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professional agent january | 2013

Wh at’s Inside? National Outstanding CSR..... 14 of the Year Seven Trends to Watch..........16 Properly Compensating..........22 Commissioned Employees Encourage Clients to Read....27 Their Policies If You Work in Insurance...... 30 Volunteering–What's in it...... 36 For Me Coming Events.. .....................38

www.piaw.org


RELAX. WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK.

FOR ALL

THAT MATTERS

www.acuity.com facebook.com/acuitywow 2 JANUARY 13


From the

President Tracy Oestreich, CIC, CPIA, AU — President, PIA of Wisconsin

Greetings and Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that 2012 was a rewarding year for you and that 2013 presents you with opportunity both professionally and personally. I welcome the beginning of a new year as a time that invites normal reflection on where I am and upon where I want to be. I feel this is the perfect time to improve my vision, gather courage and recommit to myself and to that vision. See 2013 as a time to “talk about YOU!” You are the most important factor in your success equation. Consider a new year’s resolution to take control of your destiny. Don’t be so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life. Decide who you want to be and what you want to achieve and then step courageously toward your vision. Here’s to 2013! PIA is working hard on both the State and Federal Legislative fronts. Did you know the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) is hailing the passage of a model law governing certificates of insurance by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL)? November 18, 2012, NCOIL unanimously approved the model that states can use to help eliminate demands for improper certificates of insurance. PIA advocated for passage of the model and played an integral role in guiding it to approval by the state legislatures. There will also be a binder model crafted to provide lenders a document they can rely on as evidence of coverage until a policy is available. The recent press release is available at: http://www.pianet.com/news/press-releases/2012/ certificatesmodellaw111912 The PIA Partnership recently announced a new business tool for PIA members: “Closing the Gap – Growth and Profit.” This tool is designed to help agencies project and plan for growth and profitability. Agencies can create “what if” scenarios and use the information to help improve their

bottom-line results. Current PIA members are able to access the “Closing the Gap – Growth and Profit” deliverable website at: http://agency-growth-profit.com Mark your calendars for some great PIA events on the horizon: • January 30 – Feb 1st, 2013 is our 4th Annual PIA Winter Get-Away in Minocqua with CE on Wednesday afternoon and also on Thursday morning, along with winter activities on Thursday afternoon. Hope to see you there! • The automation committee is organizing a “hands on” basics social media event on March 27th. The seminar will focus on building up a social media presence in a business environment. • Coming up on March 19th, PIAW and WAHU will sponsor a “Day on the Hill” in Madison. This event gives you a great opportunity to meet with your state legislators on issues important to you and your industry. I highly encourage you to participate in this event as a way to show your support for the legislative issues PIAW and WAHU are working on and to address your elected officials on issues that affect your business. As I have commented many times before, the strength of PIA lies in its members. Every time I get the opportunity to interact with you or with others on your behalf, I come away with a sense of pride in our industry. The legislative victories that we are able to be a part of continue to benefit our members, our clients and our world. For that we should be proud as a profession. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your President and for your continued commitment to PIA and our industry. Tracy

JANUARY 13 3


Memos from

Madison Ron Von Haden, CIC — Executive Vice President, PIA of Wisconsin

Insurance Fraud Rings THE IRS has increased the mileage reimbursement allowance for 2013. Effective January 1, 2013 the new rate is 56.5 cents per mile, up one cent from 55.5 cents per mile in 2012. That’s what they estimate to be the average cost of operating a vehicle at this time. The reimbursable rate for religious or charitable uses is substantially lower so be sure you are using the correct rate in your everyday activities. HOW COMPETITIVE is the health insurance climate in Wisconsin? According to a new study by the American Medical Association (AMA), Wisconsin does not rank in the top 10 least competitive states for commercial health insurance, HMO’s or PPO’s. Obviously that’s good news for consumers who want to compare health insurance coverage and pricing from multiple insurers. The only area where Wisconsin was not very competitive was in the Point of Service (POS) marketplace. In this category, we ranked as the 6th least competitive state in the nation. So, 44 states have a more competitive POS market than we have. In a state where so much health care is delivered through HMO and PPO networks, it is not surprising that the POS marketplace is monopolized by a few carriers which causes us to show up as not very competitive. WHAT DO BUGGY WHIPS , VCR tapes and lunch boxes have in common? Extinction is the correct answer. With the heavily subsidized school lunch programs now available to all students, even those with six figure household incomes, it makes more sense to pay for the healthy hot lunch program at school than to pack a lunch box each

GERMANTOWN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY W209 N11845 Insurance Place PO Box 1020 Germantown, WI 53022-8220 Phone (262) 251-6680 Fax (262) 623-3130 www.gmic.com

SERVING POLICYHOLDERS AND INDEPENDENT AGENTS IN WISCONSIN SINCE 1854 4 JANUARY 13

morning. Gone are the PB&J sandwiches, Twinkies, apples and bananas that dominated the little metal boxes with pictures of cartoon or super hero characters. Say goodbye to the image of the boys and girls sitting at a table together, talking and trading sandwiches from their colorful lunch box while drinking milk from a little container. Now we have the image of a child who is struggling with a 20 pound backpack, sending text messages on a smartphone. Progress? You decide.

INSURANCE FRAUD continues to be a massive problem for insurers. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that property/casualty fraud costs exceed $30 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Medical provider, personal injury and no-fault fraud may add as much as an additional $50 billion each year to the total cost. Insurers have expanded the use of technology to combat this growing problem and predictive modeling and text mining will be the major antifraud investments over the next few years, according to the CAIF. The economy plays a large part in the increase of insurance fraud but organized fraud rings are perhaps the most devastating aspect of the problem. Insurers and regulators will continue to expend manpower and money to curb the problem and agents must be vigilant as well. After all, agents are the front lines of the P&C industry and can detect odors during the sale and initial claims process.

AND REMEMBER …..What you see often depends on what you’re looking for.


Your customers deserve a

Silver Lining.

®

When something happens to your customer’s home, car, or business, it may not be a disaster. But no matter what it is, your customers always deserve fast and fair service from their insurance company. West Bend provides a Silver Lining, no matter what the claim may be. When a child at Kristin’s day care center fell off the swing set and broke his arm, getting good care for him and taking care of the medical bills quickly and painlessly was important. So that’s just what we did. Sometimes little things mean a lot. And every day, when something bad happens to someone, West Bend makes sure your customers experience the Silver Lining. Because the worst brings out our best.®


From the

Boardroom By Rick Clements, LUTCF, MDRT — PIAW Secretary

We've Got Your Back Covered. What does that expression mean? It is an idiom that is used for someone in a precarious position that they cannot easily watch out for everything themselves and an offer to help look out for them and help if necessary. Hmmmm – sounds pretty much like the PIA to me. Just saying – our members might be in a ‘precarious’ position. Yes, in the sense of your involvement in the independent insurance system. What is threatening about that, you might ask. The Board of Directors did a Strategic Planning session and enlisted a well know professional in that field. That person identified several threats to the independent agency system in addition to those we already know about. Let’s list a few….

Direct Writers are always trying to come up with new ways to attract and keep our customers. We need to keep up pace with them in our recruiting of members/agents, training, education and marketing.

Government is always trying to oversee and control our industry and is especially aggressive in this administration with the Portable Health Care Act, Federal Insurance Regulation, Flood Insurance and Crop Insurance changes.

