Volume 22, Issue 1 - Independent Insurance Agent

iiaba.net

Volume 22, Issue 1 - Independent Insurance Agent

The West Virginia

Insuror

INSIDE

THIS ISSUE

State Legislature Convenes

Thompson, Kessler re-elected as Legislative Leaders

New Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Chair

to be Named

As West Virginia’s 2013 legislative session

gets underway, the two top legislative

leaders have been returned to their

positions and a handful of other leadership

positions are still to be named, including the

Chairmanship of the Senate Banking and

Insurance Committee.

West Virginia’s 81st Legislature convened for

one day on January 9, 2013. The purpose

of the session was to install the members of

the West Virginia State Senate and House

of Delegates, for the membership of those

bodies to elect leaders for the session and

for the newly installed members to then

receive and ratify the results of the 2012

General Election for members of the Council

of State. The noon session lasted just over

two hours, with the Legislature adjourning

until the start of the 60-day regular session,

beginning February 13.

A sparse crowd watched from the galleries

in both houses as legislators re-elected state

Senator Jeffrey V. Kessler to a full two-year

term as President of the State Senate and

Delegate Richard Thompson, D-Wayne to a

fourth term as Speaker of the House.

Kessler, who served

as West Virginia’s

first and only Acting

Senate President

following Earl Ray

Tomblin’s succession

to the office of

Governor, became

President in 2011.

Kessler says the top

priority for the 2013 Legislative Session will

be balancing the state budget. In addition

to budget matters, President Kessler’s

other priorities include education reform,

prison overcrowding and child poverty

issues. Kessler told members to expect a

challenging session with state budget cuts,

an education reform package, and issues

(continued on page 10)

2 IIAWV Members Get Great I-Day

Hotel Rate

2 Agency Perpetuation A Hot

Topic at IIAWV Insurance Day

3 Note from the President

3 Note from the CEO

4 Additional Insureds Seminar

Highlights Insurance Day

Program

5 IIAWV Members To Host WV

Legislators at I-Day Reception

7 WV Marks 11 Rankings on the

‘Judicial Hellhole’ List

8 Congress Approves “Fiscal

Cliff” Legislation

9 West Virginia Judge Stops

Insurer’s Use of Old Parts on

New Cars

11 West Virginia Supreme Court

Sets 7% For Judgments

12 West Virginia Jury Finds Doctor,

2 Lawyers Filed False Asbestos

Claims

12 Virginia Approves Changes to

Workers’ Comp Premium Levels

14 6 Things for Independent

Agents to Worry About in 2013

15 How to Have Your Best Year

Ever

16 Estate Plans: A Valuable Service

to Your Clients and Your Agency

Volume XXII | Issue I

january 15, 2013

A Publication of

Independent Insurance

Agents of West Virginia

Gray Marion, CAE, Publisher


IIAWV Members Get Great I-Day Hotel Rate

Charleston Marriott Offers Rate of $109 Per Night

One of the IIAWV oldest friends, the Charleston Town Center

Marriott Hotel is offering IIAWV Member Agents and friends of

the association a great rate on sleeping accommodations for the

2013 Insurance Day.

$109 per night, single or double, will get you one of the hotel’s

beautifully refurbished rooms and an opportunity to see the

many changes that have been made to the hotel since last

year’s program.

The Town Center Marriott has recently re-opened its newly

renovated lobby and has completely re-done its bar area,

moving the entire operation into the space previously occupied

by Starbucks. You have to see the space to believe it. It’s

wonderful.

Call 304-345-6500 to make your reservation and be sure to ask

for a room in the block reserved for the “Independent Insurance

Agents of West Virginia.”

For additional information on the IIAWV 2013 Insurance Day

program, visit the IIAWV website at www.iiawv.org or call the

association office at 800-274-4298.

Agency Perpetuation A Hot Topic at IIAWV

Insurance Day

Al Diamond to Lead Nationally acclaimed Session

Al Diamond, President and founder of Agency Consulting Group,

Inc. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey will lead a nationally acclaimed

session on “Agency Succession and Perpetuation” Planning at

the 2013 IIAWV Insurance Day. The three-hour seminar will run

on Sunday afternoon, March 24, 2013 at the Charleston Town

Center Marriott Hotel in Charleston, West Virginia.

The pace of agency mergers and acquisitions in West Virginia

is quickening with even large, old name agencies being

purchased by groups from within and outside the state. As

the West Virginia agency force ages and carriers demand even

more growth, perpetuation and succession issues are in the

forefront of agency owner concerns. “Agency Succession and

Perpetuation” is intended to help agents and agencies avoid the

pitfalls of planning for those outcomes.

“Agency Succession and Perpetuation” is a fast-paced session

packed with valuable information and guidance for agents who

are trying to figure out a future for themselves and their agencies.

Diamond will cover the critical differences between succession

and perpetuation. Participants will discuss how much an agency

is worth and how the various ways that value is calculated.

There is more to it that just multiples of one revenue source or

another. Time will be spent on the many different methods used

to perpetuate an agency whether through family members, staff

members, a new hire(s) contingency buy-sell agreements or

the outright sale of the agency. If you’re buying agencies, the

session takes a detailed look at various methods for purchasing

businesses including traditional purchase methods (cash), a

corporate purchase and non-traditional transaction methods.

