Pie Insurance came out with a new portal for agents to send in workers' compensation accounts. This portal has an "appetite checker" which automatically decides if Pie would be interested in handling the account. This program can make decisions on over 70% of class codes, with 30% going into further review if they cannot be decided automatically.
This new portal is a huge step forward. Now, agents won't have to wait weeks for an answer to if they are covered or not. The apetite checker has agents fill in their clients, then see if Pie's business categories match up. It's very simple, and makes an agent's life a lot easier.
Pie Insurance is one of our industry partners, and we are proud of the strides they are making. Click here to visit their partner directory page, or click here to check out their website.
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The legislature adjourned last Thursday for a much needed four-day weekend but not before taking up some high-profile issues. While doing so, senators continued to express their distrust and frustration with each other on and off the microphone.
Last week saw the legislature debating and advancing legislation regarding abortion, parole eligibility, tax increment financing among several other issues. They debated, but didn’t advance, a proposal to decouple Nebraska’s state income tax from federal tax law. The week also saw them pass over 20 bills on Final Reading and send them to the governor for his signature.
In addition, the small group of senators who have been working on legislation regarding property tax relief, business incentives and funding for the University of Nebraska Medical Center NEXT project were able to find a compromise whereby no interest group got everything they wanted but all sides got something. They packaged the compromise into a single amendment that became a bill. It was debated and advanced from the first round of debate. It will be debated again first thing when they reconvene on Tuesday.
There are three days left in this very unusual 60 day session. Senators continue to file seldom used motions. It’s expected next week there will be debate on a motion to only discuss and vote on a bill once before sending it to the governor rather than the normal three rounds of debate.
Since bills must lay over one day on Final Reading, Tuesday is effectively the last day a bill can be advanced to Final, lay over and Wednesday and be considered on the 60th day Thursday.
Besides our own interim study resolution, LR 430, a number of others of potential interest are listed below. You can view the entire list here. Please let us know of any you would like to pursue with the relevant Chairman’s office. Alternatively, we may need to provide comments on defense.
With a shortened interim before January, it is unlikely most will actually get a public hearing, but we will be ready regardless.
Building rapport is a skill that is very useful for independent agents. However, it is a lot easier in person. Current times call for changes in our routine, so learning how to connect with clients virtually will help a ton. Here are some tips for building rapport in this digital era.
Engage together, but separately
- Instead of the standard "take them out to coffee" approach that won't really work right now with clients, make it virtual! Invite them to a 15 minute virtual chatroom session. You could share a coffee or a lunch together, and even though you aren't "together" exactly, it will still be very helpful in building a connection.
- The pandemic has quite literally shook up the world and messed with everyone's daily routine, but you can still take advantage of it. Consider offering more webinars and online courses while these clients and even fellow agents are restricted from in-person classes.
Focus on community
- Rather than focusing on all the bad that has come from the pandemic, try to shine a light on some of the good things that have happened since it all started. Show ways that the community has come together and worked toward helping others during these trying times. This also reminds us that we are all together in this, and we are looking out for each other.
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Mike Meacham and daughter Liz (Kittell) Schroeder
Long-time Big "I" Nebraska supporter and past PIA of Nebraska president Mike Meacham passed away on July 31, after a year long fight with AML Leukemia.
Services are this Friday, August 7th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1420 K street, Lincoln, NE, 9:30am rosary, 9:45 mass, private family only burial at Calvary cemetery. Those friends unable to attend may view the services live streamed on Butherus, Maser, Love Funeral Home website www.bmlfh.com . Those wishing to send condolences or memorials (please designate independent insurance agent education or Matt Talbot Kitchen) can be mailed to Butherus, Maser, and Love Funeral Home, 4040 A street, Lincoln, NE 68510.
Mike started All American Insurance in Havelock from scratch over three decades ago, and grew it to a large franchise organization with 25 employees and 400 member agencies across the Midwest. He enjoyed insuring some of the most difficult risks, and was a firm believer in continuing education and professional development, earning the CLU, RHU, CIC, CPIA, and LUTCF designations. He is survived by three children, including Elizabeth (Kittell) Schroeder, who is a past IIAN staff member, and 13 grandchildren.
Each summer, IIAN's Nominating committee meets to review candidates for election to the IIAN Board of Directors. The election happens during the Annual Member Meeting as part of IIAN's Virtual Conference on October 1. If you would like to be considered, or recommend an IIAN member you know, please contact IIAN Nominating Committee chairman Sandra Rykes or CEO Carol McClelland by August 15.