Technology and automation is something that needs to be contended with on an ongoing basis. It is constantly changing and online insurance marketing and customer service is or soon will become the norm. Online rating and applications already are. We must learn how to keep up with it or be left behind.

Legal issues are always looming around us. E & O claims are always a threat as well as employee practices issues,

privacy issues, client data protection, product disclosure requirements, licensing and agency succession problems. Ever notice how there are more attorneys’ ads in the phone directory than any other industry? It almost gives a person liticaphobia!

Education , or more exactly, the lack of it, could shut us out of the insurance game if we don’t have the knowledge and skills of our industry to attract and maintain customers. Nine short years ago when I joined the PIA who ever heard of EPLI, Employment Benefits Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Cyber liability, Portable Health Care or even pollution liability? Finally, in my opinion, the biggest threat to our independent system as well as to all ‘small business’ in general is apathy. Too many of our peers think “everything will work out”, “ I don’t have time to deal with all of this”, “ someone will take care of it”, It doesn’t matter what I do”, “we got this far without worrying about those things”. It’s not a coincidence the PIA has staff, committee and Board volunteers to address each and every one of these issues. We all need to step up to the challenge and keep our independent system independent for ourselves and the generations to come. The Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin and PIA National has GOT YOUR BACK . How about a ‘Rick’s Riddle; A man who never drank, never cheated on his wife, never danced and never took risks died. His life insurance company denied his claim. Why? Go to piaw.org for the answer.

Right in your backyard!

With Continental Western Group® in your backyard, you have the comfort of knowing we are responsive to your needs and the confidence of knowing we are dedicated to our partnership! Call Fritz Weitendorf, our Wisconsin Representative at 1-877-643-0219 ext 3828.

www.cwgins.com

6 JANUARY 13


I’m celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Jason Bogart, CPCU, ARM, Vice President of Branch Operations Our future will be marked by the relationships we forge with you—the independent insurance agents who represent us. You’re the reason we’ll continue to investigate new market opportunities. Why we’ll develop competitive products. Why we’ll maximize the use of new technologies. Why we’ll emphasize ongoing professional development for our staff. By helping you profitably and efficiently grow your agency, EMC Insurance Companies will continue to serve you and your customers today and in the future.

Milwaukee Branch: 855.495.1800 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA

www.emcins.com © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2011 All rights reserved


OCI Administrative

Actions Ted Nickel — Commissioner of the Office of Insurance

Madison, WI—OCI has taken the following administrative actions. In many of these cases the respondent denied the allegations but consented to the action taken. Any forfeitures paid in these administrative actions are deposited in the Common School Fund which is administered by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. The earnings from this fund are distributed to all public K-12 schools in Wisconsin and are used by school libraries to purchase books. Copies of the administrative action orders may be viewed online at https://ociaccess.oci.wi.gov/OrderInfo/OrdInfo.oci. OCI is responsible for overseeing the operations and marketing of insurance companies and agents in Wisconsin. OCI encourages anyone with a question or a complaint regarding an insurance company or agent to contact the office at this tollfree telephone number: 1-800-236-8517.

Allegations

and

Actions Against Agents

John Andrade, 6913 Risata Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and having a criminal conviction which may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct. George Fitzharris, 6104 W. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53219, agreed to pay a forfeiture of $1,500.00, agreed to not issue certificates of insurance if coverage is not in force with an insurer, and agreed to have his insurance license suspended for 30 days. These actions were taken based on allegations of misrepresenting insurance coverage. Gray Goodrich, 20408 Whiterock Dr., Lago Vista, TX 78645, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to provide evidence of resident surplus lines licensure. Diane A. Jarvis, 19155 Hi View Dr., Brookfield, WI 53045, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Julia King, 12660 Stafford Rd., Apt. 1032, Stafford, TX 77477, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to provide evidence of resident surplus lines licensure. Sarah Malaise, 104 E. Mason St., Unit 606, Milwaukee, WI 53202, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Aguilar Jorge Montiel, 1552 W. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53215, had his application for an insurance license 8 JANUARY 13

denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to submit the legitimate identification required for licensure. Carl David Parker, 866 Rose Dr., Hartland, WI 53029, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Heather Parks, 4601 Corporate Dr., Unit 115, Concord, NC 28027, had her application for an insurance license denied for 31 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the state of Wisconsin on a licensing application. Souphanh Phakeovilay, 2003 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha, WI 53189, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Matthew S. Pope, 475 Chippewa Mall Dr., Ste. 355, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729, had his application for an insurance license denied for 31 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the state of Wisconsin on a licensing application. Brian Robert Rahn, 6350 Rock Rd., Rudolph, WI 54475, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Mark Rivera, N17008 Grover Ln., Galesville, WI 54630, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Reuben Polanco Rosales, Pacific Benefits Group, 1915 N.W. Amberglen Pkwy., Ste. 300, Beaverton, OR 97006, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and having a criminal conviction which may [continued on page 10]


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OCI Administrative Actions [continued from page 8] be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct. Daniel Rosenbaum, 633 Skokie Blvd., Ste.480, Northbrook, IL 60062, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due. Daniel Rosenthal, 600A Broadway St., Sheboygan Falls, WI 53081, had his application for an insurance license denied for 31 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose a criminal conviction on a licensing application. Lisa K. Schilling, W1372 Cty. Rd. X, Berlin, WI 54923, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to complete the required prelicensing education prior to examination. Lawrence Sowter, 8021 N. 49th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85302, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the state of Colorado on a licensing application. Sheldon D. Stotmeister, 1240 N. 2nd St., Apt. 9, Platteville,

Allegations

and

10 JANUARY 13

Sandra B. Trascher, 119 Northam Ct., Slidell, LA 70458, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to provide proof of resident surplus lines licensing. Krista Tschurwald, 3117 Tri Park Ct., Apt. 16, Appleton, WI 54914, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI and failing to pass a required FINRA examination for variable lines licensing. Melissa J. Wachholz, 181 S. Main St., Markesan, WI 53946, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to report a criminal arrest or conviction to OCI, failing to notify OCI of a change of address, and failing to respond promptly to inquiries from OCI. Keith L. Wilson, 5745 N. 76th St., Milwaukee, WI 53218, had his application for an insurance license denied for 31 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose a criminal conviction on a licensing application.

Actions Against Companies

United States Liability Insurance Company, P.O. Box 6700, Wayne, PA 19087, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $1,000.00 and was ordered to cease and desist from failing to provide proper notice when implementing a short-rate fee upon an

WI 53818, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay Wisconsin delinquent taxes due.

insured deciding to cancel. These actions were taken based on allegations of using a short-rate return of premium for a midterm cancellation of an insurance policy without providing proper notice of the short-rate premium.

www.sheboyganfallsinsurance.com


Choose 5 of 9 to improve your 9 to 5. • Commercial Casualty I

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CISR courses are designed to focus on your type of business. It still takes 5 courses to earn a CISR designation but now you have the flexibility of 9 course options. This allows you to focus on what’s important to you. We understand not everyone learns the same way or even at the same pace, so we offer courses in the classroom, online and in-house. Find out how CISR can improve your 9 to 5. Call or visit us on the web today.

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Learn more @ www.piaw.org or call 800-261-7429


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Quali ty in everything we do. -Wilson Mutual Our people make the difference. Contact us today to see how you can become part of the Wilson Mutual family.