Diamond discusses whether or not it’s always a good idea to

retain the agency owner following a purchase. Participants

will also come to understand how to form internal agency

succession plans with their next generations (if they have them

in place), how to recruit their successors, how to meld agencies

together for eventual succession without losing control and how

to establish their agencies for maximum value in a sale. The

discussion on succession covers identifying successors, when

do you notify them of the role they will play and how do you

prepare them to take over.

Al Diamond has been deeply involved in all facets of insurance

agency and company operations including merger, acquisition

and divestiture, perpetuation and strategic planning,

organizational development, compensation and perpetuation

issues. A past president and a current member of the American

(continued on page 9)

page 2

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


Note from The

PRESIDENT

Douglas B. Arndt, CIC, AAI

Arndt-McBee Insurance Agency

doug@arndt-mcbee.com

Well it’s here, my turn at the helm of our Association. 2013

marks my thirtieth year in the Insurance Industry. In those 30

years, I have been through numerous economic downturns and

I am proud to say that our agency has survived them all. The

one we are currently enduring I can say has got to be the worst

though.

One thing that has remained there for us throughout my 30

years is our Association. I can remember back in the 80’s and

90’s coming to the Association meetings with my Father. Well

let’s put it that I can remember bits and pieces of the meetings

going with my Father. He loved the conventions. He loved

I-Day. Hospitality Rooms…Speakers…Hospitality Rooms…

Annual Meeting…more Hospitality Rooms. He looked on it as

a chance to catch up with all of his fellow agent and company

friends. It was like an annual reunion. I can tell you that he got

his money’s worth at every event! Why not? He would always

come back to the office with a new idea or maybe a better

way of doing something. That’s the way he viewed Association

functions, not as a time consuming event but more to see what

everyone else was doing.

Let me just start off the year by asking you to please don’t

forget to renew your agency’s membership and mail in your

Association dues along with your membership contract.

Also, when your carrier reps come to visit you in your shops,

please encourage them to be certain that their companies are

Associate Members of the IIAWV. A strong IIAWV benefits West

Virginia’s entire insurance industry, not just the independent

agent community.

As usual, the first big event of the year is the beginning of the

legislative session. This year’s Session begins with a one-day

meeting on January 9 and then the 60-day session begins in

earnest on February 13. As I write this first column, we still

don’t know who will be serving as Chairs of the House and

Senate Insurance Committees nor do we know exactly what

the committee agendas will be. Our lobbyist and CEO, Gray

Marion, is already attending meetings and providing reports

from the State Capitol. Watch for regular Legislative Updates

from him. Our association is known for our strong government

affairs efforts and this year will be no different.

I also want to remind you that I-Day this year is March 24 and

25. In addition to our usual great seminars and receptions,

we have invited our new Republican Attorney General Patrick

Morrissey to be our keynote speaker for lunch on Monday,

March 25. Please mark these dates on your calendars and

(continued on page 5)

Note from

The CEO

Gray Marion, CAE

IIAWV Chief Executive Officer

gmarion@iiawv.org

Just a few quick reminder for you at the beginning of the

year:

If you haven’t yet sent in your membership renewal

contract for 2013, we would be very grateful if you

would do so before the end of the month. The volunteer

leadership and staff of the IIAWV have worked diligently

to remain the strongest possible advocate for each of

you and your clients. Your membership continues to be

vital to the success of our trade association and I hope

that you will see fit to continue your support in 2013.

While you are thinking about this subject, I would like to

remind you that along with membership comes:

• Representation in legislative and political initiatives

on both the federal and state levels. IIAWV is widely

known and respected for its long service as a

positive and aggressive advocate for the interests of

independent insurance agents.

• Participation in the Trusted Choice branding program

is available to every member agencyat no charge.

This great program provides you with access to

top flight television, radio and print commercials

designed to promote your agency.

• Access to our outstanding errors and omissions

coverage. The SwissRe-backed professional liability

program is the country’s finest agents’ errors &

omissions program, and we offer you the lowest

possible rates for exceptional coverage.

• An outstanding association website, www.iiawv.org

providing timely information and access to top flight

programs and information that you can actually use

to make and save money for your agency and clients.

• Membership also brings access to the Big “I” Virtual

University, making first-class information, technical

assistance and training available to your agency and

staff.

• The most continuously visible manifestation of

(continued on page 5)

page 3

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


Additional Insureds Seminar Highlights

Insurance Day Program

These days, an agent and agency support

staff must be experts in a broad range

of insurance coverage areas. This year’s

IIAWV Annual Convention offers training

opportunities that help agents do just that.

For agents and agencies that concentrate

on providing the most up to date traditional

coverage for clients with significant

exposures, Elise Farnham’s Monday

afternoon, March 25 seminar entitled, “Additional Insured:

Coverage or Crapshoot?” is a perfect fit for you and your staff. .

“Additional Insured: Coverage or Crapshoot?” is a detailed

look at a coverage area that is the basis for many disputes and

litigation. In addition, contracts between the insured and other

parties can further complicate the coverage issues particularly if

the insurance coverage does not conform to the contract.

