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wArd-winning A 

Fall 2016 • Tennessee edition

Page 16

Are You on BoArd?

2016 Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee Annual Convention

InsIde thIs Issue 13

State insurance regulation


A symbiotic relationship


Leadership and sales And more …

Stepping Forward to Serve Clients MidSouth Mutual has provided quality Workers’ Compensation insurance and services to agents and their clients since 1995. Every step of the way, the company has moved forward to provide exceptional service and expanded coverage areas across the Southeast.

MidSouth Mutual provides strength, reliability and value to agents and their clients through quality products, forward-leaning loss control and superior claims services.

Examples of clients we serve include: HVAC Contractors




Building Suppliers




Dozing Services


Dry Wallers


Road Contractors




MidSouth Mutual provides insurance to customers in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Contact Tom Perez at or 615-379-8245 midsouthmutual.

Departments Fall 2016 • Tennessee edition

04 In brief 09 Tech 13 Federal 23 Sales 30 Readers’ service and advertising index 31

Officers and directors directory

Cover story 16 … Are you on board? 2016 Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee Annual Convention

Feature 21 A symbiotic relationship Agencies and companies need to work together to achieve their goals

Statements of fact and opinion in PIA magazine are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers or the members of the Professional Insurance Agents. Participation in PIA events, activities, and/or publications is available on a nondiscriminatory basis and does not reflect PIA endorsement of the products and/or services. President and CEO of PIA Management Services Inc. Mark LaLonde, CPIA, CIC, AAI; Executive Director Kelly K. Norris, CAE; Communication Director Mary E. Christiano; Senior Magazine Designer Sue Jacobsen; Member Information Manager Jaye Czupryna. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, 504 Autum Springs Court, Suite A-3, Franklin, TN 37067. “Professional Insurance Agents” is published quarterly by PIA Management Services Inc. PIA Management Services, 25 Chamberlain St., P.O. Box 997, Glenmont, NY 12077-0997; (518) 434-3111 or toll-free (800) 424-4244; email ©2016 Professional Insurance Agents. All rights reserved. No material within this publication may be reproduced—in whole or in part—without the express written consent of the publisher.

Cover design Roberta Lawrence

In brief

platinum partner profile

AmTrust North America 1014 Harness Circle

third nationwide in SNL Financial’s April 2016 workers’ comp market share report, and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol AFSI.

Gallatin, TN 37066

The property/casualty lines of coverage offered by AmTrust include workers’ comp, BOP, property, employers’ practices liability, commercial auto general liability, garage and inland marine. These lines also have been customized to fit the auto service repair, financial institution, lumber, nonprofit, restaurant and transportation sectors.

Philosophy Senior executives Joel Alligood, regional vice president Dorothy Howell, regional sales director for the southeast region

Tennessee staff Chuck Allen CLU, ChFC, regional sales manager (615) 420-0574

History AmTrust North America is a national insurance carrier with an “A” (Excellent) FSC “XIV” rating by A.M. Best. The company provides a broad suite of business insurance products, including workers’ compensation and niche commercial lines coverage for small- and medium-sized businesses. With extensive underwriting experience, AmTrust has earned a reputation as an innovative, technology driven provider of insurance products. AmTrust was ranked



AmTrust’s philosophy is: “AmTrust has multistate capability, multitiered pricing and multiline capability, combined with exceptional customer service and a dedicated staff of insurance professionals, who all share the same vision. Insurance is our product, customer service is our business. “By visiting AmTrust Online at our website, insurance agents can make a submission or check their clients’ policy information at any time, day or night. More than 350 business classes are eligible for coverage nationwide under our wide-ranging underwriting appetite. “To better serve the unique needs of policyholders, AmTrust offers an extensive selection of flexible payment plans, including PAYO® (Pay-As-You-Owe®), direct debit/ EFT, credit card, electronic check and monthly or quarterly installments. Our dedicated team of loss-control professionals also stands ready with workplace safety advice and support for business owners, while our Claims Reporting Center is open 24/7 when accidents inevitably occur.” For more information about AmTrust, visit or call (877) 528-7878.

Professional Insurance Agents magazine

platinum partner profile

Mountain Empire Agency Alliance 1524 Bridgewater Lane

by Keith Sims, the owner of Price & Ramey. Since 2008, MEAA has been one of the fastest growing master agencies in the entire nation.

Kingsport, TN 37660 (866) 264-1292

MEAA is now home to more than 100 fully independent member agencies that currently write more than $200 million in premium throughout the region. Mountain Empire attributes its success to its outstanding member agencies, unrivaled support and additional services to their members and the stellar SIAA model of distribution and growth. In fact, at the 2015 annual MEAA meeting, Mountain Empire distributed more than $2.5 million dollars in excess profit-sharing and growth bonuses to its members. That $2.5 million is money that is aboveand-beyond normal commissions received by MEAA members from their carrier appointments.

Senior executives Keith Sims, chief executive officer Aaron Hammons, director of member services Aaron Sims, vice president of business development

Tennessee staff Beth Roe, regional vice president recruiting NC/TN/ VA,, (423) 612-0683 Robert Wells, Middle/West TN territory manager,, (615) 519-9885

History Mountain Empire Agency Alliance is a master agency in the largest network of independent insurance agencies in the world, SIAA, Strategic Independent Agency Alliance. We are not a broker, cluster, or aggregator. Our members retain ownership of their agency, and retain their direct contracts with the carriers. SIAA is home to more than 5,500 member agencies that collectively write in excess of $6 billion dollars in premium through some of the most popular and sought after carriers (e.g., Nationwide, Travelers, The Hartford, Safeco, Liberty Mutual and Grange). MEAA is operated through the Price & Ramey Group in Kingsport, Tenn., which opened its doors in 1914. In 2008, SIAA approached Price & Ramey and encouraged the agency to join SIAA as a master agency by starting and managing the Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina territories. Within a few months, MEAA was formed

Members’ commissions are never touched by MEAA/ SIAA, unlike many other networks. MEAA brings additional revenue through quarterly bonuses, local and national level profit-sharing, preferred commission schedules, and even growth bonuses, all with no minimum premium requirements. Moreover, MEAA brings direct access to more than 27 of the nation’s top carriers with reduced appointment requirements. Finally, MEAA offers the Training and Learning Center including continuing-education credits, mentoring, stability and assists members with everything from buying books of business; agency management systems; conventional and digital marketing resources; and even daily operations such as hiring new employees or marketing campaigns.

