Welcome to the latest issue of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma newsletter, your source for the latest insurance news in Oklahoma.
The mission statement of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, working in the public's best interest, through active member participation, is to be the unrelenting advocate of independent insurance agents and to fulfill the education, political, and business needs of its members.
TRUSTED CHOICE DISASTER RELIEF FUND
The Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund (Fund) was established by the IIAA Educational Foundation (Foundation) of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) to assist others who have suffered losses due to natural or man-made disasters determined by the Foundation, in its sole discretion, to qualify for distributions from the Fund (Disaster). The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity. So contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law and no fees are deducted from contributions to the fund for staff time to manage it and faciliate distributions from it.
The Fund was created to provide the insurance industry, including IIABA members, their agency staffs, and others, with a vehicle to make financial contributions to aid victims and surviving family members of Disasters through cash grants made directly to help victims and surviving family members of Disasters to pay for immediate or ongoing financial needs when other funding sources (such as insurance and other grants) are not available, to fill the gap until other funding sources can be accessed, and to provide insurance agents with supplies and resources to provide Disaster relief efforts to aid victims and surviving family members. The types of expenses the Fund will cover are listed under the Use of Funds Section.
If you would like to donate you can click here.
If you or someone in your agency has been affected here is the application for the grant.
TRUSTED CHOICE JUNIOR GOLF TOURNAMENT IN JUNE
The state's top junior golfers are invited to play at the June 26 Trusted Choice Big "I" Junior Classic Oklahoma State Tournament at KickingBird Golf Course in Edmond. For more information or to sign up your junior, visit our junior golf website!
COMMISSIONER DOAK BLASTS FEDERAL OFFICIALS FOR REFUSING TO FUND INSURE OKLAHOMA
Insure Oklahoma, a successful, state-based insurance program serving the uninsured, has been scheduled to end December 31 if federal funding is pulled in an attempt to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"This is yet another example of Obamacare infringing on state rights," Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. "The federal government is preventing Oklahoma from doing what is best for our state, plain and simple."
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BACKPACK FOR KIDS PROGRAM - HALF WAY TO OUR GOAL!
The BackPack for Kids program still needs your help. The BackPack program provides food for low-income children over the weekends. The program reaches over 478 school districts in Oklahoma and helps more than 13,500 children. One child is fed for the entire year for only $200. All donations are appreciated, no matter the amount. With donations to date of $56,881, we are half way to our $100,000 goal. Please send your contribution payable to: IIAO Insurance Foundation, PO Box 13490, Oklahoma City, OK 73113. Click here to watch us reach our goal of $100,000!
BIG "I" PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY UPDATE
We are pleased to announce that the exclusive Big "I" Professional Liability Fireman's Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) Agency E&O policy form is now available in Oklahoma. This exclusive policy form is filed on a Risk Purchasing Group (RPG) basis and is available only to members of IIAO in good standing. Agents already insured with Fireman's Fund will be rolled over to the new coverage form. Expansion highlights include:
- $50,000 First party personal data compromise breach response for the accidental loss of client data, optional higher limits available
- First claim deductible is waived if you have been insured and claims free with FFIC for five or more years
- 80/20 Consent to settle clause
- True worldwide territory coverage
- Insolvency coverage for all carriers with B+ or better A.M. Best Company rating
- Maintained and updated range of Employment Practices Liability options
The new form was developed under the oversight of the Big "I" Professional Liability Committee, a group comprised of IIABA members that oversees and influences the program with an eye towards agent advocacy.
Member agencies currently insured with FFIC will be moved to the exclusive policy form at renewal. New policyholders will be awarded the expanded coverage at inception.
These descriptions of coverage are abbreviated and are subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the actual policy, which forms the contract between the insured and the insurance company. Available coverages, credits, and options may vary by state. Contact Lyra with any questions.
Trusted Choice/IIABA News
Are YOU getting ready?
On June 3rd Project CAP will release a revised version of projectcapmarketing.com. The revision means that member agencies now have the ability to sign up for the portal participation. Once trustedchoice.com goes live, in the very near future, be certain that you are ready.
Now is the time to be certain your agency's profile is complete. How do you describe your agency - what makes you unique? If you haven't fine-tuned your profile, it might be a good idea to sit down with your staff and talk about it. What feedback do they get from your clients? Is there something in that feedback that will help you define your agency?