In “Additional Insured: Coverage or Crapshoot?”, attendees will

learn how and when the additional insured endorsement should

be used. Through case studies Farnham will identify pitfalls and

analyze solutions.

and risk management professionals, with applicability for other

professionals, such as financial services professionals, architects

and engineers, etc.

A veteran of the insurance industry, Elise was named the first

female claims branch manager for Crawford & Company and

has served in executive positions with Crawford & Company,

GAB Robins, CSB Group, and The Harmonie Group. She is a

member of the CPCU Society and a past Regional Governor as

well as a Past National President of the National Association of

Insurance Women (International). An internationally recognized

speaker and author, Elise has been named National Claims

Professional of the Year and Atlanta Insurance Woman of the

Year.

“Additional Insured: Coverage or Crapshoot?” will be offered at

the IIWV 2013 Insurance Day on Monday afternoon, March 25,

2013 beginning at 1:45pm at the Resort at the Charleston Town

Center Marriott Hotel in Charleston, West Virginia.

For additional information on the IIAWV 2013 Insurance Day, visit

the IIAWV website at www.iiawv.org or call the association office

at 800-274-4298.

• How the language of the additional insured endorsement has

evolved and why

• The extent of the scope of coverage under an AI endorsement

• Coverage afforded by the AI endorsement

• The importance of extrinsic contract language when

determining coverage under an AI endorsement

This interactive seminar is designed to provide attendees

an opportunity to discuss the issues relative to the additional

insured endorsement and how to provide coverage solutions to

their insured clients.

The instructor for “Additional Insured: Coverage or Crapshoot?”

is Ms. Elise M. Farnham, CPCU, ARM, AIM, CPIW, President

of Illumine Consulting, a Georgia-based consulting firm which

focuses on providing education opportunities for insurance

Visit us online!

www.iiawv.org

page 4

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


IIAWV Members To Host WV Legislators at

I-Day Reception

Strong Attendance Expected for Traditional Event

The membership of the IIAWV will host

the membership of the West Virginia

Legislature at this year’s Insurance Day

Opening Reception on Sunday, March

24, 2013 at the Charleston Town Center

Marriott Hotel.

The 2013 reception will mark the twentysixth

consecutive year of the event and a

larger than usual turnout is expected due

to the large number of new members of the Legislature.

The event will be held in Salons A-C of the Town Center Marriott

and will begin at 6:00pm.

Entertainment for the event will be provided by old friends of the

IIAWV. One of America’s Funniest Comedy Magicians, Dewayne

Hill, will be working the reception room. Dewayne started

performing magic at the age of 16, practicing and performing in

the streets of his hometown, Charleston, West Virginia. Over the

years, he has blended exciting magic with side-splitting comedy

note from the president

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3)

watch the Insuror and your e-mail for registration opportunities.

Speaking of the legislature, I also want to extend congratulations

to one of our own IIAWV member agents, Chris Walters of

Charleston, on his election to the West Virginia State Senate.

While serving in the State Senate, Chris joins other IIAWV

member agents who serve in the House of Delegates including

his Dad, Ron Walters and Bill Hartman, Bill Hamilton and Bob

Ashley.

note from the ceo

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3)

membership, our state’s finest insurance publication, The West

Virginia INSUROR. Delivered right to your personal desktop and

that of each of your employees twice per month, the INSUROR

brings you news from every segment of our state’s industry and

beyond.

I could go on for quite a while about the value of membership

but, I think you get the point. If you have any questions about

any facet of your association membership or ideas that you

would like to share, please don't hesitate to call the association

office and talk with either Valerie Toney or myself or feel free to

contact any other association Officer or Board member. Any of

into a G-rated Las Vegas caliber show that all audiences can

interact with and enjoy. In April of 2007, Dewayne set a World

Record by performing the most card tricks (71) in a single hour.

You really don’t want to miss this remarkable entertainer!

Also on the reception marquee will be “The Pennington Project”,

a Charleston, West Virginia based group of musicians that can

play and sing just about any tune you could ask for. Lead by

Steve Pennington, “The Pennington Project” has performed at

numerous events throughout West Virginia and many times for

the IIAWV

The IIAWV Insurance Day Opening Reception will be held

beginning at 6:00pm on Sunday, March 24, 2013 as a part of the

IIAWV Insurance Day program at the Charleston Town Center

Marriott Hotel in Charleston, West Virginia.

For more information on and to register for the IIAWV Insurance

Day, visit the IIAWV website at www.iiawv.org or call the IIAWV

office at 800-274-4298.

I look forward to my year as your President. If you have any

thoughts or ideas you want to share I can always be reached at

doug@arndt-mcbee.com.

us will be happy to talk with you. You can find a listing of Board

members and contact information on our association’s website,

www.iiawv.org. As always, you can find Valerie and me at 800-

274-4298. Please call any time.

Thank you for your membership in the IIAWV and may the

blessings and good wishes of a New Year be with you and your

agency.

page 5

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


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page 6

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


WV Marks 11 Rankings on the ‘Judicial

Hellhole’ List

It's one of those rankings the state doesn't always boast.

The American Tort Reform Association released its annual

‘Judicial Hellhole' list December 13, and for the 11th consecutive

list, which is every year the list has been produced, West Virginia

ranks near the top.