Appetite MEAA looks for prospective dedicated agencies that want to grow, larger agencies that are interested in additional revenue sources, and we have the resources with SIAA’s Foundation Program to help an experienced agent build and agency from scratch. If you are interested joining MEAA/SIAA, please give Robert or Beth a call, and you can also visit our website at




platinum partner profile

Markel Specialty Markel Specialty


4521 Highwoods Parkway

Markel Specialty, one of Markel Corp.’s five insurance divisions, underwrites innovative property/casualty solutions for both standard and hard-to-place risks. Success in specialty insurance is about knowing your markets.

Glen Allen, VA 23060

Appetite With more than 70 years of experience in our niche markets, our product focus is on commercial programs, workers’ compensation and small business BOP. Working with retail agents across the U.S., our experienced underwriters know the risks your clients face and can craft coverage to meet their unique needs.

Tennessee staff Matt Valentine, Tennessee sales manager (615) 967-5515


Take a snapshot of your agency with our calculators

Find your sweet spot for Growth & Profit ...

and HIT

IT !


Identify areas of opportunity for growth


Use our turnkey tools to get there These new Partnership tools are designed to help agencies maximize Growth & Profit. Current PIA Partnership companies include:

Available online at



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Central Insurance Cos. Encompass Insurance Erie Insurance Hanover Insurance Group Harleysville Insurance Liberty Mutual Insurance MetLife Auto & Home Motorists Insurance Group Progressive Insurance Selective Insurance Group State Auto Group The Hartford Travelers

Agencies and our Company develop a Partnership and work together in providing insurance solutions for your Insureds ! Highlights Include: * Personal Auto * Business Auto

*Renters Insurance

*Motorcycle Program

* Multi-Peril for Artisan Contractors

*Garage Repair Facilities & Used Auto Dealerships & Commercial Property


Phone: 800-346-6071 Fax: 800-296-0419

Wondering how to stand out from the typical workers’ compensation quote?

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If you’re interested in a workers’ comp provider for long-term care operations, check out NHRMA Mutual today. 877-298-3628

8/16/16 2:28 PM

WC endorsements that need clarification The Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance Policy (WC 00 00 00A) filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance has three coverage parts in most jurisdictions. Part One pays benefits required of the policyholder by the workers’ compensation law in the state(s) listed. Part Two pays for the policyholder’s legal liability attributed to an employee’s injury by accident or disease. Part Three provides limited coverage for employees injured in states other than those listed in Part One. Each of these coverage parts has inherent complexities that are unique to this line of insurance. Part One requires a complete understanding of the workers’ compensation law. Part Two appears to cover legal liability, but that legal liability rarely presents itself. And, when it does, typically it’s nuanced by state law. And Part Three, well, let’s just say

nobody knows how to adequately explain Other States Insurance.


dan corbin, cpcu, cic, lutc PIA Management Services’ director of research

This article will attempt to add clarity to our understanding of three endorsements (i.e., the alternate employer, waiver of subrogation and foreign exposures endorsements) used with the workers’ compensation policy. Don’t be surprised that these endorsements also have inherent complexities that are customary with this line of insurance.


There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience. – Immanuel Kant Policies are underwritten by Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Company and Bridgefield Employers Insurance Company, authorized insurers in AL, AR, FL, KY, GA, MS, LA, NC, SC, and TN; BusinessFirst Insurance Company, authorized in FL, GA, KY, NC, SC and TN. ©2015 Summit Consulting LLC | 2310 Commerce Point Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801




Alternate employer Multiple entities can be named insureds on a single workers’ compensation policy if they are under common control, but an additional insured endorsement does not exist. The closest we get to an additional insured is an “alternate employer.” The Alternate Employer endorsement (WC 00 03 01A) grants coverage to another entity that has a special relationship with the named insured, when that entity could be determined by an administrative judge to be the actual employer of an injured employee of the named insured at the time of the accident. In this scenario, the “special” employer is the entity added to the policy as an alternate employer, the “general” employer is the named insured and the employee is considered the “borrowed servant.” After reviewing case law in Tennessee, I found that the test for a determination of special employment includes three primary factors. The applicable law defining a “loaned servant” is set forth in Catlett v. Indemnity Insurance Co., 813 S.W.2d 411 (Tenn. 1991). The Catlett court quoted with approval the rule laid down in Winchester v. Seay, 219 Tenn. 321, 409 S.W.2d 378 (Tenn. 1966): When a general employer loans an employee to a special employer, the special employer becomes liable for workmen’s compensation only if: (a) the employee has made a contract of hire, express or implied, with the special employer; (b) the work being done is essentially that of the special employer; and (c) the special employer has the right to control the details of the work. “The Court [Winchester] indicated that when the above test is satisfied, the burden to compensate is placed upon the special employer whose work is being performed and upon the industry in which the employee is engaged and which is being primarily promoted.” In situations when employer ambiguity might occur, this endorsement can help direct the claim costs to the intended employer. The endorsement itself illustrates three possible uses: 1. Use this endorsement if the policy is issued to a contractor (the insured) who is required by an oil company (as alternate or special employer) to provide workers’ compensation and employers liability insurance to protect the oil company from claims brought by the contractor’s employees. 2. Use this endorsement if the policy is issued to a business that operates and manages property for others (the insured) who is required by the property owner (the alternate employer) to provide this insurance to protect the owner from claims brought by employees of the operator/manager. 3. Use this endorsement if the policy is issued to a supplier of temporary office help (the insured) who is required by its customer the user of the temporary office help (the alternate employer) to provide this insurance to protect the customer from claims brought by the insured’s employees against the alternate employer. In this case, the insurer may refer to the alternate employers in the Schedule under Item 3. using the words “all” or “any.”



