The Dec Page News from the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia, Inc.
IIAG Lobbies on Capitol Hill
Aubie Knight, CIC, CRM
This month a a group of Big “I” member agents, Gould and I, spent a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It’s always an exciting place to be, and a great experience to be a part of the political process. Our delegation sat down and visited personally with nearly every member of Georgia’s congressional delegation. This year, we focused those discussions on four key areas:
1) NARAB II: The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers is a bill that is designed to streamline the process of agents and agencies that need to be licensed in multiple states. Instead of filing the various paperwork in all the different states where the agent needs to be licensed, the agent would only have to file the paperwork with the “clearinghouse” created by NARB. This bill has support from many members of both parties, and has actually passed on the House side a couple of previous times already. We are hopeful that this year there will be some action on the Senate side, and there are positive signs that will be the case.
2) TRIA: The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is set to expire on December 31, 2014. TRIA was put into place after 9/11/2001 to provide a federal backstop (much like reinsurance) to the private insurance industry. There are substantial coverage triggers, company deductibles and co-pays that have to be met before the federal government would act as the back-stop. There is also a provision in the Act that states that in the event of a terrorist attack that triggered coverage under the federal backstop, that all commercial policies would be surcharged in order to reimburse the federal government. In my view, this is a great example of public-private partnership, where insurance companies are able to calculate their maximum exposure to terrorist threats, and participate in offering coverage. Without TRIA, I think it is very reasonable to predict that the private insurance market would completely exit the terrorism coverage marketplace, and the entire financial burden of future acts of terrorism would fall strictly on the victims of the terrorism and the federal government.
Unfortunately, while visiting with members of Congress on this point, we encountered occasional objections that came from a couple of difference vantage points. The first objection being that there is no rush, as the Act does not expire until the end of next year. And while that is true, we would explain how insurance contracts are typically year-long contracts, which means that as early as January 1, 214, insurance companies were going to be offering coverage on policies that would be extending beyond the expiration date of TRIA. The second issue raised by some of the more conservative members of Congress stems around the question of whether or not the federal government should be in the business of providing a “safety net” to a private industry. To people with those views, we attempted to explain that the peril of terrorism is simply a different kind of hazard that cannot be predicted, either in terms of frequency or severity. Insuring against terrorism is more akin to insuring against the risk of war, than it is insurance against other types of perils. While I think we made some headway on this point, I frankly have little faith that Congress will be able to get its act together and deal with this issue until probably late 2014. It remains to be seen what disruptions in the market place will be caused.
The other two issues that we spoke specifically about were related to crop insurance and tax reform. Tax reform is of course an important issue for all small business owners, and IIAG’s members are certainly no exception. The crop insurance issue is essentially related to the role that the federal government plays in the important program.
All of these issues are, to varying degrees, important to insurance agents. It was a privilege to be “On the Hill” representing your interest. It is something that I think every one of you should do at least once. Next year, why don’t you try to join us?
Disability: A Gamble Worth Taking?
Your most important asset is not your car, house, boat or other possessions. It is your ability to earn an income. An accident or illness that causes a disability can prevent you from earning an income.
While most people think it won’t happen to them, statistics show that this isn’t true. According to the Commissioners Disability Table it is far more likely that your clients will suffer a disability than be in an auto accident or have a house fire. In fact, the chances of suffering a long term disability of 90 days or more before an individual reaches the age of 65 are unbelievably high: a 25-year old has a 52% chance of becoming disabled; a 35-year old has a 48% chance; and a 50-year old has a 34% chance. The odds are not in your favor.
People often incorrectly believe they will be covered by Social Security, workers’ compensation or their own savings. This simply isn’t true most of the time. Social Security Disability is often difficult to obtain since the restrictions state the client must be completely disabled with no hope of recovery for at least one year. Workers’ compensation only covers if you are injured on the job. And personal savings goes fast when trying to keep up with the mortgage, care and other obligations. Although these programs can help supplement your income you cannot realistically expect to recoup your entire income using these sources.
A quality disability policy will provide coverage in the event of disability. Take the time during Disability Insurance Awareness Month to educate your clients about the facts and the options available to them.
