February 6, 2018
Don't delay - we have a great event planned for this year's Winter Conference!  We're bringing top national agribusiness expert Casey Roberts to Kearney to deliver the latest on Farm Liability and Pollution, along with challenges from Drones, Robotics, and other developing technologies - plus respected insurance guru Sam Bennett will be there to  explain why "It's Best To Be You" in commercial lines policies, and the coverage challenges that come with the "sharing economy" - whether it's Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO, or couch-surfing! 
You can earn up to 12 CEUs, including 3 Ethics!
    And that's not all - D.C. insider Phillip Hayes will give you an update on what's happening with the new Farm Bill, and be your drill sargent for a hard-hitting Social Media Boot Camp, sponsored by  Nextgen, IIAN's young agents.  And speaking of young agents - there's a special conference rate of  $99 for you - along with a Nextgen reception and whiskey+wine bottle toss!  
      And with over 45 exhibitors, the Winter Conference Trade Fair is where it's at for connecting with agents, companies, markets, and services - including refreshments, great food, and tons of prizes!
This year you won't want to miss our "Guns, Roses & Whiskey" 
auction 
to benefit the IIAN Foundation and IIAN's new Talent Network program - featuring a limited edition, Agricultural Heritage Edition Henry H001 22 rifle with Nebraska sesquicentennial engraving, premium whiskeys, hunting/fishing gear, jewelry, luxury spa package, and more! 
UNICAMERAL UPDATE
Sen. Lindstrom  and Sen. Kolterman (Center), with IIAN Ambassadors Andy Bassett (Left) and Greg Zimmer (Right)
2018 Day at the Capitol 
January 31 Luncheon at the Mansion with Senators 
IIAN's third annual "Day at the Capitol" event on Wednesday, January 31, drew over 65 Big "I" member "Ambassadors", Nebraska senators and staffers, and Insurance Department officials to the Nebraska Capitol.   The event featured another sold-out luncheon at the Governor's Mansion attended by Nebraska senators and staff, along with IIAN members from their districts.   Senator Brett Lindstrom, chairman of the Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee, and Senator Mark Kolterman spoke about bills introduced this year affecting insurance and agents.
    The luncheon followed an issues briefing by IIAN legislative representative  Jim Cavanaugh,   along with individual meetings in senators' offices to discuss IIAN's top issue,  LB 553
 
 
, sponsored by Senator John Lowe of Kearney. 
Interested in getting more involved in Big "I" advocacy?   Click here  to find out more about IIAN's Legislative Advisory Council and Ambassadors program.
One-Third Of Unicameral Session Over - No Bills Passed Yet
The 2018 Unicameral session is more than one-third over - to date no bills have passed, but Speaker Jim Scheer has announced that this week bills will be heard on Final Reading (last step before passage).   IIAN's Legislative committee, chaired by Bob Hoppe of Columbus, met on January 22, and determined positions on bills impacting IIAN members and the industry this year. Click here to see the 18 new bills on IIAN's "watch list", along with bills carried over from the 2017 session.
 
Bills Impacting Producer Education, Producer Licensing On The Move
     IIAN supports  LB743 , which  was advanced to Select File (second round of voting) on February 1. IIAN leaders met with Insurance Department officials last November to provide input on the provisions of LB 743, which would adopt the Public Adjusters Licensing Act, eliminate the pre-licensing education requirement for insurance producers, and require course providers to file for re-approval of approved continuing education courses every four years.  IIAN legislative representative Jim Cavanaugh testified in support at the bill's hearing on January 16.  The Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee has designated priority status - it's headed for passage.  More detailed information.
     IIAN also supports  , which was advanced to Select File on January 24.  LB 486 would allow up to 6 CEUs (out of 24 every 2 years in Nebraska) for "active participation in a professional insurance association" - by attending a formal meeting of the association; active service on a board or committee; or participation in industry, regulatory, or legislative meetings.  LB 486 has a chance for passage.
 
"Limited License" For Owners of Self-Storage Units  
      IIAN is monitoring LB 1012, which was heard before the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee on January 30. The bill w ould exempt owners of self-storage units from having to qualify as a licensed producer in order to sell insurance on their customers' property while it is stored or in transit; instead it provides for a "limited license".  IIAN recently worked with the Department of Insurance and the bill's sponsor to amend LB 1012 to include more stringent education requirements and consumer protections.   Representatives of the Self Storage Association testified in support at the hearing, Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge testified neutral.
Check "Member Update" at   www.iian.org  every Monday for Jim Cavanaugh's "Week In Review" report for updated status on all of the bills IIAN is watching.
Go to  www.nebraskalegislature.gov to see the full text and status of any bill.

