“Agents Helping Agents” by ps94506

VIEWS: 71 PAGES: 24

									The                 A publication of the United Farmers Agents Association




Voice
                                                           Autumn ’07




         2007
UFAA National Convention
         40th Anniversary




                                                                        ®
“Agents Helping Agents ”
  The United Farmers Agents Association is a professional association
        committed to helping our members through education,
      communication, support and information and to establishing
              a true partnership with Farmers Group, Inc.
                                   UNITED FARMERS AGENTS ASSOCIATION
                              9785 Mackenzie, Suite 104 • St. Louis, MO 63123
                                    314-631-7898 • 314-631-7963 fax
                                                                                                             Tom Schrader
                                                                                                       NATIONAL PRESIDENT



“PERCEPTION IS REALITY”
     I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support in electing me as your new
UFAA President. The Presidency is a position that represents tremendous obligations and responsibilities. I will do ev-
erything in my power to carry out my duties to the best of my ability. It is my expectation that with the help of the National
Board Members, Chapter Presidents, National Office Staff and general membership we will develop and implement a suc-
cessful agenda.
     It is an understatement to say that I feel humble following in the footsteps of our three most immediate presidents,
Keith Van De Walker, Jerry Watt and Ralph Buchanan. I had an opportunity to serve with each of these gentlemen as
National Treasurer and learned some very valuable lessons. I ask you to take the time to thank each of these gentlemen
for their past, current and future contributions to the UFAA organization.
     My purpose in writing you today is to let you know that we are going to concentrate on shaping UFAA into a positive
and agent benefit driven organization. It is my intent to ensure that you receive more communication on topics of current
and future concern to our organization and to provide you with information and benefits to help your agency that are not
readily available in any other forum.
     In my perception, our primary responsibilities as an association is to care for and help fellow agents succeed. It is
not our intent to be negative, to litigate against Farmers or to pick a fight. But make no mistake; we will do whatever is
necessary to protect our membership. I prefer to take the approach of analyzing each situation on its individual merit and
determining the best solution for that particular issue. Hopefully, UFAA and Farmers can establish a mutually beneficial
dialog to identify the best solution to some very trying situations.
     Two hot buttons for me are integrity and respect. This association can no longer tolerate any member or non-member
being disrespectful or marginalizing another member or non-member because of their opinion, ideas, PIF, sales count,
etc. We are a team and we need to act like a team. Like many of you, I have sacrificed significant time, PIF and income
to help my fellow agents. The primary purpose of UFAA is to protect the rights of its members and to help them achieve
success in their agencies.
     I believe that, if we act as a positive group, positive results will happen; I prefer to take the approach of discussion with
Farmers regarding common concerns in a calm and rational manner rather than to battle all the time. The real conflict
between agents and Farmers lies in the breakdown of communications and/or inexcusable personal behavior. This usu-
ally occurs when individuals lower on the totem pole act out of malice, misinterpret policy directives or inconsistently apply
company policy. Once this has occurred, Farmers is obligated to defend their employee even though they may find the
behavior reprehensible. So let us all live with the old carpenter’s motto of “measuring twice and cutting once.” In other
words, management needs to analyze each situation on its merits and determine whether they are doing the right thing or
doing the easy thing. The bottom line is everyone is trying to make a living and provide for his or her family. I am not talk-
ing about knowingly breaking the provisions of the contract; I am talking about the conscious decision of an individual to
put their welfare above that of others for no other reason than greed or sales quota.
     The United Farmers Agents Association has always contended that it is the legal and moral obligation of Farmers to
follow the contractual language of the AAA, (Agent’s Appointment Agreement) and adhere to the Independent Contractor
statues as defined by the Internal Revenue Service code. This is exactly why UFAA filed an amended Declaratory Relief
Action (DRA) in of May 2007. The new DRA was filed on behalf of all agents in all states and its purpose is to ask the
courts to render a decision on the contractual language in the AAA. Let it be clear, UFAA is not seeking monetary dam-
ages, just a judicial interpretation on what the language in the AAA actually means to both parties.
     Many of the disagreements that arise between agents and Farmers can usually be categorized as an over zealous
individual within the company that has taken it upon themselves to misinterpret or ignore the AAA contract. If we can
eliminate these situations and follow the rules based on the actual language of the contract, we can reduce the financial
devastation that these intolerable misinterpretations can cost both an agent and Farmers. If UFAA and Farmers could cut
down on litigation and the loss of agents livelihood/agencies, wouldn’t that mutually benefit both parties? Will the top Man-
agement of Farmers, please instruct and emphasize to all parties concerned forthwith, to strictly adhere to the language of
the Agent’s Appointment Agreement and the Independent Contractor’s provisions under the law?
     The majority of hardworking men and women at Farmers do not represent the individuals described earlier. So I
                                                                                                              continued on page 5
                                               The Voice • 2 • Autumn ’07
                                                                              The SECA Tax Kit
                                                                                   UFAA has been very lenient in