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

When the named insured’s insurer pays a claim under this endorsement on behalf of the alternate employer, the insurer agrees not to ask the alternate employer’s insurer to share the loss. Actually, the endorsement states that it will not ask any insurer of the alternate employer to share a loss, which would include a general liability policy, auto policy or workers’ compensation policy. However, the alternate employer cannot use this endorsement to comply with any requirement to insure its obligations under a workers’ compensation law. The alternate employer will need its own workers’ compensation policy to be in compliance. In addition, the alternate employer needs to understand that it will not receive notice if the policy terminates.

Waiver of subrogation It’s not uncommon for the dominant party in a contract to require the other party to include waiver of subrogation provisions in their workers’ compensation policy. This is accomplished by means of the Waiver Of Our Right To Recover From Others endorsement (WC 00 03 13) filed by the NCCI. It reads as follows: We have the right to recover our payments from anyone liable for an injury covered by this policy. We will not enforce our right against the person or organization named in the Schedule. (This agreement applies only to the extent that you perform work under a written contract that requires you to obtain this agreement from us.) Most parties requesting this endorsement do not really know what it accomplishes. In many cases,

it merely enriches the claimant employee, increases the employer’s experience rating modification and does nothing to protect the other party requesting it. In fact, states such as New Hampshire and New Jersey so little value its worth that they have prohibited its use. While the endorsement waives the insurer’s right to subrogate for WC benefits paid, it has no impact on the employee’s right to sue for damages. Since the insurer cannot place a lien on the employee’s settlement with the other party, the employee reaps duplicate recovery of WC benefits paid. Further, the endorsement does not benefit the other party because damages that were intended to be waived by the insurer are ultimately paid to the employee. If the employer indemnified the other party for injuries to its employees and/or named the other party as an additional insured on its general liability policy, then theses damages potentially could be transferred to the employer’s general liability insurer. Consequently, this negates the value of the waiver of subrogation for the other party. In addition, if the WC insurer did not waive its right of recovery from the other party, the employer’s experience modification could then benefit from the WC insurer’s recovery from the general liability insurer. In the context of the alternate employer discussion let’s assume the general employer’s insurer pays WC benefits to an injured employee on behalf of the alternate employer because that employer is deemed to be the special employer. The general employer’s insurer cannot recover from the alternate employer (named on the endorsement) that which it paid on the alternate employer’s behalf. In other words, a waiver of subrogation provides no benefit to

the alternate employer. However, individual state law will dictate whether the employee can sue either the general employer or alternate employer for negligence. As you can see, the WC 00 03 13 endorsement rarely accomplishes its intended purpose. If the injured employee does not sue, the endorsement could be effective. If a general employer’s insurer pays WC benefits on behalf of the alternate employer, it is worthless. Otherwise, the endorsement just mucks up a more logical assignment of losses. Maybe New Hampshire and New Jersey are the enlightened states.

Foreign exposures When employees travel outside of the U.S. (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Israel or England), at what point does workers’ compensation coverage cease in their state of residence? The extent of coverage outside the state of hire is governed by that state’s workers’ compensation law and the interpretation rendered by its courts. The laws in most states cover workers in their employer’s service while anywhere in the world (referred to as extraterritorial coverage), at least for a temporary period. Here is a look at how Tennessee responds to extraterritorial coverage. Section 50-6-115. Extraterritorial application of chapter. If an employee, while working outside the territorial limits of this state, suffers an injury on account of which the employee, or, in the event of the employee’s death, the employee’s dependents, would have been entitled to the benefits provided by this chapter had the injury occurred within this state, the employee, or in the event of the employee’s death resulting from the injury, the employee’s dependents, shall be entitled to the benefits provided by this chapter; provided, that at the time of the injury: (1) The employment was principally localized within this state; (2) The contract of hire was made in this state; or (3) If at the time of the injury the injured worker was a Tennessee resident and there existed a substantial connection between this state and the particular employer and employee relationship. Consequently, the statute extends coverage for an employee “while working outside the territorial limits” without limitation as to time spent away from Tennessee. If the injured employee elects coverage in another jurisdiction, compensation in Tennessee will be forfeited. Endorsement option. A foreign voluntary coverage endorsement can sometimes be obtained to supplement the duration of statutory coverage outside the U.S. if the state’s workers’ compensation law is more limiting than the endorsement’s typical 90 days. The endorsement also can add the payment of repatriation expenses and endemic disease protection. There is no standard NCCI endorsement for this coverage, but states can file their own endorsement. For example, New York has an authorized a New York Foreign Voluntary Compensation and Employers Liability Coverage (WC 31 06 17) endorsement, which serves as a good example of this kind of coverage: Section 1 of the endorsement limits coverage to employees hired within the U.S. who travel or temporarily reside outside the U.S. up to 90 days. There www.piATN.COM



Agency E&O

has a market for your agency and specific risk

is a provision that allows the insurer to exclude work in specified countries, if desired.