Brian Christ, District Sales Manager 12 JANUARY 13

3330 Stahl Road • Sheboygan, WI 53081 800-242-7708 www.wilsonmutual.com


WISCONSIN PIA IS A PROUD SPONSOR OF THE CPIA DESIGNATION PROGRAM The PIA of Wisconsin is a proud sponsor of the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) professional designation program. The CPIA designation is comprised of a series of Insurance Success Seminars. These three, one-day workshops teach practical "before", "during", and "after" the sale techniques for insurance producers, sales managers, account managers and company marketing representatives. Participants leave with ideas that will produce increased sales results immediately. In fact, The Insurance Success Seminars are guaranteed: Implement the principles covered in these sessions and experience a 20% increase in personal production within six months, or your registration fee will be refunded!

To maintain the CPIA designation, CPIA’s must fulfill an update every two years by attending an Agency Management Boot Camp, or attend one of the core Insurance Success Seminars, or attend a Pro-to-Pro Retreat, or maintain an active membership in the AIMS Society.

The AIMS Society is a national organization dedicated to providing interactive marketing and sales training, ongoing resources and networking opportunities to insurance professionals.

You can attend the CPIA courses in any order. No Test. Approved for 7 Wisconsin CE credits.

CPIA 1 - Position for Success

CPIA 2 – Implement for Success

CPIA 3 - Sustain Success

During this program, participants are encouraged to focus on internal and external factors affecting the development of effective business development plans. Factors discussed include a review of the state of the insurance marketplace; analysis of competitive pressures; necessary insurance carrier underwriting criteria; and consumer expectations and understanding.

During this session participants will be provided with specific tools for analyzing consumer needs; will learn to utilize risk identification techniques to gather pertinent prospect information; will develop skills necessary to assimilate information gathered into a customized protection program; and will participate in exercises designed to promote effective delivery of proven solutions.

This program focuses on fulfilling the implied promises contained in the insuring agreement. Students will review methods of providing evidence of insurance coverage; will discuss policies and procedures for controlling errors and omissions including policy review and delivery, endorsements, claims-processing, and handling of client complaints. This course includes a review of the Professional Expectations; the Law of Agency; and Legal and Ethical Standards.

CPIA 1 – January 16, 2013 CPIA CPIA11Wisconsin - November 9, 2011 Mutual Ins. Co. Radisson Paper WI Valley Hotel Fall 2012Madison, Appleton, WI Dates to be Announced

CPIA 2 – May 1, 2013 CPIA 2Radisson - February 15, 2012 Marriott Madison West Green Bay, WI Middleton, WI

CPIA 3 – September 11, 2013 CPIA 3 -Corporation August 1, 2012 Kelmann Grand Geneva Wauwatosa, WI Resort Lake Geneva, WI

Course Schedule 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

8:30 – 4:30 Lunchp.m. On Your Own 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Registration Fee per Seminar: Includes Materials, Coffee in the AM & Soda in the PM at > PIA Member $155.00 or call PIA at 1-800-261-7429 Register www.piaw.org > Non Member $190.00

Fee Per Course (does not include lunch): PIA Member $155.00 / Non Member $190

Register at www.piaw.org or call PIA at 1-800-261-7429

JANUARY 12 13


2012 National OuTstanding CSR of the Year Maggie Tirschman, CIC, CISR M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc.

Selective has been a trusted provider of insurance solutions since 1926. Working with our elite group of agents, we focus on providing the business and personal insurance solutions that best meet our customers’ needs. Get to know us today. Metro Milwaukee Bonnie.Weiss@selective.com

West & Central WI James.Wasserburger@selective.com

Green Bay/Fox Valley Robert.Reinke@selective.com

©2012 Selective Ins. Group, Inc. (Branchville, NJ). “Selective” insurers include Selective Ins. Co. of America, Selective Ins. Co. of New England, Selective Ins. Co. of N.Y., Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina, Selective Ins. Co. of the Southeast, Selective Way Ins. Co. and Selective Auto Ins. Co. of N.J. Insurers and products available vary by jurisdiction. SI-12-077

Through a new partnership with Vertafore, PIAW is offering FREE access to Sircon online licensing and continuing education management services. Login to: www.piaw.org and get started today! USING SIRCON SERVICES, YOU CAN: • APPLY FOR A LICENSE • RENEW YOUR LICENSE • LOOK UP AVAILABLE COURSES • CHECK LICENSE RENEWAL STATUS • CHECK LICENSE APPLICATION STATUS • REQUEST A LETTER OF CERTIFICATION CERTIFI • UPDATE YOUR NAME OR ADDRESS • FIND YOUR LICENSE NUMBER/NPN • CHECK YOUR STATUS WITH A STATE • MAINTAIN YOUR FIRM ASSOCIATION • UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS • UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS • PRINT YOUR LICENSE © 2011 Vertafore, Inc. Vertafore, the Vertafore logo and design, Unleash your potential, and the Vertafore trademarks listed are owned by Vertafore, Inc.

14 JANUARY 13

Maggie with her nominator Chris Kenyon, Senior Account Executive at M3.

On November 16th Maggie traveled to Houston, Texas as the guest of The National Alliance to accept this prestigious award (and a huge bouquet of roses). This honor included $2000 cash, $1000 for her nominator, a gold and diamond pin, Maggie’s name inscribed on a sculpture permanently displayed at The National Alliance in Austin, Texas, and a scholarship for M3 Insurance. The PIA of Wisconsin is very proud of Maggie and her receipt of the most prestigious honor available to insurance customer service representatives.


JANUARY 13 15


Seven Trends to Watch in 2013 by Stephen Marik Brockman

S

Social, technology and macro-economic trends continue to impact the American independent agency system and the role of professional insurance agents. With each of these trends and the challenges they create come new opportunities for agents who are willing and able to adapt. Below are seven trends agents should consider in the new year.

16 JANUARY 13


Professional insurance agents’ opportunity lies in ability to adapt 1.) Access to information is shifting power to customers. Increased availability and sharing of information is changing relationships between carriers, agents and customers. While trust in financial services companies has declined since the 2008 financial crisis, increasingly consumers are turning to each other for referrals to committed advisers and sources of information. Online social networks are a prime example of where an increasing number of customers comment on, interact with, and make recommendations for and against the companies with which they do business. For example, Facebook, the largest social network, now has more than 800 million active users and, given its current growth rate, it is likely to have more than 1 billion users in 2013. Agents need to be where conversations are happening. Developing and maintaining an online presence and monitoring forums where conversations are taking place allow an agent to know what people are saying and recommending to each other about financial services. In these forums, agents can act as subject experts outside of a company-branded role and make personal connections that could pay dividends later.

2.) Customer expectations continue to rise. Access to information, speedier transactions and multi-channel access are changing customer expectations. Customers now expect education, fulfillment and service anytime, any-where. It is critical for agents to be the key personal contact in the multichannel mix and demonstrate that they value every interaction through thorough preparation, pointed conversations tailored to individual needs and quick follow up. Moreover, monitoring social media sites where customers spend time facilitates prompt awareness of positive and negative commentary about a company. Because customers are able to broadcast their experiences and opinions to a wide audience via social media tools, quickly responding to positive feedback or criticism can help protect and enhance the agent’s and company’s brand.

