Trusted Choice

Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Agent

July/August 2012


Welcome to the latest issue of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma newsletter, your source for the latest insurance news in Oklahoma.

The Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma association is all about YOU, the independent insurance agent. We exist to serve you by taking the lead in protection, education, legislation and reform. IIAO helps YOU on the front lines and behind the scenes we are saving you time, energy and money.

in this issue


·  Oklahoma News

·  Trusted Choice/IIABA News

·  Industry News

·  Education Bulletin

·  Calendar of Events

Oklahoma News

Mark your calendars for the return of the KAIROS Conference. This year's agenda includes some of our most requested oil & gas topics plus a tour of the OSU Athletic Facilities. Watch for more information coming out at the end of this month - space is limited!

The Young Agents of Oklahoma want to invite you to one of their upcoming lunch bunch meetings. On August 28th, they will meet at BJ's Restaurant in Oklahoma City. On September 25th, they will meet at Baker's Street Pub & Grill in Tulsa. There is not a better opportunity to meet fellow young agents and network with company representatives. The only cost is your lunch! Click on the links above to register - we will save you a seat!

In September 2011, IIABA discontinued the use of the Big "I" logo. Make sure you are using the Trusted Choice logo on your letterhead and business cards. To download the latest copy of the logo, go to, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link for the logo you want. You will need your IIAO username and password to view the logos. If you don't remember it, go to our page and click on "forgot password" link below the login box.

All you OU and OSU fans, get ready to support your school along with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. During college football season, we will be running a promotion to raise funds for the Food Bank. The winning school gets bragging rights for a whole year! Watch for more information coming soon!

Oklahoma's Bob Bramlett will be installed September 8th in Atlanta as 2013 Chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Join us at this exciting celebration as Bramlett becomes the third Oklahoman to take the reins of the national association. The installation will be held at a luncheon at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta. Oklahoma will host a reception in Bob's honor starting at 5:00 p.m. Contact Dan Ramsey at IIAO for more information on tickets for the installation. Don't worry if you can't make it to Atlanta - we will be hosting a reception for Bob and Nanette at IIAO's office on September 25th!

A group of oil-field operators, including Joe Kem from Bituminous Insurance, will head to Haiti this fall to drill a water well. The trip will take place from September 29 through October 6. Ken Murphy of Enviro Clean along with Kem, will lead a group of 28 volunteers to drill the well and pour a concrete slab to set up a medical clinic. The clinic is being donated by Hospitals of Hope. Visit for more information on the trip.

Visit IIAO's website for the most up-to-date news...

Trusted Choice/IIABA News

Oklahoma is well represented on IIABA committees! Congratulations to the following individuals on their appointments - we know they will serve Oklahoma and the industry well! IIAO Education Director Susie Current has been appointed to the Big "I" Virtual University Committee. Immediate Past Chairman Jed Dillingham has been selected for the IIABA Health Care Task Force. New State Director Denise Johnsonwill start her first year as State Director on the InVEST Board of Trustees. And Ardmore's Jake Bramlett will serve on the Trusted Choice® Big "I" National Championship Junior Golf Committee.

Trusted Choice®, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, is launching a special social media campaign to raise money for Make-A-Wish®. For every "share" from the Trusted Choice® Facebook page ( during the month of August, Trusted Choice® will donate $10 to Make-A-Wish.

The Facebook campaign will launch a year-long fundraising effort involving the Trusted Choice® "Chopper for Charity." Recently, a Trusted Choice®-themed custom motorcycle designed by the renowned Orange County Choppers to raise money for Make-A-Wish was unveiled by Paul "Paul Sr." Teutul, Sr., Orange County Choppers owner and "American Chopper" star.

"Trusted Choice® is excited and proud to use social media in such a positive way to raise money and awareness for Make-A-Wish," says Dave Evans, Trusted Choice® executive director. "Independent insurance agents and brokers have a strong track record with countless charity efforts in their communities and this is one way for all of us to join forces for a very worthy national campaign."

Trusted Choice® is committed to donating a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $150,000 with this campaign. The chopper will tour across the country as part of a promotion to raise money for Make-A-Wish.

Visit IIABA's website for more information on YOUR national association...