"West Virginia voters' decision in November to retire their longserving

attorney general indicates they'd like to see reforms, too,

but lawmakers and judges there continue to drag their feet, and

problems with unbalanced civil courts persist," ATRA President

Tiger Joyce said in a news release.

The Mountain State was ranked No. 2 this year, behind California

and above Madison County, Illinois. Last year and in2005 West

Virginia was ranked No. 3, but the state also spent several years

at the top of the list.

"West Virginia is feared by business defendants, who feel that

some Mountain State judges tip the scales of justice against

them," the ATRA news release states. "The lack of a full right to

appeal adds to their anxiety.

"The state's personal injury law remains out-of-the mainstream,

although its high court deserves recognition for some sound

rulings."

And while some groups point to the annual ranking as a call to

change, others hope the list will be ignored.

"Across West Virginia, state residents are voicing outrage

against MTV's ‘Buckwild,' and its depiction of life in West

Virginia," Scott Blass, president of the West Virginia Association

for Justice, said in a news release. "The chorus of disapproval is

coming from our state's elected officials, business leaders and

the people on the street – and I agree with them.

"My question is where is this same sustained outrage against

the American Tort Reform Association, which has called our

state a hellhole for nearly a decade?"

Blass said ATRA's report is not a legitimate analysis of either

West Virginia's legal system or its legal climate.

"This fake study is far more damaging to our state's national

reputation and our ability to attract new business than this

distasteful, staged television production," Blass said. "It's time

that every West Virginian stand up and demand that ATRA stop

calling us a hellhole and tell the truth about both our courts and

our business climate."

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Executive Director

Richie Heath said the report should spur the state Legislature

into action on legal reforms.

"We kind of look like we're fixing some of those criticisms about

the attorney general and Supreme Court (of Appeals), but now

it's about dealing with some of these core problems that exist

within our statutory framework," Heath said during a telephone

interview.

Heath said in a news release that West Virginia seems to have

fallen further behind while other states have worked to improve

their legal climates.

"If we expect to keep pace economically with other states,

we must pass laws that will provide the meaningful right of

appeal already afforded in more than 40 other states, eliminate

‘overwhelming abuse' of asbestos litigation in the state and

protect individuals and small business owners from frivolous

lawsuit filings," Heath said in a news release.

Heath also said meaningful legal reforms would be a more costeffective

method of attracting jobs to the state rather than its

business tax incentive program.

Scott Will, adviser to attorney general-elect Patrick Morrisey,

said Morrisey plans to improve West Virginia's business climate

with "common sense reforms," for fairness and predictability in

the state's legal system.

"Whether people agree with the specific rankings or not, the

general perceptions about our business climate matter because

they influence decisions about whether companies will operate

a business in West Virginia," Will said in a prepared statement.

"With the right reforms and new leadership from a fair-minded

attorney general, we are optimistic that we will be able to

convince more businesses to operate in West Virginia. We now

have a real opportunity to enhance our state's reputation on

legal issues."

By Ann Ali, Senior Political Reporter

The State Journal

page 7

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


Congress Approves “Fiscal Cliff” Legislation

Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall Vote “Aye”, Capitol and McKinley Vote “Nay”

Late on the evening of January 1, the US House of

Representatives passed the American Tax Relief Act of 2012,

sending the Senate-crafted bill to the President which will avert

the “Fiscal Cliff”.

West Virginia’s two US Senators, Rockefeller and Manchin both

voted in favor of the bill. In the House of Representatives, Capito

and McKinley voted against the measure and Rahall voted in

favor of it.

Brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority

Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the details of the bill focus

primarily on the taxation side of the fiscal cliff.

The US Senate passed the law by a vote of 89 – 8 early in the

morning on New Year’s Day. The House passed the measure by

a vote of 257 – 167 later in the evening of New Year’s Day.

Highlights of key provisions impacting independent insurance

agencies include:

• The payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.

• Permanently reinstates the Personal Exemption Phase-

Out (PEP) and Pease limitation, which limits the ability of

some taxpayers to utilize personal income exemptions and

itemized deductions. The PEP would reduce the personal

exemption ($3,800 in 2012) of filers and their dependents by

2% for every $2,500 that their AGI exceeds the applicable

threshold-- $300,000 (married filers) and $250,000 (single

filers), indexed to inflation. The Pease limitation limits the

value of itemized deductions by creating a 3% surcharge

of the amount a filer’s AGI exceeds the applicable threshold

(identical to PEP income thresholds) up to 80% of a filer’s

itemized deductions.

• Permanently repeals the CLASS Act and creates a

Presidentially-appointed commission to study ways to

address long-term care needs.

• Cuts new funding for Co-Ops under the PPACA.

• Provides permanent tax relief at current income tax rates for

taxpayers earning below $400,000 (single) and $450,000

(joint). For income earned over these thresholds, rates will

increase to 39.6 percent. Note this does not include the 0.9

percent Medicare surtax enacted by the Patient Protection

and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), so these rates will in

reality be 40.5 percent.

• Provides permanent capital gains and dividends tax relief for

taxpayers earning below the $400,000/$450,000 income

thresholds. For taxpayers earning over these amounts, rates

on capital gains and dividends will increase to 20 percent.

Note that this does not include the 3.8 percent investment

income tax from the PPACA, so these rates are in reality

23.8 percent.