Section 2 extends bodily injury to include endemic diseases, which are those peculiar to a particular locality or region. It limits coverage to named individuals, or a category of employees, described in Item 1. of the schedule while working in a state or country listed in Item 1. of the schedule. Section 3 excludes bodily injury from war or similar events, compensation for nonoccupational benefits laws and injury intentionally caused by the employer.

Section 4 is the insuring agreement that promises to pay benefits to employees designated in Item 1. of the schedule who are injured in a state or country listed in Item 1. of the schedule. Benefits payable are subject to the state workers’ compensation law designated in Item 1. of the schedule. It also states that the insurer will reimburse the employer for benefits paid directly by the employer. These voluntary benefits are conditioned on the claimant: 1. releasing the employer and insurer from all liability; 2. transhas a market your market for may yourhave caused or ferring his orforher right to recover has fromaothers who agency and specific risk agency and specific risk contributed to the injury; and 3. cooperating with the insurer. Section 5 agrees to reimburse the employer for benefits required to be paid under a foreign workers’ compensation law, but not in excess of those payable under the workers’ compensation law designated under Section 1. of the schedule. The insurer assumes no obligation to defend any lawsuit made in a foreign country; pay fines or penalties imposed by a foreign country; or pay benefits covered by other collectible insurance. Section 6 grants coverage for expenses incurred to repatriate an injured employee back to the U.S., but only to the extent that these expenses exceed the normal cost of travel by a healthy employee. The schedule limits this coverage to $15,000 for each employee and up to $50,000 for each accident. Section 7 provides employers’ liability coverage for covered employees in a covered foreign location, provided the lawsuit is not made in a foreign country. The schedule states autonomous limits for this coverage in the amount of: 1. $100,000 per accident (regardless of the number of employees injured and without aggregate); and 2. $100,000 per employee injured by disease with an aggregate of $500,000 applicable to any one state or country listed in Item 1. of the schedule. Section 8 specifies that premium for this endorsement will be determined by the remuneration paid to covered employees while traveling to foreign states or countries for no longer than 90 days. Section 9 declares this coverage as excess over any other insurance except with respect to Section 5 coverage. Further, the limits of this coverage will be reduced by the limits that any other insurance affords the employer.

Contact Kristopher Fisher 800-875-7428



Corbin is PIA Management Services’ director of research. Contact Contact Kristopher Fisher Kristopher Fisher 800-875-7428 800-875-7428

Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Supporting, protecting state insurance regulation Periodically, PIA National surveys its members to determine how we will deploy our resources on Capitol Hill, specifically which issues to highlight in our advocacy. The issue that consistently tops the list is defending our state-based system of insurance regulation. Over the years, there have been many attempts to wrest authority over our industry from state departments of insurance and transfer it to Washington, D.C. It has been said that the best regulation is that which is closest to the people. In the case of insurance, we have a long history replete with examples of why this is true. We saw during the financial crisis that prudent, conservative state regulation set the insurance industry apart from banks and securities firms that were

regulated—as it turned out, badly— by the federal government. Besides, putting things under the control of the federal government is not a way to improve them.

More support in Congress PIA National continues to be a leader in advocating in favor of our statebased insurance regulatory system.


mike becker Executive vice president and CEO, PIA National


Workers’ Workers’ Comp Comp for for Working Working People People




In recent years, efforts by some to bring about a federal takeover have receded. Now rather than facing proposed legislation, such as that which would have brought about “optional” federal charters for insurers and producers, the political winds have shifted in our direction. Within recent months, both the Federal Reserve and the influential U.S. House Financial Services Committee have taken steps to ensure that international insurance negotiations are not used to undermine state regulation. The Fed approved proposed capital requirements for insurers considered “systemically important financial institutions” that differ significantly from those proposed by European and international insurance regulators. The Fed’s proposal, unanimously approved June 3, rejects the European Union’s Solvency II regime and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ approach to an international capital standard, as embodied in Solvency II. Howard Mills, global insurance regulatory leader for Deloitte and the former New York state insurance commissioner, told Best’s News Service, “It seems to be an acknowledgement of the U.S. state-based system. I will say this proposal has been greeted with relief. It’s a very welcome development.” The reason this is significant is because some insurance regulators in Europe fail to appreciate how the U.S. insurance regulatory system works. In the past, the IAIS has criticized the U.S. system and recommend that we move toward federal regulation. The action by the Fed takes place at the same time that the U.S. Treasury Department and European insurance regulators are engaged in negotiations for a covered agreement to harmonize regulatory treatment between the U.S. and the EU.

Online Education

• Pre-Licensing • Training and Education for the New Employee • Continuing Education from Education at your convenience For more information, call Pam Cass, CPIA, at 800-875-7428



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Keeping it local A source of contention in the talks has been a view expressed by the EU that the U.S.’s state-based regulatory system should more resemble a federal system. This stance has been vigorously opposed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, many carriers, along with members of Congress. PIA is a steadfast supporter of the state-based system. “We are wary of any efforts by others to use international discussions to drive changes to our domestic regulatory regime that could potentially disadvantage U.S. insurers and policyholders and undermine the strength and stability of our system,” NAIC President and Missouri Insurance Director John Huff said in a letter to the committee. In an interview with PIA Connection before stepping down as NAIC CEO, former Sen. Ben Nelson said, Congress is no longer the biggest threat to state regulation of insurance. He said the bigger threat now comes from the EU in the form of Solvency II, the new regime being negotiated to harmonize insurance regulation among all EU member states. “They are now in a position that they feel they can dictate that you have to be equivalent. But, there’s a difference between equivalent results and equivalent structure,” said Nelson, adding that a system like Solvency II would not work in the U.S. because it protects an insurance entity, whereas our system protects the policyholder. “So, if you can’t recognize and accept that difference then you could be easily misled thinking that it wouldn’t hurt us to adopt their

system. Well, yes it would. Yes it would,” he said.