3.) Smartphone sales to pass computers; tablet sales to exceed 100 million. Consumers purchased approximately 450 million smartphones in 2012; these numbers will surpass those for computers for the first time. Meanwhile, 2013 tablet sales will approach 100 million. This will fuel customers’ expectations for 24/7 multi-channel access to information and services. Although agents are unable to have much direct influence on insurance company websites and mobile device investments, they can use these tools to provide information to customers and prospects that facilitate the conversations and understanding that help close sales.

Notably, smartphones and tablets allow agents to do business remotely in places convenient for customers. Even if a carrier doesn’t have tablet or mobile applications yet, an agent’s investment in a tablet and clever use of standard office productivity software can turn a handheld device with a good screen into a portable presentation and sales device. Return on such investments can be recognized quite quickly.

4.) Macro-economic trends present challenges and opportunities. According to various polls over the years, Americans tend to be underinsured. This is even more likely in the current economy, which is characterized by low growth; volatile investment markets; and high unemployment. Consumer reactions to these circumstances include increased concern about their family and investments and the desire to protect their income and belongings, often through life and property/casualty products. Accordingly, and despite related consumer concerns about their personal finances, agents have a good angle to initiate discussions with their book of business and potential prospects about how to protect their assets and loved ones in trying times.

5.) Growing investments in technology are improving scale. Traditionally, insurance distribution has relied on a commission-based variable cost model for sales. As a result of increasing investment in direct channels, the cost structure is moving toward larger up-front fixed costs, but lower ongoing variable costs. While this trend suggests more direct communication (i.e., online, call center) and less personal contact, agents have a great opportunity to spend more time on the interactions that matter most. This includes educating, asking deeper questions of, and helping customers understand the fine print. Moreover, buying insurance remains a complex interaction for most consumers. Despite the growth of the direct channel, they still need advisers to explain and/or confirm the best choices of coverage. For example, auto insurance has the industry’s highest volume of online quoting, but only 7 percent of those who shopped insurance online purchased a policy in 2009 (according to comScore Inc.). In other words, most people still want to talk to an agent before purchasing an insurance policy.

6.) Online service tools bring the web to life, to an extent. Over the last few years, financial services companies have begun integrating online chat with a service representative as part of the web experience. This is a helpful tool for enabling interaction with a real-life human being who can provide real-time answers to questions and weigh in on a customer’s thinking before he or she makes a decision. [continued on page 18] JANUARY 13 17


Seven Trends to Watch . . . [continued from page 17] However, online chat windows are insufficient for important planning, advice and final decision-making on complex questions and purchases. Certain interactions and products are too complicated for less than highly trained personnel.

services, as well as by observing what customers are seeing, thinking and feeling. All of this plays a key role in identifying opportunities for new products and in gaining direct input on how agents can improve their performance.

This doesn’t mean that people will stop using online chat— they will use it more and more for routine matters.

People need knowledgeable advisers

But, this should enable agents to reach out to customers proactively and concentrate on important customer matters. This will facilitate value-adding opportunities (i.e., “moments of truth”) and ideally minimize the need to focus on more mundane discussions and transactions.

7.) Despite technological advances, the best ideas still come from talking with customers. A handful of insurers know the world of risk well enough to create successful products from their own brainstorming sessions and analysis. However, most insurers determine how to meet market needs by understanding their customers. This requires talking to and working with them in a direct and meaningful way. Agents play a vital role in listening to and interacting with customers, and serving as the face of the insurance company. They gauge the market by asking customers questions about the effectiveness of products and

No matter how many electronic channels or informational sources there are, most consumers will not be able or willing to make every decision unaided. Understanding appropriate levels of coverage; researching options; and navigating the decision-making process takes time and know-how. The ability of an agent to make this process easier, faster and valuable in these uncertain times is more important than ever. Marik Brockman is a principal in the PwC US insurance sector. He has more than 16 years of experience in marketing and strategic planning roles, spending the past 11 years working with leading companies to develop and execute strategies to generate profitable growth, enhance customer experience and improve distribution channel effectiveness. He can be reached at stephen.m.brockman@ us.pwc.com or (971) 544-4038. —Reprinted with permission from PIA Management Services Inc.—

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A Three Step

Guide

to

by Dan McAlvanah

Properly Compensating

Commissioned Employees

Few areas of the law create bigger headaches for employers than minimum wage and overtime law. All too frequently, employers either fail to recognize that their employees are entitled to minimum wages or overtime, or fail to apply the proper methodology for calculating overtime. Employers may be especially prone to making these mistakes where employees receive pay from commissions. Despite a misperception to the contrary, only a small percentage of commissioned employees are exempt from state and federal overtime requirements. The following article provides a simple, three-step guide to properly compensating commissioned employees. Background Federal and state law provide an interlocking set of rules governing wages and overtime. Understanding the relationship between these sources of law is critical. Federal law, set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), establishes a minimum regulatory floor, rather than a ceiling, with respect to wage and hour law. Commonly, state law provides additional – and in some cases more generous – rights to employees. This means that for compliance purposes, employers must not only abide by the requirements of the FLSA, but any additional, more employee-friendly requirements mandated by state law. Luckily, for employers whose business operations are restricted to Wisconsin, the analysis is simplified because Wisconsin law mirrors federal law as to most issues discussed in this article. For employers who operate in additional states, further inquiry is necessary to determine whether these states provide more generous overtime rights.

Step #1: Determine Whether Your Commissioned Employees Are Exempt or Non­Exempt. The first step is to determine whether the commissioned employees are exempt or non­exempt. The FLSA requires that most employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at the rate of time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Where these requirements apply, the commissioned employee is considered a "non-exempt" employee; where the requirements do not, the employee is considered an "exempt" employee. This process is known as "classification" for wage and hour purposes. To ensure proper classification, employers should start with the assumption that their commissioned employees are non-exempt, and then review the potential exemptions to determine whether they apply. The most common exemptions are the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions. These exemptions relate to both minimum wage and overtime pay. In fields that typically involve commissions, the outside sales exemption and the retail sales exemption may also apply. The outside sales exemption exempts employees as to both the minimum wage and overtime requirements, while the 22 JANUARY 13 DECEMBER 12

retail sales exemption exempts employees only as to overtime requirements.


For the outside sales exemption to apply, two factors must be met: (1) the employee's primary duty must be making sales, or obtaining orders or contracts for services, or for the use of facilities; and (2) the employee must customarily and regularly work away from the employer's place of business. The United States Supreme Court is presently considering whether pharmaceutical sales reps are subject to the outside sales exemption. There, the sales reps argue that they are non-exempt because their work entails merely promoting pharmaceutical products to doctors, rather than selling them. The Court's decision should help clarify the scope of this important exemption. For the retail sales exemption to apply, the employees must: (1) work in a defined "retail or service establishment"; (2) receive a regular hourly rate of pay that exceeds one and one-halftimes the minimum wage; and (3) receive more than half of their compensation as commissions. Courts have recently applied this exemption to employees who sell precious metals by phone, service specialists employed by a pest-control company, and salespeople who sell cellular phones and service plans.

the regular rate of pay, which is generally calculated by dividing an employee's total non­overtime compensation by the total number of hours worked. However, the methodology for determining the regular rate of pay may differ depending upon the specifics of the compensation system, especially where salaries are involved. Four common scenarios are discussed below. A. Commissions Only. Where the employee is paid only by commissions, calculating overtime is simple. Here, suppose Sarah earns $1,000 in commissions for 50 hours of work in a single workweek: • Regular rate = $1,000/50 hours= $20/hour. • Total compensation formula = earnings from commissions + (10 hours @ one-half the regular rate of pay) • Sarah's total pay = $1,000 + (10 hours x .5 x $20/hour) = $1,100

Step #2: Count and Compensate Every Hour.