Get ready! Trusted Choice will soon go live! You're already doing things online to be found. When Trusted Choice goes live, make certain you are ready to be found by the consumers who don't even know you exist. How is this possible?
It's all about Google optimization. When many different websites have a commonality (in this case, Trusted Choice), the visibility of each website increases. Google's goal is to help people find stuff - trustedchoice.com has Google's attention.
MIDLANDS JOINS TRUSTED CHOICE
Midlands is the newest member of the Trusted Choice® consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers. Midlands, headquartered in Oklahoma City, has joined 67 leading companies nationwide as a Trusted Choice® company partner.
"Trusted Choice® is very pleased to welcome Midlands as the newest MGA partner," said Dave Evans, Trusted Choice® executive director. "The Midlands team exemplifies the Trusted Choice® Pledge of Performance and we look forward to working with them to serve the needs of Trusted Choice® agents and their clients."
Midlands is a managing general agent with a specialty in excess workers' compensation and fee-based specialty Third Party Administrator (TPA) services. Other products offered by Midlands include Texas non-subscriber, primary workers' compensation, animal mortality, general liability, inland & ocean marine, pollution liability, property coverage, personal lines, artisan contractors for Oklahoma & Texas, and commercial auto & trucking for Oklahoma.
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TRUSTED CHOICE PROVIDES DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND RECOVERY TIPS
According to FEMA, peak tornado season begins in March and runs through the summer (though tornadoes can strike at any time). While the damage from a tornado may not be as widespread as damage from a hurricane or other tropical storms, tornadoes can be some of the most deadly and devastating weather events when they strike. Because predicting specific tornadoes can be difficult, it's important that everyone understand their risk for a tornado, including what to do before, during and after a storm
Click here to read the rest of the story.
22,000 INSURANCE CLAIMS FILED AFTER TORNADO OUTBREAK
Property and auto insurance claims related to the May 19 & 20 tornadoes in Oklahoma have already reached 22,422, according to a data call by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). That number is expected to rise over the coming weeks and months. The filed claims represent insured losses of at least $85 million. According to Oklahoma Emergency Management, 3,937 structures were impacted during the tornados with 1,248 destroyed.
"The staggering number of claims in one week's time shows just how disastrous severe weather can be in our state and the importance of protecting yourself with insurance," said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. "We have a commitment to communities that were impacted to not only be there for them with answers to their insurance questions, but also provide support and assistance as they navigate the insurance process to recover from these catastrophic losses."
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ENFORCEABILITY OF EMPLOYEE NONSOLICITATION AGREEMENTS CONFIRMED
Natalie Ramsey, a labor and employment attorney with McAfee & Taft, discusses a new state law that reinforces this prohibition.
Q: A bill signed into law confirms Oklahoma employers have the right to enforce agreements prohibiting a current or former employee from soliciting the company's employees to leave their jobs to work for another employer. Is this a change from existing law?
A: For some time, many Oklahoma employers have contractually prohibited the solicitation of employees for a reasonable period of time after the former employee has left their employment. Senate Bill 1031 confirms and reinforces this prohibition by codifying that a contractual provision that prohibits an employee or independent contractor from directly or indirectly soliciting employees or contractors to become employees for another organization is not an unlawful restraint of trade.
Q: Does the new law have any effect on the state's stance on noncompetition agreements?
A: No. Noncompetition agreements, with a few exceptions, remain unenforceable under state law. Specifically, Oklahoma employers may not contractually prohibit employees from competing with them in the same or similar business after their employment has ended, provided the former employee does not directly solicit the sale of goods and/or services from the established customers of the former employer.
Q: So what's the bottom line on nonsolicitation and noncompetition agreements?
A: While employers cannot prohibit employees from competing in the same or similar business after they leave their company, they can prohibit them from directly or indirectly soliciting their employees and independent contractors and from directly soliciting their established customers. A well-crafted agreement supported by adequate consideration can address these issues.
Q: What should Oklahoma employers do next?
A: The new law goes into effect Nov. 1, so any employee nonsolicitation agreements signed on or after that date will fall under this new statute. Out of an abundance of caution, employers who have existing employee nonsolicitation agreements in place should consider requiring employees sign a new nonsolicitation agreement after Nov. 1 and provide appropriate consideration to the signing employee to support those new agreements.
