[ JULY/AUGUST 2022 ]
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Find out why agency owners choose us! • • • • • • • •
Broad Leadership Team that is 100% focused on the insurance business Flexible deal structures including the ability to retain some ownership Strong focus on culture, associate engagement, and client satisfaction Proven ability to drive double-digit organic growth Recruiting & mentoring program to develop those new to the industry Shareholder program for top performers Ability to maintain leadership with regional and practice group support Committed to serving our communities
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Call us for a confidential conversation Tom Schaetz 419.450.0317
CONTENTS 4 From the President 6 Memos from Madison 8 From the Boardroom 10 Capitol Update 13 Eye On The Law 14 OCI Administrative Action 16 Community Corner 18 6 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Branding 20 Clay Shoot 2022 22 HR Snapshot 24 Owners’ Compensation 27 The Psychology of Sales 30 Education 36 New Members 37 Upcoming Events 38 Directory
We are a community of independent agents and other dedicated insurance professionals, working to promote and improve the independent agency channel. Our mission is to support the advancement and excellence of all independent agencies.
EDUCATE. ADVOCATE. COLLABORATE. EDUCATE
We are the premier association for insurance education in Wisconsin. Grow your knowledge and your bottom line, at our education sessions. Whether you want to pursue a CIC, CPIA, CISR or CRM designation, or just meet your bi-annual Wisconsin CE requirement, you have come to the right place.
With lobbyists representing you in Madison and in Washington, D.C., PIA is looking out for your interests and promoting the independent agency channel within state and federal government. Our goal is a regulatory environment that allows your agency to grow and prosper.
PIA is a place for you to collaborate with, and learn from, other agents and many other professionals in the industry. Starting an agency? We’ve been there. Growing an agency? We’ve been there. Considering a new agency management system? PIA members have been there. Whether at our PIAW Winter Get-Away event in Minocqua, Annual Convention, Scholarship Golf Outing or dozens of other events, you can collaborate with other professionals who have “been there.”
725 Heartland Trail Ste 108, Madison WI 53717 | (800) 261-7429 | www.piaw.org
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FROM THE PRESIDENT
We advocated on behalf of independent agents on various topics important to PIA members...
RYAN BUTZKE, CIC, CISR President, PIA of Wisconsin
PIA ADVOCACY DAY 2022 In typical years, PIA agents from around the country travel to Washington D.C. in spring to attend PIA’s annual congressional fly-in, now known as PIA Advocacy Day. Unfortunately, due to COVID and security restrictions in and around Washington D.C., PIA of Wisconsin decided to hold our meetings virtually June 21st-22nd with the understanding that we will be back inperson in Washington D.C. for 2023.
During this years’ meetings, PIAW was fortunate enough to be able to meet with the offices of U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman, U.S. Representative Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. We advocated on behalf of independent agents on various topics important to PIA members that are highlighted below for your review. Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program PIA supports the long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In the last Congress, PIA endorsed a legislative package that unanimously passed the House Financial Services Committee but stalled afterward and ultimately did not receive consideration by the full House or Senate. This year, PIA is encouraging that the House Financial Services Committee use that package as the starting point for this Congress’s efforts to provide the NFIP with a long-term reauthorization. The NFIP faces another prospective lapse on September 30, 2022 if Congress does not act soon. PIAW advocated for Congressional Action to prevent a lapse, but we also urged for Congress to pass a longterm reauthorization of NFIP that includes key reforms and recognizes the essential role independent agents play in delivering the program to consumers. Defending the State Insurance Regulatory System PIA supports legislation to repeal the Federal Insurance Office (FIO). The FIO was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is ongoing threat to the successful state insurance regulatory system. JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 4 ]
The mandate of the FIO has already been expanded by the Biden administration’s Executive Order (EO) on ClimateRelated Financial Risk, which directed the Treasury Secretary to task the FIO with assessing “climate-related issues or gaps in the supervision and regulation of insurers.” More recently, apparently in response to the EO, the Treasury Secretary issued a Request for Information on the Insurance Sector and Climate-Related Financial Risks, and PIA registered its objections to this increase in the scope of the FIO’s mandate. Last year, Rep. Tom Tiffany signed on as an original co-sponsor on legislation to fully repeal the FIO after PIAW’s Advocacy Day efforts. PIAW continued to advocate for the passage of this legislation. Making Permanent Tax Relief for Passthrough Entities (S Corps) PIA supports the Main Street Tax Certainty Act, which would make permanent the 20 percent tax deduction available to some S corporations, also known as passthrough corporations. Following the passage of the 2017 tax reform law, which established a deduction of up to 20 percent for “agents,” PIA advocated for insurance agents to be identified in regulation as eligible for the deduction. Since then, eligible independent agencies used this deduction to strengthen their businesses and provide for their families, despite an unprecedented economic downturn brought on by the pandemic. Unfortunately, in contrast to the tax benefits provided to C corporations by the 2017 law, the passthrough deduction is temporary. PIAW advocated that our representatives provide certainty and consistency to eligible independent agencies by making permanent this important tax relief provision. In addition to Advocacy Day, PIA National and PIA Wisconsin advocate for you year-round to ensure lawmakers and regulators understand and protect the independent agency system and small businesses. Through grassroots efforts, PIA Advocacy Day, and year-round advocacy in Washington D.C. and Madison, all independent agents have a powerful voice in government. Remember…WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!
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MEMOS FROM MADISON
If you haven’t stopped to think about employee retention and upped your game lately, now is the time.
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES IN 2022? While the insurance industry has been in an inflationary environment for over a year now, many other segments of the economy are now in “hard markets” too. Fuel, food and transportation prices are the most noticeable and are driving the Consumer Price Index (CPI) higher each month. Inflation in May, as measured by CPI, was 8.6 percent. That’s the highest inflation the U.S. has seen since I was wearing tube socks and riding a bike with a banana seat… in 1981. In particular, the inflation in labor costs is very high right now. The labor market is extremely tight and there are many opportunities out there for employees to leave your employ and make more money. I don’t just mean your strongest employees. I mean any person with a professional demeanor and a willingness to show up to work.
PETE HANSON, CAE, CISR Executive Director, PIA of Wisconsin
If you haven’t stopped to think about employee retention and upped your game lately, now is the time. Here are key areas that you should address: Employee Wellness and Work/Life Balance: Following the pandemic, there is a strong focus on flexibility and work/life balance. Employees are expecting the ability to do some of their work remotely and some employees will change jobs for this reason alone. Consider allowing a hybrid option for
employees to work some days from home. Update your PTO policies to be more competitive and perhaps even consider an “unlimited PTO” policy.
Employee Training and Growth: Encouraging your employees to learn new skills and earn professional designations is good for both of you. It raises their knowledge and confidence and shows them you are willing to invest in them. Yes, you have to cover the cost and consider those days “work time,” but it will be worth the investment. Competitive Compensation: Reassess wages, commission and bonus structures, and benefit packages to remain competitive with others in the industry (both agencies and carriers). Show your key people that you value them, so they don’t feel the need to test the waters elsewhere. Empathetic Management: Do you and your managers lead their teams with transparency? Humility? Empathy? Do performance reviews ask employees to review their managers? How often do you check in with employees to determine their workload and whether they have the tools they need to do their jobs? If your staff knows you value them and care, they are less much less likely to look elsewhere.
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by leaps and bounds, the cost of borrowing money is rocketing higher. What’s more, that trend is likely to continue for a while. To wit, the mean 30-year-fixed mortgage rate has gone from 3 percent to 6 percent in just a few months. I bring this up because floating rate loans are not uncommon among small businesses. If you have a fixed rate on your business loan, congratulations. The money you borrowed some years ago is getting cheaper by the day in this environment. If you have a loan with a floating rate, however, the cost of that JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 6 ]
loan could start to impact your monthly cash flow pretty quickly. Floating interest rates are usually tied to the Prime Lending Rate, which the Fed intends to increase by as much as 2.5 percent in 2022. Interest payments on a $1 million loan would go up by $25,000 in that scenario. That would equal $2,000 per month in additional interest payments. Now would be a great time to talk with your banker about your loans and review the terms. If any have floating interest rates, see if you can refinance to a fixed rate and/or pay down the principal to put a lid on your financing costs.
