Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
           April - May 2016        
Two IIAN Members Honored At IIABA Legislative Conference In D.C.
Deardorff Receives Prestigious Smith Award, Christensen Named InsurPac Young Agent of the Year 
IIABA Government Relations chairman Lee Schilling, left, presents the prestigious Smith Award for legislative activism to IIAN's John Deardorff, Omaha, in Washington D.C.
On April 14 in Washington, D.C., the Big "I" national association presented the 2015 Sidney O. Smith Award - the association's highest honor for legislative activism - to John Deardorff of Omaha, Nebraska, for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve his fellow agents. A two-time member of the national Big "I" government affairs committee who has also served as IIABA's State government affairs chairman, Deardorff is a huge InsurPac supporter and has been a key contact for legislators from Nebraska.
      On April 13, IIABA presented a number of National awards at the annual Young Agents & InsurPac State Chairpersons Legislative Luncheon during the annual Big "I" Legislative Conference.   The event featured a keynote address by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) on the delay of the "Cadillac" tax, after which Nebraska InsurPac chairman Vincent Christensen of St. Paul received  the InsurPac Young Agent of the Year award.
     "Young agents stepped up to surpass the $1 million mark this year," said Veronica Della Porta, chair of InsurPac and president of Della Porta Group in Jacksonville, Florida, when presenting the award. "But one stood out in particular. As his state's InsurPac chair, he worked hard to bring agents of all ages to the table. It paid off - Nebraska increased its fundraising by roughly $6,500. "
See more photos  on our Facebook page.
Nebraska InsurPac Chairman Vincent Christensen, left, of St. Paul, accepts IIABA's InsurPac Young Agent of the Year award from IIABA Chairman Randy Lanoix and VP of Political Affairs, Nathan Riedel.
The Big "I" Storms The Hill
On April 13 and 14, 13 IIAN members and staff joined hundreds of agents from all 50 states at the National conference in Washington D.C. Led by IIAN President  Mike Jones and Legislative Committee Chairman Bob Hoppe, IIAN's representatives held a series of meetings with Nebraska's Congressional delegation to lobby on behalf of agents -- meeting personally with Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, and Representatives Adrian Smith, Brad Ashford, and Jeff Fortenberry, and their staffs.   The major points of our discussion were:  modernizing the National Flood Insurance Program, fixes to the Affordable Care Act, and the importance of agents in  the Federal Crop Insurance program.
2016 Unicameral Session Ends April 20
Few Insurance Measures 
The 60-day 2016 Unicameral "short" legislative session adjourned on April 20th, and only a handful of bills directly impacting insurance were among the 216 that passed.  They included three bills requested by the Nebraska  Insurance Department  - LB's 758, which prohibits limited liability companies from operating as insurers; 772, regarding supervision of international insurance groups  (amended to include 819, which requires all domestic insurers to provide disclosure of corporate governance practices), and 840, which addresses grievances under the Health Carrier External Review Act.  LB 837 also passed - it ensures that Nebraska is able to retain taxes association with every Surplus Lines transaction involving an insured whose home state is Nebraska. 
     All bills relating to Workers' Compensation were killed by the Business & Labor Committee on March 9th - except for IIAN's top issue for the 2015-16 session, LB 276, introduced last year by Business & Labor Committee Chairman Burke Harr of Omaha at IIAN's request, to address the growing problem of independent contractors who do not insure themselves for workers compensation.  After a successful grassroots campaign by IIAN members last spring, LB 276 was advanced for first-round debate, and also garnered 11 co-sponsors this year. But after several attempts to forge a compromise on proposed amendment language that would have been outside of the initial intent of the bill, time ran out for LB 276 to be named a Speaker Priority bill, which was critical for passage in 2016.  
    "I want to thank our Legislative Advisory Council members and Big "I" Ambassadors for educating their Senators this year, and gathering so much support for the bill," commented IIAN Legislative committee chairman Bob Hoppe.  "When we re-introduce a bill next year we will already have a leg up."  
   IIAN either took positions on or monitored over 40 bills during the two-year session, and IIAN members testified during legislative hearings  in support of  LB 51, to require disclosures prior to joining a risk management pool; LB 628, to provide for electronic posting of P&C insurance policies; and LB 740, to require insurers to disclose market information used to determine the value of a totaled motor vehicle (none of which were named priorities or passed);  and in opposition to LB 213, which would have required withholding of insurance proceeds by government entities for demolition purposes (which was killed last year).

