September 21, 2016
U.S. Congressman Adrian Smith (R-3rd Dist.) is slated to be the keynote luncheon speaker on October 25, the first day of IIAN's 109th annual convention, at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney.  "We're excited to hear Congressman Smith's perspectives on how the November elections will impact Nebraska and the nation," says IIAN PAC committee chairman  Vince Christensen of St. Paul.  "He has been a stalwart supporter of the federal crop insurance program and the role of independent agents, among other Big "I" issues."
     Prior to the luncheon, Congressman Smith will also meet with IIAN Circle of Eagles members who have contributed $250 or more to Big "I" PACs.   Register for convention.   
IIAN Receives Top Education Award
We are excited to announce that for the fourth year in a row, IIAN has been recognized with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America's top education award:  the Excellence in Insurance Education Diamond Award.  Nancy Robeson, IIAN's Director of Operations in charge of education programming, accepted the award at IIABA's annual Education Convocation.

Last Chance!
Nominate Someone Deserving An IIAN  Award

Each year IIAN recognizes the contributions of outstanding individuals who have given service and support to the Independent Agency System in Nebraska. This year's awards will be presented during the 109th Annual Convention, October 25-27, at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney. Please take a few minutes to nominate your choices in the following categories: 

Five Star Company of the Year, Company Representative of the Year, Young Agent of the Year, Spirit of Nebraska Award, and Trusted Choice┬« Agency of the Year.
Nominations are due September 22 - download nomination form here. 
IIAN Nominating Committee Finalizes Slate

IIAN's Nominating Committee, chaired by IIAN Past President Phil Winkelmann of Omaha, has finalized its slate of candidates for the 2016-17 association year:  President - Krae Dutoit, Grand IslandVice President - Greg Zimmer, LincolnSecretary Treasurer - Sandra Ryks, Papillion; Director (3 Open Positions) - Todd Anderson, York; Vincent Christensen, St. Paul; Hope Freshour, Columbus; Riley Tonkin, Omaha; Cole Williams, Norfolk.
Officers and Directors will be elected at the annual member meeting on October 26, 2016 at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney, during IIAN's 109th Annual Convention, and by absentee ballot prior to the meeting.
Big "I" Sues To Halt Misguided Overtime Rule
On September 20, IIABA joined the U.S.Chamber of Commerce and 12 other national trade associations in filing a lawsuit against the Department of Labor (DOL) to halt its recently promulgated overtime rule.  A coalition of 21 states also filed a separate challenge to the rule.
"This misguided overtime rule will negatively impact independent insurance agencies and their employees," says Bob Rulsbuldt, national Big "I" president and CEO.  "This rule is a jobs killer and it needs to be fixed."  
The Big "I" is the only insurance trade association to join the lawsuit. 

In the meantime, with the December 1 effective date of the rule getting closer, many questions have arisen among Big "I" members.  Read IIABA's white paper with a series of 25 common questions and in-depth answers - Learn more. 
Workers' Compensation Opt-Out Provision Unconstitutional, Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on September 13 ruled unconstitutional a key component of a highly touted workers compensation reform law.

At issue is a provision of the 2013 law that allowed employers to opt out of traditional workers compensation insurance if they provided a separate plan with benefits.

 Read more.                    
What Agents Need to Know - October Flood Insurance Changes

Independent insurance agents should be prepared to answer policyholder questions and potentially gather new information for National Flood Insurance Program-affiliated insurance companies as carriers continue the re-underwriting process mandated under the Homeowner  Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

Section 28 of the 2014 law requires NFIP insurers to clearly communicate these flood risk determinations to policyholders, through direct mailing and other documentation. 

  Read more.

Insurance Industry Employment Trends

A five-year trend of strong job growth in the insurance agency and brokerage segment continued in the past year according to Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data. A synopsis of the job numbers was recently compiled by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and it states that agencies gained 14,500 jobs in June 2016 vs. June 2015 (up 1.9 percent) to 776,100.
Employment growth in the agency/broker category in the last three years has been extremely strong. In June 2013, this segment employed 667,400, so is up 16%.
Cyber Security Model Law is Problematic

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently developed a model law dealing with cyber security which would impose significant burdens on the agent community.  The Big "I" has been actively expressing major concerns with the draft language since last year, but the latest draft does not address our most significant concerns.
The draft has two primary components:
  • Information security: requiring licensees to develop and adhere to a comprehensive data security program.
  • Data breach investigation, notification, and remediation: establishing requirements that apply when personal information maintained by a licensee or service provider is improperly accessed or obtained.
Both components apply broadly to all insurance licensees - including agents and agencies - would create new, complicated mandates for all agents; and do not address existing federal requirements which may apply in addition to existing state mandates.  IIAN has been in touch with the Nebraska Insurance Department as the model law has developed over the past year.

Karley Powell, Communications Intern, reminds readers to remember their audience while posting on social media.
IIAN members are invited to contact Karley for help with agency social media issues. 

Learn More

Check out these upcoming ACT Webinars!

Small Commercial Rating-- Advocacy for Consistency and Usability
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
100 to 1:30 p.m. CDT
Cost: FREE

The Center for Internet Security and ACT Present "Cyber Hygiene"
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. CDT
Cost: FREE! 
Thank You!
Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.

Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
(402) 476-2951