Big “I” Employee Benefits offers a variety of Disability Solutions through our partnership with Crump Life Insurance Services. Visit us at www.iiaba.net: Products/LifeSource/Crump to learn more. Contact Christine Muñoz, Big “I” Director of Employee Benefits, at email@example.com for more information.
WC-10 Form Revised, Notarization No Longer Required May 1
The State Board of Workers' Compensation has removed the notary requirement from the WC-10 form, the election form for workers' compensation coverage for officers, sole proprietors and partners.
In November 2012 IIAG notified its members that the Board had adopted a rule requiring a notary for the form. Members raised concerns about the requirement and IIAG met with the Board's staff to discuss the issue.
In March IIAG reported that the Board had decided to rescind the requirement and advised IIAG that the change would probably be effective May 1. It is now official.
Thanks to Commercial Lines Committee Chairman Allan Webb, Governmental Affairs Chairman Jimbo Floyd, and IIAG's lobbyist Gould Hagler for addressing this matter with the Board and helping remove this burdensome requirement.
Thanks also to Stan Bexley, the Board's Enforcement Director, for helping to implement the change.
IIAG Launches Agents Go Digital
Digital marketing professionals manage your social media campaign while you manage your agency.
Introducing your association's newest initiative to help members launch their agency into the fast-paced world of digital marketing! Agents Go Digital, in partnership with Project Cap, will help you build a social media campaign, blog, update your website, or even create one. AGD can do as much or as little as you need to get your marketing campaign current and relevant for today’s marketplace.
Watch the video promotion below, view the website www.agentsgodigital.com or call IIAG to get started 770-458-0093.
Rising College Freshmen and Sophomores Now Eligible for IIAG Past Presidents/YAC Scholarship
At its March meeting, IIAG's Executive Committee changed eligibility requirements for the IIAG's Past Presidents/YAC Scholarship to include rising college freshmen and sophomores. Previously only juniors and seniors enrolled in Georgia colleges or universities were eligible.
If you are employed with an IIAG member agency and have a college student or soon-to-be college student, please read more. Your child or dependent could be eligible to receive $1000-$1500!
Each year, $1000 is awarded to a dependent child of a full time employee of an IIAG member agency (or a dependent child of the principal of an IIAG member agency when the principal is the sole agent or employee.) To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior in a four-year accredited public or private Georgia college or university. The student is eligible for the scholarship for any field of study; however, if the student is an insurance or risk management major, the scholarship will be increased by $500.
To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must fully complete the scholarship application including the attachments and submit the application to the committee prior to the deadline, June 1.
The annual recipients of the scholarships are chosen by a committee of three past presidents to be selected by the current president. The chairman of the committee will be the most senior past president. The scholarship will be awarded each year prior to July 1 and paid by August 1.
IIAG's Past Presidents Scholarship originated in 2004-2005, during the presidency of Kay Wimberly (Blount, Burke, Wimberly, and Hendricks/Statesboro), and was established 2005-2006 program year under President David F. Lewis, AAI, (Bryant, Wharton & Thompson Risk Advisors/Alpharetta)
The Young Agents Committee Leaders under the leadership of Clint Ivy, AIP, CIC (Fleming and Riles Insurance/Albany), voted unanimously in 2008 to include the Past Presidents Scholarship Fund as a beneficiary of the annual YAC Charity Golf Tournament in addition to a social charity of the YAC Chairman’s Choice. IIAG’s Executive Committee renamed the scholarship budget, from gifts made in the honor or memory of IIAG members, from IIAG Past Presidents who are still active or retired, from agency principals and associates, and from our friends at the Georgia 1752 Club.
Chart a New Course
IIAG 116th Annual Convention
45th YAC Annual Conference Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida
June 6-8, 2013
Join independent insurance agents, company representatives, family and friends for an unforgettable insurance event! Experience insightful speakers, learn best practices, interact with the legislators panel, visit the packed exhibit hall, and enjoy remarkable entertainment! Make plans for your journey and discover a whole new world of fun.
Rooms and Villas are still available at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation MAKE A RESERVATION