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FROM THE BOARDROOM
Once you become involved, you see all the opportunities available to you.
STEVE CLEMENTS, CPIA Vice President, PIA of Wisconsin
HOW TO AVOID REINVENTING THE (TWO) WHEEL
Do you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? You know - that nervous and exciting moment when you realized mom or dad was no longer holding the back of your banana seat and you were filled with a mixture of autonomous excitement with a desperate desire to avoid a kid-meets-gravel event. After that first milestone moment it wasn’t long before you expertly began reenacting Dukes of Hazzard scenes, BMX-style. My subsequent transition to the daunting 10-speed was, however, notably less smooth. Building foolishly off the confidence of my prior twowheeler, I was amazed at the size, speed, and agility of the venerated new ride. My stubborn bike-riding independence was heightened proportionately with each viewing of my “Rad” VHS movie. I sure don’t need help from any such mentor now. If I can ride a wheelie while standing on my pegs, how hard can this new bike be? The silly thought was abruptly supplanted with the realization that pedaling backwards did absolutely nothing to slow down the speedy bicycle - no matter how hard or fast I furiously pedaled the crank in reverse. This terrifying moment culminated in the unfortunate union of the underside of a mailbox with the lengthwise top of my two arms. Ouch.
Most of us are quick to recognize the importance of running the various aspects of our independent agency, but we also tend to inexplicably dig in the heels of our determination to go-it-alone as we navigate the myriad of agency complexities. Thinking back to my 10-speed sentiment, let me suggest that when it comes to being an independent insurance agent, there is no nobility in solitude. No matter what aspect of being an independent agent we might encounter, there is someone out there who has more experience and who has done it more effectively. We learn from one another. We are truly better together. Recognizing this important truth, the PIA offers a wide variety of valuable ways for each of us to enhance our JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 8 ]
professional acumen through interaction with like-minded industry professionals. You probably already know that the PIA is an educational powerhouse with both in-person and online offerings. But are you also a regular participant of other along-sider events the PIA makes available to you as a member? Allow me to list just a few fantastic options: • Engage 2022 – Annual Convention of PIA Wisconsin held October 12-13, 2022 at the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake, WI. Connect with other agents and carrier reps, enhance your insurance savvy with relevant seminars, enjoy fun events, meals, and entertainment. • Winter Get Away – This popular event held in the Northwoods has continually grown in popularity. Many memorable events interspersed with the opportunity to earn up to 10 CE credits. • Young Professionals Insurance Network – Whether you are a younger insurance professional or just newer to the industry, this group is for you! There is so much exciting momentum behind this group of rising stars. The YPI Network is a great way for PIA members to connect with this talented, forward-looking demographic.
Insurance can be a challenging industry but also a tremendously rewarding one. With more resources than ever before to help you grow a healthy agency, none of us should ever feel the need to re-invent the proverbial wheel. I invite you to take advantage of all the along-sider member resources the PIA works so diligently to provide to you as an independent insurance agent, agency staff member, or aspiring insurance professional. One more thing: You might think that I would’ve learned my lesson from the 10-speed when I eventually transitioned to clipped-in pedals. But alas, some of us are a bit slow to learn such lessons and I consequently spent too much time tipped over on the trail with my feet still securely fastened to my pedals. I sure hope you and I are much more intentional than that as we embrace the along-siders into our agency circles.
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Election season is officially in full swing. Citizens across the state have undoubtedly noticed the scaling up of political advertisements on tv, radio, streaming and online – a trend that will continue to skyrocket over the summer and into the fall. This cycle hosts the races for Wisconsin’s statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer, along with all State Assembly seats and the oddnumbered State Senate seats. Many candidates have entered the field to challenge current incumbents, or to seek to fill the many open positions that have come about this cycle due to incumbents retiring from office or seeking a new office. Twenty-one incumbent legislators will not have challengers this cycle. Notably, there are also two Assembly seats in which only one candidate filed nomination papers. Those two candidates are set to become freshman lawmakers without primary or general election opponents. The gubernatorial race is the most anticipated state race, with several challengers entering the field to take on incumbent Governor Tony Evers. Five Republicans and one independent candidate have filed to challenge Evers, with the Republican candidates facing off first at the partisan primary election on August 9th. Among those candidates is former Lt. Governor Rebecca JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 10 ]
Kleefisch, businessman Tim Michels, former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, Representative Tim Ramthun and grassroots candidate Adam Fischer. In addition to the state government races, federal congressional seats are up for election and so is the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Ron Johnson. In addition to drawing one primary opponent, Senator Johnson has a list of Democratic challengers seeking the Senate seat including current Lt. Governor Mandella Barnes, State Treasurer Sarah Godlweski, businessman Alex Lasry and several others. While Republican candidates have been feeling momentum driven by current economic pressures and are hoping to pick up votes from those feeling the toll of inflation, Democratic candidates are working to counter that momentum with timely issues like abortion access, gun restrictions and the “January 6” hearings. Which side will sway more moderate and undecided voters remains to be seen, but there are four months left before Wisconsinites head to the polls on Election Day. In politics, that’s an eternity. Keep up with Wisconsin politics and PIA’s Advocacy efforts with the Capitol Report in every issue of the Wisconsin Professional Agent and on the PIAW Blog at piaw.org.
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©Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2022. All rights reserved.
FREE LEGAL PIAW MEMBER HOTLINE
Solving Problems Makes Us Attorneys; Anticipating Them, Makes Us a Partner. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the unique legal needs of insurance agencies. We have represented hundreds of agencies, agents and brokers in all aspects of their business. Î Agency Ownership & Operations Î Mergers & Acquisitions Î Drafting & Review of Carrier, Producer, & Other Contracts Î Confidentiality, Non-Solicitation, & Non-Competition Agreements Î Perpetuation & Succession Planning Î Employee & Independent Contractor Issues Î Representation regarding OCI Licensing & Discipline Î E&O Reporting Obligations
Axley’s free insurance hotline is available to all PIAW members. Our attorneys will respond as quickly as possible. Calls do not constitute an attorney-client relationship. If your issues require more in-depth legal action or advice, you may be directed to seek private counsel. JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 12 ]
Eye on the Law Protect the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs: Perpetuation Planning and Selling Your Agency The last several years have seen an unprecedented number of insurance agency purchase and sale transactions. This flurry of activity has led to increased valuation and sale prices for agencies. Now is the time to make sure you have a plan to perpetuate your agency. A perpetuation plan will allow your agency to care for your clients, and to take care of you. Not only is perpetuation planning in your best interest, some insurers, as a condition of agency appointment, require the agency to submit a perpetuation plan. Multiple Owners Any number of factual circumstances may arise that highlight the necessity of having an appropriate perpetuation plan. For example, assume two 50% owners of an agency have no agreement for the sale of an owner’s interest. Now assume that one owner desires to retire, but rather than sell his interest in the agency to the other owner, the retiring owner desires to gift his interest in the agency to his child. The child is not a very good producer, is relatively young and inexperienced, and is not someone that the other owner is interested in doing business with on a long term basis. Absent a buy-sell or similar agreement between the two owners addressing ownership transfers (i.e., a perpetuation plan), the retiring owner will be able to gift his ownership interest in the agency to his child. Now the existing owner is a partner with the child of his former partner. Obviously, the success of the agency will be directly dependent upon the ability of the remaining and new owner to get along; and the foregoing suggests that there may be substantial problems in that regard. An appropriate plan of perpetuation would have eliminated this problem from arising. Unexpected Death or Disability Assume an agency is owned 100% by an individual who dies prematurely. The surviving spouse then seeks to sell the agency. Unfortunately, the spouse has no insurance experience and there is no employee with the financial resources or expertise to own and operate the agency. Consequently, the spouse needs to look to third party purchasers. Given the need to sell the agency quickly to service the agency’s clients, potential buyers will be looking to discount the value of the agency, and the spouse is
unlikely to receive full value for the sale of the agency. Here, a catastrophic perpetuation plan could have prevented this outcome. What is a catastrophic perpetuation plan? It is a plan designed for an owner of an agency that has no co-owner, no family member interested in owning the agency, and no trusted employee to transfer ownership of the agency. In such a situation, the owner should look to owners of other agencies as potential candidates to purchase the agency upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event, such as death or permanent disability of the owner. These two owners can establish a contractual commitment to sell/purchase the agency in response to a catastrophic event. This agreement should address, among other things, the purchase price or a formula to determine the purchase price, funding of the purchase price and other transaction issues. A catastrophic perpetuation plan will help ensure the continuation of the business for the benefit of clients and employees as well as avoid the devaluation of the business as a result of the catastrophic event. There is no one size fits all perpetuation plan that will work for all agencies. Rather, a perpetuation plan and its success will be dependent upon the characteristics of the agency and the desires and goals of the parties involved. A plan of perpetuation will provide definitive answers to any number of circumstances that can and will arise. The plan of perpetuation should attempt to strike a balance of fairness in those circumstances, so that the success of the agency is not jeopardized. Finally, a perpetuation plan is not a static document. It should be periodically reviewed, revised, and updated as circumstances change. PIA has many resources available to help members with perpetuation planning including PIA’s Agency Journey Mapping webinar on July 21st which will help you get a concrete plan in place for your agency’s future. If you are looking to draw up a contract and take the next legal steps, contact Axley Attorney Judd Genda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-283-6700.