Industry News

The R Street Institute recently released a report card grading the insurance regulatory environments in each state. According to comments made by R Street Institute, the Institute "will be taking a look each year at the state-based U.S. insurance regulatory system, examining which states are doing the best job of regulating insurance through limited, effective, and efficient government. In this context, that means states should regulate only those market activities where government is best positioned to act; that they should do so competently and with measurable results; and that their activities lay the minimum possible financial burden on policyholders, companies, and ultimately, taxpayers." The report card measures states on 14 objective variables to gauge the extent to which their insurance regulatory environments embody the principles of limited, effective and efficient government. Click to view the full report.

Workers' compensation, the largest commercial lines segment representing approximately 18 percent of the nation's commercial lines net written premiums in 2011, posted a statutory combined ratio of 117 percent in 2011, according to a new report released by Fitch Ratings. This is 9.5 percentage points worse than the commercial lines aggregate for 2011 and the worst result in the past 10 years for the workers' compensation line according to the report.

Fitch estimates that it will be difficult for the workers' compensation market to have a combined ratio of 110 percent or better in 2012 or 2013 without significantly more price improvement. From a ratings standpoint, overall underwriting performance is given greater consideration than individual lines' results, according to Fitch. However, workers' compensation is a source of significant underwriting volatility for commercial lines insurers, and signs of a cyclical turn from recent weak performance levels will promote stability in ratings in the near term, according to the rating agency.

Fitch's report analyzes the workers' compensation market and the factors currently influencing the market. In addition, it reviews the results of the top 15 workers' compensation underwriters and the shifting market composition over the last 5 years. The full report "Workers' Compensation Insurance Market Update" is available from Fitch.

According to Forbes, the plight of more than 100,000 insurance agents and brokers is at stake. The article predicts that the floodgates are about to open for the mass firings of health insurance agents.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act dictates that health insurers must spend at least $0.80 of every $1.00 in premiums collected on health care in the individual and small group markets, and $0.85 in the large group market. Click here to continue reading on

From PropertyCasualty 360: Central to the definition of "legend" is the notion that the fame achieved will be enduring-that these are people whose accomplishments will be remembered for a long, long time.

The figures selected as the industry's Top 25 Living Legends easily meet that criteria-their contributions to P&C insurance have been epic, monumental-and are sure to be discussed and studied for decades to come. Each profiled visionary has fundamentally changed the way insurance is done, likely forever.

Congratulations to this impressive list including #22 Dr. William T. Hold and #16 IIABA's very own Robert Rusbuldt.

Education Bulletin

Is it time to take an E&O refresher course to keep you agency error free? Would you like to possibly save 10% on your E&O premium by taking this class? Attend IIAO's next Errors & Omissions Risk Management course in Oklahoma City on August 23 to refresh your knowledge and receive 8 hours of continuing education credit. Contact Lyra Roberts regarding E&O policy discounts and click here to sign up for the course.

If you have a new employee who is brand new to insurance, or new to commercial coverages we have the course for them. Both of these are online courses and take less than 3 hours a week to complete, so your employee is still in your agency getting acclimated to the way your office works and functions. Click on each of the classes you are interested in for more information.

-New Employee Orientation
-Commercial Coverage Basics

It sometimes takes years to develop a good client relationship. Your insurance customers call you for all their insurance needs. They entrust their homes, automobiles, and personal liability to you and your staff. Why then would you want them to go somewhere else to cover their most important asset - their earning power? At the CIC Life & Health you will learn how to recommend the proper type of life insurance and determine the amount needed, as well as how to use available personnel in your agency to market it. Hurry and sign up today to take this CIC Life and Health Institute today! This class is approved for 20 hours of CE including 2 hours of ethics and 1 legislative credit.

Calendar of Events

Click on the event name for more information about that event or to register online.

Video Webinar Schedule - CE with no test!

Visit the IIAO Education Calendar online...


About this article: Agents are being increasingly asked by their E&O underwriters whether they encrypt their clients' personal data when it is being transmitted. This article provides recommendations with regard to two major areas agencies need to address - secure email and securing their websites when personal data is requested. The article also discusses "encryption" and major types of "personal data" that are the subject of the various laws. Finally, the article outlines the type of resources that are available on the ACT website to help agencies address the email and website issues, as well as to develop and implement a comprehensive agency information security policy and program for their agency.