• The estate tax rate will be permanently set at 40 percent

(up from the current 35 percent), with a $5 million (single)

and $10 million (joint) exemption. Those thresholds will be

indexed for inflation.

• The Farm Bill received a nine-month extension. The extension

will allow Congress to complete a new and comprehensive

5 year farm deal, but will still provide another round of direct

payments. Both House Agriculture Committee Chairman

Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Senate Agriculture Committee

Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have indicated that

despite this one year extension, they intend to begin the

mark-up process on a 5 year Farm bill in February.

Also of importance, the law delays the automatic sequester

cuts that were scheduled to take effect January 1, 2013 for two

months. According to CBO it also adds $4 trillion dollars to the

deficit (over ten years) and does not address the debt ceiling

(which must be raised again by March, according to current

estimates). Because of this delay in cuts and failure to address

the debt ceiling, another huge fiscal debate will take place in late

February/early March.

page 8

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


West Virginia Judge Stops Insurer’s Use of Old

Parts on New Cars

A Kanawha County judge has granted Attorney General Darrell

McGraw’s request for a permanent injunction against an

insurance company and a St. Albans body shop owner accused

of illegally installing junkyard parts on new vehicles.

The judge ruled that Liberty Mutual and Greg Chandler, owner of

Greg Chandler’s Frame and Body, cannot install used parts on

vehicles built within three years of the date of the crash.

McGraw says in a statement that Liberty Mutual admitted in

court documents that it had repaired nearly 200 vehicles using

junkyard and aftermarket parts in “blatant disregard of the law.

The court has not yet ruled on the amount of compensation

Liberty Mutual will be required to pay its customers or the

amount of any civil penalties.

McGraw called it a victory for consumers.

Agency Perpetuation A Hot Topic at IIAWV

Insurance Day

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2)

Association of Insurance Management Consultants (AAIMCO),

Mr. Diamond is a charter member of the Quality Insurance

Congress and is Chairman for the Appraisal Standards and

Guidelines Committee in the design of appraisal standards for

the insurance agency industry for AAIMCO. Mr. Diamond acts

as independent moderator for disputes arising from insurance

agency operations, and as a facilitator for mergers, acquisitions,

divestitures and internal perpetuation plans. Mr. Diamond is

an identified Expert on business management issues for the

AllExperts Website and has been named Key Consultant for

Mergers, Acquisition, and Valuation for Insurance Marketing and

Management Services. Mr. Diamond has created a Masters

Program in insurance agency management (MAM) certifying

agency managers and professionally managed insurance

agencies (ACE – Agency Certified in Excellence). He also writes

The PIPELINE, a national newsletter for insurance agency

principals and insurance industry executives.

“Agency Succession and Perpetuation” will be offered beginning

at 1:30pm on Sunday, March 24, 2013 as a part of the IIAWV

Insurance Day.

For more information on and to register for the IIAWV Insurance

Day, visit the IIAWV website at www.iiawv.org or call the IIAWV

office at 800-274-4298.

Do you have

some news to

share? Click

here to send

us an email

about it!

The

West Virginia

Insuror

page 9

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


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Auto limits as low as 100/300/50 in certain cases

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Driver exclusion endorsement available for drivers with unacceptable driving records

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To access log onto www.bigimarkets.com

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page 10

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


State Legislature Convenes

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)

regarding health care accessibility and affordability on the

agenda. Senate President Kessler was elected on a 25-9 vote

over Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall, R-Putnam.

vacant. Committee watchers are speculating that the next

Chair will be Senator Greg Tucker, D-Nicholas.

House Speaker Rick Thompson, elected

to his fourth term as Speaker of the

House of Delegates, was first chosen to

lead the House during the 2007 legislative

session. As has traditionally been the

case, each party in the House nominated

their own standard bearer and then

the vote proceeded along party lines.

House Democrats nominated Thompson

and the Republican minority nominated

their leader, Delegate Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha for speaker.

Thompson was elected on a 54-46 vote, almost entirely

along party lines except that Thompson and Armistead voted

for each other as a courtesy. Afterward, Thompson offered

a set f remarks that he characterized as a call for bipartisan

cooperation, stressing that virtually all key measures passed by

the Legislature in recent years have had strong support from

Democrats and Republicans alike.

There was also other Senate business to

attend to. Veteran Senate Clerk Darrell

Holmes has retired from service and the

newly installed State Senate selected

Senator Joe Minard, D-Harrison to be

the next Clerk of the Senate. Minard,

a Clarksburg restaurateur, has served

several terms as the Chair of the Senate

Banking and Insurance Committee. With

Minard’s resignation and the defeat of

Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Vice-Chair Mark

Wills, D-Mercer, the leadership of the committee is currently

Senator Tucker, 56, is an attorney and

businessman from Summersville, West

Virginia. Elected to the State Senate in

2012, he has also served as both Assistant

Prosecuting Attorney and Prosecuting

Attorney for Nicholas County.

A newly appointed State Senator was also

sworn in.

Robert “Rocky” Fitzsimmons (D – Ohio) took the oath of office to

fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Senator Orphy Klempa

in December. He will be representing the First Senatorial District

comprised of Brooke, Hancock, and Ohio counties as well as

part of Marshall County.