Click here for this session's final Unicameral Update by IIAN Legislative Representative Jim Cavanaugh.
Inaugural Innovative Leadership Class Graduates On April 4

Eight "emerging agency leaders" completed IIAN's first-ever leadership development program on April 4 in a wrap-up session at the IIAN office.   Led by agency management expert Mary Eisenhart, they spent almost a year developing their agency leadership skills, learning to develop an agency business plan with their agency "mentors", along with operational strategies to drive their agencies towards greater success and excellence - including managing change and sales production. They also explored strengthening company relationships and joint planning, and experienced firsthand the impact of regulation and politics on the independent agency system.
Congratulations to IIAN's inaugural Innovative Leadership graduates! 
Vincent Christensen - St. Paul (Jim Christensen, Mentor)
Nathan Kinnaman & Michele Andersen - Omaha (Mike Pfantz, Mentor)
Cody Krull - Minden  (Kevin Krull, Mentor)
Zak Morken - Ogallala (Deb Schilz, Mentor)
Erica Tucker - Eagle (Jim Peterson, Mentor)
Vicki Tyler - Omaha
Cole Williams - Norfolk (Scott Williams, Mentor)

Also participating in the program were Mary Shanley, Shickley (Bart Brinkman, Mentor); Chad Adams, Ogallala; and Katie Kochenower, Gering (Mindy Dealey, Mentor). 

Each Innovative Leadership graduate received an award on April 4 at the IIAN office.  Pictured:  Deb Schilz and Zak Morken with Western Insurors.

Court Rules CGL Covers Data Breach
federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld a lower federal court ruling that a commercial general liability policy (CGL) may cover a data breach. In a case involving the publication of private medical records on the internet, the courts found that coverage included in a CGL for personal and advertising injury applied.  Read more.
Free* CE For IIAN Members!

May 23 - North Platte
May 24 - Kearney
May 25 - Columbus
May 26 - Ashland/Mahoney

Up To 6 CEUs -
3P/C & 3 Ethics

(Approval Pending)
Dick Hartzen, Instructor
Gaps In Personal Lines -
Personal Auto/Homeowners 
Ethics For You

Find Out  More & Register Today!

*$1 per credit hour NDOI
processing fee

New Big "I" Members

These independent insurance agencies recently joined

McCool Junction
Todd  Anderson
Insurance Agency 
Todd Anderson

Catalyst Insurance Group
Joe Lockett

 The Big "I" Blog 

Association Happenings & Things You Need To Know - Weekly Update From IIAN's Staff

By Brenda Kaiser
Statistics show that your agency has a 1 in 7 chance to report a potential E&O claim each year!  Brenda outlines the five areas you need to focus on to avoid being that 1 this year!

By Nancy Robeson
Nancy gives you a run-down of great knowledge resources - such as Virtual University and Best Practices - that are free for everyone in your agency!

Jeremiah shares a valuable resource for navigating the tricky waters of selling your agency to family members.

April 1 Flood Program Changes
Don't forget about the National Flood Program  changes that took effect on April 1. Changes include: adjusting premium increases, issuing new rates, updating maps, supporting mitigation and enhancing program advocacy. For more information on the changes, read the  IA Magazine article  or view the flyer   from Selective Insurance, the Big I's endorsed flood carrier.  
Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule - IIABA Q&A Available
On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final package of rules, commonly referred to as the "Fiduciary Rule." A preliminary assessment of the DOL rule shows that between the proposal phase and release of the final rule the DOL made some changes and increased implementation time for the rule, in response to industry concerns. Much like the draft version released last year, the final rule is dense, complicated, and confusing. While arguably well intentioned, the rule will likely make retirement advice more costly and complicated - particularly for middle and low income consumers with small balance retirement accounts. IIABA has released a questions and answers page to help understand the impact this rule will have on the insurance market.   Click here to read.
Thanks To IIAN's 2016 Industry Partners!
Each year IIAN hosts a number of conferences, seminars, and public relations events which cost more than we can generate in registration fees. So, we ask the companies that do business with our member agencies to step forward and help support these events financially by becoming IIAN Industry Partner members.
   Realizing the value that the Big "I" brings to Nebraska's independent agents, many give generously - without their collective support we could not offer affordable, high-quality programs for members.

Thanks to all of IIAN's Industry Partners, who stepped up their support in 2016!
Don't see your company's name on the list?   Click here to discover the benefits of being an IIAN Industry Partner.

IIAN Partners of the Month - Thank You! 
April                                       May

Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.
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Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska