Alabama Independent 2018, Issue 1


2018 - Issue 1

2 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

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2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 3




2018 • ISSUE 1

16 19


6 Letter from the AIIA President, W. Haig Wright II, CIC

8 Letter from the AIIA EVP, Bill Sager, CIC

9 Thank You InsurPac 2017 Contributors

10 InsurPac Donation Form

11 Thank You 2017 Big I PAC Contributors

12 Young Agents Chair Report, Todd Roberts, CIC

12 Save the Date – Young Agents Summer Conference

13 Excalibur Clay Shoot Registration

14 Does the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand Is


16 Innovations in Long-Term Care Funding with Insurance

19 Strategic Changes for Closing More Sales

21 Ted’s Tablet

22 Thank You 2018 Partners

24 Education Calendar and Webinars

29 122nd Annual AIIA Convention & Trade Show

June 24-26

32 Legislative Conference Wrap

34 Industry News

36 Seen & Heard

38 Welcome New Members

Alabama Independent Insurance Agents, Inc.

141 London Parkway

Phone: 205-326-4129 | Fax: 205-326-3086 |

Executive Vice President: Bill Sager, CIC

Editor: Michelle McKee



President: Haig Wright, CIC


President Elect: Steve Sprayberry, CIC


Secretary/Treasurer: Michael Vance LUTCF,



State National Director: Jeff Grice, CIC


Immediate Past President:

Jeff Hogg, CPIA, CLCS



District 1

Larry Crosby, CIC - Brewton

C. Todd Thomas - Montrose

District 2

Steve Mullis, CPIA - Montgomery

W. Keith Nobles, CIC - Wetumpka

Jean Ann Rittenour-Donley, CISR, CIC, CPIA,

CPIW - Montgomery

Ray Smith - Deatsville

District 3

John H. Dark, CIC, AAI - Alexander City

Boyd McGehee – Talladega

District 4

Steve Hoggle, CIC - Guntersville

Josh Goe, CLCL – Madison

District 5

Kelly Aday - Lexington

Susanne Grimwood, CIC, CISR - Huntsville

Connie Waldrip, CISR - Huntsville

District 6

Russell Greenhalgh, CIC - Birmingham

Mary Hall - Birmingham

Bill Jacka, Jr. - Birmingham

Margaret Ann Pyburn, CPIA - Birmingham

Joni Holt, CIC, CPCU - Birmingham

District 7

Kevin Myrick - Tuscaloosa

Lin Moore - Tuscaloosa

Young Agents

Todd Roberts, CIC - Homewood

Past President

Jere Peak - Selma


Executive Vice President:

Bill Sager, CIC

Director of Education:

Ted Kinney, CIC, CPCU, ARM, CPIA, AAI,


Director of Communications &

Member Services:

Michelle McKee

Director of Education Administration:

Tangerie Underwood, CISR, CPIA

E & O Administrator:

Carol Hunt, CPIA

Accounting Supervisor:

Irene Smyly

Director of Meetings & Events:

Nancy Crowe

RLI Administrator:

Tangerie Underwood, CISR, CPIA

Printing & Mailroom Coordinator:

Waymon McIntosh

Office Manager:

Sarah Walker


AGC Alabama ( 2

Allstar Financial Group ( 18

Applied Underwriters ( 3

Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance Companies 20


Centauri Insurance ( 5

EMC Insurance Companies ( 39

FCCI ( 6

Genesee General ( 34

Iroquois Group ( 36

Lakeside Brokerage LLC ( 8

M.J. Kelly Company-Alabama ( 37

Risk Placement Services, Inc. ( 7


Southern Insurance Underwriters, Inc. ( 40

Summit Consulting ( 26

The National Security Group 21


Tower Hill Insurance ( 38


The Alabama Independent is the official magazine of the Alabama

Independent Insurance Agents, Inc. Association (AIIA), and is published

quarterly by Blue Water Publishers, LLC. AIIA does not necessarily

endorse any of the companies advertising in this publication or the

views of its writers. AIIA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject

advertising that does not meet AIIA qualifications or which may detract

from its business, professional or ethical standards.

The publisher cannot assume responsibility for claims made by its

advertisers, content provided by the editor, or the opinions expressed by

contributing authors.

For information on advertising, contact Eric Johnson, Blue Water

Publishers, 414-708-2059 or

4 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

Be Certain with Centauri Insurance

It’s more than just a house.

The place you call home is not only one of your most

important assets — it’s where you and your family live.

We understand that you need insurance coverage that

protects not just your home, but your quality of life.

Homeowners I Dwelling Fire I Tenants I Flood

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 5

W. Haig Wright II, CIC

AIIA President


As we move forward,

our 2018 Annual

Convention & Trade

Show continues to be

my main focus. This

year’s event will be held

at the Grand Hotel in

Point Clear, Alabama,

June 24-26 and has

the potential to be one of our best yet. I

am excited to announce and welcome our

featured guests and speakers: Rod O’Neill,

Tom Doran, and Andy Andrews. (See pages

29-31 for more information.)

We are anticipating large numbers so

please register early! Invitations were mailed

mid-February with registration available


Our Young Agents are to be commended

for their efforts in bringing us a meaningful

and effective Legislative Conference in

Montgomery each year. Congratulations

on having Gov. Kay Ivey as your welcome

speaker and the gubernatorial candidate’s

panel was very eye-opening for the

conference attendees.

We are constantly looking for ways to be

more efficient in completing the business of

our association. During our last committee

day, it was apparent that we need to

evaluate and eliminate some of our longstanding

committees. More information on

this topic to follow.

Our association under Bill Sager’s leadership

is in good shape. Bill continues to drive down

expenses while looking for ways to increase

our revenue stream. We are grateful for Bill

and the entire association staff, as they do

an outstanding job for us.

Please let me know if there is anything that

I, or our association, can do for you or your


Hope to see you at the Grand Hotel!

Haig Wright

Your customers.

Our promise.

FCCI Insurance Group has been insuring businesses and doing what

we say we’ll do for more than 58 years. We partner with our agents to

provide expertise in underwriting, risk management and claims handling

that help businesses thrive and face the future with confidence.

Trey Stone, CIC

Managing Director, Underwriting

Alabama Branch Office


General liability • Auto • Property • Crime • Workers’ compensation

Umbrella • Inland marine • Agribusiness • Surety

Coverage available in 18 states and D.C. © 2018 FCCI

6 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1






At Risk Placement Services (RPS), we

are committed to building relationships

one retail partner at a time. Our stewardship

begins by providing you access

to the finest markets and top producers

in the industry and providing customized

solutions to meet your needs by

designing, negotiating and tailoring

individual risks that help you succeed.

It’s a partnership you can count on!

To learn more contact

Jennifer Hornsby at 205.317.2649


Bill Sager, CIC

AIIA Executive Vice President

As we motor through

2018 I want to take

some time to highlight

some special partners

that support AIIA and

are critical to our

success. As you know

we have a sponsorship

program called First

STEP Sponsors.

These are usually

insurance companies,

brokers, managing

general agents and

others who work with

our industry. They commit resources to your

association which in turn helps us provide the

support services we bring to our membership.

The sponsors are highlighted at all of our

events and we try to make them known to you

in any way we can. The sponsorship program

is broken down into different levels allowing the

sponsor the option to select the level that works

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best for them. We have worked to enhance the

benefit package for each level of sponsorship

and will continue to evaluate ways to support

these sponsors.

Many of our First STEP Sponsors have been

a part of the program for many years and we

sincerely thank you for your continued support.