Fitzsimmons holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemical

engineering from Washington University and obtained his law

degree from Wake Forest University and practices law with

Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC in Wheeling. Senator Fitzsimmons

was appointed last month by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to fill

the unexpired four-year term that extends through 2014.

There will be other new Senators to be sworn in at some point

this year. Governor Tomblin will have to name replacements

for Minard and Senator Walt Helmick, D-Pocahontas, who was

elected state agriculture commissioner.

The Legislature recessed until February 13th when the 2013

session begins.

West Virginia Supreme Court Sets 7% For

Judgments

The West Virginia Supreme Court has set an interest rate of 7

percent on monetary judgments and decrees for 2013.

West Virginia Code requires the court's administrative office

to determine the interest rate. The law says the rate will be 3

percentage points above the secondary discount rate in effect

as of January 2 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, but it

can't be less than 7 percent or more than 11 percent.

The Fed rate on January 2, 2012 was 1.25 percent, so the

additional 3 percent would have produced a rate less than the

statutory minimum. Consequently, the court imposed the 7

percent minimum.

Visit us online!

www.iiawv.org

page 10 11

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


West Virginia Jury Finds Doctor, 2 Lawyers Filed

False Asbestos Claims

A West Virginia radiologist and two Pennsylvania attorneys

who were involved in thousands of asbestos lawsuits have

been found guilty of civil racketeering for conspiring to fabricate

claims against CSX Transportation.

The Wheeling, West Virginia, jury on December 20 ordered

Pittsburgh attorneys Robert Peirce and Louis Raimond and

Bridgeport, W.Va., radiologist Ray Harron to pay CSX more than

$429,000, which could be tripled because

they were convicted of civil racketeering

charges. They also were found guilty of

conspiracy and fraud.

“It was clear from this verdict that the jury

refused to endorse cheating in lawsuits,”

said Huntington attorney Marc Williams,

who helped represent CSX.

Peirce filed more than 14,000 asbestos

cases against Jacksonville, Fla.-based

CSX. Harron diagnosed tens of thousands

of asbestos claims for the attorneys.

Harron’s diagnoses were first called into question in 2005 by

a judge in Texas that heard cases involving the lung disease

silicosis. CSX filed its lawsuit later that year, claiming Kentucky

railroad worker Earl Baylor was fraudulently diagnosed with

asbestosis.

At the trial, which began Dececember 11, CSX attorneys

argued that Harron had initially found hundreds of patients clear

of asbestosis, but later switched his diagnosis. It presented 11

of those cases.

Peirce defended his aggressive filing of asbestos claims, saying

that CSX could only claim that 11 out of the thousands his firm

had filed were without any reasonable basis.

He presented radiologists and other witnesses who testified the

x-rays in those 11 cases were consistent with asbestosis and

that “we not only had a reasonable basis to file the lawsuits but

we were obligated to do so,” he said.

“We are convinced the jury got it wrong and

we strongly disagree with the verdict, but as

lawyers we recognize and respect the jury

system and legal process,” Peirce said in a

statement.

Attorneys for Raimond and Harron did not

immediately return telephone messages

seeking comment.

The case was thrown out in 2009 when

a federal judge ruled that the statute of

limitations had expired. But a federal appeals

court in Virginia reinstated it the following year.

The verdict marked the second time this year that attorneys have

been convicted for committing fraud during asbestos lawsuits.

Mississippi lawyers William Guy and Thomas Brock had sued

Montreal-based Canadian National Railway Co., or CN, on

behalf of nearly 170 former employees who claimed asbestos

made them sick. The railroad company later sued, claiming the

lawyers knew that at least two of their clients lied about being

involved in an earlier asbestos case.

Virginia Approves Changes to Workers’ Comp

Premium Levels

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) announced

on Jan. 8 that the commission has approved revisions to the

premium levels charged for the state’s workers’ compensation

insurance.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) sought

the revisions. The changes approved by the SCC will increase

the overall premium levels for surface coal mine classifications in

both the voluntary market and the assigned risk plan and for the

industrial and federal classes in the assigned risk plan.

Overall premium levels will decrease for underground coal mines

in the voluntary market and the assigned risk plan and for the

industrial and federal classifications in the voluntary market.

The changes will become effective April 1, 2013, for new and

renewal workers’ compensation policies, as follows:

• In the industrial class, voluntary market loss costs will decrease

by 5.7 percent and assigned risk rates will increase by 7.3

percent.

• In the federal class, voluntary market loss costs will decrease

by 2.1 percent and assigned risk rates will increase by 14.4

percent.

• In the surface coal mines class, voluntary market loss costs will

increase by 4.9 percent and assigned risk rates will increase

by 19 percent.

• In the underground coal mines class, voluntary market loss

costs will decrease by 14.5 percent and assigned risk rates

will decrease by 3.9 percent.

NCCI, a Florida-based ratemaking organization, represents

insurance companies licensed to write workers’ compensation

insurance in Virginia. Workers’ compensation insurance

provides medical care and wage replacement benefits to injured

workers. Almost all Virginia employers are required to provide

the coverage to their employees.

page 10 12

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


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A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


6 Things for Independent Agents to Worry

About in 2013

The 100-plus year-old independent

agency distribution system is expanding,

according to Future One’s 2012

Agency Universe Study. The number

of independent agencies, it states, has

recently increased to 38,500.