This information is provided for the convenience of PIAW members, but cannot be construed as legal advice. Members of PIAW may call toll free (844) 672-1221, or email their questions to email@example.com, to work with an attorney and receive legal information specific to your situation. PIAW.ORG [ 13 ]
OCI ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS NATHAN HOUDEK
Commissioner 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.
APRIL 2022 Allegations & Actions Against Agents
Kendall L. Aschenbrenner, 3974 Parkview Ct., Winston Salem, NC 27127, agreed to not apply for any Wisconsin insurance authority for a minimum period of five years and agreed to timely and truthfully respond to all inquiries from OCI. These actions were taken based on allegations of providing false residency information on a licensing application and to OCI; failing to provide correct and current residential, business, and mailing address information; failing to timely respond in writing to inquiries from OCI; and conducting insurance business when he should not have been licensed. Javon Atterberry, 3440 Timberglen Rd., Apt. 226, Dallas, TX 75287, had his application for an insurance license denied for 90 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose a criminal conviction and administrative actions taken by the states of Illinois, Louisiana, and Alabama on a licensing application. G. Mark Dempsey, 138 E 12300 South, Unit C175, Draper, UT 84020, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely pay an ordered forfeiture. Cheryl L. Dupree, 872 Bent Creek Dr., Fort Pierce, FL 34947, agreed to pay a forfeiture of $200.00 if any future licensing application contains inaccurate information. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose criminal convictions on an original and on a renewal licensing application. Joseph P. Faruggio, 996 Jamaica Blvd., Toms River, NJ 08757, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on failing to pay a required fee. Michelle Gardner, 2239 Rambling Way, Lithonia, GA 30058, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions and administrative actions taken by the State of Alabama Board of Nursing, and providing false or misleading information to OCI during the licensing process. Mark S. Golden, 625 Carol Ct., Eau Claire, WI 54703, agreed to the 35-day denial of his insurance licensing application,
agreed to pay a forfeiture of $500.00, agreed to the issuance of a conditional insurance license, and agreed to accurately complete future licensing applications. These actions were taken based on allegations of failing to disclose criminal convictions and administrative actions on a licensing application. Eric D. Kurzynski, 3806 E Underwood Ave., Cudahy, WI 53110, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having a pending criminal charge and criminal convictions, and failing to accurately disclose the criminal convictions on a licensing application. Scottesha I. Mitchell, 7694 Little John Dr., Apt. 9, Indianapolis, IN 46219, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely pay an ordered forfeiture. Wesley T. Mullenax, 3592 S Iowa St., Chandler, AZ 85248, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely pay an ordered forfeiture. Jeffrey S. Nimmow, S7818 Ruthe Badger Ln., Merrimac, WI 53561, agreed to pay a forfeiture of $12,000.00. This action was taken, following an administrative hearing, based on allegations of selling unregistered securities to insurance consumers. Sapan N. Shah, 5325 Reserve Cir., Cincinnati, OH 45230, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose administrative actions on a licensing application, having administrative actions taken by other states, failing to timely respond to inquiries from OCI, and failing to provide documentation required to complete a licensing application. Dewayne B. Talbert, 6351 Overbrook Ave., Apt. 406B, Philadelphia, PA 19151, had his application for an insurance license denied for 60 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the State of Pennsylvania and a criminal conviction on a licensing application. Thor J. Thorson, 226 Birchwood Ln., Viroqua, WI 54665, agreed to surrender his insurance license and agreed to not apply for insurance authority in the future. These actions
JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 14 ]
were taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI a lawsuit alleging fraud and unjust enrichment. Daniel N. Williams, 9502 S 235th Pl., Kent, WA 98031, 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 Indiana on a licensing application. Emmanuele Zuccarelli, 8221 Banpo Bridge Way, Delray Beach, FL 33446, agreed to the issuance of an insurance license having a probationary status and containing certain disclosure and reporting requirements. This action was taken based on allegations of having a restricted insurance license in his domicile state and having lawsuits and administrative actions taken by the states of Florida and Washington.
MAY 2022 Allegations & Actions Against Agents
Luis Alberto Altamirano, 313 N Plankinton Ave., Ste. 204, Milwaukee, WI 53203, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely respond to OCI and failing to provide evidence of employment eligibility. David L. Avidon, 9980 Marsala Way, Delray Beach, FL 33446, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations having involvement in a lawsuit or arbitration containing allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, misappropriation or breach of fiduciary duty; having administrative actions taken by other states; and failing to disclose administrative actions on a licensing application. Lakesha Bellamy, 2719 N 44th St., Milwaukee, WI 53210, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of owing delinquent Wisconsin taxes. Ilya Brown, 2308 Minnesota Ave., Stevens Point, WI 54481, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having administrative actions taken by other states, failing to fully disclose administrative actions on a licensing application, and failing to comply with the terms of a previous stipulation and order. Mario A. Callejas, 4300 N University Dr., Ste B204, Sunrise, FL 33351, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay an ordered forfeiture amount. Laurie J. Coleman McIntosh, 6751 Mariner Dr., Unit A7, Racine, WI 53406, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of owing delinquent Wisconsin taxes. Cherise M. Court, 2122 56th St., Apt 228, Kenosha, WI 53140, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of owing delinquent Wisconsin taxes.
Clyde A. Hulbert, 123 Westover Rd., Eau Claire, WI 54701, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of owing delinquent Wisconsin taxes. Sindy V. Maldonado, 6809 60th Ave., Kenosha, WI 53142, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct. Sohale Nasim, 1420 Madrid Falls Dr., McKinney, TX 75071, was ordered to cease and desist violating Wisconsin insurance laws and was ordered to fully respond to an insurance complaint. This action was taken based on allegations of selling an unsuitable Medicare product using high pressure sales tactics and failing to timely respond to OCI inquiries. Travis R. Nelson, 44 Elliot Pl., Merrick, NY 11566, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having an administrative action taken by FINRA. Milo D. Perrault, 1383 Yates Ave., Austell, GA 30106, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having a criminal conviction that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct and having administrative actions taken by the states of Georgia, South Dakota, Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana. Donald Lonnie Pierce, 3257 Main St., Green Bay, WI 54311, had his reinstatement application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal charges and convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct, failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the State of Wisconsin on a licensing application, and failing to timely disclose pending criminal charges while licensed and during the application process. James P. Solberg, 5626 Black Onyx Dr., Apt. 116, Madison, WI 53718, 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. Janna B. Swopshire, 5526 Blinding Lights St., North Las Vegas, NV 89081, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of owing delinquent Wisconsin taxes. Colleen M. Thomas, 102 Heritage Dr. NW, Adairsville, GA 30103, agreed to the issuance of a two-year probationary insurance license having certain disclosure and reporting requirements. This action was taken based on allegations of having a criminal conviction that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct, having an administrative action taken by the State of Georgia, providing incomplete and inaccurate responses on a licensing application, and failing to respond timely to OCI information requests.