B. Commissions Plus Hourly Rate of Pay.

For non-exempt commissioned employees, the next step is to determine which work activities constitute compensable work activities. The definition of compensable work is broad. Under both the FLSA and Wisconsin law, an employer must compensate its employees for "all time spent in physical or mental exertion (whether burdensome or not) controlled or required by the employer and pursued necessarily and primarily for the benefit of the employer's business." This includes all time during which employees are "suffered or permitted to work," as well as time during which employees are working solely on their own volition. Additionally, as a general matter, employers must compensate employees for all hours within a continuous workday, which begins with the first principal job activity of the day and ends with the final principal job activity of the day.

The formula is identical where the employee is paid through a combination of an hourly wage and commissions. In this scenario, imagine that Sarah earns $1,000 in hourly earnings, plus an additional $500 in commissions. She earns this compensation for working 50 hours in a single workweek. The formula is as follows:

This expansive definition of compensable work has particular importance in fields that traditionally pay by commission. For example, an employer may assign work vehicles to its commissioned sales force, and allow them to bring the vehicles home at night. The employees may perform work at home, including completing sales orders, mileage reports, or other work-related tasks. Because these work activities will occur at the start and conclusion of the employees' workdays, they establish the bookends of a single continuous workday. This may create a situation where commissioned employees habitually work far in excess of 40 hours per week, thus exposing the employer to significant overtime liability.

Step #3: Calculate the Correct Rate of Pay. Finally, where commissioned employees are entitled to overtime, the last step is to apply the correct overtime calculation. The key to calculating overtime is to determine

• Regular rate = $1,500/50 hours = $30/hour. • Total compensation formula = earnings from hourly wages and commissions + (10 hours @ one-half the regular rate of pay) • Sarah's total pay = $1,500 + (10 hours x .5 x $30/hour) = $1,650 C. Commissions Plus Salary, Where the Employee's Salary Is Intended to Cover 40 Hours of Work. The formula becomes more complicated where the employer is paid through a combination of salary and commissions. Here, calculating Sarah's regular rate of pay requires the employer to determine how many hours of work Sarah's salary is intended to cover. In this example, suppose that Sarah and her employer have an understanding that Sarah's base salary is intended to compensate her for 40 hours of work. Sarah earns a base salary of $1,000, plus $500 more in commissions. As in the previous example, the compensation is earned in a workweek where she worked 50 hours. The following formula applies: • Regular rate = $1,500/40 hours = $37.50/hour. • Total compensation formula = base salary and commissions + (10 hours @ time and one-half the regular rate of pay) [continued on page 24] JANUARY 13 23


Three Step Guide . . . [continued from page 23] • Sarah's total pay = $1,500 + (10 hours x 1.5 x $37.50/hour) = $2062.50 D. Commissions Plus Salary, Where the Employee's Salary Is Intended to Cover More Than 40 Hours of Work. A final variation on the formula occurs where the employer is paid through a combination of salary and commissions, and the salary payments are intended to cover more than 40 hours of work. Under both the FLSA and Wisconsin law, when this occurs the employee is entitled to an additional overtime premium for hours worked in excess of 40 at the rate of onehalf the regular rate of pay. Thus, for this example, suppose that Sarah and her employer have an understanding that Sarah's base salary is intended to compensate her for 50 hours of work. During a 50-hour workweek, Sarah earns a base salary of$1,000, plus $500 more in commissions. The formula is as follows:

health

• Regular rate= $1,500/50 hours = $30/hour. • Total compensation formula = base salary and commissions + (10 hours @ one-half the regular rate of pay) • Sarah's total pay = $1,500 + (10 hours x .5 x $30/hour) = $1650

Conclusion Preventive strategies can go a long way to avoiding regulatory audits or litigation over wage and hour policies. While the compensation formulas outlined should address the majority of situations, they are by no means exhaustive. For example, a different formula applies where the employer cannot determine the exact workweek during which the employee earned commissions. For assistance with any of these issues, contact Dan McAlvanah at (608) 260-2489 or dmcalvanah@ axley.com.

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Encourage

Clients

Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA President, Pearsall Associates Inc. and Special Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program

to

Read Their Policies When an Errors & Omissions claim occurs, the file, for the most part, will heavily determine the direction the claim goes. Solid documentation in the file will help the agent’s defense, while little or sketchy documentation could very well hurt the agent’s odds of prevailing. At that point, as the old expression goes, “it is what it is.”

T

The key for agents is to proactively take the initiative to implement various loss control measures; in other words, try to impact the direction an E&O claim could go before it occurs. It may be too late afterward.

This letter should be general, such as: Dear “client,” Enclosed please find the renewal of your

A common strategy E&O carriers use when defending a customer involves the client’s duty to read the policy. Even though this duty imposed on the client may not be applied in every state, an agency initiative centered on this issue can still prove beneficial.

Businessowners package written with XYZ Insurance

Read and understand

to make any changes to this policy, please contact the

In the vast majority of states, the duty for the client to read the policy states the client must read and understand policy content, provisions, duties and exclusions. Typically, there is a requirement that if the client has any questions, does not understand the coverage or discovers the coverage is not what they thought was requested, the client should contact the agency to make any additions, alterations and modifications to the policy. Some states take it a step further, requiring the client to reject the policy if the policy terms are unacceptable.

agency promptly.

Co. You will be receiving your premium invoice shortly. It is important that you take the time to read this policy to ensure your understanding of the limits and the coverages. If there are any questions or you wish

The limits of insurance have been selected by you and we can’t guarantee that the limit selected will be sufficient in the event of a major loss. Higher limits are available upon your request. Thank you for your confidence in our agency; we appreciate your business. Sincerely,

So what should the agent do? To bolster this presumption of the insured’s assent to the policy terms, the agent/broker should promptly send the complete policy to the insured and in the cover letter urge the insured to fully review the policy – including the declarations and endorsements – for accuracy and, to the extent the insured has any questions on policy contents, the policyholder should immediately contact the producer.

Once again, it is best to keep the cover letter general and not

It is important to note that client ignorance or a statement such as “I didn’t have the time” are not valid defenses for the client.

be included with the policies and brought to the attention of

restate limits and coverages in it. The theory behind this is if you “recap” the limits and coverages in the cover letter, you are essentially telling your client he or she does not need to read the policy because you are telling them what’s in it. Obviously, an agency may choose to personally deliver policies. If this is the case, it is still suggested that a cover letter the party to whom you are delivering the policies. [continued on page 28] JANUARY 13 27


{

Encourage Clients . . . [continued from page 27]

Tremendous benefits Another common scenario involves a policy that will be sent directly to the customer from the carrier. If this is pertinent in your situation, it is still highly recommended that you use the above letter with a slight modification. Instead of stating “enclosed please find your renewal,” a phrase such as the following could be used: “You will be receiving the renewal of your Businessowners policy directly from the carrier, XYZ Insurance Co. When you receive it, it is important…” There are tremendous benefits to this approach. Hopefully, the coverage provided is what was requested. If not, the client should discover those areas of concern upon review. For example, if the client asked for full coverage or remarked “protect me for whatever can happen,” they will now find every policy has exclusions and limitations. The benefits to your agency are also tremendous. It shows you want your customers to understand their coverage, and there may be situations where a customer asks for coverage modifications that result in a program that better suits their needs. It is better to resolve these issues before the claim occurs than after. Lastly, there are many E&O claims where such a letter dramatically determined the direction of a specific E&O claim. This type of initiative can probably be implemented without too much additional work or expense. This extra step could just make a big difference if an E&O claim comes knocking at your door.