We have some new sponsors and we welcome

you aboard.

I hope all of our members received the

mailing we recently sent listing all of our First

STEP Sponsors for 2018. I encourage you to

consider these sponsors as you have needs

in your business. I hope the information in the

mailing has been shared with your staff.

One of the strongest cords binding the

independent agency distribution system

together is the relationships between the agency

and its carriers and partners. One of the things

we try to assist with is getting companies and

agents together. As you partner together both

entities can benefit, which is exactly

how our First STEP Sponsorship

Program works. The support they

give us is very important and we

work to provide a return on their

investment. When you have contact

with one of our First STEP Sponsors,

please thank them for their support.

A busy schedule is in place for the

remainder of the year. You will

see the events highlighted in this

magazine. Your involvement in our

events, educational opportunities

and endorsed programs are vital

for your association. As always we

desire your feedback on all we do.

Our goal is to help our members be

successful and your input helps us

accomplish the goal.

Thank you for your support……and

thank you to our 2018 First STEP



8 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

As the federal



more and

more power over small business, the future of our industry

becomes greatly dependent upon our ability to become

engaged in the federal political process. The U.S. Congress

regularly considers legislation that directly affects the

livelihood of independent agents – from taxes, healthcare,

and flood insurance to the overhaul of the insurance


regulatory system. Your federal political action committee

(InsurPac) plays a key role in the Big I’s legislative success.

InsurPac raises money to contribute to candidates running

for federal office, while increasing agent visibility on Capitol

Hill and empowering members to participate in the political


Many thanks to those who contributed to the IIABA political

action committee in 2017! Included in the magazine is the

donation sheet (page 10) for you to give and help support

IIABA InsurPAC in 2018.

Kelly Aday

Sam Newton Insurance Agency

Vickie Fuller

Stead Denson & Fuller

Jacki Muhle

All Southern Insurance

Jean Ann Rittenour

Palomar Insurance Corporation

Joe Bennett

Cousins Insurance Agency, Inc.

Rux Bentley

Rux Carter Insurance Agency

Raymond Best

Best Insurance Agency, LLC

Mark Calhoun

McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc.

John Dark

Dark Insurance Agency

C.D. Denson

Stead Denson & Fuller

Karen Dill

Petra RMS

Tim Donahue

Fitts Agency, Inc.

Charlotte Doss

Blackbelt Insurors, Inc.

Jerry Dubose

National Security Group

Matthew Ellis

Johnson & Johnson

Mike Evans

Your Insurance Centers, Inc.

Forrest Fitts

Fitts Agency, Inc.

J. David Fitts

Fitts Agency, Inc.

Elliot Free

Westcoat E Free, Inc. dba

Knight-Free Insurance Agency

Joe Fuller

Stead Denson & Fuller

Art Glasgow

Peck-Glasgow Agency, Inc.

Josh Goe

Peck-Glasgow Agency, Inc.

Jeff Grice

Lacy Grice Insurance Agency

Mark Harbarger

Fountain, Parker, Harbarger &

Associates, LLC

Jeff Hogg

Fitts Agency, Inc.

Steve Hoggle

Woodall & Hoggle Insurance


Joni Holt

Holt Insurance Agency

Charles Horton

Fitts Agency, Inc.

Mark Hughes

O.M. Hughes Insurance, Inc.

Jay Ison

Thames Batre, Ltd.

Mark Landers

J. Smith Lanier & Co.

Gaylord Lyon

Lyon Fry Cadden Insurance

Agency, Inc.

William Malone

Holman Insurance Agency, Inc.

Ken McFeeters

PAC Insurance Agency, Inc.

Boyd McGehee

Talladega Insurance Agency

Vicki Mullino

Cousins Insurance Agency, Inc.

Jim Murphree

Jim Murphree Insurance Agency, Inc.

Kevin Myrick

The Insurance Center of Tuscaloosa

Sam Newton

Sam Newton Insurance Agency

Keith Nobles

Cousins Insurance Agency, Inc.

Richard Pardue

Anchor Pardue Insurance, Inc.

Virginia Parks

Fitts Agency, Inc.

Jere Peak

Peak Insurance, Inc.

David Peel

Colonial Insurance Agency, a

subsidiary of AssuredPartners Inc.

Geoff Plott

USI Insurance Services

Eddie Pruett

Blackbelt Insurors, Inc.

Margaret Ann Pyburn

Cobbs Allen

Joanne Reed

The Sheffield Fund

Chris Reynolds

Dormon & Reynolds Insurance, Inc.

Jay Reynolds

Marengo Insurance Agency

Perry Reynolds

Dormon & Reynolds Insurance, Inc.

Bill Sager

Alabama Independent Insurance


Denny Sanford

SanBuck, Inc.

Ray Smith

R R Smith Insurance Agency LLC

Steve Sprayberry

Wright-Sprayberry Insurance LLC

Bolling Starke

Starke Agency, Inc.

George Thompson

Thompson Insurance, Inc.

Michael Vance

Hundley Batts & Associate


Wayne Walker

Walker Insurance Agency, Inc.

Hugh Wheelless

Flowers Insurance Agency, LLC

John Witherington

The Witherington Insurance


Haig Wright

Byars | Wright, Inc.


2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 9

10 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

Thanks to our 2017 Big I PAC Contributors

AIIA would like to thank all of our members who contributed to the Big I PAC in 2017. Your generous

contributions to our state political action committee assist our legislative efforts in trying to keep

Alabama’s government and judicial bodies filled with fair-minded, pro-business candidates. AS you

know, AIIA supports different election campaigns each year that help us with favorable legislation.

Thanks to the efforts of your contributions, your support of the Big I PAC Golf Tournament and your

votes at the polls, we are a living testament to how well grassroots efforts can bring about change.

Adamson Insurance Agency

Adcock & Frazier Insurance, Inc.

Alabama Insurance Exchange, Inc.

Allison Agency, Inc.

The Amford Agency, LLC

Anchor Pardue Insurance, Inc.

Associated Insurors

Bates, Roberts, Fowlkes & Jackson Insurance, Inc.

The Baxter Agency

Best Insurance Agency, LLC

BRI LLC dba Best Rate Insurance

Blackbelt Insurors, Inc.

Blackmon Insurance Agency

Briggs Insurance Agency

Bristol Haughton Insurance

Byars | Wright, Inc.

Center Insurance Agency

CIS Financial Services Dba CIS Insurance Agency

Community Insurance Partners, Inc.

The Cone Company

Conour Insurance, Inc.

Cousins Insurance Agency, Inc.

Dark Insurance Agency

Davis & Davis Insurance Agency, Inc.

Deas Insurance Agency, Inc.

Dormon & Reynolds Insurance, Inc.

Elliot & Associates Insurance

Enterprise Insurance Services LLC

First Alabama Insurance

First Insurance

Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates, LLC

Fowlkes & McPherson

Freedom Insurance Agency

Galactic Insurance Services

Goggans Insurance Agency

Grimwood Insurance Agency, Inc.

Guide Insurance Agency

Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc.

Headland Insurance Agency

Hicks & Associates, Inc.

Holloway & Hunt Insurance, LLC

Holman Insurance Agency, Inc.

Holt Insurance Agency

Horton Insurance Agency, LLC

Howell Insurance Agency

Hull & Associates, Inc.

IL Group

Insurance Center of the Southeast, Inc.

Insurance Express, LLC

The Insurance Network, Inc.

Jim Murphree Insurance Agency, Inc.

John A. Robertson Insurance Agency, Inc.

J.R. Prewitt & Associates, Inc.