ON THE HILL
Young Agent Scholarships Available - Apply By  March 15

Click above for Young Agent video.
If you're a Young Agent (age 45 or under, or 6 or less years in insurance), and you'd like to join IIAN's officers and hundreds of other agents from across the country for IIABA's annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., May April 18-20, f ax or e-mail your application for one of two $1,500 scholarships to the IIAN office by March 15, 2018!
   Each $1,500 scholarship should be sufficient to cover conference registration, air fare, and up to two nights' lodging - and most meals are provided by the Big "I".  
 
Click here to download scholarship application.                                                        WE NEED YOUR VOICE! 
See conference schedule.   Read about the issues.
Cadillac Tax & NFIP Extension
The Congressional deal to reopen the federal government after a three-day shutdown had two insurance-related pieces:
  • It added another two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's 'Cadillac' tax which has now been delayed until 2022. If enacted, this harmful tax would hit many of our small business members and their clients, potentially forcing them to choose between paying the tax or reducing benefits for their employees.
  • It temporarily reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. Lapses in the program - the primary insurer of flood risk for more than five million policyholders nationwide - can be incredibly disruptive. Earlier congressional inaction caused the program to lapse four times over the last decade.
How Does Tax Reform Impact You?
The Big "I" has published  a new ten-page white paper   outlining the most salient provisions of the new tax law that could impact independent insurance agents and their agencies.   Members can log in to the  Big "I" government affairs tax web page  to access continually updated information. 
Impact On Agency Valuation & M&A's
According to an   analysis by Reagan Consulting , a firm that advises independent agents and brokers, insurance agencies currently organized as C-corporations, as well as smaller pass-throughs in states with low income tax rates, are most likely to see increased valuations. However, because taxes for pass-through entities are based on every owner or shareholder's individual tax picture, it is impossible to determine general impacts with certainty.  The analysis also notes that the new tax law will likely have a minimal impact on larger pass-through insurance agency valuations, and that converting to a C-corporation may or may not be beneficial because in most cases it still costs less in taxes to get cash out of a pass-through entity than a C-corporation.  Read more  . . .  
TECHNOLOGY
Texting - New Tools To Help Meet FCC Requirements
Text messaging gives independent agents a quick and simple way to communicate with clients, on an individual or aggregate basis, regarding policy reminders, new product offerings and risk management tips. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has broadly interpreted the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to regulate nearly all commercial text messaging, even if a text is sent to one person rather than multiple recipients.  To help you meet the requirements of the TCPA, the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), in conjunction with the Big "I" Office of the General Counsel, has released a sample text messaging opt-in form and sample terms and conditions.
EDUCATION CALENDAR - FEBRUARY
New!   Lightning Learning from the Big "I" Virtual University strikes with quick and impactful monthly live webinars! Catch each session live or via the link to on-demand recording. It's easy and cost-effective with ONE registration for three 20 minute sessions with new topics every month. Start off February with a review of Homeowners' Replacement Cost, Special Limits & Dog Bite Issues. Use as content for your next agency meeting or as training for a new staff member!  (not approved for CE credit).  Register here.


CISR COURSES - 7 CEUs Each
Mar 8 - Commercial Casualty 1 - N Platte
Mar 8 - Personal Auto - Omaha
Mar 9 - Agency Operations -Gering


P/C PRE-LICENSING COURSE
Mar 6-8 - Lincoln - IIAN Learning Center

L/H PRE-LICENSING COURSE
Feb 13-15 - Lincoln - IIAN Learning Center


LIVE WEBINARS - 3 CEUs Each
Feb  8 - E&O Loss Control - Parts I & II
Feb  9 - The Dirty Dozen
Feb 12 - Commercial Gen Liab Coverages
Feb 13 - When the Child Becomes the Parent
Feb 14 - Who is an Insured?
Feb 15 - Farm Liability Coverages
Feb 20 - Ethics & Agent Liability
Feb 21 - Homeowners Hot Topics
Feb 26 - 10 Things Every Commercial Agent                 Ought to Know
Feb 27 - Fiduciary Liability, ERISA Bonding...
Mar   5 - Workers' Compensation

IIAN PARTNER OF THE MONTH
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Their support enables IIAN to present affordable, high-quality member programs.


Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
(402) 476-2951
office@biginebraska.org
http://www.iian.org