Still, some voices claim that the agency

business, as we know it, is past its

sell-by date. Hardly. Just because

sales are made via other channels,

some without agents, it doesn’t mean

that independents are obsolete. After

all, agents and brokers held a virtual

monopoly in the distribution chain for

decades, so any channel that eschews

them impacts their market share. There

are countless consumers and businesses

for independents, captives, and direct

marketers to insure, both online and

off; there’s plenty for everybody. That’s

the good news. The bad news is that

your individual agency’s survival is never

assured. So, here’s some stuff to watch

out for in 2013.

Digital Marketers

Online marketing is the main reason why independents

worry about their future. Almost every insurance conference,

publication, and vendor berates attendees, readers, and

prospects about its threat. Of course, digital/mobile marketing is

where commerce is ultimately headed, but it’s not a panacea for

every problem facing independent agents. Rather, it’s a channel

that grows wider every day — but not so wide that all traditional

techniques are passé. During this past presidential campaign,

nearly twice as much was spent on direct mail versus Internet

marketing [according to the Oct. 12, 2012, Washington Post].

So join in the digital conversation, but recognize that online rivals

aren’t your only concern.

Aggressive Baby Boomers

The average age of today’s independent agency owner is

pushing 60. This means that many principals are logically thinking

about retirement — maybe not tomorrow, but soon. If these

baby boomers don’t have a perpetuation plan in place, then

selling their agency to finance their retirement is approaching

the top of their to-do list. So if your office is competing with a

retirement-minded agency owner, watch out. These guys can

be aggressive in building up their book before selling it, making

them tougher competitors than ever.

Networked Rivals

Agency networks and franchises sign up new members every

month. Members gain greater carrier representation and enjoy

various support services. Agencies

that take maximum advantage of their

added markets can become instant

local powerhouses of production. So

watch out as a small office can jump

from white noise to a cacophony almost

overnight.

Retail Rivals

Wholesale clubs, car makers, and

various retail chains have promoted

insurance sales to their customers for

years — via email, direct mail, in-store

brochures, etc. But MetLife has taken it

to a whole new level. They now sell term

life policies (up to $25,000 in coverage)

in Snoopy-adorned packaging, at some

200 Wal-Mart stores in South Carolina

and Georgia [according to the Oct.

19, 2012, Bloomberg BusinessWeek].

Selling policies in a box, literally off the

shelf is a bold move, inasmuch as it’s

the exact opposite of digital marketing.

If this experiment is successful, what

other boxed policies are next?

Multi-Channel Carriers

This isn’t a new concern, but today’s technology makes it

well worth watching. While some carriers are fully dedicated

to the independent agency system, others employ whichever

distribution system generates the most efficient results, as long

as it doesn’t overly cannibalize their agency force. Look for

continued and potential competition from companies you may

represent.

Your Legacy

The agency business, like other legacy industries, is facing

endless encroachment from an endless number of rivals

and competitive methodologies. It’s the nature of innovative

capitalism. So, be innovative back. Grow by being as aggressive

and creative as your skill set and budget allows. Here’s to making

2013 your smartest, luckiest, and most successful year ever.

By Alan L. Shulman

The Insurance Journal

Alan Shulman, CPCU, is the publisher of

Agency Ideas, a subscription-only sales

and marketing newsletter. He is also the

author of the many tools posted on the

Agency Ideas Instant Download Store.

Phone: 800-724-1435. His e-mail address

is: alan@agencyideas.com

page 14

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


How to Have Your Best Year Ever

By the time you read this we’re halfway

through the first month of 2013. Almost

one twelfth of the year is already gone.

How’s it going so far? How are you

doing with your New Year’s Resolutions

if you made any? Are you on track to

achieve your personal and professional

goals this year? If you’re not on track,

these ideas will get you on track and

caught up. If you are on track, these

ideas can help you achieve your goals

even faster and go even further.

Five Keys to a Highly Successful 2013

1) Why do you want to have your best year ever?

Before you take on any endeavor, you have to know why you’re

doing it. This one factor will determine whether or not you are

successful. What are you capable of if you set your mind to

it? Pretty much anything, right? So in order to wake up every

day driven and motivated to do what must be done in order

to achieve your goals and dreams, you must have powerful

reasons for doing so. Find your WHY in positive reasons for

achieving your goals and negative consequences if you don’t.

The start of all great achievement is a burning desire in your

heart and soul that simply must be fulfilled.

2) Have goals and a plan.

You’ve heard it a million times but this is still the biggest factor

that the most successful people on the planet attribute their

success to, so, if you haven’t done this yet, DO IT! The top 3%

of people on the planet have goals, a plan for their achievement,

and they work on those goals every day. They are worth more in

financial terms than the other 97% combined. You don’t need a

huge list of goals in each area of life with elaborate plans for their

achievement, in fact, the simpler you can make it, the better.

At a minimum, pick one major professional goal and one major

personal goal, put a simple, straight-forward plan together, and

take action on both goals daily.

