2014 MID-YEAR CONVENTION
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Aqua Turf, Plantsville, CT
2013 Mid-Year Convention
Click on the link below to view
Sponsors from the 2013 Convention
Exhibitors at the 2013 Convention
Click here to view a .pdf version of the
2013 Mid-Year Convention Program Book
Future Convention Dates
October 16, 2014
November 12, 2015
NOVEMBER 14, 2013 MID-YEAR CONVENTION RECAP
President and IIAC Chairman note:
On Thursday, November 14, 2013, IIAC members, industry representatives and exhibitors gathered for the IIAC’s annual Mid-Year Convention, held at the Aqua Turf in Southington, CT. The event featured presentations and topical conversations surrounding the role and agenda of the state’s Insurance Department, the growth and viability of the insurance industry, as well as an examination of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange.
Drawing in more than 400 IIAC members, attendees had the opportunity to network, meet with vendors and listen to industry dialogue during the conference Insurance Industry Panel discussion.
“We are enthused with the turnout and participation of our members, sponsors and exhibitors, and want to thank our program speakers Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi; IIABA Chairman Thomas J. Minkler; Access Health CT Business to Business Outreach Manager Phil Boyle; Northeast Branch Manager Robert Bordeaux; Central Mutual Insurance Company Board Chairman and President Bill Purmort; and The Hartford Senior Vice President Raymond J. Sprague,” said IIAC Chairman Michael Gergler.
We thank everyone for their participation and look forward to an interesting and busy 2014.
Michael Gergler, IIAC Chairman
Warren C. Ruppar, IIAC President
Thomas B. Leonardi, Commissioner, Connecticut Insurance Department
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner, Thomas B. Leonardi, began the presentation portion of the convention speaking to the role of the Insurance Department and looking at what’s ahead for the insurance industry.
Breaking down divisions within the department, Commissioner Leonardi articulated the relevance and work of both the Consumer Affairs Unit and the Market Conduct Unit of the Connecticut Insurance Department. He discussed the roles of the units and their respective impact on the insurance industry and broader business community.
The Commissioner went on to discuss the department’s 2014 legislative priorities that include becoming NAIC compliant with certain regulations, establishing a point of entry statute, and the passage of a technical revisions bill.
Commissioner Leonardi also highlighted a study conducted by the Financial Stability Board, made up of G-20 Countries. The peer review, so to speak, assessed insurance policies and regulations at both a state and federal level and concluded that the United States should implement a position of a Federal Regulator. Commissioner Leonardi spoke to those findings saying that states should maintain their own regulative authorities.
Commenting quickly on the state-wide impact of the industry, Commissioner Leonardi added that 10 percent of the state’s GDP is drawn from the insurance industry and that more broadly, insurance is an economic driver and job creator for the Connecticut market.
Thomas J. Minkler, Chairman, IIABA
Tom Minkler, IIABA Chaiman and President of the Clark-Mortenson Agency, Inc., examined IIABA programs and incentives to help agencies and agents grow their business and meet the demands of the new and changing market for insurance.
Jumping right in and discussing whether or not the room’s attendees are keeping pace with change, Chairman Minkler stated that “we need to tell our stories better so that we don’t end up like these predictions.” Illustrating what change looks like, Chairman Minkler showed familiar icons of social media and the internet, and then provided statistical facts about how people seek out insurance.
(80% of people who end up with a personal lines account start with an internet search.)
Focusing more specifically on marketing and brand identity, Chairman Minkler provided information on the Trusted Choice Consumer Agency Portal, Project CAP, which supports agents and agencies in navigating the world of internet marketing. Knowing that people walk through your electronic door instead of your office door, Chairman Minkler explained the Project CAP benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the value of being found and accessible via the internet.
Commenting further, Chairman Minkler targeted the importance utilizing tools such as Project CAP to reach the Generation Y audience in order to support the longevity of insurance business and industry. He then went on to analyze the manner in which Generation Y does business, explaining that younger generations follow brands that are socially responsible and socially aware. Citing the IIAC donation to the Make a Wish Foundation, Chairman Minkler offered that the market audience values “why we tied our star to that star.”
Phil Boyle, Business to Business Outreach Manager, Access Health CT
Phil Boyle provided insights on the status of the state’s health care exchange and also discussed some of the employer mandates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Access Health CT, Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, is one of 14 state-run health care exchanges, and as Mr. Boyle asserts, the most successful in terms of enrollment. He estimates that, to date, more than 9,000 Connecticut residents have enrolled, and that roughly 20 percent of the enrollment was conducted by brokers.
Within the ACA’s more than 2,000 pages, is a mandate stipulating that every United States citizen must have health insurance by January 1, 2014. Mr. Boyle broke down the business impact, explaining that small employers – 50 full time employees or less – are not required to offer health insurance and will not be penalized for not offering a policy. Large employers, 51 or more full time employees, are however required to offer insurance and are subject to penalties if they do not offer insurance.
His explanation continued onto a discussion of tax credit eligibility for employers with fewer than 25 employees, stating that such businesses may qualify for small business tax credits. Such qualifications include the number of full time employees, and annual wage and contribution limits.
On the individual side, Mr. Boyle detailed three methods of obtaining health insurance citing a straight purchase, government subsidies and Medicaid as options.
Further discussing Connecticut’s market, Mr. Boyle explained that the mission of Access Health CT is to reduce the number of uninsured, which is currently hovering at 10 percent in state. He spoke of the processes to fix this as multifold, stating that brokers must be engaged and complete broker certification programs, in person assistors will be sent out into communities to enroll, first in the nation store fronts will open (New Britain and New Haven to start), state-wide enrollment fairs have been setup, the call center is open, and the web portal is functional.
Looking at the make-up of the marketplace, Mr. Boyle briefly talked about the state’s approved carriers, which include Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Connecticare Benefits Inc., and HealthyCT. (HealthyCT is a co-op and the first new carrier to enter the Connecticut marketplace in 26 years.)
Insurance Industry Panel
The convention closed with a panel discussion focused on relevant and upcoming issues in insurance. The panel was moderated by Michael Gergler, CIC, IIAC Chairman, and panel members were:
* Robert Bordeaux, CPCU, ARM, Northeast Branch Manager, QBE North America – Middle Market
* Bill Purmort, Chairman of the Board and President, Central Mutual Insurance Company
* Raymond J. Sprague, Senior Vice President, Small Commercial, The Hartford
The program panel dissected questions of the day, engaging in discussion on social media trends and the use of technology as a business model, curbing the effects of weather related disasters through the use of predictive modeling, economic outlooks for the soft and hard markets, best practices for marketing, and a dialogue on the industry issues that keep the program panelists up at night.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation
This year, the IIAC and IIABA raised $7,500 for the Connecticut Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The money, allocated to Ryan Tucker enabled this 11 year-old young man to see his dream come true. Ryan was invited to KingsIsle Entertainment Inc, the manufacturer of his favorite video game, Pirate 101. Ryan’s wish was to become a game character and through the efforts of Make-A-Wish and IIAC, that became a reality. “Ryan the Relentless,” is his dream come to life.
Talking about his excitement young Ryan commented, “This isn’t your typical day!”
Click here to read more about Ryan’s story.
Kim Smith, Development Director of the Connecticut Chapter f the Make-A-Wish Foundation joined this year’s convention to thank IIAC members for our contribution and speak to the impact that donations like this have on you children’s lives. Ms. Smith presented Michael Gergler with an award for the IIAC and IIABA contributions to the foundation.