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 toll-free telephone number: 1-800-236-8517. PIAW.ORG [ 15 ]
COMMUNITY CORNER PIA Members are giving back to their communities year-round. We want to highlight what individual members and agency and company members are doing to help make Wisconsin a great place to live and run a business. Share your volunteer story with us – shoot an email and photos of the action to firstname.lastname@example.org!
BAER INSURANCE’S JOEY BROMS FUNDRAISES FOR THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY
Joey Broms of Baer Insurance Services, Inc. in Middleton was nominated to fundraise for the “Visionary of the Year” campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cancer, specifically blood cancers, have impacted Joey’s life immensely and have affected many around him. When he was fourteen, he started volunteering at a camp for children with cancer and blood-related diseases called Camp Rainbow Foundation. This camp ignited the spark in Joey to give back and work to support research to find a cure for this terrible disease, and it was an honor for him to be nominated to be a part of this important campaign.
CLEMENTS INSURANCE AGENCY KEEPING THE COMMUNITY CLEAN
To kick off spring, some of the Clements Insurance Agency team and their families joined together to participate in the Ghidorzi Green & Clean event in Wausau. This annual event brings together the community to clean up the landscape of litter and debris at over 35 different sites around Wausau. Over the years, the event has removed 29.15 TONS of trash and is a staple event for community members of all ages to come together, celebrate Earth Day and support the community.
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JERRY COURI NAMED CHAIRPERSON FOR WAUKESHA PARADE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
ERIE EMPLOYEES HELP CREATE MEMORIAL DISPLAY
Couri Insurance Agency President, Jerry Couri, has been named chairperson of the Waukesha Parade Memorial Committee. The committee is tasked with planning, fundraising for and overseeing the construction of a permanent memorial for the victims of the November 21, 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy which killed six and injured over 60 more community members. The committee, led by Jerry, has already met several times and has selected the location of the memorial to be Grede Park in Waukesha. The committee hopes to have the design of the memorial finalized by August of this year, with a dedication of the memorial on the two-year anniversary of the attack on November 21, 2023. Many thanks to Jerry for overseeing this important effort memorializing the victims of this horrible attack.
The Field of Flags is a striking display at Veterans Park that is created by volunteers in honor of Memorial Day – each flag in the ground represents a military member who died while serving. This year, employees from Erie Insurance participated in sticking a portion of the 12,301 flags into the ground, recognizing those Wisconsinite military members who died in the Civil War. The display served as a a visual representation, where community members could come honor the fallen heroes during the Memorial Day holiday.
R&R INSURANCE TAKES ON INVASIVE SPECIES
On Saturday, April 23rd, employees from R&R Insurance Services in Waukesha, gathered together in Minooka Park in honor of Earth Day. The Mission: Possible, Volunteer Workday for the Earth event spanned parks throughout Waukesha County. The R&R employees’ mission was taking on invasive Garlic Mustard that quickly spreads, is hard to eliminate, and threatens natural areas throughout the parks system. The plant was no match for the R&R team who worked hard to remove traces of the weed throughout the park. PIAW.ORG [ 17 ]
F E AT U R E
6 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Branding To Better Manage the Human Side of Business By Jane Cavalier We live in an upside-down world where the old rules no longer apply. Many call it a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Mass consumerism has been replaced by a new consumption paradigm as people are driven by new essentialism where things matter less and relationships, experiences and self-being dominate all. In this new world, workers are restless, customers fickle, investors skittish, and the public has an appetite to cancel. In order to rally everyone together to stand behind a company and its path during all the ups and downs, leaders need to draw upon emotions as rationality will not carry the day. They have one tool at their disposal to do this delicate work – the brand. Although often associated with marketing, brands are actually cultural icons that symbolically carry meaning. In just a nano second, they evoke common immediate meaning and emotions across all people. Think BMW, John Deere, Chanel, Apple and American Express. In a world where everything is uncertain, brands can be trusted to stand true. Now, if you don’t have a brand, you can build one. Anyone can. It takes commitment to people, to tell their story and represent their interests with your brand, not your own. If you create a brand that represents the highest common denominator between your people (customers, employees, investors) and your products/services, then you can forge an enduring powerful partnership that will yield surprising dividends for your business. It all begins with understanding the basics of what a brand really means for a business.
1. A Brand Resides in the Mind not in a Logo: Although expressed in a logo and a tagline, a brand is actually a mental construct that gets into the mind and lives in the memory of people. Branding is the process of creating the brand in the minds of people. It is typically done by creating things and experiences that “express” the brand such as marketing materials and product design. Brands also live in the culture. Powerful brands like Nike become social concepts and exist in the culture where they continually give people cues and establish the brand as a part of society. 2. Brands Set Meaning: Brands give meaning to products. Is an anti-lock braking system (ABS) a breakthrough in performance (BMW) or safety (Volvo)? That depends on the brand. The brand is a mental lens that provides immediate meaning. A Snickers bar is a snack. Tiffany means luxury taste and quality. Apple is about unleashing creativity while IBM is about improving productivity. The brand provides context which tells people why a product is important to them. 3. Brands Carry Emotional Power: Like great art, brands are designed to elicit a response, both emotional and rational. Like art they can enchant and often captivate people which creates desire. Marlboro was the first filtertipped cigarette and was initially launched as a woman’s cigarette which failed. The same product was re-branded as the ultimate masculine smoke and with the swagger of the Marlboro man still remains one of the most powerful brands in the world. Powerful brands are mythologies that evoke emotions that swell to desire.
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4. Brands are Fiction Not Fact: Branding is poetry not journalism. Messaging matrixes and value propositions belong to marketers and are fact-based. Branding is another world that is concept-based. Branding brings out the big gun – an idea. A powerful, transcendent, mindtweaking idea designed to engage the mind and heart at another level. The idea is what catalyzes new behavior and thinking. When Tide gets clothes clean, it means that Mom and Dad are good parents and conveys that message. The Home Depot is a large hardware store, but the brand makes it a Home Center for any current and aspiring do-ityourselfer. 5. Brands Defy Logic: When you have a powerful brand, you’ll be surprised by what it can do. You will see strong conviction and commitment across employees, customers and investors despite challenges. People tend to defend the brands they love and stay loyal against all odds – better alternatives, cheaper alternatives, easier alternatives. To achieve that kind of priceless cohesion, you have to build and continually maintain the brand campfire - and make it into a bonfire for the whole world to see. At John Deere, they say people bleed green because the brand is so deep. 6. Brands Deliver Business Value Multiple Ways: Because powerful brands are sticky, they have the ability to build a moat around the business. Customers remain loyal even in the face of superior performing or lower priced competitors. People forgive and forget product and corporate errors which mitigates losses. People are more willing to try new products, services and experiences from brands they love which accelerates sales. If you have a vision to build an empire, but a brand to amplify the upside and mitigate the downside.