Judy Carter & Associates, LLC

Lacy Grice Insurance Agency

Legacy Insurance, Inc.

Lori Zucco Insurance, LLC

Lemon Mohler Insurance Agency

Liveoak Agency, Inc.

Marengo Insurance Agency

Martin & Hubbs, Inc.

MB Financial Services, Inc.

McCarron Insurance Group

Milstead Insurance Agency, Inc.

M.J. Carter & Company, Inc.

The Myrick Agency

Newsome Insurance Agency, LLC

O.M. Hughes Insurance Agency

Old National Insurance, Inc.

PAC Insurance Agency, Inc.

Paul Carter Agency

PCA Insurance

Peck-Glasgow Agency, Inc.

Pelican Insurance Agency

Pritchett-Moore, Inc.

R R Smith Insurance Agency

RIA Bonds, Inc.

The Rinehart Agency

Roger Henry Insurance, LLC

Rux Carter Insurance Agency

Salter Insurance Agency

Sam Newton Insurance Agency

Sanbuck, Inc.

Schutz Insurance Agency

The Service Agency

Shaw Insurance Agency

Shubert & Associates Insurance & Bonds

Sinclair Lawrence & Associates Insurance

Slingluff United Insurance

Southern Alabama Insurance Agency

South Shore Insurance Agency

Starke Agency, Inc.

Starr Insurance Group LLC

Stastka Insurance Agency

Stead Denson & Fuller Insurance, Inc.

Stephen A. Davis Insurance, Inc.

Stovall Marks Insurance, Inc.

Susan Gentry Insurance LLC

Thames Batre, Ltd.

THI Insurance, Inc.

Thomas, Harrison & Associates

Thompson Insurance, Inc.

The Turner Agency, Inc.

The Upton Group LLC

University Agency

Vintson Insurance Agency

Whitehaven Insurance Services

The Witherington Insurance Group

Woodall & Hoggle Insurance Agency

Your Insurance Center, Inc.

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 11

Alabama Young Agents Report - TODD ROBERTS

The Alabama Young Agents have a lot in store for 2018. The

31st Annual Legislative Conference was held Feb. 22 at

the Embassy Suites Hotel in Montgomery. The conference

opened with a “State of the State” speech by Gov. Kay

Ivey. Following Gov. Ivey, the five qualified gubernatorial

candidates spoke for a few minutes about their campaign

and the plans each of them has for the state should they be

elected governor. After the Legislative Conference, lunch

was held at the RSA building for all attendees to break

bread with their elected officials. It’s a great way to learn

and get involved in the Alabama politics that affects the

insurance industry.

The third Friday in April for the past eight years, the Alabama

Young Agents hosted the Excalibur Clay Shoot at Selwood

Farms benefiting the Capps-Calhoun Scholarship Fund.

More than 20 teams come together to enjoy a catered

barbecue rib and chicken lunch and 18 sporting clay

stations with the opportunity to shoot 100 clays, followed

by awards, door prizes, and all the pizza you can eat. More

than 20 scholarships have been given to deserving Troy

or Alabama students studying Risk Management since the

inception of this clay shoot. This year’s clay shoot will be

held April 20 at Selwood Farms in Alpine. Grab your friends

or co-workers and join us for a day of food, shotguns and a

whole lot of fun.

The Alabama Young Agents Summer Conference will be

held July 26-28 at the Hilton Pensacola Gulf Front. We

have a packed agenda this year

where Young Agents will learn all

the benefits has

to offer presented by Ryan Hanley

and Sydney Roe. Ryan and Sydney

are both full-time employees of They

will show us what is available to all members through their

website, from lead generation, referrals, education, to

growing your insurance business in the digital marketplace.

On Saturday, Jason Cass of the GROW Program along

with Nicholas Ayers will do a presentation on technology

productivity – how to get the most out of your day by

utilizing the power of apps available on cell phones and

tablets. There is so much technology available in the palm

of our hand; it’s time to stop playing Candy Crush and turn

that phone into money. The Molly Ringwald Band will be

the entertainment on Friday night and of course the ever

so competitive Corn Hole Tournament will be held on the

beach Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The Alabama Young Agents is a group of like-minded

individuals focused on getting the most out of this great

industry we have chosen. We learn from each other,

encourage each other, and build friendships that last a

lifetime from the interaction at Young Agents events. If you

are a Young Agent or have a Young Agent in your office, I

encourage you to get involved in this association. It will pay

dividends your entire career.

12 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1


Excalibur Educ at io n F oundatio n


Proceeds to benefit the Capps-Calhoun Excalibur Education Scholarship




706 Selwood Road Alpine, AL 35014

COST: $ 600 Team

$ 150 Individual

$ 80 College Students

$ 30 Lunch only

(Includes lunch, shotgun shells, drinks & snacks)


$ 200 Station Sponsor

$1,000 Lunch Sponsor

$2,500 Shell Sponsor

$1,000 Cart Sponsor

$ 500 Snack/Drink Cart

$ 500 Shotgun

Door Prizes ($50 minimum)


10:30 A.M. Registration & Sign In

11:30 A.M. Lunch

12:15 P.M. Selwood Safety Review

12:30 P.M. Shotgun start

3:30 P.M. Awards Reception & Prizes


We need 12 gauge shells. ____________

We need 20 gauge shells. ____________


Please register the following for the Excalibur Education Foundation 8th Annual Sporting Clays Event on Friday, April 20 th

(If registering less than four people Excalibur will assign teams.)

Sign Up For:


Team $ 600

Company Name:________________________________________

Individual $ 150



Phone:______________________ Fax:_____________________

Team contact:__________________________________________


Snack/Drink Cart Sponsor $ 500 - Sponsored

Shotgun sponsor $ 500

Door Prize($50 min $___________

_____Yes, we will need a cart for transportation.

College Students

Station Sponsor

Shell sponsor


$ 200

$2,500 - Sponsored


Lunch only

Lunch sponsor

Cart sponsor





_____ No, we will not need a cart for transportation.



Questions? Call Nancy Crowe (205) 326-4129 Ext. 103

Email: FAX: (205) 326-3086


RSVP no later than April 6 th .

Payment must accompany all reservations.

Return with check made payable to:

Excalibur Education Foundation

141 London Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35211

CC No.____________________________________

Exp.________ CVC ________ Zip_________

Name on card:______________________________

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 13



By Annette Hollingsworth, J.D., CPCU, CLU, ARC, Vice President, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

As technology allows the ability to service large groups of clients more efficiently, many

agencies are increasingly expanding their reach beyond the confines of one metropolitan

area. In order to better service their customer base, agencies may open additional locations

or may acquire existing entities to expand their business. The management of multiple

locations creates new challenges and those challenges if not handled correctly may lead

to increased opportunities for error.

Controlled growth whether

organic or through acquisition can

increase efficiencies and reduce

cost. However, it is important to

manage that growth. Be sure that

the “right hand knows what the left

hand is doing.” Consistent culture,

compliance and communication

throughout the agency at all locations,

is essential to prevent confusion and

potential claims which may otherwise

arise from acquisitions and dispersed


Make sure all staff understands

your agency culture. Owners,

producers, agents, CSR’s and all

staff must understand the focus of the

business. If the agency’s stated focus

is on personal lines, then the agency

should not deviate into complex

specialized lines. If the agency focus

is on certain niches of business, the

agency should train their agents and

supporting staff on how to service

those markets. Often claims begin

when the agency attempts to sell

insurance products with which it is

unfamiliar. Understand your focus. If

you are acquiring agencies, acquire

those that fit your vision. Then share

your vision with all staff at every

agency location on a regular basis.