Bill to protect the state system The House Financial Services Committee passed the Transparent Insurance Standards Act of 2016 (H.R.5143) on June 16, 2016. The bill would ensure that state insurance regulation is afforded appropriate deference in any federal or international decision-making process. PIA National worked with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., to develop the legislation. The bill sets objectives for U.S. negotiators regarding international insurance standards to ensure that the U.S. doesn’t enter into an agreement

that would disrupt the domestic insurance industry; requires that Congress has 90 days to approve or reject any proposed agreement; mandates that any draft agreement be published in the Federal Register; and provides for a 30-day public comment period. For more than 150 years, the state-based system of insurance regulation has successfully protected consumers and created a competitive and diverse U.S. insurance market. If global standards are promulgated without appropriate consideration of the unique state-based system of U.S. insurance regulation, they may actually increase systemic risks and consumer costs by pushing small- and mid-size companies out of business, reducing competition. Notably, the legislation also prohibits the U.S. from entering into an international covered agreement that would grant the Federal Insurance Office any authority to supervise or regulate the business of insurance. “The role of the FIO in its enabling legislation is unambiguous in that it is specifically prohibited from acting in any manner as a regulator or supervisor of the business of insurance,” said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile. “It is gratifying to see Congress reaffirm this principle.” PIA will continue to advocate for passage of H.R.5143, in our ongoing effort to protect and defend state insurance regulation—because it works well. Becker is executive vice president & CEO of PIA National.






Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Jessie Litkenhus PIATN’s program administrator

... Are you on board?

2016 Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee Annual Convention


he 2016 Annual Convention held in Chattanooga, Tenn., in August was a success. We gave out many great awards and honored many wonderful people. This year’s award winners included: Bill Richards, Agent of the Year; Chris Mills, Agent of the Year; and Rob Cannon, Company Rep of the Year. www.piaTN.COM



Embracing the Annual Convention’s train theme, exhibitors showed their zone spirit during the trade show. We had winners from each zone (i.e., Hogwarts Express; Wild, Wild West; Soul Train; and Polar Express). Participants used the large train depot as a spot for fellowship and provided refreshments. Exhibitor booth winners included: Soul Train—CMS Insurance Services; Hogwarts Express—AmTrust North America Inc.; Polar Express—RPS; and Wild, Wild West and “Best in Show”—Burns & Wilcox Ltd. Speakers shared inspirational words and lead valuable education classes during our many professional-development sessions. Throughout the convention, events were held on-site and off-site at beautiful venues. The Annual Convention also hosted exciting leisure events on Friday. We thank all who participated and helped to put on this great event. Litkenhus is PIA of Tennessee’s program administrator.

PIATN Executive Director Kristopher Fisher (left) and PIATN Treasurer Chris Mills (right) present Bill Richards (center) with the Agent of the Year award.

Your PIATN new board members.

Mark your calendars for next year’s Annual Convention June 22-23, 2017, at the Music Road Resort, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. PIATN past presidents



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

PIATN Executive Director Kristopher Fisher (left) presents Rob Cannon with the Company Rep of the Year award.

CMS Insurance Services was named the Soul Train zone winner.

Burns & Wilcox Ltd. was named the Wild, Wild West zone winner & “Best in Show.”

AmTrust North America Inc. was named the Hogwarts Express zone winner.

PIATN’s past presidents’ breakfast.

RPS was named the Polar Express zone winner.




With a range of insurance coverages, extensive loss control resources, expert claims knowledge and local service from an independent agent like you, EMC offers an insurance program designed specifically for light manufacturers. It’s just one of the many reasons why you and your commercial clients Count on EMC ®. SANDI DIXON, CPCU, AU Commercial Lines Underwriting Manager EMC Birmingham Branch



BIRMINGHAM BRANCH OFFICE Phone: 800-239-2005 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA ©Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2016. All rights reserved.

Jon persky, cic, cpa, phr President, Optimum Performance Solutions LLC

A symbiotic relationship Agencies and companies need to work together to achieve their goals

Professional independent, insurance agencies cannot survive without insurance companies. According to several studies, an agency places approximately 50 percent of its premium with its top three companies for a typical $1 million commission. Not enough premium with a company results in lack of contingencies; lack of influence; and puts the relationship at risk. Too much premium with a company puts the agency at risk if the company decides to terminate its relationship due to a poor loss ratio or if the company decides to leave the territory. So, what are the elements of a successful agency-carrier relationship? What does a company expect from an agency and vice versa?

Agency expectations 1. Price and quality. Does the underwriter understand the risk and is the coverage priced properly? If the company’s premium is too high, the agency won’t be able to sell the policy. If the agency’s customer has an unusual risk, will the company partner with the agency to provide solutions to the customer’s problems? Will the company work with the agency

to develop special protection plans and programs? If the company will, it gives the agency a competitive advantage and offers more value to a customer. 2. Stability of company. Agencies want to deal with companies that are stable financially and that do not change the type of business they want or don’t want frequently. Having to roll a book of business is inefficient and expensive for the agency. Carriers want agencies that are invested in doing business with them. 3. Fair compensation. Is the company’s commission schedule competitive? Is the profit sharing/ contingency agreement fair and attainable? Does the company provide resources (e.g., co-op advertising and training) to help the agency grow? Agencies need to squeeze every dollar of income out of their book of business. Companies with uncompetitive agency compensation are at a distinct disadvantage. Providing support that helps agencies achieve contingencies is something carriers should consider. 4. Claims handling. If claims aren’t handled on a fair and timely basis, disgruntled customers will result in lower retention. Companies that provide fair claims




handling and respond appropriately have a distinct advantage over other carriers. This “moment of truth” actually can show value to a customer and agency that otherwise would not be known. Companies and agencies should communicate with each other, adding to the strong advantage of doing business together.