Also, contrary to popular belief, WILL

POWER DOES WORK. It’s simple, you’re

either going to eat that donut or you’re not

based upon a simple decision that your

parents, the economy, or your relationships

have nothing to do with. Speaking of that, I

give you point #4…

4) Stop making excuses and giving up

control of your life.

Over the years I’ve heard every excuse as

to why people don’t achieve their goals. I’ve

heard reasons related to health, emotions,

past traumas and negative events. People blame the economy,

other people, and bad breaks growing up. I have two words of

advice: Stop it! Assuming you are reading this right now and

comprehend it, you have no excuses.

Once you hit the age of 25 you are responsible for where you

are in life. While a 13 year old can blame his or her parents, and

a couple other outside factors for their present position in life,

anyone 25 or older can go no further than the mirror. The faster

you “get” that you determine your outcome, not the economy,

your parents, or your boss, the quicker you will grab control of

your life and live it on your terms. If you continue to blame others

and outside circumstances, you will be a victim and the things

you don’t want will continue to show up. You are responsible,

you are in control, and you decide where you end up.

5) Follow Winston Churchill’s advice.

You remember his advice, right? “Never, never, never give

up.” Another saying is, “Quitters never win and winners never

quit.” If you hang in there long enough, you’ll make it. Life is

simply a game of deciding what you want, developing a plan

to get it, taking daily action on that plan, seeing what works

and what doesn’t, and adjusting your approach until you get to

your destination. Even a ship is of course 99.9% of the trip. The

captain simply continues to get feedback and course corrects

until the ship lands safely in harbor.

3) Do what you must do.

Now that you know why you want to have your best year ever

and you have goals and a plan, it’s time to get to work. Not

tomorrow, not later today… NOW! The most successful people

are people of action. They don’t put things off and they rarely

hesitate once they have decided upon a goal.

You must work on your goals every day whether you feel like

it or not. You must work on your goals when you’re tired, sick,

and beaten down. Should you rest occasionally? Yes. Should

you take a vacation and have balance in your life? Yes. But

assuming you have the burning desire necessary to achieve

your goals and dreams, you will pick yourself up in the most

tiring and difficult times and press on. Anything worth acquiring

in life usually requires that we work hard, get uncomfortable,

and face some fears.

You can do, be, and have anything you want, but it’s going to

take hard work and sacrifice. The question isn’t can you have

your best year ever, the questions are: Are you willing to put in

the time, effort, energy and money that’s necessary? Are you

willing to give up the excuses and other crutches and pay the

price for success?

By John Chapin

Have a sales question? E-mail John at johnchapin@

completeselling.com. For permission to reprint this article or, to

reach John, email him at johnchapin@completeselling.com.

For access to John's free monthly newsletter and white paper

on what it takes to be successful in sales, visit John's website at

http://www.completeselling.com

page 10 15

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


Estate Plans: issue V

A Valuable Service to Your Clients and Your Agency

“The estate planning and insurance

professions operate with the same

goal in mind: planning for our clients’

future. Because of this shared goal, it

is important for both professions to have

a working understanding of the various

estate planning documents available to

best serve our clients’ needs.

Toward that understanding, I have developed an eight part

series of short articles designed to highlight the common

documents of an estate plan. In addition to a discussion

about the purpose and format of these documents, I will also

address the consequences when one of those documents

is missing from an estate plan. In the course of this series,

it is my hope that you will become familiar with some of the

reasons for the various estate planning documents and how

each may be beneficial to you and your clients.”

What is a trust?

A trust splits the ownership of a piece of property (generally real

estate or money) between a trustee and the beneficiary (ies):

When a grantor places property in trust, one party is given

control over the asset (the trustee), and one or more parties

receives the use and benefit of the asset (the beneficiary).

The types of trusts are many and varied, depending on the

purpose for placing the assets in trust and the needs of the

parties involved.

Why should one leave something in trust?

• Protect assets from creditors of the beneficiaries;

• Certain tax advantages;

• You can control use of assets and choose who will receive

them at the beneficiary’s death;

• Provides assistance to beneficiaries who are not well

equipped to manage their own money;

• Provide for disabled beneficiaries without leaving them

ineligible for government benefits;

• Protect closely held businesses from outsider involvement;

• Provide for centralized management of real property and/

or mineral interests;

• Give incentives to encourage a beneficiary to behave

responsibly;

• Leave money for children (or adults) who are not equipped

to manage their own finances;

• Minimize probate (especially in other states where

decedent owns real property);

• Privacy (Probated wills are public record, but a trust does

not have to be recorded. A memorandum of trust is

sufficient to establish a trust for public records.)

Audy Perry is a partner at Huddleston Bolen LLP and advises

individuals on matters involving their personal wealth, including

estate planning, trust, charitable giving, business succession

planning, asset protection, and real estate matters.

Advertise in the

The West Virginia Insuror

Call us at

(304) 342-2440

Independent Insurance Agents

of West Virginia, Inc.

Independent Insurance Agents

of West Virginia, Inc.

P.O. Box 1226 | Charleston, WV | 25324

P: (304) 342-2440| TF: (800) 274-4298 | F: (304) 344-4492

page 16

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


The mission of the Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia is to

be the unrelenting advocate for independent insurance agents and to

fulfill member needs while serving the public’s best interest.

www.iiawv.org | (304) 342-2440

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