Help your team see what the agency

is trying to accomplish and how each

person can contribute by staying

focused on the goals of the entire


When the workload is heavy and

clients demand your attention at your

primary agency location, it can be

difficult to give your attention to the

other office locations. But in order

to keep those other locations in line

with your vision, you must provide

them with the attention they need.

You should try to visit your other

agency locations frequently, at least

once a month. Visit each site for a

long enough time that the site does

not put on a front for you but actually

reveals to you its true method of

operation. By allowing each office to

become comfortable with your visits,

you can build trust and familiarity.

The agents and staff at each location

must feel close enough to the primary

agency to be able to ask questions,

share problems and seek feedback.

Establish uniform office

procedures and a standard system

of compliance. Each province has

regulations to protect their own

citizens. If you locate a branch office

or even a teleworker, in another state,

you must research licensing and

other business regulations impacting

your insurance operation. Failure to

comply with regulatory requirements

could lead to regulatory investigation,

disciplinary action, or even the

possible revocation of your license. If

adjustments are needed to be made

as a result of the regulations, do not

begin operating your business until

you comply with the law.

For example, an agency had a

CSR move to another state and

began working remotely as a

clerical assistant to their personal

lines manager. This employee’s job

description did not entail discussing

or recommending coverage with

clients, and the agency believed

that her job description was in line

with the requirements of the state

department of insurance. However

the department viewed it differently

and fined the agency $7,000 for

the employee not having the proper

license and viewed the tasks

performed by this employee as

“effectuating the sale of coverage.”

As soon as the agency was notified

14 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

of the infraction, they made changes

to her job description and directed

her to acquire the proper license.

They then established a Director

of Compliance and Compliance

Committee to monitor the activities

on an ongoing basis.

Standard operating procedures

will enhance the efficiency and

management of multiple agency

locations. Staff can transfer among

agencies, without extensive

readjustment. The essential

procedures should not vary.

Each agency should have similar

procedures regarding dateidentification

of communication with

clients and carriers. Additionally,

documentation of coverage offered

and rejected, and maintenance

of expiration lists should be


This excerpt from a letter we

received from the attorney retained

to defend an insured, reveals the

difficulties in offering a defense

when procedures are not followed.

The litigation arose from damage

sustained by a commercial

enterprise where the carrier argued

that the agency had not provided

the necessary information for the

carrier to quote coverage, despite

several requests. Counsel stated

the agency “has no documentation

that it sent the proper information

and the agent who worked on the

account left the agency several

years ago on unfavorable terms. The

agent’s CSR says the agent was not

detail oriented, was not good about

providing information, and often

made mistakes.” Defense counsel

opined that it was highly likely the

judge will rule that the agency failed

to provide the necessary information.

The agency itself had a strong

culture of compliance but suffered

from one agent who had not followed

the standard office procedures

established and who, thus, created

a significant problem for the agency.

In addition to implementing uniform

procedures around the process of file

documentation, the agency should

also implement uniform procedures

for diary and suspense systems.

There should be a centralized

agency management system and

computers in each location should

be compatible with one another. In

fact, it is likely that computer systems

will become a backbone for your

organization as offices are spread

out geographically. Additionally, it is

essential that you ensure adequate

security of personal information

acquired from your insureds, and that

you provide proper privacy training to

all employees. The use of encryption

and other measures to protect

personal data when transmitted is

important. If employees use smart

phones, verify the phones are

password protected.

As part of the establishment of

standardized procedures, make

sure the staff in each location knows

the method to report an errors and

omissions situation. Establish and

discuss the procedure with all agents

and employees. Do so regularly to

prevent hesitation in reporting at the

time of occurrence. Don’t let problems

linger. Delays could create coverage

issues with your professional liability


Communication is a key to

successfully running multiple


Free and open communication with

all staff is very important when you

have multiple locations. Neither

the culture nor the compliance can

happen if you neglect to focus on

communication. Have weekly staff

meetings by phone or webinar. Have

your office personnel get together at

least once or twice a year to enhance

communication between people on

all levels.

Communicate your vision to all

managers in all locations and they

in turn must commit to clearly

communicating your vision to

others in the off-site agencies.

Regular audits and evaluations

of the manager and the office are

critical to making sure your vision is

being carried out according to your


While striving for positive energy

in your organization, do not avoid

discussing problem situations.

Consider learning opportunities

which may present themselves from

potential claims situations. Educate

your employees about the situations

which have created problems in one

office so other office sites can avoid

the same mistake.

Growth is positive when controlled

but be sure that the “right hand

knows what the left hand is doing.”

Consistent culture, compliance

and communication throughout

the agency at all locations, can be

essential to preventing confusion

and potential claims which may

otherwise arise from acquisitions

and dispersed locations.

Annette Hollingsworth has spent

over 30 years in the insurance

industry. While with ERC /GE

Insurance Solutions/ Swiss Re,

Annette Hollingsworth has served

in a variety of capacities ranging

from claims to underwriting, legal

to regulatory services and global

compliance. Annette now serves in

the Products unit where she supports

the Insurance Agents Professional

Liability underwriters in both the

U.S. and Canada. She attended

Washburn University undergraduate

and KU Law School. She has her JD.,

CPCU, CLU, and ARC designations.

This article is intended to be used for

general informational purposes only

and is not to be relied upon or used

for any particular purpose. Swiss

Re shall not be held responsible

in any way for, and specifically

disclaims any liability arising out of

or in any way connected to, reliance

on or use of any of the information

contained or referenced in this

article. The information contained

or referenced in this article is not

intended to constitute and should

not be considered legal, accounting

or professional advice, nor shall it

serve as a substitute for the recipient

obtaining such advice. The views

expressed in this article do not

necessarily represent the view of the

Swiss Re Group (“Swiss Re”) and/or

its subsidiaries and/or management

and/or shareholders.

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 15






By Jerry Rhinehart, CIC, CLU, CHFC,

RHU – Panama City, Florida

As most of us are aware, a prolonged nursing home stay can easily deplete a person’s

savings, liquidate their assets, and possibly erode their retirement money. And modern

medicine – which is keeping us alive longer – is only making this possibility a bit more

likely for most. If Long Term Care (LTC) is needed, most people would like to remain in their

home, rather than residing in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). And they probably think the cost will

be substantially less at their home than the expense at a SNF. That is possible if the individual has

a friend or relative who can provide the hands-on care. But what if no such person is available?

Consider this: A certified in-home caregiver runs a minimum of $20 per hour in most parts of the

country. Do the math … three eight-hour shifts will be approaching $500 per day! That may be twice

the cost of a SNF in the same general area.

According to the 2016 study by Genworth Insurance the

national average cost for care is staggering:

The Average Monthly / Annual Cost (Nationally):

Assisted Living Facility — $3,628 / $43,536

Skilled Nursing Facility (Semi-Private) —

$6,844 / $82,128

Skilled Nursing Facility (Private) — $7,698 / $92,376


With this site, it is very easy to search for your state’s

averages as well as most major cities in your state.

So what are the LTC funding options should the need

arise? There are really only three options: 1) Be Rich, 2)

Be Poor, or 3) Be Insured.