Many corporate executives view the brand as simply a marketing asset. Others like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Elon Musk view it as a corporate asset, part of the business strategy. Once built, a powerful brand can be used to wield influence in many circumstances from the Main Street to Wall Street to Capitol Hill. While products and executives may come and go within a company, the brand can endure forever – as long as it is well maintained. In a world of fake news where people are becoming increasingly unmoored and where constant shocks and disruptions seem to prevent ‘normal’ from ever being a reality, brands are a reassuring presence that people can depend on. Powerful brands nurture, the people that come to work, buy products and invest in companies. Business always comes down to connecting with people on a human level. Powerful brands are creative concepts that stimulate the imagination and emotions in ways that most CEOs cannot. With a powerful brand, the CEO has a tool to open minds, raise hearts, command attention, bring everyone together and protect the business again in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
About the Author
Jane Cavalier, CEO and Founder of BrightMark Consulting, is a nationally recognized brand strategist, board member, blogger and author of bestselling business book The Enchanted Brand (Amazon). She helps organizations conquer a changing world with powerful brands and reputations. Recognized for creating breakout brands like Snapple and Qwest, Jane has worked with over 100 organizations including American Express, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil and the U.S. Navy. For more information, visit www.brightmarkconsulting.com.
As a regional mutual company with over 100 years experience, we’re here for you now and in the future.
M A D I S O N M U T UA L .C O M
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN WE HAVE YOU COVERED If you are an independent agent looking for a regional company that understands the challenges of writing personal lines, property/casualty insurance in the Midwest, we would like to speak with you. PIAW.ORG [ 19 ]
Matt Disher - Wisconsin Marketing Representative 608-515-4551 - email@example.com
PIA’s 3rd Annual PAC Clay Shoot was 3rd straight year of success – A great time for our attendees and a recordbreaking year for PIA’s PAC! Attendees spent the day shooting two rounds of clays, vying for the coveted Team Champion and Shoot Champion titles. Mark Cyganiak of ServiceMaster Recovery Services took the title of Shoot Champion, while the team from Dopke Insurance secured their spot as Team Champions! With a hearty barbeque lunch, good company, and exciting prizes at the post-shoot reception, the event had something for everyone. The attendees had a fantastic time, while helping raise OVER $10,000 for independent agent advocacy efforts in Wisconsin! Each year, the event has grown and raised more money to help keep a strong insurance industry in Wisconsin. If you haven’t attended yet, you are missing out! You’ll have your next chance to join the fun in spring 2023 – details coming soon!
JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 20 ]
PIAW.ORG [ 21 ]
CAN WE TELL EMPLOYEES NOT TO TALK ABOUT THEIR PAY WITH EACH OTHER? Generally not. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants all non-supervisory employees (not just those in unions) the right to organize and engage in “concerted activity” for the purpose of mutual aid or protection. Concerted means “in concert,” meaning more than one employee is involved. Activities for mutual aid and protection could include discussions about wages, benefits, treatment from managers, safety issues, and just about anything else that two or more employees might have a stake in. As a result, the protections provided by the NLRA are broad. Here are a few examples of protected activity: • Employees discussing their pay, whether via email, break room chat, or social media • Individual employees complaining about wages or employment conditions if they reflect general workforce discontent or are attempting to get the support of coworkers to correct a problem • Employees circulating a petition asking for better hours • Employees refusing to work in unsafe conditions • Employees joining with coworkers to talk directly to the employer, to a government agency, or to the media about problems in the workplace • While the NLRA doesn’t protect supervisory employees in this way, employers should be careful about who they classify as supervisory. Only those who have real authority will be exempt from the NLRA’s protections— an assistant manager or shift manager, for example, would in many cases not qualify as supervisory. Note that a number of states have enacted pay equity or pay transparency laws that protect all employees’ ability to discuss their wages—even those in the C-suite. Under these laws, you wouldn’t be able to enforce wage confidentiality policies, even for supervisors.
Answer from Rachel, SHRM-SCP
CAN WE DO REFERENCE CHECKS FOR ONLY CERTAIN ROLES? Yes, as long as you’re not discriminating based on protected classes or characteristics, you can conduct reference checks for certain roles but not others. For example, you may decide that supervisory roles or positions with access to sensitive information warrant this additional step during the hiring process. As with any reference check, don’t forget to get the candidate’s permission first. That said, some employers like to have consistent practices across the board to reduce the risk of a discrimination claim. Employees can file claims based simply on the appearance of discrimination, and employers may be held liable even if they didn’t intend to discriminate. In this case, doing (or not doing) reference checks for all roles would be the most risk-averse approach. If you would like to check references only for certain employee groups, you should consider whether your policies and practices are disproportionately affecting employees who share a protected characteristic (race, sex, age over 40, etc.). If candidates who were rejected after a reference check were all or mostly the same gender, for instance, you’d want to be sure that Answer from the reference checks were both a business necessity and that there was no Daniel, SHRM-CP other policy you could implement that would have less of an impact on the protected group.
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HOW DO WE HANDLE LEAVE PAPERWORK WHEN THE EMPLOYEE NEEDING LEAVE IS INCAPACITATED OR UNABLE TO BE REACHED DIRECTLY? In the event you’re made aware that an employee needs medical leave, but the employee is not available for direct contact due to inpatient care in a facility or incapacitation, send the applicable leave paperwork to the employee’s address on file. The employee may have someone who can get the paperwork from their home address to them or their health care provider—this is one of the most reliable methods of delivery to prove that you’ve met your compliance obligations. It’s possible you’ll hear from a case manager, family member, or emergency contact who reaches out to you on the employee’s behalf. In such a situation, you could also send the paperwork to the employee at the facility they’re in. Whatever the case, address the paperwork and any other correspondence to the employee directly, and don’t release the employee’s confidential information unless you have direct authorization from them.
Answer from Margaret, PHR, SHRM-CP
IF AN EMPLOYEE RUNS OUT OF PAID TIME OFF, CAN WE ALLOW THEM TO TAKE AN UNPAID LEAVE? In most cases, yes. In general, you can offer the option of unpaid leave when an employee has used all of their paid leave time. A few things to keep in mind: • In some situations, such as under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employee may be legally entitled to unpaid leave. In those cases, you would need to approve the unpaid leave (at least) to the extent required by law. • For employees enrolled in your company benefit offerings, the length of the unpaid leave may impact their ability to continue to participate in benefits if the time away isn’t covered by FMLA or a similar law. Check your internal policies and benefit plan documents for details on eligibility. • Be consistent in granting time off requests. If—in the absence of legal requirements—you have historically granted employees unpaid time off for personal reasons or family emergencies, you should continue to do so unless you want to make a permanent change in policy. Inconsistency can lead to discrimination claims. It also wouldn’t hurt to double-check that the employee isn’t owed any paid leave beyond what they’ve already taken. Review state and local leave laws where the employee works for any requirements.