COMMISSIONER DOAK APPLAUDS NEW LAW AIMED AT PROTECTING SCHOOL DISTRICTS FROM FINANCIAL DISASTER
Effective immediately, school districts entering into inter-local insurance agreements will have the additional support of required financial transparency of the entities they are joining. Senate Bill 692, supported by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak and recently signed by Gov. Mary Fallin, requires inter-local insurance pools to file audited financial statements with the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID).
"Increasing transparency in inter-local insurance agreements will help school districts make better informed decisions before they join these pools," said Doak. "By making certain that these insurance pools have the assets to cover the amounts they insure, schools will be better protected and be able to prevent one catastrophe from financially crippling several schools at one time."
TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT RLI PERSONAL UMBRELLA AND HOME BUSINESS INSURANCE POLICIES
See how you can write more business with an admitted, secure, A+ rated carrier
Today's legal environment calls for extra protection for almost all your clients. Ask every new and current customer about Personal Umbrella and Home Business Insurance coverage.
The RLI Personal Umbrella Policy has financial stability and responsible underwriting as the foundation of this program that has been consistently available for over 25 years.
- Up to $5 million in additional insurance
- $1 million Excess UM/UIM available
- Expanded underwriting - more acceptability
- No underlying carrier information required
- Immediate availability & very affordable
The RLI Home Business Insurance Policy can help with Homeowner's policies, even with home business endorsements, don't adequately cover home businesses. They need RLI's Home Business Insurance.
- True BOP coverage for home businesses
- Full year of coverage - includes events, fairs & shows
- Coverage applies on and off premises
- Very low premiums
By making customers aware of these important extra layers of protection, you won't have to answer the E & O question - "If extra coverage was available, why didn't you offer it to your client before this accident?"
Contact Cindy Munden today - firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW CISR COURSE IN JUNE- CISR Personal Lines Misc.This course addresses the exposures created by watercraft, recreational vehicles, and business activities. Prompting clients to identify these exposures is crucial, because the ISO Homeowners and ISO Personal Auto Policies provide very limited coverage. Also provided is an analysis of the coverage offered through personal umbrella or excess liability policies.
This course will be in Lawton on June 5th, in Tulsa on June 12th and in Oklahoma City on June 13th.
ROUND-UP CE ON JUNE 20TH
If you are looking for 3 hours of continuing education or just need to earn more ethics and legislative credit hours this is the course for you. This class will include 2 hours of ethics and 1 hour of legislative credit.
CISR AGENCY OPERATIONS IN OKLAHOMA THIS JULY
This course will focus on areas that will directly affect your job success as you discuss the importance of professionalism, agency structure, ethical responsibilities, and skills for evaluating insurance companies. Increase your value as a member of your agency's team as you study elements of the agency system, support systems, and specific procedures/components of a sound loss control program for errors and omissions prevention.
EARLY BIRD PRICING ON CIC AGENCY MANAGEMENT
Register now to get the early bird pricing for the CIC Agency Management that will be in Oklahoma City on July 17-19, 2013. Regardless of your position or title, the CIC Agency Management Institute explores the current issues, complex relationships and dynamic trends that are important to your success in today's changing agency environment. At this Agency Management Institute, we explore the answers to dozens of issues related to successful and profitable management of your agency. If you are ready for a positive change in your operations, do not miss this Institute!
National Security Fire & Casualty Company
Mid-Continent Casualty/Mid-Continent Group
Mercury Insurance Group
Union Standard Insurance Group
Comp Risk Management
Independent Insurance Agents Association of OKC
IIAO Eagle Agency
One General Agency
Specialty Insurance Managers of Oklahoma
Central Insurance Companies
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Midlands Management Corporation
EMC Insurance Companies
Taber Brokerage Services
Patriot National Underwriters, Inc./Old Glory Insurance Company
Columbia Insurance Group
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
M.J. Kelly Company
National American Insurance Company
State Auto Insurance Companies
Union Mutual Insurance Company
The Hartover Insurance Group
Swett & Crawford of Texas, Inc.
Triangle Insurance Company
Farmers Alliance Insurance Companies
Cornerstone National Insurance Company
Equity Insurance Company
Risk Placement Services
Westphalen Insurance Services
Republic Group of Insurance Companies
Bailey Special Risks, Inc.