The 1st option (Be Rich) eliminates the vast majority of


The 2nd option (Be Poor … meaning Medicaid). What

usually happens is the person needing care uses their

money and assets FIRST and they become destitute, and

then meet Medicaid eligibility rules. Every state has specific

rules regarding Medicaid qualification: 1) the applicant

must spend down their assets to a mandated amount –

generally $2,000, and 2) their income can’t exceed a

certain level ($2,199 per month in Florida in 2016, as an


The 3rd option (Be Insured) usually meets with resistance

due to, 1) the perceived high cost of the premium of Long

Term Care Insurance (LTCI), and, 2) many people simply

do not think this issue will affect them. No question about

it … a traditional LTCI contract is pricey! And, there is

rarely any benefit payable should the person die before

using the coverage. What is the trigger for a covered claim

with a LTCI? Typically, it means they can’t perform any two

of six Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are defined

as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, and

continence. The second claims trigger is the insured must

have a medical diagnosis of severe cognitive impairment.

A person with dementia impairment (maybe Alzheimer’s

disease) might be able to perform all six ADLs, but obviously

should not be left without someone to look after them. So,

how is a claim approved? The insured individual meets

either of the two defined claims triggers – any two of six

16 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

ADLS OR severe cognitive impairment. Once an individual

claim’s qualification is met, benefits are payable until they

recover from the medical issue, or the “insurance bucket of

money” is empty. What is meant by the term “… until they

recover”? Well, most think of this coverage for older people

with severe (and irreversible) medical situations. But what

about a person of any age that has a serious medical event

(heart, cancer, accident, etc.) and is in need of care for

several months and then recovers? The benefit would be

payable for that period of time if the claims trigger and the

elimination period are met.

We have discussed the dilemma, various options and

the traditional LTCI approaches. What about recent

innovation and trends for this issue? A few years ago,

we started seeing some life insurance carriers include a

novel approach regarding the LTC benefit. Many refer to

it as a Living Benefit (LB). Some call it an Accelerated

Benefit. Now, keep in mind not all carriers include this

coverage. For those that do, some make it a rider (with

a published additional cost) while most make it a policy

provision or contract feature, thus no published additional

cost. Additionally, the LB contract language and payout

provisions vary greatly with the companies that participate

in this benefit. It is even available in varying degrees with

some annuity contracts.

How does the LB provision generally work? First, the life

insurance contract obviously has the death benefit. But,

as part of the death benefit, the contract will generally

provide three “buckets” of money that can be accessed

by the owner if the insured has a qualifying event or

meets a claims trigger provision. Note that just because a

company’s life policy is approved in a particular state, this

rider may not. Always check with your company.

• The first coverage “bucket” is generally referred to as

“Critical Illness.” Here the claimant can file for up to some

maximum amount against the contract—meaning, the

life insurance death benefit amount – should they have a

defined medical procedure. A physician’s certification will

be required. One company’s language defines it as: “open

heart surgery, angioplasty or myocardial infarction,

life threatening cancer, stroke, major transplant or

end-stage renal failure.” The limit may be a flat maximum

amount (such as $25,000) or some maximum percent of

the death benefit (such as 25 percent), but not to exceed

some specified dollar amount (one company’s maximum

is $125,000). An example: John (who is self-employed)

has a $500,000 life insurance policy that contains the

LB provision. He becomes ill and ultimately receives a

kidney transplant. He is responsible for a sizable medical

insurance deductible and can’t work for four months so

he sustains a significant loss of income. He decides to

take an advance against his policy of $100,000. He still

has $400,000 of death benefit coverage, since this is

considered a lien against the contract. Most companies

will charge an administrative fee when such a claim is

made. A one-time fee of $150 is common.

• The second “bucket” is generally defined as “Chronic

Illness.” Here the claimant will be required to provide

a physician’s certification that shows the individual is

unable to perform any two of six ADLs (eating, dressing,

bathing, toileting, transferring, and continence), OR, has

been diagnosed as having severe cognitive impairment.

You will note this is the exact language we discussed

with a traditional LTCI contract. Carriers may require the

coverage trigger to be for a minimum and continuous

timeframe – perhaps 90 days. As with Critical Illness,

there will be some maximum limit. With many life

insurance companies, it will generally be up to 50 percent

of the death benefit, with some overall maximum total.

One company’s maximum benefit payout is $1 million.

One company’s language states: “The sum of all

accelerated benefits may not exceed either 50% of

the specified amount (the death benefit) at the time

of the first acceleration, or $1,000,000.” Additionally,

the company may limit how benefits are paid under this

provision. Some may pay annual installments, but not

to exceed the maximum LTC benefit as defined under

HIPAA. Some may pay a maximum monthly benefit (such

as 2 percent installments over 50 months). An example:

Sharon is 45 years old and has a $400,000 life policy

that contains the LB provision. She has developed a

degenerative muscle disorder and is no longer able to

care for herself. She and her husband take an advance

of $200,000 from her policy to modify their home and help

pay for a home health aide. She will still have $200,000

death benefit protection.

• The final “bucket” is defined as “Terminal Illness.” Most

contracts’ LB language states the owner can access

this benefit if the insured individual’s life expectancy is

12 months or less. Generally, the maximum benefit will

be 50 percent to 75 percent of the death benefit, not to

exceed some specified amount, perhaps $1 million. An

example: Patrick has a $300,000 life policy that contains

the LB provision. He has an inoperable tumor and his

physician has given him five months to live. He requests

a $50,000 advance against his contract so he, his wife,

and adult kids can take a cruise they have discussed

for years. Upon Patrick’s death, his wife receives the

remaining $250,000 death benefit.

Note that a number of life insurance carriers have the LB

provision as part of their Whole Life, Universal Life and

even Variable Life contracts. A few carriers even have this

part of selected Term Life contracts. An important point:

when the LB benefit is received, it is considered a lien

against the life insurance policy. The company will have

some fee associated with each transaction ($150 as an

example), plus, they will charge interest against the lien

as specified in the contract. The company will always state

the maximum interest, such as 8 percent. With a lien, the

interest is charged against the ultimate remaining death

benefit payout. By doing this, the amount received from

the LB, should be free of taxation. Always recommend your

clients check with their tax specialist for their advice and


Continued on page 18 >>

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 17


Changes For

Closing More


By John Graham

For most of us, what we learn

first sticks with us for a long time,

often throughout our lives. Nursery

rhymes, along with what we consider

right and wrong. The acorn doesn’t

fall far from the tree.

It happens to salespeople, too.

Because our early training is indelible, it stays with us

to guide us. But new demands and expectations call for

strategic changes to keep up, stay relevant and close more

sales. Here are five of them:


Salespeople are known for being sure (sometimes overly

sure) of themselves. Although it takes self-confidence to

keep going, it also has a risky downside. It can lead to

believing we know more than we do. And nothing kills

sales faster than arrogance.

A website designer’s creativity gave him an initial edge with

a prospective client. In spite of his obvious talent, he lost

the job. His presentation was his downfall. It was obvious

he had not taken the time to understand the organization

or its services. He was so focused on what he was selling,

he didn’t have a clue as to what his prospect wanted to

buy. In other words, he didn’t know what he didn’t know.

Unless salespeople consciously challenge their thinking,

they hand sales to the competition. We all benefit by asking

ourselves these questions: What am I missing? What don’t

I know? Are my assumptions correct?


Do you think you’re at a place where you can “wing it” or all

you need to do to get ready for a presentation is to make a

few notes, a quick outline, or go over it in your mind? If so,

you’re deluding yourself and short changing your employer

and your customers. You may be good, but you’re not that


Like it or not, here’s the truth: If we don’t write it, we only

think we know it. This is what happened to the arguably

brilliant “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance when he went for

job interviews at a prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm

while at Yale Law School.