Richest Man

anecdotes in the Valley?

A rich farmer liked to ride around his vast estate so he could enjoy his great wealth. One day, while riding his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer, sitting under a tree. Annoyed because Hans wasn't hard at work, he halted his horse and asked, "What are you doing there?" Hans replied, "I was just thanking God for my meal." And the farmer saw Hans eating a modest lunch of rice and beans. "If that was my lunch, I wouldn't be giving thanks for it," the farmer said.

"It's all I have," said Hans, "but it's all I need, so I give thanks."

The farmer was about to ride on when Hans called out to him. "I though I should tell you that I had a dream this morning. A voice said to me,"The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' I just thought you should know." The farmer rode away, but Hans' words worried him. He was the richest man in the valley, wasn't he? So he called his doctor when he got back to his mansion. The doctor came out and looked him over, but found nothing wrong with him. The farmer went to bed, still worried, and slept fitfully. When he woke the next morning he thought, "Well, there was nothing to that dream after all. Here I am, alive and well." Then a servant knocked at his door. "What is it?" the farmer asked.

"It's about that old tenant farmer Hans, sir," the servant said.

"What about it?"

"He died in his sleep last night."

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Yes, sign me up for the Social Media Seminar I will be bringing my own laptop __________ I need to use a provided laptop ________ You will need access to the email you plan to use for setting the pages up with, please provide the email address you plan to use during set up _______________________________________ Do you have approval from the owner of the business to set up these accounts in their business name Owners email address _______________________________________________ Name & Designations: ___________________________________________________________________ (Please Print)

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Confirmation will be emailed upon receipt of registration. Cancellation policy: No refunds without 7 days notice. Substitutions from the same agency are accepted, but please notify PIA as soon as possible with the change.

JANUARY 13 29


If You Work in Insurance this should be the only article you read

Future on the

of Social Media

I recently had the pleasure of attending a local lunch-and-learn presentation on the current state of insurance in relation to technology and how independent insurance agents will compete with direct writers in the future. The presentation was very well done and I took some excellent ideas away that I hope to implement into my own agency’s online presence at, www.MurrayGRP.com. Presentations like these are type of collaborative discussions that our industry needs more of in order to be successful in the future business world.

A

After the presentation I went back to my office but it was hard to concentrate on work. There were two specific conceptual ideas brought up during the presentation that had my brain tweaked. I needed to get the thoughts down on paper. That is what this is…. But before we dig into the two ideas I want you to understand something about me, (since many of you reading this do not know me personally), so you can hold a frame of reference throughout the article. I am very passionate about the ideas I believe in and my personal vision of how independent insurance agents will succeed through technology. When it comes to insurance my vision quest is destroying the misconception that insurance is a commodity. I believe technology will allow us to do this. Passion for the value of insurance and the importance of the independent insurance agency is what allows me to consistently pour my heart out about an industry I adore and career I cherish. I affectionately refer to this as Bleeding on the Keys… I hope, with the preceding introduction, you will understand why as a thirty year old insurance agent and future standard bearer of the insurance industry, I am in such vigorous disagreement with the following two beliefs circulating throughout our industry: 1. The Millennial Generation does not value the service independent insurance agents provide and prefer to deal with direct writers.

30 JANUARY 13

By Ryan Hanley, CIC 2. The ability to provide Online Quotes is essential to competing with online direct writers. Could it possibly be that these are the prevailing ideas of the insurance industry’s thought leaders? I hope I’m wrong…But in case I’m not, let’s attack these two statements.

Belief 1 : The Millennial Generation does not value the service independent insurance agents provide and prefer to deal with direct writers. I’ve heard this statement packaged a couple different ways: “Millennials grew up with computers and want to buy through computers…” “Millennials associate anything with an “Agent” as more work and more expensive…” “Millennials have been marketed to their entire life and don’t respond to brand value…” Have you ever heard these arguments or some variation of them? I bet you have. When I hear and read something that is expressing a viewpoint such as those above I cringe. The problem is not that Millennials do not relate to independent agents… The real issue is that independent agents do not relate to Millennials.  Too many of us are sitting in our agencies ignoring the Internet, marketing as if it’s 1979, and selling with the same tired pitch we’ve always used. Coverage this… Price that…


Review once a year whatever… It’s all B.S. What Millennials want is the same thing that your Baby Boomer clients want, a relationship. But Ryan, how can you say that when these people make insurance buying decisions based on conversations they’ve had on Facebook? I didn’t say that Millennials want the same type of relationship that Baby Boomers want, I said they want a relationship. The reason your independent agency is struggling to attract Millennials is because you are either unaware, unable or unwilling to provide the type of relationship that Millennials seek. That my friend… Is a YOU problem, (an us problem really), not a Millennials problem. Some of you are saying, “We’re old school here. We’ve been successful doing business the same way for 30 years. We work on referrals…” Do you think technology is going away? Do you think that technology is going to become any less integrated with our daily lives? Please tell me you don’t believe the whole “The World is Swinging Back to 1950’s Cold Calling and Direct Mail Marketing” thing. Let me answer both those questions for you. No, technology is not going away. No, technology is only going to become a great part of our everyday lives. To pretend like that is not the truth is like saying the sun won’t rise tomorrow. It’s just silly and you don’t seem silly to me. Just because YOU don’t like technology doesn’t mean your prospects and clients don’t like technology. Millennials want a relationship and they are going to seek out that relationship with whoever is willing to provide it. But here is the trick, Millennials want the relationship, but they want it on their terms. So far direct writers have been the only companies within the insurance industry willing to provide Millennials with the relationship they want. But there is hope, direct writers stink at relationship.

Belief 2 : The ability to provide Online Quotes is essential to competing with online direct writers Lately I’ve been reading a lot about online quote integration for independent agency websites with the idea being that today’s consumer wants to be able “shop” online for insurance themselves. Go back and read the last two sentences of the third paragraph of this article.  If that is too taxing a task, (I don’t blame you), here it is again: “When it comes to insurance my vision quest is destroying the

misconception that insurance is a commodity. I believe technology will allow us to do that.” Do you think that as independent agents we have any chance of competing with big-budget direct marketers if our Value Statement is “Come to our site where you can shop for your own quote”? You might as well walk outside your office right now and scream “PRICE” as loud as you can into the air. Then go back inside your office and hope someone comes running to buy insurance from you…Sound crazy? Well… A marketing strategy of yelling into air will have approximately the same results as playing the direct writers game of self-service online quote shopping. OK, that was pretty aggressive and I’m sure some of you reading this have some form of do-it-yourself-online quote system that you pay some amount of money for and you’re completely offended by everything I’ve written so far. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have the ability to provide an introductory quote Online. What I’m saying is if you lean on this tool and this tool alone to harness the power of the Millennial generation and Online insurance consumers YOU WILL FAIL. But let’s skin this cat a different way. As independent insurance agents how do we differentiate ourselves from direct writers? What is our value statement? What makes doing business with a human being a more advantageous insurance experience for the consumer than doing business with a computer? At its simplest form…WE CARE! We care that our clients have proper coverage. We care that our client’s service needs are met in a manner they appreciate. We care that our clients receive the most competitive price in the market. We care that our client’s insurance carrier will respectfully and dutifully respond to a claim. How do you establish that value when insurance consumers are quoting their own insurance through an online rater? If your answer is “After they purchase a policy,” you are so sadly mistaken. You’re an order taker now…Your first impression has come and gone. “Now process my change or I’m shopping my insurance for something cheaper. All I have to do is go online… NOW I SAID!” Not me Compadre, I want to establish relationships of trust and respect with my insurance consumers… First! [continued on page 35] JANUARY 13 31


