June 29, 2017
Catastrophe Losses Reach Highest Q1 Total In 23 Years - 42.2% Net Income Drop
Net income for the property/casualty insurance sector dropped 42.2% year over year in the first quarter as direct catastrophe losses totaled $7.3 billion, the highest Q1 amount since California's 1994 Northridge earthquake, according to PCI and Insurance Services Office. The Q1 2017 losses include the $4.4 billion cost of three major weather events that involved tornadoes and hail.     Read more . . .           Source:  Business Insurance 
Fiduciary Rule Effective
June 9 - Agents Must Comply

The Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule took effect on June 9 for those who provide advice to retirement savers.  The rule tightens conflict of interest rules under ERISA.   During the transition period until January 1, 2018,, financial institutions and advisers - including independent agents who give guidance about certain investments - must comply with the "impartial conduct standards". The DOL issued FAQ's and a temporary enforcement policy to help advisers understand the requirements that apply during the transition period.
  The Big "I" has submitted comments to the DOL recommending changes to the rule.
Nebraska Insurance Department To Consumers - Be Cautious After The Storm
The Nebraska Department of  Insurance urges insurance consumers to be cautious when signing post-lost assignments for homeowners' insurance claims.   A post-loss assignment of a claim is a contract signed by a homeowner, after a covered loss, granting a contractor all rights and duties of the claim under the insurance policy. Once signed,  the contractor owns and controls the claim without any input from the insured.
A homeowner is  not required to sign a post-loss assignment.   Circulate the Insurance Department release to others in your agency, and share it with your clients:  Post-Loss Assignments 
  Help Us Bring New Talent To Your Agency - Short Survey

 IIAN is developing an exciting  new program -  the Talent Network!   The Big "I" Talent Network will connect Nebraska college students with member agencies who have an immediate or future need for new talent.  It will include a turn-key agency internship program, and a jobs pipeline to help IIAN member agencies connect with college students across Nebraska. 
     We are in the final stages of completing our recruiting website and materials for college students.

To make sure the Talent Network will meet your agency's needs, please take a few minutes to complete a brief survey to help us identify the independent agency job opportunities currently available.

Questions?  Contact Kelli Backman, IIAN New Talent Program Director - 402-476-2951, kelli.backman@biginebraska.org. 

IIAN Board Plans For The Future In Kansas City
Every summer IIAN's Board of Directors meets to focus on strategic priorities and plan for the future.  This year's meeting was hosted by Imperial Premium Finance in Kansas City, and chaired by  IIAN President Krae Dutoit.   Twenty Board members, committee chairmen, and other leaders met over two days - June 20-21 - and decided to "stay the course" with two exciting new directions:  a new statewide program to help young agents grow and succeed, and the Talent Network program to help member agencies connect with graduating college students across the state, in partnership with the IIAN Foundation - as well as promoting the Trusted Choice(R) brand to members and consumers, and expanding the Legislative Advisory Council/Ambassadors program. 

IIAN leaders took a break during the two-day Board planning retreat in Kansas City, to enjoy a Royals-Red Sox game, hosted by Imperial Premium Finance.

Now it's nextgen!  IIAN's new Young Agents committee, chaired by  Elliot Basset, Omaha and  Zak Morken, Ogallala, is re-branding IIAN's  statewide Young Agent programs!  
Mark your calendars for a day of learning and fun on Friday, August 25, from noon to 5p.m. at Quarry Oaks Golf Course near Ashland, Nebraska (including lunch).
     If you're in insurance, you know that  effectively marketing yourself and your agency is critical to your success. To kick off the inaugural nextgen event, we have partnered with the Young Agents of Omaha to host a digital marketing workshop presented by Chris Langille, founder and CEO of Advisor Evolved. Chris will take you through the critical steps of creating your on-line identity and building your brand. Chris has been dubbed the "next big thing" by Young Agent groups across the country.   Also, plan to join in for some serious fun following the workshop.
      There'll be free mini-lessons with the Quarry Oaks Golf pro, chipping, putting and long drive contests, along with several other fun contests. We have designed events that will appeal to everyone from the low-handicap serious golfer to the person who has never swung a club. This event promises to be fun, exciting and educational. Best of all - it's free for anyone who wants to participate!
But you need to register in advance - Click here to register today. 
Interested In Serving on IIAN's Board of Directors? 
Each summer IIAN's Nominating committee meets to review candidates for recommendation for election to the IIAN Board of Directors.  The election happens during the Annual Member Meeting at IIAN's Annual Convention each year - this year it's on October 12 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.
    If you would like to be considered, or recommend an IIAN member you know, please contact IIAN Nominating committee chairman Mike Jones  (mjones@jones-ins.com) or CEO Carol McClelland by August 1.  ( carol.mcclelland@biginebraska.org).
Also serving on the Nominating committee are:  Krae Dutoit, Greg Zimmer, Sean Chastain, Deb Schilz, and Erica Tucker.

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 110th Annual Convention, October 11-13, at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.
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
Trusted Choice┬« Agency of the Year.

Nominations due September 1 -
download nomination form here. 
Think you don't need a mobile website?  Thank again!
Despite the pushback from some industry professionals, it is hard to ignore the direction consumer behavior is heading, with mobile becoming more and more prominent each day.   According to a study by the Pew Research Center, as of early 2017, 77% of Americans owned a smartphone - an increase of 42% from the Center's first survey of smartphone ownership in 2011.

Source: Insurance Business America

Documenting Text
A growing number of clients prefer to communicate with you using a text conversation.  Agencies need to be able to respond to this customer preference by embracing texting as a viable communication option.  And, policies and procedures need to be put in place to make sure these conversations can be consistently and accurately documented.  Your AMS might do that, but what about clients texting individual producers' mobile phones? Click here for a solution from Steve Anderson. 
We invite you to join us to raise funds for the new IIAN Talent Network program and the IIAN Foundation's college scholarships for Nebraska students.  IIAN and t he  Foundation are launching this new program in 2017 to help independent agencies and companies connect with upper-level college students, implement internships, and expose students to career opportunities in the independent agency system.   Read more . . .
    Woodland Hills, located near Eagle, is Nebraska's only 5-star course (Golf Digest).  Fun contests and games are planned, along with a great day of golf - and all the proceeds will go towards the Talent Network and scholarship programs!      See all the tournament details . . .  
3 P/C & 3 Ethics CEU's
For Members Only

August 1 - Kearney
August 2 - Norfolk
August 3 - Ashland
John Dismukes, CPCU, CIC -  Instructor
Issues & Answers (3 P/C CEUs):
How to handle the coverage issues that
create the biggest problems today!
Closing the Communications Gap
(3 Ethics CEUs):  
Using real-life cases, you'll identify potential claims exposures in your agency, discuss
new techniques you can use to prevent
and/or minimize them, and learn what to do
if a claim is made against you. 

July 26 - 12:00-1:30 PM CDT
Webinar - No CEUs
It's not just the COI that gets you in trouble!  Now upper-tier contractors are asking agents to complete a separate document stating what is/is not covered in certificated insurance policies. This webinar digs into the possible dangers of certificates of insurance and discusses things like:
- How to handle a request for a Memoranda of Coverage
- Should a COI include all the requested Additional Insureds?
- What wording should NEVER be used on a COI? 
 And much more . . .
Thank You!
Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.

Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
(402) 476-2951