“The last interviewer asked me a question I was

unprepared to answer: Why did I want to work at a law

firm? It was a softball, but I’d gotten so used to talking

about my budding interest in antitrust litigation … that I was

laughably unprepared. I should have said something about

learning from the best or working on high-stakes litigation. I

should have said anything other than what came out of my

mouth: ‘I don’t really know, but the pay isn’t bad! Ha ha.’

The interviewer looked at me like I had three eyes, and the

conversation never recovered.”

It happens when to us all when we’re under pressure.

We lose control and “default” to whatever comes to mind.

Before we know it, we’re talking jibberish. And, like J. D.

Vance, we can believe why we did it. It happens when we

don’t prepare; when we don’t write it down.


While presentations may have several objectives, they

all have one overriding goal: engaging the participants.

Unless that happens, a presentation may be interesting

and informative, but it’s not a home run. Something is


For a presentation to be a winner, it must be interactive –

participatory. To invite the participants to interrupt you by

raising their hand to ask a question and then to pick up the

thread and continue takes confidence. But it also sends

the message that the participants shape the presentation.

This may sound dangerous but it’s well worth the risk.


There are still salespeople who say, “If I can just get in

Continued on page 20 >>

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 19


Ted’s Tablet

Q: A:

QUESTION: Our insured is a trucker that hauls

agricultural product within a 200-mile radius. He owns his

own trucks and some trailers for hauling. Occasionally,

he will use someone else’s trailer that is more specifically

designed to carry certain products. The borrowed trailer

is attached to one of his covered vehicles. These trailers

are over 2,000 pounds. He has Symbol 4 under Liability,

Comprehensive and Collision coverages. Symbol 4 is

supposed to extend coverage to trailers used with a listed

vehicle. If Symbol 4 is shown under Comprehensive and

Collision, will the auto policy extend physical damage

coverage to the non-owned trailer attached to a covered

truck? I think it does, but I can’t find where it is clearly

stating this.

ANSWER: Symbol 4 only provides coverage for autos

owned by the insured. If he has a non-owned trailer, he

would need Symbol 8 on physical damage. Under Liability

there would be no coverage for damage to the trailer due

to the “care, custody & control” exclusion. It is true that

the definition of Symbol 4 includes liability coverage for

non-owned, attached trailers, but that is liability coverage

for the insured for BI or PD to others, not damage to the

trailer itself.

For Dwelling Fire/Mobile Home Insurance, put your trust in

a company that has been insuring homes for over 50 years.

National Security has provided competitive, affordable insurance to policyholders for over 50 years,

but we also provide a lot for our agents, with competitive commissions, excellent customer service and

experienced company adjusters. As an admitted Southeastern based regional company, National Security

prides itself on fast, efficient service from a friendly small town company, and online access for all agents,

providing fast quotes, online policy issuance, online dec page printing, and real-time policy information.

National Security Can

Provide You With:

• $125,000 Maximum Policy Limits

• AAIS Basic Form 1 Policy

• Direct Contract with National Security

• 15% New & Renewal Commission

• Partnership Profit Sharing

• Fast Online Policy Issuance

• Tenant Schedule Option

• Easy Payment Options

We are now accepting new appointments.

Find out more by calling Sharon at 1-800-239-2358 x213 or visit

Elba, Alabama

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 21

22 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1





2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 23


11-13 CIC Commercial Property – Birmingham

17 CISR Misc. Personal Line

Exposures– Montgomery

19 CISR Misc. Personal Line

Exposures– Tuscaloosa

24 CISR Misc. Personal Line

Exposures– Mobile

25 CISR Misc. Personal Line

Exposures– Huntsville

26 CISR Misc. Personal Line

Exposures– Birmingham


1 CPIA 1 - Birmingham

2 CPIA 2 - Birmingham

3 CPIA 3 - Birmingham

9-11 CIC Agency Management – Birmingham

15 CISR Commercial Casualty

Exposures 1 – Montgomery

16 CISR Commercial Casualty

Exposures 1 – Mobile

17 CISR Commercial Casualty

Exposures 1 – Tuscaloosa




5 CISR Commercial Casualty

Exposures 1 – Huntsville

7 CISR Commercial Casualty

Exposures 1 – Birmingham

12 CISR William T. Hold – Mobile

14 CISR William T. Hold – Montgomery

21 CPIA 2 - Mobile

19 E&O Road Map to Policy Analysis – Birmingham

Visit for all class listings and to see all

available AIIA, PTA & ABEN webinars!

AIIA, PTA & ABENWebinars

April 2018 – PTA Webinars hosted by AIIA

April 4 Cyber Liability

April 9 Business Auto Coverages

April 10 Farm Property Coverages

April 10 Lying, Stealing, Writing Bad Checks: The

Importance of Crime

April 11 E&O: Roadmap to Policy Analysis -

Part One & Two

April 12 Contractual Liability ... Separating Fact

from Fiction

April 17 Farm Vehicle and Equipment Coverages

April 18 Life and Health Solutions for Business


April 19 Top 10 Countdown of Personal Lines

Coverages & Current Issues

April 19 Ethics - Walking a Straight Line

April 23 Insurance Valuation Strategies

April 26 It’s Not My Fault, or Is It? - Liability Issues

in Personal Lines Policies

ALL NEW AIIA hosted Webinars – taught by instructors you


Ted Kinney, Frank Millsaps, Earlie Simmons and Lisa

Worley have teamed up to host more CE opportunities for

our members through webinars. Check out the dates and

topics online at – education tab AIIA Webinars.

ABEN Online Classes - ABEN is a collection of 25 Big I

affiliated state associations that have formed the Agents &

Brokers Education Network (ABEN) to offer professional

insurance training using live webcast technology. Classes

available include: E&O Roadmap, Flood, Commercial Lines

Specialty Policies, Personal Lines Advance and Life.

Visit for all class listings and to see all

available AIIA, PTA & ABEN webinars!

24 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1



Prepared for anything.

CISR is the designation program designed to prepare you for

the insurance industry. Now with 9 courses, CISR has never

been more flexible. You can customize your learning to fit

your current and future needs. The CISR Program makes you

knowledgeable about the policies and service requirements of

your clients. It still takes only 5 courses to complete your CISR

designation and you will be prepared for almost anything.

Prepared for everything.

By completing all 9 CISR courses, you will achieve CISR Elite

status and you will be prepared for almost everything. or call 800-633-2165











SIUPREM is proud to be the Endorsed Premium

Finance Partner of the Alabama Big I.

To learn more, visit or

call 800.925.2546

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 25

26 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

How long has it been

since you looked at

the RLI Personal

Umbrella Policy?

Take a second look …

RLI’s Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) provides the

coverage your customers need:

• Expanded underwriting opportunities including DUI/DWI

• Properties in multiple states and outside the U.S. eligible

• Excess UM/UIM coverage available nationwide

• Policies written above 100/300 auto

• Drivers of all ages accepted — including new drivers

• No A.M. Best Rating requirement for underlying carriers

• Easy online quoting

• Electronic signatures and online credit card payments accepted

Be sure to check out the RLI PUP Access online system. It makes

it easy for you to manage multiple accounts and allows insureds

to quickly and conveniently complete new business submissions,

submit electronic signatures and pay bills.


Tangerie Underwood

205.326.4129 EXT 105

For more information and access to our Quick Quoter,






You’re an independent agent.

Who’s got

your back?

The Big “I” Professional Liability Program


Our risk management

resources keep your agency

from making common

preventable mistakes.


Our superior coverage through

Swiss Re and our expert claims

teams are in your corner in the

event of a claim.

The Big “I” and Swiss Re are jointly committed to providing IIABA members with leading

edge agency E&O products and services. The IIABA and its federation of 51 state

associations endorse Swiss Re’s comprehensive professional liability program.