Company expectations 1. More premium with fewer losses. There is a cost associated for a company appointing an agency. Without adequate premium volume from the agency, why should a company continue the appointment? Even if there is more premium, is the underwriting profit or loss ratio acceptable to the company? When a company starts to complain about an agency’s loss ratio, it is moving in the wrong direction and will need attention to change any adverse trends. The agency should review its claims, new business and renewal practices proactively and determine what can be done to reduce its overall loss ratio. If the agency doesn’t have the skill set to do this type of in-depth analysis and work, it should seek outside help. 2. Sales success. Some agencies blanket their markets with submissions to “block a market.” This strategy is expensive for the companies as well as the agency. Agencies should track their quote, win and declination ratios. Don’t send submissions to companies you know won’t quote the business or don’t have the appetite for this type of risk. Make sure all submissions are complete, accurate and honest. This will reduce the workload of the agency, resulting in higher staff productivity at the agency and higher carrier satisfaction. 3. Competent management and staff. Companies also expect their agencies management to run an effective and efficient operation. Does the agency have a professional service staff that can retain a high percentage of its customers and does the agency retention rate reflect this? An agency with below-average commissions per employee could be an indication of workflow inefficiencies, which could have a negative impact on company efficiency. 4. Plan for growth. Does the agency have a written growth plan that it actively manages? Does it have specific sales goals and action plans for each of its producers? Does the agency marketing plan dovetail in with the marketing plan of the company? For an agency to have strong premium growth it needs to have an identifiable sales culture with a focus on making producers successful. This would include a successful prospecting and contact management system. The company won’t grow its premium if the agency doesn’t grow its business.

What to do? Strategic planning is critical for an agency to survive and prosper. Planning will benefit the agency as well as the companies it represents. The agency needs to develop its objectives and action plans in several key areas: 1. Its sales and marketing focus, including specific producer goals; 2. Human resources and corporate culture;



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

3. Agency operations with an eye toward productivity and efficiency; and 4. Financial plan for the profitability and long-term growth of the agency. Unfortunately, the majority of insurance agencies do not have a strategic plan. Of those that do have a plan, few are written, well-thought-out or managed actively. This puts the agency, as well as its carriers under undue pressure. The agency also needs to run as efficiently and effectively as it can. Management should embark on a workflow analysis to determine if its staff is stratified properly and handling every customer interaction effectively. Once that is accomplished it should evaluate automation usage with an eye toward the agency-company relationship. Sometimes, it is beneficial for an agency to get outside assistance with strategic planning and workflow analysis. If the agency seeks help from a third party, it should make sure it is from individuals with expertise in the insurance industry. If managed properly, the agencycompany relationship can be symbiotic and result in a win-win situation. Agencies and carriers should take advantage of communication opportunities to improve the situation at both ends, which also leads to a longer, healthier relationship. Persky is president of Optimum Performance Solutions LLC (optperform. com), a consulting firm specializing in helping insurance agencies grow and prosper. He is on the national faculty of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors and lectures on agency management topics throughout the U.S. He can be reached at (813) 835-7337 or

What leadership needs to know about sales As a leader of your agency, you should understand that sales is the primary key to massive success and prosperity. As you know, the most successful companies sell better and more than everyone else. Starbucks doesn’t have the best coffee, it has simply sold an enormous number of people on doing business with the company. That said, to ensure colossal success for your agency, here are the sales facts you want to ensure your professional, independent agency follows.

Fact 1: Sales has to be at the top of the food chain Everything starts and stops with sales. Without sales there is no service department; no installation department; and no people because you’re out of busi-

ness. Until a product is sold, nothing moves. No money goes into the bank account; customers aren’t helped; nothing gets installed or serviced; and economies stop. Companies go out of business because they don’t sell enough at high enough prices. Companies thrive because they sell enough at the right prices to cover bills, payroll, growth and mistakes. If you want to thrive in good times


john chapin President, Complete Selling

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and bad times, you do so with lots of sales. Everyone and everything has to support sales. This does not give the sales department permission to ride roughshod over everyone or break rules to sell something. All business must be clean and ethical, and other departments should be treated with respect and professionalism. “Sales first” is an unwritten rule. The other departments need to know they are important. The key point: When push comes to shove, sales comes first. When the receptionist says, “That’s not my job” to a simple, reasonable request from sales, the receptionist’s attitude is addressed, not the salesperson’s demands or expectations.

Fact 2: Focus on attitude and activity within the sales department A sales team with superior attitude and activity levels will outsell a sales team with superior skillset and products. While skillset and product are important, the actual acts of going out and connecting with a high number of people are paramount. The most important factors are how motivated the sales team is and how many people it talks to and with whom it connects. When you’re hiring salespeople, you’re hiring attitude. You can’t teach drive and work ethic. You’re looking for people who are hungry and who have a thick skin. You’re also looking for people who are persistent and resilient. They need to follow through and follow up.

Don’t lose grounD in a tough economy The fact is, this is the time to invest in advertising. Now, more than ever, you need to retain existing clients and attract new ones. And, while you may lack the bottomless pockets of direct writers, well-crafted, well-placed, affordable marketing can punch through the noise and get your message out. Whether you’re looking for brand new marketing materials, our customized consumer materials or Spanish-language pieces, Think PIA first for the marketing advantage you still need to succeed.

logon to or call (800) 424-4244.

s •e •r •v •i •c •e •s



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Next, what is the activity level? Are they coming in early and leaving late? Are they working on the weekends? Are they working on the right things? Are they selling anything? If you aren’t sure of their activity, go on calls with them. You also can call them, ask where they are, and surprise them in the field. I know of one company that tracks its sales representatives activity via GPS. It is able to ensure that they are making the required 10 to 12 sales calls a day, between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For those of you cringing, the only people offended by this will be the people who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Bottom line: Hire attitude, set expectations around activity level and hold people accountable. And remember, at the end of the day it’s all about production. They are either paying their way and getting the job done, or they’re not.