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Certified Insurance Service Representative Open to Anyone! 8 WI CE Credits Course #66250

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Feb 27 • Brookfield Feb 28 • Madison

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JANUARY 13 33


MAPLE VALLEY MUTUAL Insurance Company “The Promise You Can Trust” Maple Valley Mutual’s vision is to be the best smaller mutual insurance carrier in northeastern Wisconsin. This means providing exceptional service and top-notch products to our Agents and Policyholders/Owners while maintaining the Company’s excellent financial condition and A.M. Best Rating of A- (EXCELLENT). • Well Established, Competitive Farmowners Program • Comprehensive Modern Homeowners Program • Competitive BOP & Commercial Programs Writing Territory Northeastern Wisconsin

• Unique Quotation System for New Business • Above Average Commissions For more information Contact

Al Schuettpelz, President, at: al@maplevalleymutual.com | 800-23MAPLE | www.maplevalleymutual.com

34 JANUARY 13


If You Work In Insurance . . . [continued from page 31]

The Future of Insurance and Social Media True I don’t believe in online raters as the end-all-be-all solution to taking back market share from direct writers. But I love the power of Internet. I extra love the marketing, communication, relationship and trust building potential held within the online world of social media and content marketing. The thing is, I don’t see myself as an insurance agent, as I’m sure many of you do not. We are relationship builders. That’s what we do, we build relationships with people, it just so happens that the service we provide is insurance (or risk transfer for you old school cats). And I know that so many of you feel the same way. That is why you are so successful at selling insurance. And I’m hoping you are beginning to understand, that relationship building is what social media is all about. Yes these relationships are built through a computer, but they’re certainly not meant to stay there. I try, if geographically feasible, to sit face-to-face with every client. What I’m trying to say is great relationship builders, (YOU!), absolutely kill it on social media. This is what Millennials want, a relationship; they just want to build it on the computer first. Millennials still want to know that there is a living, breathing human being who gives a crap about their insurance program on the other side of that computer looking out for their needs. This is why we as independent insurance agents should not be reliant upon using online self-service quoting platforms. To a certain extent they are a necessary evil. Our focus should be building the relationship upfront that sets us apart from the machines.

C reate moments that matter... For over 100 years, Austin has been constantly creating solutions and services to meet the ever-changing needs of policyholders.

If done correctly, with diligence and dedication, an online social media presence can build the trust and respect necessary to establish a quality agent/client bond. Which in turn means a lot more sales for your insurance agency. I promise. Over 1,500 words and you don’t believe me? See my real results at: www.RyanHanley.com/seo-experiment/ You will not be disappointed. Now go get started! Ryan Hanley is a producer with The Murray Group Insurance Services, Inc. in Albany, NY. He is also a sought after Social Media and Online Marketing Speaker for the Insurance Industry and Small Business. You can read more about Marketing, Social Media and Generating Revenue Online at www.RyanHanley.com. Email Ryan at ryan@ryanhanley.com.

1-800-328-4628 | www.austinmutual.com

Scan to stay connected with Austin Mutual

JANUARY 13 35


Volunteering What's In It For Me?

by Sara Hardrath, CIC, PIAW Agents Service Committee

V

Many of our co-workers, friends and competitors have found the benefits of volunteering. Are you? Are you doing it for the right reason? Do you think you have nothing to give? Try it, you will find the benefits are “priceless.”

Volunteering is not easy, you need to get off the sofa and find a way to give back. Do you have a passion to help your community, your industry, your church or perhaps someone in your family?

you can share ideas on improving our industry image

If you choose to become involved in your industry PIA (Professional Insurance Agents) has an endless list of ways you can become involved. The PIA of WI works closely with legislative lobbyist Ron Kuhn and you can have input on current bills and how they will have an impact on our industry and you.

can encourage tomorrow’s leaders.

Do you have some ideas that could provide additional benefits to association members then the Agent Services Committee, which I am involved with, may be the right option for you? The committee enhances agency company relations, agent-client relations, product knowledge and agency management. Perhaps you would like to assist with planning and organizing the annual convention or winter getaway? The Convention Committee may be the right answer. Do you want to find out more about how other agencies are utilizing automation? You can share your expertise and knowledge in the path that automation is taking in our industry. The Automation Committee may be for you.

and insure the future of the independent agency system by providing input on education, networking, socializing, professional development, agency perpetuation and how we

The PIA offers many educational events, are they meeting your needs? The Education Committee is always looking for members to get involved and help set the agendas, locations and the quality of these educational programs and seminars. If you sit on the sofa you will not make a difference. There are many other committees such as the Nominations and Awards Committee that presents a slate of nominees for the election of directors at the annual meeting. If nominated and elected you would have the honor to serve on the Board of Directors. Your directors are the voice of the association making policy decisions, chairing committees and setting the direction of the association. Membership Committee would be another way you can be involved. Your input on the dues structure, creating membership campaigns and integrating membership issues into ongoing association programs that could have an impact on our future.

The Public Relations Committee works to create a positive image of professional independent insurance agents both to the general public and within the insurance industry.

The ways to get involved in your association are endless.

If you are new to the insurance industry perhaps the Young Professionals Club is for you. Being a part of this committee

P.S. Come the PIAW Winter Get-Away in Minocqua the end

36 JANUARY 13

There are many benefits which are “priceless” such as the friendships you make that can last a lifetime.

of this month and see what it’s all about.


Colors: Black • Modified By: PMH File Location: PrepressMAIN:Active:R:Rockford Mutual Insurance Company_RMIC:RMIC-Ads:RMIC-Ad_3-625x5_WI P Comments:

the agent is our customer ► We strive to provide one-stop shopping to our agents by meeting both their Personal and Commercial Lines insurance needs.

► All our initiatives are focused on making it

Since 1896

ROCKFORDMUTUAL I N S U R A N C E C O M P A N Y Putting Lives Back Together

SM

When the unexpected happens...

easy to do business with us, with the goal of helping our agents grow their revenues.

► We firmly believe that the independent agent model is the best distribution channel for our products both today and in the future.