Contact: Carol Hunt,, 205-326-4129 Ext. 109


When you know you have the

best agency E&O protection,

you can focus on growing your

most important asset–your


Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas.

28 Westport Alabama is a member Independent of the Swiss | 2018 Re group Issue of 1 companies and is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ©2014 Big I Advantage and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 29

30 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1


Alabama Independent Insurance Agents


June 24 - 26, 2018

Hotel Reservations MADE DIRECTLY with The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort Group Reservations

$238* per night for Deluxe Resort view – group CODE: AIIAIIA

$288* per night for Deluxe Bayside Room – group CODE: AIIAIIB

* Plus applicable taxes & 15% resort fee

Reservation: Phone: 800-544-9933 --- Book Hotel online:


Agency/Company Name:_______________________________________________Phone:__________________________


Street/PO Box



Spouse/Guest Name:__________________________________________________________

Name/s & Age/s of Children:___________________________________________________

Full registrations include ALL events and scheduled activities.


____Agency Member

____Additional Licensed Agency Member

____1 st Timer, Young Agent, Retired Agency Member

____Spouse/Guest of Agency Mbr(Cannot be licensed agent/company representative)

____Non-Member Agent

____Children 15 – 17


____ Associate Member/Exhibitor/Sponsor

____Additional Exhibitor Representative – TRADE SHOW ONLY

____Non-Member Company Representative (Not Exhibiting or Sponsoring)

____Spouse/Guest of Associate Member

(Cannot be a licensed agent/company representative)

____Children 15-17

Per Person

$275 $______

$150 $______

$225 $______

$100 $______

$299 $______

$ 75 $______

P e r P e r s on

$275 $______

$150 $______

$475 $______

$100 $______

$ 75 $______

First Time: __Y __N

Exhibitor: __Y __N

Sponsor: __Y __N




For Children 5 – 14 years of age

There is no registration fee.

Parents registered for the convention are asked to utilize the Grand Kid’s Fun Camp. (Ages 5-12)

Please provide receipt or copy of hotel bill showing charge(s) to Irene or Nancy.

AIIA will reimburse up to a total of $100.



VISA/MasterCard/Amex Card# ________________________________________ Exp Date: __________

Name on Card: _______________________________________________CVC_________ZIP__________

Authorized Signature:___________________________________________________________________

Checks Payable & Registrations mailed to: AIIA/141 London Pkwy/Birmingham/AL/35211

REFUND POLICY: Request in writing. Cancellation processing fee: $50. NO REFUNDS after June 15, 2018.

Questions? Contact Nancy Crowe ( Phone: (205) 326-4129, Ext. 103 Fax: (205) 326-3086


AIIA Convention located at The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, One Grand Boulevard, Point Clear, Alabama

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 31





Agents and Company Representatives gathered in

Montgomery for our 31st Annual Legislative Conference

on February 22nd, hosted by the Young Agents Committee

and AIIA Legislative Committee.

We were honored to have Governor Kay Ivey as our

welcome speaker and she addressed the attendees

with a full report as to all things Alabama. She covered

Employment, Education, Budgets, Medicare and our

prison system. She also gave us a legislative update as to

which bills were passed recently.

AIIA Legislative Chairman, Jim Murphree presented

House Representative Danny Garrett with the prestigious

“Lawmaker of the Year” award.

Our gubernatorial candidate panel included: Tommy Battle,

Sue Bell Cobb, Chris Countryman, Scott Dawson and

Walt Maddox. Each candidate had 10 minutes to address

the crowd on their views and plans for our great state if

you should vote for them for governor. Education was a

big topic as was road transportation, infrastructure and a

potential lottery for Alabama.

AIIA EVP Bill Sager introduced other candidates to the

group that are running in other respected races and made

the group aware of their presence at the event.

1. Christy Edwards – Court of Civil Appeals

2. Joy Johns – House Seat, District 81

3. Alice Martin – Attorney General

At the end of the conference, agents were encouraged

to stop by the State House to make contact with their

senators, representatives and watch the legislative

session from the gallery. Representative Danny Garret

addressed his colleagues in the hours and acknowledged

the independent insurance agents were in town for their

annual legislative conference. Agents then attended the

annual luncheon with house and senate members along

with other elected officials.

We would like to thank all of our First STEP sponsors that

are highlighted in this issue as we would not be able to

host such a great event without their support.

Congratulations to Young Agent Legislative Chairman

Matt Sims and AIIA Legislative Chairman Jim Murphree on

another successful conference.

32 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 33



Alabama Independent Insurance Agents of Alabama is a non-profit organization that has local chapters across the state.

Unlike company-employed agents, independent insurance agents are a trusted choice for insurance because they represent

more than one insurance company. Independent agents offer their clients a wider choice of auto, home, business, life and

health coverage as well as retirement and employee-benefit products. They are dedicated to serving their customers and the



Back in December, the members of Tuscaloosa Independent Insurance Agents hosted their Christmas for Kids Event and

provided 100 coats from Old Navy and 100 pairs of shoes from Wagner Shoe Store to city and county school children in need.


Montgomery Independents Insurance Agents gave $5,885 and five boxes of teddy bears

to Child Protect back in December. They would not have been able to do this without

the generosity of their members and sponsors: ATA Comp Fund, Travelers, ServPro and

The Sheffield Fund, just to name a few. Great job everyone!!

Child Protect was incorporated in November 1989 as the Children’s Advocacy Center

serving Montgomery County.

It's Simple. . . It’s Service, It’s Fast Turn Around, It’s Innovation, It’s Loyalty.



by Insurance Business America Magazine!


a JenCap Holdings Company



Child Protect was established in 1989

as a 501(c)3 non-profit agency to assist

the Department of Human Resources

and Law Enforcement in their

investigation of child sexual abuse and

physical abuse. For more information,


Save the Date for MIIA’s Annual Golf

Tournament at Wynlakes Golf and

Country Club on May 10th.

Genesee is Independently owned and operated

with National Capabilities giving Genesee the flexibility

to be the go to MGA/Wholesaler for the independent agent.

Property & Casualty

Professional Liability

Specialty Property





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Program Underwriters

Insurance Payment Company - IPC


3025 Windward Plaza, Suite 400, Alpharetta, Georgia 30005

Phone: 770-396-1600 Fax: 770-396-7699 Toll Free: 800-282-8755

34 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1



Alabama Gulf Coast Association

of Independent Insurance Agents

hosted an event/fundraiser

back in fall to raise money for

The Miracle League of Coastal

Alabama. On February 20th,

AGCAIIA members met at Felix’s

Fish Camp and after an amazing

evening with food, live music, games, cocktails and fellowship

with an outstanding view of Mobile Bay, they were able to

donate $3,500 to the Miracle League this year. AGCAIIA

would like to mention that they always get amazing support

from their sponsors: Platinum Sponsor – The Sheffield Fund,

Gold Sponsor – South Shore Insurance Underwriters, Bronze

Sponsors – Coastal Select and Progressive.

The Miracle League of Coastal

Alabama mission statement is to

enrich our special needs community

by giving them the opportunity to

play in a facility that is tailored to

their specific needs while, at the

same time, providing an environment

that benefits everyone regardless

of physical or mental limitations.

They are in the process of building

a park that accommodates wheelchairs, walkers, and other

assistive devices while helping to prevent injuries. A park

that provides an atmosphere where everyone intermingles

whether disables or not. For more information, visit www.


