Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
December, 2014

IIAN'S
 38th Annual Winter Conference

 

GUARDIANS OF THE HEARTLAND 

February 5-6, 2014

Ramada Inn, Kearney

 

13 CEUs (6 Ethics)*
Risk Management & Agribusiness Tracks
+ Bonus CE Sessions

See Session Descriptions 

 

"Super-Her0" Instructors

Angie Heavener, Chuck Hembree, Paul Martin & Casey Roberts
 

Expanded Exhibit Hall 

Over 40 Exhibitors
 Prime Rib Buffet

 *approval pending

 

January 20 Discount Deadline - Registration & Hotel Reservations
    

 

Exhibitors/Sponsors

 Click Here  

 

Agency/Company Personnel

Click Here

Young Agents  $99!

Multiple Registration Discounts  

IIAN's Newest Member Service

 

 

Data breaches are extremely common among smaller businesses like yours.   Responding to a breach is costly - about $200,000 on average - and very complex.
 
IIAN now offers a comprehensive program designed specifically for independent agencies at great rates!

Click above to check it out!

 

IIAN Foundation Scholarships
March 1, 2015 Deadline
 

Six $1,000 - High School Scholarships
(including 3 for Lancaster/Adjacent Counties)
One $1,000 - College Scholarship
Two $1,500 - InVEST Scholarships for the NECC Online Insurance Services Degree 

 

Download applications here. 

 

Technology Corner  

 

Updated
Carrier-Agency Technology Agreements Recommendations

 

 

The Big "I" Agents Council on Technology (ACT) Tech Agreements Work Group has taken a fresh look at carrier-agency contracts, focusing on emerging and existing technology and security aspects.  The result is an updated recommendations document with guidelines for carriers, and insight for agents and brokers.
Click here for an overview, and link to the full recommendations document. 

Welcome New Big "I" Members!
These independent insurance agencies recently joined
 IIAN & IIABA!
  
Lincoln
Advantage Insurance
Nathan Sidlo 
 
Alliance Insurance Group of Lincoln
Glen Riensche

Client-First Corporation
Brandon Lichti

MRH Insurance Group, Inc.
Robert Gunther

 

Plainview

Frontier Insurance Services, LLC
 Jason Voss

 

 

Thanks to the Big "I" Industry Partner for December


 

 

 QBE NAU

www.naucountry.com 

 

  

 

Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.

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COOPORTUNITY RETURN PREMIUMS UNCERTAIN

Nebraska Insurance Department Provides Advice

IIAN members who are helping their CoOportunity Health customers make decisions about switching to a new company are in a quandary about if and when customers will receive return premiums, if they have paid for CoOportunity coverage for January, but want to rescind CoOportunity coverage and switch to another carrier effective January 1.  So far, only BlueCross BlueShield has offered to reinstate coverage effective January 1, for customers who left for CoOportunity.

 

So far, no clarification on timing of return premiums for coverage outside of the Marketplace has come from the Iowa Insurance Commissioner, who placed the company in rehabilitation effective December 23 - but Nebraska Insurance Director Bruce Ramge offers the following advice:

    

"If [payment was made] before the 15th [of December], they will have to ask the Iowa Division of Insurance or appointed deputy, if as Rehabilitator he or she will consider a rescission and refund.  If after the 15th [of December], coverage will not go into force and the applicant should be eligible for a refund.  As far as timing of receipt, you would again need to contact the rehabilitator or his deputy.
     For those who applied prior to the 15th [of December], coverage will be in place on January 1.  I cannot say whether a policy will physically be issued.  To avoid a gap in coverage it is important to keep coverage in place with CoOportunity for January while a new policy can be obtained for an effective date of February 1."

 

IIAN will share more information as it becomes available - check our home page at www.iian.org for links to breaking news and resources, starting December 31. 

Read updated news from the Lincoln Journal Star

FAQ document from Nebraska DOI web site

IIAN Action Update - December 24, 2014

Gudding Is IIAN's New Marketing Director

IIAN CEO Carol McClelland, CAE, has announced that Jeremiah Gudding, CIC is IIAN's new marketing director. Gudding has been on the job since November 1, replacing former marketing rep Phil Harr, who has retired but is providing consulting services to IIAN. Gudding has an extensive background as an adjuster, underwriter, marketing rep, and sales manager for a major independent agency system carrier, and has opened new territories for agencies in several western states, including Nebraska.
   "Jeremiah brings a wealth of practical experience from the company side in helping new independent insurance agents get a solid start, as well as advising established agencies on marketing and management issues.  He has a real desire to help IIAN members and their agencies succeed, and take advantage of the tools available to them through the association," comments McClelland. "I know he'll be a great contact and resource for IIAN members." Gudding can be reached at jeremiah.gudding@biginebraska.org, 800-377-3985, or cell (402)730-1681.

Happy New Year From IIAN's Board & Staff

IIAN's staff and Board of Directors would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your membership. We are so glad to have you as part of the Big 'I' family and appreciate your support of your association!

 

We hope you, your organization, and your family have a healthy and prosperous 2015!  Contact us any time for information and assistance (the IIAN office will be closed Jan. 1).

