November 2017
President's Message
Change. It is evident with the coming of each season. The leaves are falling and there is that snap in the air in the mornings. We are not even to Thanksgiving and one of my neighbors had a crew putting up Christmas lights this morning.

Change is part of life. Some embrace it. Others loathe it. Change has forever been and will forever be part of life.

Perhaps nobody creates change more than the insurance industry. Insurers are always modifying their policy forms and their rates in response to claims. An insurer's appetite for a particular class of business can change with one loss.

As a participant in the insurance chain, insurance agents live with change daily.
We were visited by an old friend this week. Representatives from Allianz Insurance Company, formerly Fireman's Fund, came to town.
In its day, and before "technology," Fireman's Fund had an office on Shaw Avenue in Fresno. There could have been 400 employees in that office. We had actual paper files on every customer and as agents we would drive to Fresno and sit with underwriters and review the policies coming up for renewal.

Today our industry is paperless and communications are electronic. As an insurance agency we could not function nor could we communicate with an insurer if we were not. We have adapted to change.
In the midst of change, our charge as your insurance agent is to continue to provide the same level of service and care that we provided when we carried your policies under our arm in a paper file.
Brent Swanson
President / Chief Operating Officer

BMI News & Updates
We love to support our community!
Below are some upcoming events BMI has sponsored:
  • November 28th - Giving Tuesday
  • December 2nd - Valley Children's Miracles and Magnolias Luncheon
  • December 2nd - Visalia's 13th Annual Home Holiday Tour Presented by the Redwood High School Ranger Guard
  • December 14th - RES COM Fundraiser for the Salvation Army

Our office will be closed on the following, upcoming dates:
  • November 23rd
  • November 24th
  • December 25th
  • January 1, 2018
Life & Health Insurance Updates
IRS Announces Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2018

Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically increased for inflation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the annual dollar limits for various welfare and retirement plan limits for 2018. Although some of the limits will remain the same, many of the limits will increase for 2018.

The annual limits for the following commonly offered employee benefits will increase for 2018:
  • High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs);
  • Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs);
  • Transportation fringe benefit plans; and
  • 401(k) plans.
Please click here to read the full article.
Loss Control Bulletin

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence: unfortunately, high profile events continue to grab headlines. Just the thought of it can conjure up visions of images we've all seen on the television screen: images accompanied with sadness and thoughts of "how did it get to this?" While most headlines recently are occurring outside the workplace, questions arise about if workplace violence can be prevented. In almost all cases that have been investigated, the answer is 'yes'. Here are some sobering statistics:
  • An estimated 99.8% of all workplace violence victims survive the attack.
  • Most workplace violence incidents do not involve physical contact.
  • Estimated 98% of all workplace violence incidents can be prevented, provided someone recognizes AND addresses the precursors.

Workplace violence is defined as any act, verbal or physical, that threatens the safety of an employee, visitor, and/or customer; affects the health, life, or wellbeing of an employee, visitor, and/or customer; results in damage to company, employee, visitor, or customer property. Workplace violence involves threats (verbal, written, physical, etc.), harassment, bullying and intimidation, brandishing weapons, sexual assaults, stalking, vandalism, graffiti, arson, aggressive behavior such as shoving, pushing, fist fights, and hostage-taking. And, workplace violence can be prevented: you just need to prepare for it and know the signs so correct action can be taken.

Please click here to continue reading the article.
Visit for more helpful information. 
Claims Department Report


Drone: Bird, Plane, Predator or Liability?

If you invade someone's privacy with a drone, your insurance might not cover it...
Homeowner Policies
Coverage E under a typical homeowner's policy provides comprehensive personal liability coverage.

This type of coverage protects the insured against claims arising out of accidents that cause injuries or damage to others on property the insured owns or rents. A homeowner's policy also follows the insured wherever he or she goes in the coverage territory, unless the accident involves an automobile, boat or aircraft (that is, an auto, boat or aircraft exclusion may apply). Coverage E applies only to accidents, though. The insuring language requires an accident that caused the injury or damage. In addition, Coverage E usually has an intentional-or-expected injury exclusion. A standard homeowner's policy does not cover personal injury claims that may include invasion of privacy.

If a homeowner uses a drone to spy on her neighbor and the neighbor sues, there may not be coverage under the homeowner's policy for a few reasons. First, there is no such thing as negligent intrusion upon seclusion so the insuring clause language may not be met. Second, an intentional-or-expected injury exclusion may apply, assuming the insuring language is even met. Third, an aircraft exclusion may also apply, depending upon how the policy defines "aircraft."
Please click here to continue reading the article.
Commercial & Personal Auto Rates on the Rise
As auto related costs accelerate, here's how to stay ahead of them...
Since auto-related costs may continue to trend upward you should focus on making vehicles use in your business safer and reducing distracted driving.

Please click here to continue reading the article.



Losses are increasing in the auto industry
These industry statistics show all insurance carriers are paying out more in auto claims than they have in the past.
The U.S. set a new car sales record of nearly 17.5 million vehicles in 2015. Newer cars have advanced technology and are expensive to repair.
Please click here to continue reading the article.

New auto technology is costly
There's a significant difference in repair costs for many
new vehicle technologies. One of the most frequently damaged auto parts is the headlamp.

More and more, adaptive headlamps - which use sensors to cast their beam in the direction of a curve to ensure better visibility and more safety - are becoming standard equipment in new vehicles.
Please click here to continue reading the article.
November Employee Spotlight
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