BIIA contributed $1,000 to United Ability

in appreciation for the work they do at


BIIA would like to thank their members,

sponsors and all the donors for a very

successful event!

The Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents hosted

their Annual Gala at LINCPoint on January 26th, 2018. The

evening provided the 160 attendees with dinner, DJ music,

40 silent auction items including trips to Antigua, casino style

games and prizes. Proceeds from the event are donated to a

charity at the discretion of the current chapter president.

BIIA President Mark Hughes of O.M. Hughes Insurance

Agency says he selected Hope Lodge as the beneficiary of the

Gala due to his interest in wanting to support a program of the

American Cancer Society. “Like many families, both my wife

and myself have family members that have been touched by

cancer some of which at a relatively young age. Knowing the

challenges of the treatment process, I feel like the free-lodging

that is provided by the Lodge to qualifying cancer patients is

an incredible service alleviating financial hardships that could

be caused by having to travel to our area for treatment. We

are blessed to have high quality medical facilities and doctors

in the Birmingham area that treat patients from other areas of

our state and the country. The Hope Lodge makes it possible

for many out-of-town patients to have comfortable lodging

at no cost so they can focus on their treatment. The Lodge

operates entirely on contributions from donors.”

For more information on the Hope Lodge, visit

In addition to Hope Lodge and United Ability, BIIA also gave donations to various charities during their Christmas Open

House in December. Each charity received a $1,000 donation and those went to Big Oak Ranch, Jessie’s Place (Jimmy

Hale Mission), Birmingham Young Life, The Grace Place and The Firehouse Shelter.

Montgomery IIA president for 2018 is James Barber of Palomar Insurance Corporation.

Tuscaloosa IIA president for 2018 is Charlie Bailey of Pritchett Moore.

Birmingham IIA president for 2018 is Mark Hughes of O.M. Hughes Insurance Agency.

Huntsville IIA president for 2018 is Michael Vance of Hundley Batts & Associates.

Alabama Gulf Coast AIIA president for 2018 is Van Walsh of Walsh Insurance Solutions.

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 35


your Agency’s





A Network of Strong,









Congratulations to Heather (Safeco) & Ryan Bode, along

with daughter Adalynn on welcoming Emmaline Leigh

Oct. 17, 2017.

Congratulations to Mike Young & Jessica Abner (J.R.

Prewitt & Associates) on welcoming their first child, a

daughter (Hannah) Oct. 25, 2017.

Congratulations to Emily & Caro Manning (Johnson

& Johnson) on welcoming their first child, a daughter

(Abigail Kate) Nov.14, 2017. Caro recently changed

positions at J&J and is now your South Alabama

Marketing Representative.


Our thoughts have been with Brian Smith of Best

Insurance Agency since the passing of his father, Jim,

Nov. 21, 2017. Jim worked at Farm Bureau Insurance

for nearly 17 years before forming his own independent

insurance agency, Agents & Brokers Insurance, Inc. and

operated it for over 20 years.

Our thoughts have been with Evelyn Burchfield with

McGriff, Seibels and Williams since the passing of her

cousin, Janice Stamps, Nov. 25, 2017.

With a little help from

The Iroquois Group ®

To learn more about how Iroquois

could further strengthen your

agency, contact Perry Grant at

(205) 910-5961 or



Our thoughts have been with John Freisen of Fountain,

Parker, Harbarger & Associates since the passing of his

wife, Robin, Nov. 26, 2017.

Our thoughts have been with Hope Gardner, president

of Birmingham Area Insurance Professionals, since the

passing of her husband, Stephen, Dec. 8, 2017.

Our thoughts have been with Jere & Owen Peak of Peak

Insurance since the passing of their mother/grandmother,

Marion Dillon Peak, Dec. 12, 2017. Since her passing,

their father/grandfather, Bruce LeBron Peak Jr., passed

away Feb. 9, 2018.

Our thoughts have been with Insurance Office of America

and the Hardy family since the passing of Patty Hardy

Dec. 13, 2017. Patty had been employed with IOA since

2012 and previously worked with Liberty Mutual and

McGriff, Seibels & Williams.

36 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

Our thoughts have been with Wescoat Free and

Knight-Free Insurance Agency since the passing of Elliot

Free Jan. 4, 2018. Elliot served as president and state

national director of AIIA and was currently serving as

president of Alabama Insurance Management Services


Our thoughts have been with Associated Insurors and

the White family since the passing of Larry White Jan. 8,

2018. Larry was an integral part of Associated Insurors

team and will be desperately missed.

Our thoughts have been with The Sheffield Fund and the

Harris family since the passing of Wade Harris Jan. 21,

2018. Wade was the loss control manager at Sheffield

for 20 years and will be greatly missed.

was a the owner of Bristol Haughton Insurance in

Haleyville and a longtime member of AIIA.

Our thoughts have been with Hundley Batt’s Sr. of

Hundley Batts & Associates Insurance in Huntsville

since the passing of his wife, Dr. Virginia Caples on Feb.

19, 2018.


Jo Lorino – Alabama Self-Insured Work Comp Fund

Karen Nixon – Knight Free Insurance Agency

Our thoughts have been with Steve Smith of Foremost

Insurance since the passing of his father, Early Ray

Smith, Jan. 31, 2018. Ray worked in the insurance

industry for more than 50 years enjoying the best of both

worlds on the agency and company side of the business.

Our thoughts have been with Bristol Haughton’s family

since the passing of his death on Feb. 20, 2018. Bristol

In today’s competitive industry, M. J. Kelly

Company gives you an edge. Our expertise is your

advantage. We focus on providing you with the

quality products you need, outstanding service,

and a rapid response that respects your time. No

matter what type of commercial risk you have, we

want to help YOU write business.

Selection, service, and speed matter. M. J. Kelly


M. J. Kelly Company-Alabama . 800.873.8374

2018 Issue 1 | Alabama Independent 37

Welcome New Members

AIIA would like to welcome the following new members who have recently

joined the association. Thank you for joining Alabama Big I!


A & C Insurance Group

Bryant Brown


Acrisure LLC dba Gambrell &


Kasey Johnston


Cornerstone Agency

Matthew Roux


Encore Risk Management


Bill Blake


Southern Shield Group

Craig Smith


Stephens Insurance LLC

Donna Sanford


Sun-Belt Insurance Agency,


Lance Weaver


Superior Agency LLC

Jeff Summerlin


The Burch Agency, Inc.

Bobby Burch



Southeastern Growth


Katrina Mason


US Premium Finance

Zan Hutson

Norcross, Georgia

If you have news,

we would love

to include it in

our next issue!

Please send

your press

releases, photos or

notices to Michelle McKee at

2018 - Issue 1

Protection your

commercial clients and

business owners need,

at a price they can afford.

Since our founding in 1972, Tower Hill Insurance has

been protecting properties in the Southeast. We offer

Commercial programs through our admitted carrier,

Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company.

Office & Retail • Commercial Residential • Mercantile

Homeowners Associations • Self-Storage • Hotel & Motel

Call 800.509.1592 or visit to learn more

about representing Tower Hill!

Tower Hill Prime Insurance

Company holds a Financial

Strength Rating® of A- (Excellent)

from A.M. Best Company.

38 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

Don’t choose countless providers.

Choose the one

you can count on.

In an industry where an empty promise can be commonplace, EMC has been a

reliable and trusted partner to our agents for more than 100 years. As true professionals,

we treat all our agents with respect while reacting to their needs and giving them

superior service and products that set them up for long-term success.

It’s a relationship you can always count on.

©Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2018. All rights reserved.

40 Alabama Independent | 2018 Issue 1

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