Answer from Kim, SPHR, AAM, CPIW
CAN WE REQUIRE EMPLOYEES TO DO EXTRA WORK OUTSIDE THEIR SCHEDULED HOURS? Yes, but you have to pay for it. As an employer, you have control over schedules and can modify them as needed. That may mean scheduling additional work time for employees. A few things to note: For nonexempt employees, any extra work time must be compensated at or above minimum wage, and any overtime worked must be paid at the required premium. Properly classified exempt employees don’t need to be paid extra for extra work. Employees who haven’t previously been scheduled outside their normal work hours may have conflicts. Giving them a heads up well in advance of a change to their schedule may increase the chance that they can take on the extra work. Some employees may have commitments they can’t change or may otherwise be unable to work the extra hours. If you plan to make the extra work a requirement for certain positions, you may experience unwelcome turnover. Answer from Sergio, Over time, additional hours can lead to burnout. Make sure managers SHRM-CP are regularly communicating with their team members about workloads and morale. PIAW.ORG [ 23 ]
F E AT U R E
OWNERS’ COMPENSATION By Al Diamond, Agency Consulting Group
Here’s a story – once upon a time there were two friends that wanted to start an agency. Since they are friends, they figured the best way of avoiding any animosity over compensation, production and management issues each would agree to equal compensation through the duration of the partnership. So, they opened the agency; both are key contributors to the agency, both are vibrant, talented and skilled, therefore the agency would comfortably grow. Now, 33 years later, one of the partners needs to retire. The other partner can’t wait. Why? Almost 15 years ago the first partner had a heart attack. Since the heart attack, he hasn’t pulled his weight in the agency. The healthy partner continued to support the weaker partner because they are friends and because both fully expected the partner to recover and regain his position with the agency. But more importantly, when they decided to open the agency they agreed to equally be compensated — and both were honorable men. During the ensuing period, the agency grew from nothing to $2.3 Million of revenue, primarily on the back of the second owner (it was about $700k at the time of the heart attack). In many ways he considered his partner to be an obligation and a part of life and he didn’t begrudge paying his partner an ever growing compensation because of the agency’s success, but in the recesses of his mind, the fact that the intention of both to equally cause the business to thrive continued to fester. Only when the partner suffered his second heart attack recently and decided that it was time to depart did the full ramifications of their original decision hit home for the surviving partner. The value of the agency was over $3.8
million (it continued to grow its client base even through the soft market and generated a consistent strong profit because of the conservative way the agency was operated (by the working partner). The partner who was retiring was “responsible” for the L&H production of the agency (about $150,000) and managed one person (nominally). For that he received over $300k/yr. and was now going to get an additional $1,900,000 over five years, draining the agency’s profits until 2019, one year AFTER the working partner wanted to retire, himself. These are two fine people. The second owner offered to cut his compensation a number of times but, recognizing his partner’s financial situation, the healthy partner declined. He figured he was making a good living and should honor their agreement. He never thought about the situation that would ensue when the partnership ended. Now, the second owner is no longer responsible for his own affairs. His attorney is not interested in doing “the right thing” for the surviving partner, only in maximizing the return to his client and/or his estate (from which his fee is derived). We all feel badly for the partner whose health was affected. BUT A PRODUCTIVITY BASED COMPENSATION PROGRAM WOULD HAVE RESOLVED THIS ISSUE FROM THE START AND WOULD HAVE BEEN FAIR TO BOTH. Here’s how it works. If the owners are going to be producers, they should pay themselves the same percentage of revenue that they would pay any other producer of the agency. If they take management roles, they should be paid the equivalent of what they would pay any manager to do the same job in
JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 24 ]
the agency –multiplied by the ration of time they’ve had the position. And you don’t have to guess how much time is used. It can be judged AFTER THE FACT (once the year is over) and adjustments made to future compensation accordingly if the role is to continue. We strongly urge productivity-based compensation for owners because of situations as cited in the example, above. Productive Compensation defines what you EARN for doing what you do productively in the agency. Owners Compensation, through any form of dividend distribution or bonus payments you wish to make, is a second source of income that is usually derived from ownership percentage. So the agency owners who take some or all of their profits each year can continue to do so (although we don’t recommend taking all profits out of the agency each year and leaving nothing to sponsor the agency’s growth), but it is treated as a second source of income beyond their productive efforts. Doing this in the situation, above, would have eliminated the excess compensation that derived from a perfectly honorable agreement (that lacked the forethought of the results of that action). What disturbs most agents is the need to pay out the ownership interest to an owner who has not been as valuable as their ownership indicates. But what they fail to understand is that if there is ANY obligation it is a contractual obligation to an investor, whether that investor is active, productive, or passive. If someone owns a percentage of your business and you have specified how that person will
be bought out, you risk litigation if you try to change the price or the terms simply because the reality of the situation was not as you expected. The savings to an agency of a proper compensation agreement is in not paying for lack of productivity, whether in a producer (see our Producer Compensation Programs), and employee (see our Incentive Compensation Programs) or in an owner. The truly fairest way to come together in ownership is to agree that each owner will take a compensation level that equates to his/her contribution to the success of the agency every year. Many owners will boast about how much they did historically for the agency, but unless that historical performance continues to benefit the business, that is truly past history. In one recent case, a retiring owner was responsible for a multi-million-dollar (commission) book of specialty business that the agency wrote many years ago. However, most of it was gone by the time the valuation was being done but the owner still felt his importance was derived from that historical performance. The annual profit sharing in an agency may still be equated to ownership interest (although we have aided many agencies with multiple owners to alter annual profit sharing to equate to percentage of profit contribution (not revenue contribution) of each owner. On the other hand, the issue that should remain sacrosanct is the distribution of the agency’s value at the point of sale of an ownership interest. That should always be sensitive to the percentage ownership of the departing owner.
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ROCKFORD M U TUAL I N S U R A N C E C O M P A N Y
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F E AT U R E
a new beginning? It’s time to start a new chapter in your story. Consider becoming an independent Erie Insurance agent. • 13th largest auto insurer in the U.S.1 (even though we only operate in 12 states and the District of Columbia) • 12th largest home insurer in the U.S.1 • 13th largest business insurer in the U.S.2 • Support from a dedicated sales team and your own underwriter • FORTUNE 500® company • High customer retention3—over 90%
Limited appointments available, so visit BecomeAnErieAgent.com to learn more, or contact me today: Fred Johnson, CIC Vice President & Branch Manager, Wisconsin Branch (262) 798-1941 or (877) 740-3743 Fred.Johnson@erieinsurance.com Erie Insurance agents are independent contractors and not employees. All Erie Insurance agents are subject to all terms and policies as outlined in the Erie Insurance Agency Agreement and related policies and procedures. 1 Based on direct premiums written, Best’s Insurance Reports 2020. 2Based on direct premiums
written, commercial multi-peril writers, Best’s Insurance Reports 2020. 3Based on year-overyear retention rate data compiled by ERIE as of December 31, 2020. CMS149_30 6/21
2022 [ 26 ] BEJULY/AUGUST AN ERIE AGENT
F E AT U R E
The Psychology of Sales known as the paradox of choice. There are too many options all the time, so why not make it easier? Continue to make the customer in charge but present a handful of solid options instead of throwing every possibility at them. Dial down the pressure. Customers may expect a highpressure sales environment. Instead, give them an easy out and highlight their side of the story. Your client’s confidence will increase and you’ll eliminate buyer’s remorse. The human brain is an incredible thing. You may already know what makes a good sales pitch and how to find solid prospects, but do you know what’s going on inside a customer’s head? Your words may fall flat if you don’t understand the psychology of selling. Here are a few ways you can use psychology to your advantage when trying to close a sale: Be completely and utterly honest. The relationship between an agent and an insured should be a close one, based on mutual respect and trust. Try using a bit of reverse psychology and give customers something different from what they expect. Explain how you’re different from the rest of the industry. When a prospect comes to you, you likely aren’t the only company or agency they’re considering buying insurance with. Limit a la carte offerings. Yes, they are all the rage right now, but everyone’s already suffering from the paralysis
Balance gains and losses. Some people respond better to telling them what they’re missing out on over telling them what benefits they stand to gain. Don’t make this the focus of your pitch but intersperse both gains and losses to various policy options. Socialize with social beings. Potential customers like to know that others are benefiting from your services. Share feedback from previous clients to reassure them and highlight the customer following you already have. People are also committed to a certain perception of themselves (enter cognitive dissonance), which means they’ll avoid putting themselves in situations that may conflict with their personal attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Consider the questions you ask at the beginning of your conversation: Are they uncovering conflicting beliefs so you can understand them? When you know more, you can reframe the problem areas and instead, validate new beliefs. Psychology plays a bigger role than we like to think, but the smart salesperson will use these tips to experience easier sales and a better bottom line.
PIAW.ORG [ 27 ]
COMMON CAUSES OF AGENTS’ E&O CLAIMS – PART III
Failure to Give Accurate Information/Advice by Tabitha L. DeGirolano, RPLU E&O Risk Management Specialist Executive Commercial Lines Underwriter Utica National Insurance Group
This installment of our series on 6 common causes of E&O claims ››. discusses claims for failure to give accurate information/advice. If you do not effectively communicate about what you are selling, a client may believe they weren’t provided with adequate information to make an informed coverage decision.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID THESE CLAIMS?
Know what you’re selling • Pass if you don’t fully understand the coverage or risk. • Don’t depend on a wholesaler or MGA to supply knowledge you don’t have. • Products, such as cyber insurance, evolve quickly, so keep up to date on industry news, take courses and ask questions.
Market effectively • Review and update your marketing materials regularly. Inaccurate materials can be used against you if there’s a claim. • Avoid using language such as “expert” or “specialist” because you will be held to a higher standard if there’s a claim.