M U T U A L

I N S U R A N C E

For information about becoming a Partners Mutual Insurance agent, please contact our marketing department at Schumann.Lyn@PartnersMutual.com 20935 Swenson DriveWaukesha, WI 53186www.partnersmutual.com an affiliate of Penn National Insurance

Rely on RMIC

Contact our Marketing Department at 815-489-3158 Rockford Mutual Insurance Company P.O. Box 5626 • Rockford, IL 61125 www.rockfordmutual.com

Where Better Service Matters  Since 1931

JANUARY 13 37


PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS OF WISCONSIN, INC. OFFICERS

DIRECTORS

Ms. Tracy A. Oestreich, CIC, AU, CPIA President Anderson Ins. Associates, Inc. W177N9856 Rivercrest Dr., Ste. 215 Germantown, WI 53022 Phone 262-789-8500 Fax 262-754-6038 tracyo@iaanetwork.com

Ms. Mary J. Czaja, CIC PIAW National Director CIS Group PO Box 321 Tomahawk, WI 54487 Phone 715-453-3366 Fax 715-453-3951 mary@cisgrp.com

Mr. Jeff J. Glass, Vice President A.F. Glass Insurance Agency PO Box 1149 Lake Geneva, WI 53147 Phone 262-248-5555 Fax 262-248-5544 jglass@glassinsurancecenter.com

Mr. John W. Klinzing, CIC Affiliated Ins. Agencies of WI, LLC 3830 Atwood Ave. Madison, WI 53714 Phone 608-310-3924 Fax 608-441-8787 johnk@affiliatedllc.com

Ms. LouAnn Herriges, CIC, CISR Treasurer Johannesen-Farrar Inc. PO Box 347 Delavan, WI 53115 Phone 262-728-2631 Fax 262-728-2312 louannh@jfinsurance.com

Mr. Brian MacGillis, CPIA MacGillis Agency, Inc. 13745 W. Capitol Drive Brookfield, WI 53005 Phone 262-790-0000 Fax 262-790-0004 brian@macgillisinsurance.com Ms. Kathy M. Mulder Nolan Insurance Agency LLC PO Box 238 Brandon, WI 53919 Phone 920-346-2241 Fax 920-346-5600 kmulder@nolanins.com

March 2013

May 2013

April 2013

38 JANUARY 13

February 2013

June 2013

Coming Events

January 2013

Mr. Rick Clements, LUTCF, MDRT Secretary Clements Ins. Agency, Inc. 317 N. 6th St. Wausau, WI 54402 Phone 715-842-1664 Fax 715-848-3337 rick@clementsagency.com

Mr. Trey Neher, CIC, CISR THZ Insurance Group 420 E. Northland Ave. Appleton, WI 54911 Phone 920-730-0123 Fax 920-833-6870 tneher@thzins.com Mr. Steve Rodgers Rodgers Agency 400 E. Cedar St. Pulaski, WI 54162-8828 Phone 920-822-3695 Fax 866-716-1007 stever@rodgersagency.com Mr. Dennis Rupers, CIC, CISR Don Rick, Inc. PO Box 465 Portage, WI 53901 Phone 608-742-5548 Fax 608-742-5540 dennis@don-rick.com Ms. Kori Sagen Sagen & Associates 1002 1st Center Avenue Brodhead, WI 53520 Phone 608-897-9100 Fax 866-803-5135 kori@sageninsurance.com

STAFF PIA of Wisconsin, Inc. 6401 Odana Road Madison WI 53719 Phone: 608-274-8188 Toll Free: 800-261-7429 Fax: 608-274-8195 Toll Free Fax: 866-203-7461 www.piaw.org Ronald Von Haden, CIC Executive Vice President rvonhaden@piaw.org Mandy Behrens Administrative Assistant mbehrens@piaw.org Darcy Brown Member Benefits Coordinator dbrown@piaw.org Heather Falk, CISR Bookkeeping hfalk@piaw.org Becca Prestbroten Special Project Coordinator bprestbroten@piaw.org Brenda Steinbach Education & Convention Director bsteinbach@piaw.org

16

CPIA 1 Position for success Madison (7 WI CE)

16-18

CIC AGENCY MANAGEMENT Middleton (20 WI CE–4 are Ethics)

30-31

WINTER GET-AWAY Minocqua (CE Available) 3-3Hr CE Sessions (3 are Ethics)

12-13

CIC/RUBLE Green Bay 16 WI CE (4 of 16 optional Ethics)

14

WILLIAM T. HOLD Green Bay (8 WI CE–3 are Ethics)

27, 28

CISR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY Brookfield, Madison (8 WI CE)

13, 14

CISR PERSONAL LINES Fond Du Lac, Rothschild (8 WI CE)

20-22

CIC COMMERCIAL PROPERTY Milwaukee (20 WI CE)

21

ETHICS Milwaukee (4 WI Ethics CE)

10, 11

CISR COMMERCIAL CASUALTY #2 Brookfield, Green Bay (8 WI CE)

1

CPIA Green Bay (7 WI CE)

1-3

CIC LIFE & HEALTH Green Bay (20 WI CE)

12-14

CIC Agency management Milwaukee (20 WI CE)

19, 20, 21

CISR AGENCY OPERATIONS Brookfield, Green Bay, Madison (8 WI CE)


What does it take to join The Society Team?

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AGENT

TM

While other insurance teams recruit by size, at Society速 Insurance we focus on the intangibles. Our playbook revolves primarily around niche and workers comp insurance. And our philosophy is to find agents that are the best fit for our team. So rather than recruit by the size of the agent or agency, we prefer to find teammates that can execute our game plan to perfection.

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6401 Odana Road Madison, WI 53719 Change Service Requested

Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin, Inc. 6401 Odana Road • Madison, WI 53719 (608) 274-8188 • (800) 261-PIAW • FAX (608) 274-8195 • TOLL FREE FAX: (866) 203-7461 www.piaw.org

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Agency Name_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Street Address_______________________________________________ PO Box_______________________________________________________ City, State, Zip_______________________________________________ County_______________________________________________________ Phone_______________________________________________________ FAX_________________________________________________________ E-mail Address_______________________________________________ Website Address______________________________________________

Primary Contact Information:

The Primary Contact will receive a copy of the Wisconsin Professional Agent magazine and all mailings from PIA State and National. The Primary Contact will have voting privileges at both PIA State and National.

Name & Designation

DOB

Gender

Employment Status

Part-time

Magazine

Nat’l Voting

Privilege

o o

Male Female

o o

o

Corporation

Licensed Owner Licensed Producer

INCL INCL

o

Agency Information: Agency Type:o Sole Owner

o

Top 3 P&C Companies (list in order)

Partnership

Other Association affiliated with_____________________________

1)__________________________ 2)__________________________ 3)____________________________

Which Agency Management System are you using____________________ E&O Carrier_______________________________________Exp. Date______________ Annual P&C Prem. Vol._____________________________

Calculate Membership Amount Due:

Part-time employees count as one-half. If count ends in half, drop half. # Owners_________+ # Producers_________+ # Licensed staff_________+ # Unlicensed staff_________= Total Agency Size_______________ DUES SCHEDULE Total Agency Size $Amount Total Agency Size $ Amount 1 335 16 890 2 375 17 930 3 415 18 965 4 450 19 1005 5 490 20 1030 6 525 21 1070 7 570 22 1105 8 605 23 1145 9 640 24 1180 10 675 25 1220 11 710 26 1255 12 750 27 1295 13 780 28 1330 14 815 29 1370 15 855 30 & Over 1400 I certify that the information on this application is true and correct. Signed_______________________________ Dated_______________________

Total Amount from Dues Schedule $_______________ Send:

o

Check

o

MC

o

VISA

o

DIS

o

AMEX

Card No._________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_________________________________________________________ Name as it appears on card:__________________________________________________ Billing address if different from above: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Payments to PIA are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. However, they may be deductible under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code as a business expense.


January 2013 WI Professional Agent