Also serving on the Nominating Committee are: Todd Anderson, Peggy McDonald, Vincent Christensen, Brian Bradley, Rob Schmitt, and Tony Purvis.
Trusted Choice's "You Do You" campaign will be launching its final video spots starting Friday. These ads will be aired on paid social media, Hulu, and even YouTube.
Hulu is one of the biggest streaming services in the country, providing Trusted Choice a great opportunity to help expand their market. The target audiences Trusted Choice is shooting for are small business owners, established families, and in-market shoppers. The estimated impressions that the campaign will generate from now until October is 20 million. You can view these ad spots below.
You Do You YouTube Links:
The Big “I” Agents Council for Technology (ACT) recently updated their free Agency Cyber Guide service. It sill provides the benefits and information you need, with some navigational updates and other changes to better accommodate you, the user. The cybersecurity provider guide was also updated. Click here to check it out.
For a few years now, drones have been regularly used in certain industries. Now, it's about time that the drone market expands even further. The insurance industry has been keeping a close eye, and they know that the time is coming as well. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) came up with and proposed a Remote Identification rule recently, which set the stage for identification of operated drones in the air. Regulation means that drones can become more accessible, since flying them will be more secure. Without regulation, it was found that only 10% of aircraft systems simialr to drones had the proper waiver and certifications.
The FAA will hopefully find a method of regulation that works best. Once that happens, the sky is the limit. Commercial drones and the market for them will signifcantly grow, whcih means that the insurance industry will have opportunity to provide coverage. While it would be a huge market to dive into, it is a little challenging. Drones are still pretty new, so accurate rating and pricing is hard to come up with right now. Also, drone pilots are going to want things to be simple. There may be a lot of things to cover in this new world of unmanned aviation, but insurance agents need to keep things both simple and practical for those clients. A big opportunity presents itself in the near future. Are you ready to provide the coverage?
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The legislature returned last Monday for day 49 of this most unusual 2020 legislative session. The Speaker announced that because the body was able to move a significant number of bills last week, there would not be any late nights this week and they would adjourn every day at 5:00 pm. Although the body has not been able to develop a strong sense of collegiality, they continue to move legislation.
At this point in the session, debate is centered on bills that have been designated either a senator’s personal priority or a committee priority. Fourteen priority bills remain on the first round of debate, and their chance of passage this year becomes more unlikely each day.
Last Tuesday marked the deadline to introduce interim studies. LR 430 was introduced by Sen. Matt Williams at our request. The language is intentionally vague and allows us to bring up matters of concern relative to property and casualty insurance between August and January when they return. We are still reviewing the full list and will flag any of interest. Some interim studies result in hearings and a report. Others go nowhere.
On Friday, they approved over 35 bills on Final Reading and sent them to the governor’s desk for him to sign or veto. Among them was LB 774 that we are monitoring. This bill was introduced on behalf of the Dept. of Insurance to adopt the latest National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) model updates to the Credit for Reinsurance Model Law.
The bills making adjustments to the state budget and legislation regarding claims against the state both made it through the second round of debate last week. They both advanced to Final Reading where they passed and are now awaiting the governor’s signature.
Last week also saw them debating several other bills including legislation regarding abortion and allowing teachers to use physical intervention. Both took up a significant amount of time on the floor and did not have the necessary number of votes to stop a filibuster. In addition, a motion to suspend the rules to
allow for a bill to be introduced regarding workplace safety in packing plants as it pertains to COVID-19 failed by two votes, but a committee hearing on the issue was scheduled nonetheless.
The property tax relief and business incentive bills, that many expected to receive more debate, did not appear on the agenda last week. The Speaker has identified a small group of senators to work on those bills/issues with the goal of finding a compromise that will be satisfactory to all sides. It remains to be seen if that can be accomplished. With the budget on the governor’s desk, they could arguably adjourn the session any time and not go all the way until August 13 as currently scheduled. Stay tuned.
The board has discussed our options for this years 1752 golf outing. In the past few years, the attendance to this event has been less than normal. Along with the current situation, the amount of time needed to set up this event, the concerns about attendance, and limited ability to travel for some members, we have decided to CANCEL this year's 1752 club event.
We hope to be able to schedule the event for 2021. We made this decision to help keep our agents safe, and to have an opportunity to have a bigger outcome of members and associates participate next year.
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