Fact 3: Invest in your sales team An effective sales team needs tools, resources, training and support. Your goal is to have your employees spending as much time as possible prospecting, presenting and closing. This is going to take: 1. support people to do paperwork, order entry and other nonsales-related items; 2. tools and resources such as customer relationship management, computer systems and other technology; and 3. systems and processes that standardize operations and remove all guess work. In addition, you should have a selling system in place complete with scripts, competitive information and anything else that a salesperson could possibly need during an interaction with a prospect or customer.

Next, invest in the development of sales skills. While attitude and activity are most important, a sales team that also has great sales skills is lethal. Invest in learning tools such as books, CDs, DVDs, classes and seminars. Salespeople should practice, drill and rehearse sales skills constantly (e.g., in sales meetings, in the car, with you and other salespeople and with friends and family members). You also should throw objections at them when you walk by them in the office.

Fact 4: Everything affects sales Everyone affects sales at your agency from the receptionist—who is the

first person people meet—to your customer service people and your salespeople. These employees make an impression (good or bad), which helps determine whether people do business with your agency. Taking it a step further, it’s my belief that because selling is your agency’s most important activity, everyone should be involved in sales. Everyone knows people and they should look for possible prospects for your product or service. If they pass on a name to the sales department and a sale is made, they should be rewarded with money, a gift or something else of value, but all employees should be sold on your product and looking for people to help. Everything counts. From clean floors, to properly spelled names, to all employees interacting with customers with caring and enthusiasm, everything sends a message as to whether your agency is one with which people should do business. Even the smallest item can affect a sale. On that note, you should be shopping your agency. Call and see how the phone is answered. Ask for information. Is it sent? Does someone follow up? How and when? If they’ll know it’s you calling, have a friend or family member call. Chapin is a sales and motivational speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or if you would like him to speak at an event, log on to He has more than 28 years of sales experience as a No. 1 sales representative and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia.


The CPIA program is an excellent way to earn your state‑mandated CE credits; participants need not pursue the designation to receive CE credit. The CPIA designation is approved by Utica Mutual for E&O loss prevention credit. This credit is applied once the designation is achieved. To earn the designation, developed by the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society, candidates are required to  complete all three, one‑day Insurance Success Seminars (in any order.) Participants leave with fresh ideas that will produce results.





: 8:45 a.m.; Class 9 a.m-5 p.m.



$135/$142 for members; $175/$182 for non‑members, per session. Registration fee includes refreshments, instruction & materials.

To register, call PIA at (800) 875-7428 or log on to


110297 10/16



Top Talent. Remarkable Results.

Use the Omnia Profile in All Aspects of Your Agency In just 15 minutes or less, our behavioral assessment, The Omnia Profile, gives you insight to take the guesswork out of personnel decisions. Whether you are hiring a new employee, deciding on future roles for current employees, team building or creating a succession plan for your agency, Omnia can help.

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Transfer or Promotion Compare internal candidates to new job expectations as well as others performing successfully in the role. Avoid promoting or transferring a star performer to an unsuitable position, and ultimately out of your organization.

Our Behavioral Assessment Helps You... • Answer the question “Can your producers really sell?” • Learn if a CSR will fit with your team • Compare job candidates with top staff

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The Omnia Cognitive Assessment provides a reliable measure of General Mental Ability (GMA); the ability to reason, problem solve, comprehend ideas and learn quickly. Thousands of studies have shown that GMA is a strong indicator of successful performance across a variety of jobs.

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Our people will earn your trust. Our service will keep it. We understand the needs of today’s independent agents, so we offer more than a diverse line of product offerings. We have personable experts who will work seamlessly with your team to meet the needs of your customers, where and when you need it. When you want service that exceeds your expectations, we’re ready.

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What is the PIA/Penn National Insurance agents’ umbrella program? Written by agents for agents. ■

Comprehensive excess insurance protection

Packaged in one easy-to-manage policy

Affordable rates


Payment Plans & Fees

Coverage limits (higher limits may be available)

Flexible payment plans for any policy

■ Up to $10 million for commercial and professional liability

■ Full payment (no installments)

■ Up to $5 million for personal exposures of owners and officers

Core Coverage ■ Business operations — broadened coverage and excess limits protection for agent/agency’s business and employees for liability incurred as a result of normal business activities. Policy provides coverage over an agency’s commercial general liability or businessowners, employers liability and commercial auto.

Key Features

Coverage features

■ Excess over underlying E&O

■ Personal injury

■ Personal umbrella coverage for owners, partners and officers, including members of their families. Sub-limit does not affect total limit.

■ Libel, slander and advertising offense

■ Employment practices liability providing excess limits on a following-form basis. Sub-limit does not affect total limit. ■ Excess over business coverage ■ Defense coverage outside policy limits ■ Affordable minimum premiums for 9 employees or fewer ■ One source for all excess coverages ■ Blanket protection for most risks ■ Flexibility to meet the needs of any agent, including flexible pay plans

Rating ■ Staff rating for agencies with 9 or fewer employees ■ Excess rated for agencies with 10+ employees or special acceptance categories ■ Refer to state rate pages

■ First-dollar legal defense provided for claims not covered by underlying insurance ■ Professional liability — excess limits protection on a following-form basis for errors and omissions in the course of the agency’s business as an insurance professional. Coverage can be written over occurrence or claims-made forms of a variety of primary E&O carriers.

