIA NE IA Convention - Save the Date!!

Omaha, NE

June 7-8, 2012 June 11, 2012

Online

MERG: Delivering Quality Service (to the Customer and the Employer)

Online

June 20, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Property

Des Moines, IA

June 21, 2012

CISR

Agency Operations

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

June 26, 2012

The 1752 Club 10th Annual golf Outing

York, NE

June 28, 2012

FirstComp/Steve Linbo Golf Outing

Ashland, NE

July 11, 2012

CISR

Agency Operations

Davenport, IA

July 18, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Casualty

Des Moines, IA

July 18-20, 2012

CIC

Commercial Property Institute

Omaha, NE

July 19, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Casualty

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

July 25, 2012

CISR

William T. Hold

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

July 25 -27, 2012

CIC

Agency Management Institute

Des Moines, IA

July 26, 2012

CPIA

Implement for Success

Des Moines, IA

July 26, 2012

CPSR

Commercial Property

North Platte, NE

August 16, 2012

CISR

Insuring Personal Auto

Des Moines, IA

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News | www.pianeia.com | 18


Calendar Of Events

August 22, 2012

CPIA

Implement for Success

Omaha, NE

August 22 -24, 2012

CIC

Personal Lines Institute

Lincoln, NE

August 28-30, 2012

CIC

Commercial Property Institute

Cedar Rapids, IA

September 12, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Property

Davenport, IA

September 13, 2012

CISR

Insuring Personal Auto

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

September 18, 2012

Greater Omaha Committee Scholarship Golf Outing

Ashland, NE

September 20, 2012

Rural & Town Agents Seminar

TBA

October 10 -12, 2012

CIC

Commercial Casualty Institute

Omaha, NE

October 24, 2012

CISR

Agency Operations

Des Moines, IA

October 25, 2012

CISR

Insuring Commercial Casualty

Cedar Rapids/ Marion, IA

November 7, 2012

CISR

Insuring Personal Residential

Davenport, IA

November 8, 2012

CISR

Commercial Property

Des Moines, IA

November 8, 2012

CPSR

Residential Property

NE

November 13, 2012

CISR

Dynamics of Service

Des Moines, IA

November 14 -16, 2012

CIC

Personal Lines Institute

Des Moines, IA

Greater Omaha Committee Christmas Party

Omaha, NE

December 6, 2012

Advertisements

Post a classified ad! Your ad will stand out! Main Street Industry News is issued electronically to over 8,000 Professional Insurance Agents throughout NE & IA, PIA state and national associations and other organizations that provide products or services to insurance agencies. To advertise contact PIA of Nebraska and Iowa – Executive Director, Cathy Klasi at (402) 392-1611.

April 2012 | Main Street Industry News |www.pianeia.com| 19


Insuring the Midlands Since 1891 Les Hileman, CPCU, AIC Vice President of Agencies 800-742-7433 lhileman@fmne.com


Main Street - April 2012