 IIAN staff roster and e-mails   IIAN Board roster and e-mails 

TRIA Expiration December 31 -
E&O Risk Management Tips

As January 1, 2015 is almost upon us, the Big "I" national Government Affairs team recently published a white paper - Implications of the Expiration of TRIA - to provide Big "I" members with with a better understanding of what to expect in the commercial P/C market.  

   Dovetailing with the white paper, the Big "I" Professional Liability program and SwissRe Corporation Solutions are providing members with E&O risk management considerations relating to handling TRIA's expiration. Read all about it. 

   The expiration of TRIA on December 31 presents your agency the opportunity to proactively communicate with your customers and strengthen your client relationships - as well as your agency's E&O risk management procedures.

IIAN Ready For Unicameral Session Starting Jan 7

Watch For IIAN's "Capitol Notes" E-Bulletin

When the 2015 Unicameral session starts on January 7, IIAN Legislative Representative Jim Cavanaugh will be there from the first day to "sine die", scheduled for June 5, 2015. IIAN's Legislative committee, chaired by Bob Hoppe of Columbus, meets regularly with Cavanaugh during the session to pro-actively address issues important to independent insurance agents.

 

At its recent meeting, IIAN's committee determined to continue to pursue increasing Nebraska's minimum motor vehicle liability limits in 2015, and to pro-actively address the problem of independent contractors who do not insure themselves for workers'compensation.

 Read IIAN white paper:  Independent Contractors & Workers' Compensation Law In Nebraska - A Festering Problem. 

And watch for IIAN's Capitol Notes e-bulletin throughout the session!

IIAN Surpasses Big "I" PAC Goals For 2014

We are proud to report that IIAN has surpassed 2014 fundraising goals for both InsurPac (your National PAC), and IIAN-PAC (your Nebraska PAC). Over 125 IIAN members supported Big "I" PAC's this year, including members of the IIAN "Circle of Eagles", who gave at least $250 each.   


 

In the 2014 election cycle, InsurPac supported more House and Senate campaigns than ever before, and distributed $1,836,169 along the way to 292 races, winning 272 of them for an amazing 93% victory rate And IIAN-PAC had a 72% victory rate in 24 Unicameral races, and supported Governor-elect Pete Ricketts - helping re-elect seven incumbents who will return to leadership positions in the 2015-16 Unicameral session.  Thanks to all who donated - with your support we can and do make a difference! 

Missouri Navigator Lawsuit Court Date Set

The ongoing lawsuit regarding navigator licensure in the state of Missouri is set for oral arguments in the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, January 15, 2015. It is expected that legal counsel for the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents will request time before the judges' panel to present arguments on agents' behalf.

     The case, entitled St. Louis Effort for AIDS v. Huff, was filed late in 2013 by  organizations that are certified under the ACA to provide assistance in helping uninsured Missourians obtain health insurance. The plaintiffs allege that the Missouri statute regulating navigators and certified application counselors funded by the federal government, both prevents them from providing the assistance the ACA requires them to provide to consumers, and prevents consumers from obtaining such assistance. 

House and Car Sharing - Is It Covered?

The Big "I" Virtual University has published a comprehensive article on the technical insurance implications of Uber, Airbnb, and other sharing services  which you should check out.  With more and more people expressing interest in getting involved with these kinds of services a quick review of the insurance related issues is a good idea.  

 

Click here to read the article. 

2014 Agency Universe Study

Future One, a collaboration of the Big "I" and leading independent agency companies, had just published the 2014 Agency Universe Study, which is viewed as the most comprehensive analysis of the independent agency system. The study surveys a wealth of issues about independent agencies operating in the U.S. including revenue base and sources, ownership, mix of business, diversification of products, technology uses, non-insurance income sources, and marketing methods. Here are just a few of the study's findings:

  • The number of independent agencies is stable. Since 2006, the estimated total number of agencies has been around 38,500. There was a decrease in the proportion of small agencies (28% in 2012 to 15% in 2014) and an increase in proportion of medium-small agencies (46% in 2012 to 57% in 2014).
  • Better business conditions. In 2014, 70% of agencies reported increased revenue, compared to 60% in the 2012.
  • Online marketing.  43% of agencies included social media in their marketing activities and 21% indicate that marketing the agency effectively on the internet is their top technological challenge.

Here is a high-level summary of the technology-based aspects from the study.

HIFIAA Changes Coming In April 2015

Over the past several years, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has undergone many changes. From the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in 2012 to the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act introduced this past March, much work has been done in an effort to stabilize the NFIP without heavily impacting policyholder wallets.

 

While HFIAA legislation was implemented to help roll-back certain features of BW12 there are still elements that will affect the overall cost of flood insurance. Specifically, effective April 1, 2015 a number of NFIP program changes will be introduced, including:

  • An increase in the Reserve Fund Assessment
  • Implementation of an annual surcharge on all new and renewed policies
  • An additional deductible option
  • An increase in the Federal Policy Fee
  • Rate increases for most policies

For a broad overview of these changes, we encourage you to read through FEMA's recently released fact sheet.