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WinStar Insurance Group continues for the 4th year to be part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Best Practices Study Group.
The agencies comprising the study group are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected Best Practices agencies retain their status during the three-year study cycle (2022-2024) by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. During the 2023 Study year, only 264 independent agencies throughout the U.S. qualified and retained their status as a Best Practices agency.
The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual Study of leading independent insurance agencies, which is conducted by the Big “I” and Reagan Consulting of Atlanta, GA, documents the business practices of these “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.
For over 30 years, the Big “I” has developed a family of products and webinars designed to help cultivate a Best Practices agency culture. The offerings include materials such as the Agency Comparison Workbook, Guide to Producer Contracts, the Customer Service Experience Handbook, Sales Potential Quick Check, Interactive Agency Self-Diagnostic Tool, and Best Practices Joint Planning Tool Quick Step. Many of the publications include guidelines, worksheets, and case studies to help agents apply the information contained in each report and move beyond theory into practice.
In addition to these materials, hundreds of workshops and seminars have been conducted at various producer association functions, company sponsored agency meetings and national automation users group conventions.
The Big “I” and Reagan Consulting jointly maintain the Best Practices Gateway website (www.reaganconsulting.com/reasearch/best-practices) that provides executive summaries of the annual Best Practices Studies and various Best Practices tools. The Gateway, as well as the annual study, is made possible in part through the financial sponsorship of various insurance companies and industry organizations.
The 2023 Best Practices Study sponsors include: Amerisure, Applied Systems, Central Insurance, Chubb, EMC Insurance, First Insurance Funding, The Hartford, Imperial PFS, InsurBanc, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Safeco Insurance, State Auto Insurance Companies, National General, Nationwide, Progressive, SunLife, Travelers, Vertafore, Westfield Insurance and Westfield Bank.
For more information on the Best Practices Study, contact Jennifer Becker at IIABA, 1-800-221-7917.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products—from a variety of insurance companies.
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Lightning Damage Prevention Checklist
The impact of a large electrical discharge can damage buildings, equipment and operations, resulting in service outages. If your facility is located in an area that is prone to lightning storms, use of the following checklist may help you analyze your potential exposure and prepare for this peril.
Lightning Protection Guide
There are approximately 100 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes on Earth every second. Each of these lightning bolts can contain up to one billion volts of electricity. With the frequency of lightning strikes and the power of lightning, is it any wonder that lightning damage occurs?
Submersible vs. Line Shaft Water Pumps and Motors Failure and Replacement
Recent loss experience has shown that electrical line disturbances can cause water pumps and motors to fail. To manage this risk, there are several steps authorities can take when designing, installing or replacing a water pump and motor system. These can help to reduce the potential for a pump failure and avoid the costs associated with replacing a failed water pump system.
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We are pleased to announce that in May, Texas Mutual announced that its board of directors voted unanimously to approve a $340 million dividend distribution in 2023. Dividends will be distributed to qualifying policyholders in late June.
This year marks the 25th year that Texas Mutual is paying dividends to their more than 57,000 policyholders, bringing the total to over $4 billion back to Texas businesses since 1999.
You can log in to your Texas Mutual Online (TMO) account to see whether you will receive a dividend starting June 23. Your agent will be able to see dividend information for their qualifying clients starting June 5.
WHAT IS A DIVIDEND?
As a policyholder-owned company, Texas Mutual clients contribute to their success when they make safety a priority and choose to do business with Texas Mutual. There are two components to earning a dividend. Safety, paid through the annual component, and loyalty, paid through the retention component. Our newer Texas Mutual policyholders can also earn dividends through the early qualifier program, which is paid in November. Since 1999, Texas Mutual has distributed over $4 billion back to Texas businesses.
Dividends are based on performance, are not guaranteed and must comply with Texas Department of Insurance regulations.
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Please be cautious when making payments online due to the ongoing rise of Phishing.
Phishing is where an attacker attempts to steal your money and or identity. Attackers will present themselves as person, web address, or email address similar to what you have seen on the past. Often times it is hard to notice the difference.
If you ever get an email asking to update and or change your payment information or other confidential information please follow up immediately with a phone call to the person or company you make your payments with. Taking that extra step can catch attackers before money is lost.
Here is an example of a recent claim:
A customer usually submits their payments every month online. The customer received an email stating the next month when they make a payment please use this link as we have updated our billing system link. Well the person on the other side of that email was Phishing to see if they could trick the customer into using that link and taking their money. It worked that person sent an email from an almost identical email address the only difference was they had changed an I in the email address to an L. At first glance the customer thought nothing of it, and thought this was in fact the same email address they usually get emails from. It wasn’t until the next month the customer was made aware that the company never received their payment. The customer had then realized they had been a victim of Phishing.