Agency Strategies to Send & Receive Personal Data Securely
by Jeff Yates

The Internet and mobility revolutions have enabled agents and their clients to live in an electronic world where the parties can work and communicate with each other from anywhere, opening up wonderful new opportunities for agencies to reach out to new consumers and provide their clients with enhanced services and responsiveness. These developments, however, have multiplied the security risks that agencies must manage in order to protect their clients' personal data.

It is no wonder then that E&O underwriters extending coverage for data breach to agencies increasingly are asking their applicants whether they encrypt or use other protective measures to safeguard this client personal data when it is being transmitted. This article explores approaches agencies can take to protect personal data in transit and then references a number of resources to assist agencies.

A common question agents ask is: "what is encryption?" When you think of encryption consider those codes the military employs to keep conversations unintelligible to the enemy. You can find many definitions of encryption on the Internet, but I like this simple one from Microsoft:

Encryption is a way to enhance the security of a message or file by scrambling the contents so that it can be read only by someone who has the right encryption key to unscramble it. For example, if you purchase something from a website, the information for the transaction (such as your address, phone number, and credit card number) is usually encrypted to help keep it safe. Use encryption when you want a strong level of protection for your information.

Requiring a strong password to gain access to your system is an important security procedure, but it is not the same as encrypting the data within the system.

Personal Data
What are the types of "personal data" that are most sensitive and need to be encrypted when transmitted? The definition of "personal data" can vary by state and is contained in the state data breach notification and privacy laws, as well as in various federal laws, such as HIPAA (PHI - Protected Health Information). Insurers, too, might employ various definitions of "personal data" in their policies, so it is incumbent upon the agency to be familiar with not only the specific laws but also the coverage definitions that apply to the agency. Note also that the applicable state law is based upon the residency of the individual whose personal data is being protected, not the location of the agency. This is an important consideration for both agencies writing business in multiple states and agencies writing policies that cover individuals who reside in multiple states.

With all of the above caveats, the most commonly mentioned types of non-public, individually identifiable "personal data" covered in the laws are those such as: social security numbers, driver's license numbers and other government issued ids, debit and credit card numbers and pins, bank and financial account numbers, and protected health information (PHI under HIPAA). While often not mentioned in state laws, other particularly sensitive personal data that should be protected includes information commonly used for security verification (mother's maiden name, date & place of birth, etc.) or sensitive insurance information (such as jewelry schedules).

It is important for agencies to know what types of personal information they collect, where it is retained and who has access to it. They then need to decide whether they really need to keep this sensitive information. For example, many agencies no longer retain copies of bank checks and are careful only to pass along credit card numbers to carriers, but not to retain them, so that they do not become subject to the comprehensive PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance requirements. These agencies are also extremely careful to shred this personal data as soon as it is no longer needed.

Further, if the agency decides it must keep particular sensitive personal data, it should limit access to it to only those employees who need to see it, to maximum extent possible. This is particularly true for Protected Health Information. Finally, the agency should be careful to make sure that this personal data is kept off of PCs, mobile devices, thumb drives, where there is a significant risk of loss or theft.

Click here to continue reading.

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IIAO 2012 Partners

Union Standard Insurance Group
Mid-Continent Casualty/Mid-Continent Group
The Hanover Insurance Group
Independent Insurance Agents Association of OKC
Comp Risk Management
Mercury Insurance Group
National Security Fire & Casualty Company
IIAO Eagle Agency

EMC Insurance Companies
Imperial PFS
America First Insurance Company
Central Insurance Companies
Travelers Insurance
Bituminous Insurance
One General Agency
Progressive Insurance
Specialty Insurance Managers of Oklahoma Inc.

Patriot National Underwriters, Inc./Old Glory Insurance Company
Taber Brokerage Services
Home Value Insurance Company

Midlands Management Corporation
National American Insurance Company
Columbia Insurance Group
Chartis Insurance
Access Insurance Company
Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
Safeco Insurance
M.J. Kelly Company
The Hartford
CNA Insurance
State Auto Insurance Companies
Union Mutual Insurance Company

Swett & Crawford of Texas, Inc.
Farmers Alliance Insurance Companies
Triangle Insurance Company
Westphalen Insurance Services
Republic Group of Insurance Companies
Risk Placement Services
Acton, Inc.
Graham-Rogers Inc.
Equity Insurance Company




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Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma | 9417 North Kelley Avenue (73131) | P.O. Box 13490 | Oklahoma City | OK | 73113