Coverage features on a following-form basis ■ Full prior-acts coverage ■ Covers any person acting in a capacity as a real estate agent or notary. ■ Options unique to this program: • Personal coverage — broadened and excess personal protection for owners, partners and officers, including members of their families. (Submit ACORD Personal Umbrella Application.) • Employment practices liability — excess limits protection for liability incurred by named insured or employees for wrongful employment practices. Coverage can be written on a claims-made basis over a number of approved EPL carriers. Maximum available as a sub-limit is $2 million. (Submit a copy of underlying EPL application.)

■ Two payments — 50% down, one installment of 50% due three months later ■ 40/30/30 — 40% down, two installments of 30% each due every other month ■ Quarterly — 25% down, three installments of 25% each due quarterly ■ Monthly — 20% down, five installments of 16% each due monthly

Available payment plans by premium level ■ Premium up to $1,000 — full payment or two payments ■ Premium of $1,001 to $5,000 — full payment, two payments, 40/30/30 or quarterly ■ Premium greater than $5,000 — any payment option

Applicable fees ■ Service fees: No service fee will be added to the initial payment. A $4 service fee will be added to each installment billing.

Contact Us Contact your local PIA producer. To find yours, visit the PIA Main Street Store at

2016 Partners

from the people stronger


customer satisfaction





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Continuous E&O protection since 1966.

504 Autumn Springs Court Suite A-3 • Franklin, TN 37067 Phone: 615-771-1177 • Fax: 615-771-3456 Contact: Kristopher Fisher, Visit:


Readers’ service and advertising index ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰

13 Amerisafe 27 Arlington/Roe 20 EMC Insurance 7 HICI 2 MidSouth Mutual Insurance Co. 15 M.J. Kelly of Tennessee 8 NHRMA 26 Omnia BC PIA Branding Program

‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰ ‰‰

24 6 12 25 14 28 23 9 30

Show your true colors

PIA Creative Services PIA Partnership Tools PIATN Agency E&O PIATN Education—CPIA PIATN Online Education PIATN/Penn National PIATN Trust Insurance Plans Summit Utica National Insurance Group

Name____________________________________________________________________ Agency___________________________________________________________________ Address__________________________________________________________________ City/town________________________________ State____________ ZIP_____________ Phone____________________________________________________________________ Check advertisers of interest, complete form and mail to: PIATN magazine • 504 Autumn Springs Court, Suite A-3 • Franklin, TN • 37067



Professional Insurance Agents magazine

Enhance your ad with the impact of color. Reach our sales representative at (800) 875-7428. .


PIATN officers and directors OFFICERS


President Mike Tansil, CPIA My Team Insurance Services LLC Murfreesboro, TN (615) 400-7367

June Taylor, CIC, CPIA, CPIW, DAE Wilkinson Insurance Agency White House, TN (615) 672-4439

President-elect Herbert Montgomery Clay and Land Insurance Memphis, TN (901) 767-3600, ext. 107

Greg Augustine, CPIA The Augustine Insurance Group Clarksville, TN (931) 503-0015

Vice President Adam Cox, CPIA Adler & Cox Inc. Chattanooga, TN (423) 877-3536 Secretary Tina Hutsenpiller, CPIA Hutsenpiller Insurance Mt. Juliet, TN (615) 218-8370 Treasurer Chris Mills, CPCU, CIC Mills Insurance Agency Nashville, TN (615) 620-4452 Immediate Past President Bill Richards, CPIA, LUTCF Community Insurance Greeneville, TN (423) 638-1422


Llew Boyd Southern Insurance Associates Chattanooga, TN (423) 296-0626 Kyle Bradley The Bradley Agency Monterey, TN (931) 544-3598 Tom Gernt, CPIA Art E. Gernt Insurance Inc. Crossville, TN (931) 484-3448 Anna Lima-Montgomery, CPIA Montgomery & Associates LLC Brentwood, TN (615) 829-8457 Mike Morat Mike Morat Insurance Services Memphis, TN (901) 363-8588

Dedric Pearson, CPIA Pete Mitchell & Associates Inc. Memphis, TN (901) 345-6176 Jeff Puckett Boyle Insurance Agency Inc. Franklin, TN (615) 567-8000


Kristopher Fisher, CPIA, LUTCF Executive Director (615) 771-1177 Jessie Litkenhus Program Administrator (615) 771-1177 Pam Cass Executive Administrator (615) 771-1177

The PIA Branding Program

Advertising that helps set PIA members apart from — and above — their competition. �������������� ���������������

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Local advertising for Local Agents Serving Main Street America


How does a Professional Insurance Agent separate himself or herself from the pack in a crowded insurance marketplace? Simple. By taking advantage of PIA’s new print advertising program.

Best of all, this powerful branding tool is available free and exclusively to PIA members, as part of their PIA membership. Company sponsorship of the PIA Branding Program is also free.

PIA has created a series of ten print advertisements that PIA members can run in local publications or print as flyers. These ads focus on the combination of choice and personal support and service that make PIA members Local Agents Serving Main Street America.

Learn More


These attractive ads can be customized with agency logos and contact information and (optionally) a company logo. There are four general agency ads, two homeowners ads, two auto ads and two commercial lines ads, with numerous variations, sizes, color as well as black and white ads, making a total of 227 ads in all.

National Association of Professional Insurance Agents 400 N. Washington St. • Alexandria, VA 22314-2353 (703) 836-9340 (phone) • (703) 836-1279 (fax) •

Whether you’re a PIA member now, you’re an agent who has yet to join, or you’re interested in company sponsorship, head on over to PIA National’s website to see the ads and get all the details about the PIA Branding Program:

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