April 25, 2017
INDUSTRY NEWS
An End In Sight For the Soft Market?
For the first time in 20 months, average commercial insurance rates measured a slight increase, according to the now quarterly MarketScout pricing survey.  While the major drivers were large increases in commercial auto, transportation, professional liability and directors & officers, small rate increases were recorded in the majority of coverage and industry classifications.
      Rate changes in business interruption, inland marine, workers compensation, crime and surety all held steady in the first quarter, but pricing for all other coverages either moderated or increased.   Personal lines rates, meanwhile, held steady in Q1 2017 with an average increase of +2% - the same number that closed out last year. 
Read more . . .
Source: IA Magazine
Cyber: Many Choices Now That There Is No Choice
Every organization, of every size and operational orientation, needs cyber insurance to manage its exposures in this age of networked information.
     No organization is off the radar for bad actors who relentlessly seek the weakest links for accessing valuable personal and financial information, threatening to shut down an operation, or seeking to do physical damage.
     As organizations increasingly recognize the imperative of purchasing cyber insurance, they are still confronted with a complex variety of policy forms and coverages, and a daunting application process.  Cyber insurance is available from about 70 carriers, most of them with very different coverage features, triggers, definitions, and exclusions. Get a comprehensive overview of the current realities of risk and insurance from  the  recent 2017 Cyber Liability Symposium.
Read more . . .  
Source: Insurance Journal
Videos Explain NFIP Changes 
The National Flood Insurance Program continues to undergo change.  Some of the change is aimed at providing a better customer experience for policyholders while other changes continue the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. This new series of three short videos explains the key elements of changes to the NFIP that are effective April 1, 2017.
Click here to access videos and free online Flood Insurance courses.
TECHNOLOGY
Greco Represents IIAN Members - ACT Annual Meeting
A record number of attendees-including the most first-timer attendees ever since the organization was created in 1999-were on hand for the IIABA Agents Council on Technology (ACT) 2017 Annual Meeting in Nashville, March 22-23. The meeting was held in conjunction with NetVU17, the conference for the Network of Vertafore Users. IIAN past president and national director  Tom Greco, CPCU, CIC, represented IIAN at the meeting.
     The meeting focused on how technology, mobile, and consumer expectations will impact the future of the independent agency system, including How the Internet of Things Will Reinvent Insurance and how 2016 startup  Insurify Taps Into 'Simple' Consumer Preferences .
Presenters also discussed a developing industry-wide solution to password management, company and agency security issues, the changing nature of risk, and how robots are starting to handle transactions traditionally completed by agents.   Click here for a complete synopsis of all of the sessions, and access to all of the resources on the ACT web site.  
Free ACT Webinar:   Using Video To Drive Growth & Retention - May 19
Join Mikek Demko, founder of My Insurance Videos, and the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) for an insightful session on how to creatively increase sales and retention within your agency through the use of videos!  Immediately following the webinar there will be 15 minutes for Q&A.   During the webinar you will learn...
  • How videos can increase your sales
  • The types of videos you should set up first    
  • The best way to share videos with customers
  • Tips from agents using video 
  • A quick and easy solution for agents who don't have time to create their own videos
                      Click here to access other ACT on-demand webinars 
LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Unicameral - Few Insurance Bills Moving Towards Passage
Huge Backlog A Result of 30 Days of Rules Debate Early In Session
As of April 20, of the 667 bills introduced in 2017, only 35 have been passed - and no measures on IIAN's watch list have passed so far.  This week senators begIn consideration of the biennial budget package.  With less than 20 days left in the session, senators are hoping that their 49 priority bills will see floor action and pass before the Unicameral's scheduled adjournment in early June.  Bills without "priority" status, and bills which have not already advanced to second or final rounds of consideration, have almost no chance for passage this year - but may be carried over to the 2018 session.
     However, three Insurance Department bills have seen recent floor action and have a good chanceLB 137 (Speaker priority) to adopt the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act was advanced to final round of consideration (Final Reading); and LB 231 to authorize disciplinary action under the Insurance Producers Licensing Act for failing to maintain a license in good standing (IIAN supports), and LB 241 to provide an exception to the annual privacy notice requirement under the Privacy of Insurance Consumer Information Act (IIAN supports), were both advanced for second round of consideration (Select File).  LB 406, which would allow notice of cancellation of policies by first class mail, in addition to certified or registered mail, also advanced for second round consideration.  
     IIAN's two major issues have not been advanced for first-round debate by their respective committees of jurisdiction:
LB 553, to address the continuing problem of independent contractors who do not insure themselves for workers' compensation (Business & Labor Committee) -  IIAN developed a compromise amendment to address specific concerns expressed by insurance company groups; however, they have indicated they will not drop their opposition and will not offer alternative amendment language that would be acceptable to them; and LB 643, which would double the current minimum auto financial responsibility limits (Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee).  The chairmen of both committees have indicated that they will probably not advance any of the 35 total bills still being considered by their committees.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Spring CE Series - Free*  For Big "I" Members
THANKS TO OUR 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 2017!
  
Don't see your company's name on the list?
Click here to discover the benefits of being an IIAN Industry Partner.    
Welcome to our newest Big "I" Industry Partners!
Diamond
IMT Group*

Platinum
Donegal Insurance Group/LeMars*

Gold
Continental Western Group*
Ringwalt & Liesche*
 
*Indicates Level Upgrade
Silver
Liberty Mutual*
Midwest Family Insurance
Rain & Hail*

Copper
First Insurance Funding
Method Insurance
Producers XL

Bronze
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD*
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate*
Employers Insurance
IIAN PARTNER OF THE MONTH
Thank You!
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