Limit Considerations • Offer multiple limit options and advise clients to review them. You can offer guidance, but clients must assess if the limits are sufficient for their risk. • Make sure clients acknowledge that additional limits were offered and they have independently chosen the option they believe best meets their needs. • Document discussions about limits in your file and email the client a summary of what was discussed. • Be cautious when using insurance-to-value tools, which may be outdated and not reflect current conditions.
Present Terms and Conditions of Coverage • Point out coverage gaps, limitations, and restrictions. Explain coinsurance provisions. Provide clients with the form and endorsements and recommend that they review them thoroughly. Have them confirm they understand the coverage and don’t have any questions. • Know if there are specific rating requirements for the coverage your client needs and have the client acknowledge the rating if you’re placing coverage with a carrier not rated by AM Best or Demotech. JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 28 ]
Are you our next Agent Owner or AFFILIATE AGENCY?
“We’re an agency for agents and we truly mean that. Our agents are owners and they retain 100% ownership of their book. Let’s discuss how you can grow your business with us.” - Chris Illman, CEO
more markets. bigger return. proven success. Learn More: Chris Illman I firstname.lastname@example.org I 800.258.0277 I www.RobertsonRyan.com/agentowner
An Expert Lending Partner Security Financial Bank specializes in independent insurance agency financing. SFB IS A WISCONSIN BASED BANK OFFERING: • Acquisition Financing • Partner Buyout Financing • Lines of Credit
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Register online at piaw.org or call 1-800-261-7429. Contact Brenda
NEW TOPICS ADDED! 3 WI CE CREDITS. LIVE (NOT PRE-RECORDED). NO TEST. NO PROCTOR. Visit the Education tab at piaw.org for a complete list of topics, descriptions, webinar demo and registration. Several approved for Utica credit. Ethics is offered each month. Fee per Webinar: $55 PIAW Member, $70 Non-Member. Includes WI CE fees.
July 2022 Webinar Schedule TITLE & WI CE
More Money, More (Insurance) Problems? Mastering P&C Coverage for the Affluent Market 3 WI CE # 6000121850
Kym Martell, CRM, CIC, CRIS, AAI, MLIS
Chris Amrhein’s “Adventures in Aging”: Medicare and Other Retirement Healthcare Solutions 3 WI CE # 6000108253
Chris Amrhein, CIC
Commercial Property – Direct vs Indirect Damage 3 WI CE # 6000080287
Robin Federici, CIC, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW
Ethics: Essentials for the Insurance Producer 3 WI ETHICS CE # 6000080505
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
Personal Lines Clients and Their New Normal 3 WI CE # 6000080286
Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS
Personal Lines Coverage Concerns: Annoying But Important 3 WI CE # 6000080480
Scott Treen, CIC
Why Insurance to Value and Liability Limits are Always Wrong (and How to Fix That) 3 WI CE # 6000112609
Steve Lyon, CIC, CPCU, ARM
Autos, Garages and Dealers – Oh My! Knowing the Difference 3 WI CE # 6000102013
Carissa Bonner, ANIS, CRIS
Register online at piaw.org or call 1-800-261-7429. Contact Brenda for in-house webinar opportunities. email@example.com JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 30 ]
for in-house webinar opportunities. firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW TOPICS ADDED! 3 WI CE CREDITS. LIVE (NOT PRE-RECORDED). NO TEST. NO PROCTOR. Visit the Education tab at piaw.org for a complete list of topics, descriptions, webinar demo and registration. Several approved for Utica credit. Ethics is offered each month. Fee per Webinar: $55 PIAW Member, $70 Non-Member. Includes WI CE fees.
August 2022 Webinar Schedule TITLE & WI CE
That’s Personal: Home & Auto Exposures Your Insured Doesn’t Share (and Why That’s Bad) 3 WI CE # 6000080266 Utica Approved
Scott Treen, CIC
Flood Insurance and the NFIP 3 WI CE # 6000059679
Robin Federici, CIC, AAI, ARM,
Personal & Commercial Lines Endorsements: Some Good, Some That Really Stink 3 WI CE # 6000114369
Steve Lyon, CIC, CPCU, ARM
Certificates and Additional Insureds: What Did I Do to Deserve This?! 3 WI CE # 6000115912
Carissa Bonner, ANIS, CRIS
Cyber – Evolution, Exposures, Incidents & Insurance 3 WI CE # 6000082637
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
Employment Practices Liability: A Coverage No Business Can Afford to Be Without
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
An Hour with Nicole: Homeowners Loss Settlement Issues 1 WI CE # 6000081983
Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS
Homeowners in Real Life: Tales of Claims & Coverage 3 WI CE # 6000080508
Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS
Why Good People Do Bad Things: A Deep Dive into Agency Ethics 3 WI ETHICS, CE # 6000112615
Terry Tadlock, CIC, CPCU, CRIS
Chris Amrhein’s “Adventures in Aging”: Social Security and Other Retirement Income Solutions 3 WI CE # 6000110967
Chris Amrhein, CIC
An Hour with Dave: Fast Facts About Flood 1 WI CE # 6000123785
David Thompson, CPCU, AAI, API, CRIS
An Hour with Cathy: Insurance Issues for the Commercial Tenant 1 WI CE # 6000081950
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
PIAW.ORG [ 31 ]
EDUCATION DESIGNATIONS AND UPDATES CIC WEBINARS & CLASSROOM
Anyone Can Attend No Exam or Proctor Required for CE 16 WI CE Each – Optional, Virtual Exam the Following Week
Agency Management (Includes 3 Ethics) SECURA – Neenah
Commercial Casualty Webinar
Commercial Multiline West Bend Mutual
CIC GRADUATE RUBLE WEBINARS & CLASSROOM Exciting update option for CICs, CRMs, and CISRs! 16 WI CE
4 Optional Ethics Radisson - Green Bay
CISR WEBINARS Anyone Can Attend 7 WI CE Each
Agency Operations (Includes 1 WI Ethics)
Life & Health Essentials
AUGUST 23 Elements of Risk
CPIA WEBINARS & CLASSROOM
Anyone Can Attend 7 WI CE Each (2 of 7 are Ethics at Webinars) No Exam
CPIA 1 – Position for Success
CPIA 2 – Implement for Success
CPIA 3 – Sustain Success
JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 32 ]
CLASSROOM – Elkhart Lake CPIA 2 – Implement for Success PIA Members received ½ off if attending Engage 2022
NEW CPIAs The Certified Porfessional Insurance Agent program teaches practical and proven “before”, “during”, and “after” sales techniques. Jamie Aune, CPIA SF Insurance Group New Richmond, WI Kimberley Brice, CIC, CPIA SF Insurance Group New Richmond, WI Eric Bubolz, CPIA Elevated Insurance LLC Wauwatosa, WI Yvette Chieves, CPIA Church Mutual Insurance Co. Merrill, WI Kristen Fye, CPIA Anew Insurance Agency, Inc. Edgerton, WI Monty Hunt, CIC, CRM, CPIA American Advantage - IFS, Inc. Pewaukee, WI Carly Kendall, CPIA The Insurance Center Onalaska, WI
James Kuntz, CPIA Lake Aire Insurance LLC Turtle Lake, WI
Paul Schliepp, CISR, CPIA Ansay & Associates LLC Mosinee, WI
Pete Lotzer, CPIA Marshfield Insurance Agency, Inc. Marshfield, WI
Jody Simpson-Leonhardt, CISR Elite, CPIA American Advantage Lindow Ins Agency Waukesha, WI
Derek Madson, CPIA Paroubek Insurance Agency Inc. De Pere, WI Angela Marion, CPIA, CISR Community Insurance Info. Center Glendale, WI Nicole Mills, CPIA The Insurance Center Onalaska, WI Carmella Moon, CISR Elite, CPIA Marshfield Insurance Agency, Inc. Marshfield, WI Christine Nabbefeld, CISR Elite, CPIA Ansay & Associates LLC Appleton, WI Taylor Ryman, CPIA Ansay & Associates LLC Port Washington, WI
PIAW.ORG [ 33 ]
Neville Spanaus, CPIA Icon Insurance Service Corp. Hartland, WI Stacey Thiel, CISR, CPIA Thiel Insurance Group, LLC Appleton, WI Kim Waisanen, CPIA USI Insurance Services Brookfield, WI Charles Zink, CPIA Brechler-Lendosky Group LLC Fennimore, WI Clayton Zogata, CPIA Penn National Insurance Waukesha, WI
July 2 1 | 8a m - 12pm
A l D i a m on d
Agency Consulting Gr oup, I nc.
$99 Registration Fee
Whether you are planning for the eventual sale of your agency, getting prepared for the unexpected or just want to value your agency, this webinar and accompanying resources are designed to give you the tools you need to create your own personalized perpetuation plan. Understand the challenges and best practices of agency ownership transfer and how your actions today are impacting your agency's value and your ability to respond to future opportunities. A f ter th e w ebi n a r , sch edu l e a com pl etel y con f i den ti a l 30-m i n u te con su l ta ti on w i th A l , w h er e y ou ca n di scu ss y ou r a gen cy a n d per son a l ci r cu m sta n ces pr i v a tel y !
"T his cour se should be mandator y for all independent agencies."
MARCH/APRIL 2022 [ 34 ]
There are more
THAN EVER. Is your
agency at risk?
The answer is yes— everyone is at risk. The best defense is a strong offense.
Winning@CyberSecurity Defense is a customized 4 step program to make your agency and its customers more secure and stronger.
Brought to you by PIA and The PIA Partnership
Part 1: Cyber Risk from A to Z Part 2: Cyber Risk Insurance Protection Part 3: Cyber Risk Assessment Part 4: Cyber Resources for Your Agency © Copyright 2022 National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
PIAW.ORG [ 35 ]
NEW MEMBERS AgEncy
AIA Insurance of Wisconsin Green Bay, WI American Advantage – Cornerstone Ins. LLC New London, WI American Advantage Ortiz Mt. Pleasant, WI
CIS Insurance Inc. Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Noble Insurance LLC Delavan, WI
Compass Insurance Group Racine, WI
Steckling Agency Wausau, WI
Crossroads Insurance Plover, WI
Thompson-Nelson Insurance Agency Inc. Rice Lake, WI
Gary Ellis Insurance Madison, WI
Aria Benefits LLC Madison, WI Bob Andrews Insurance Agency Necedah, WI Bremax LLC Antigo, WI
Great Lakes Insurance Agency Inc. Ashland, WI Haven TBS Schofield, WI
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies Alpharetta, GA
North Point Business Consulting, LLC Eau Claire, WI
KMK Insurance Solutions Prairie du Chien, WI
Cayo Agency Eau Claire, WI
Truckers Insured LLC Edgerton, WI
Life & Health Webinar Insurance Service Center LLC De Pere, WI
Bridge Agency Milwaukee, WI
Please be sure to check out all of the member benefits you now have access to at www.piaw.org
Midwest Select Insurance Kronenwetter, WI
Self-Funding, the Numbers Behind the Numbers
Life Insurance Strategies to Help Your Everyday Clients
Life & Health Webinar Life & Health Webinar
FREE for PIA Members!
March 15 • 9–11AM
2 WI CE
2 WI CE
July 14 • 9–11AM
$70 for Non-Members
Self-Funding, the Life Insurance Numbers Behind Strategies to Help thethe NumbersLife Insurance Your Everyday Clients Self-Funding, INSTRUCTOR INSTRUCTOR Employee Trends Numbers DAVID BehindGRUNKE toBenefit Help JulySMITH March 15 •Strategies 9–11AM 14 • 9–11AM MICHAEL FREE for PIA Members! David Grunke, CHC, CHU, ChHC the Numbers Your Everyday Clients LUTCF, CLTC, LACP CPS CHC, RHU, CHHC 2 WI CE
2 WI CE
$70 for Non-Members
for PIA Members!
0 for Non-Members
2 WI CE
March 15 • 9–11AM
2 WI CE
SEPTEMBER 14 • 9–11 AM
July 14 • 9–11AM
Life & Health Webinar
SIGN UP TODAY! WWW.PIAW.ORG/PIA-LIFE-HEALTH-FOCUS/ JULY/AUGUST 2022 [ 36 ]
THE PIA OF WISCONSIN IS KNOWN NATIONWIDE FOR ITS TOP-NOTCH EDUCATION AND NETWORKING EVENTS! For a comprehensive list of all PIA education opportunities, including the 12-14 multiple topic 1-3 hour webinars, and pre-licensing, visit the Education tab at piaw.org.
12 CISR Agency Operations (7 WI CE, 1 is Ethics) 14
Life & Health Focus/Life Insurance -Strategies to Help Your Clients (2 WI CE)
19-20 CIC Agency Management – Neenah (16 WI CE, 4 are Ethics) 20 YPI Network Social - Bottle House, Milwaukee 21 Perpetuation Planning For Agency Owners (4 WI CE)
2 CISR Life & Health Essentials (7 WI CE) 3 PIA Scholarship Golf Outing 10-11 CIC Commercial Casualty (16 WI CE) 11 CPIA 1 Position for Success (7 WI CE) 23 CISR Elements of Risk Management (7 WI CE)
PIAW.ORG [ 37 ]
PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS OF WISCONSIN, INC. 6401 ODANA ROAD | MADISON, WI 53719 | WWW.PIAW.ORG PHONE: 608-274-8188 | TOLL FREE: 800-261-7429 | FAX: 608-274-8195
Ryan Butzke, CIC, CISR President Northbrook Insurance Associates, Inc. PO Box 520 Slinger, WI 53086 (262) 297-7101 email@example.com
Mike Endres Endres Insurance Agency, Inc. 2201 Eulalia Street Cross Plains, WI 53528 (608) 798-3811 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitch Tarras Nett Insurance Agency LLC 607C Eastern Ave. Plymouth, WI 53073 (920) 893-3252 email@example.com
Jeff Glass, CPIA Past President Liaison AF Glass Insurance Agency, Inc. PO Box 1149 Lake Geneva, WI 53147 (262) 248-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Ulset, CPIA Immediate Past President Grams Insurance Agency Llc PO Box 336 Edgerton, WI 53534 (608) 884-3304 email@example.com
Ann Linstroth, CISR, PWCAM Fidelis Insurance Services 840 Lake Avenue, Ste. 101 Racine, WI 53403 (262) 456-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Winstanley Winstanley Insurance Agency Inc. 3044 S. 92nd St. West Allis, WI 53227 (414) 425-6914 email@example.com
Tracy A. Oestreich, CIC, CPIA, AU, CPIW PIA National Director T4 Insurance Solutions, Inc. PO Box 408 Jackson, WI 53037 (262) 423-4949 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Wolfgram Wolfgram Insurance Agency PO Box 122 North Prairie, WI 53153 (262) 349-9605 email@example.com
Steve Clements, CPIA Vice President Clements Insurance Agency 151577 King Fisher Ln. Wausau, WI 54401 (715) 842-1664 firstname.lastname@example.org Lacey Endres, CIC Treasurer M3 Insurance, Inc. 828 John Nolan Dr. Madison, WI 53713 (608) 288-2874 email@example.com Jon M. Strom Secretary Image of Wisconsin PO Box 600 St. Germain, WI 54558 (920) 723-1209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Sabol Midwest Insurance Group, LLC 2574 Sun Valley Drive Ste 205 Delafield, WI 53018 (262) 646-5777 email@example.com
Pete Hanson, CAE, CISR Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Shirley Faherty Office Manager/Bookeeper email@example.com
Brenda Steinbach Education & Convention Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca Bredeson Administrative Assistant email@example.com
Heidi Hodel-Faris, CPIA, CIC Insurance and Member Services Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie White Communications Director email@example.com
MAY/JUNE 2022 [ 38 ]
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