    The                                                                       the past by allowing non-members
                                                                              that retire or terminate to purchase




 Voice
                                                                              the SECA tax kit for $499.00. This kit
                                                                              allows agents to literally save tens of
                                                                              thousands of dollars in taxes.
                                                                                   No more! In an effort to become
                                                                              a more agent benefit driven organiza-
                                                                              tion the rate for nonmembers is now
                                                                              $1,000.00. Agents who are Members
                                                                              in good standing and have been ac-
                                                                              tive Agent Members of UFAA for 12
                                                                              consecutive months are eligible to
                                                                              receive the kit at no charge and need
                                                 Autumn ’07                   only to call or email the National Of-
                                                                              fice; 800-275-8668 or no@ufaa.com,
                                                                              to request their copy.
 FEATURES                                                                          So join now and get all the ben-
                                                                              efits of being a UFAA member, includ-
                                                                              ing the SECA Tax Kit and retirement
 Perception is Reality                                                2       checklist.


 Does Attitude Really Count?                                          4
                                                                              Utilize Our Advertis-
 Is Negative a Relative Term?                                         5       ers and Sponsors
                                                                                   In an effort to help agents grow
                                                                              their agencies, UFAA is partnering
 Legal Things and Stuff                                               7       with its advertisers to provide agents
                                                                              opportunities unavailable to them in
                                                                              the past.
 Thievery                                                          12              Please visit ufaa.com and click
                                                                              on the Advertisers/Sponsors link. You
                                                                              may find an additional selling tool to
 The Gathering                                                     13         add to your agency. We are working
                                                                              very hard to add more advertisers
                                                                              and sponsors that will be of benefit to
 Letter to State Executive Purcell                                 18         our members.


 2007 Convention Report                                            19



    The Voice is published four times per year by The United Farmers
Agents Association, a professional association committed to helping our
members through education, communication, support and information and
to establishing a true partnership with Farmers Group, Inc. The content of
The Voice is the responsibility of the elected National Board Members who
comprise The Voice Committee. Products and services advertised are not
endorsed by The United Farmers Agents Association, Inc. or its affiliates.
Complaints or inquiries should be forwarded directly to the advertiser. All
purchases are at the complete discretion of the customer.


                                           The Voice • 3 • Autumn ’07
REPRODUCED FROM MICHAEL BECK’S WEBSITE HTTP://WWW.THEINSURANCECOACH.COM

Does Attitude Really Count?
    Michael J. Beck, “The Insurance & Advisor Coach”
    Exceptional Leadership, Inc.
    2605 NE Pilot Butte Dr., Suite 102 • Bend, OR 97701-3757 • 866-385-8751 • 541-385-8751

      For as long as I’ve been a pro-     noticed very different behaviors from      while the positive people focus their
fessional I’ve heard that a person’s      people depending on their attitude.        thoughts and energies on succeeding
attitude makes a difference. You’ve       You see, attitude not only determines      despite the problems. (Yes, includ-
probably heard all the cute sayings       how a person sees things, but also         ing rate increases). I’ve observed
about attitude - “Your Attitude De-       affects their consequent actions as        that negative people often adopt a
termines Your Altitude”, Attitude is      well. Our attitude determines our          defeatist mindset, taking on the role
everything”, “The Only Thing You Can      perspective, which in turn determines      of a victim, while positive people often
Control is Your Attitude”. Every sales    our reality. How does attitude and         adopt a solution-oriented mindset
manager talks about attitude. Every       perspective affect our reality? Let me     and set about creating their own op-
leader talks about attitude. Every        share a story as an example of how         portunities. Consequently, I’ve come
entrepreneur hears about attitude.        this happens. A number of years ago        to understand that having a positive
      Let’s face it. No one is against    I had a friend who became focused          attitude indeed makes a significant
having a positive attitude. It’s kind     on the potential problems surround-        difference not only in a person’s level
of like mom and apple pie. There’s        ing the change of the millennium           of success, but also in their enjoy-
nothing to be against. But anyone         (Y2K). As he began to “research”           ment of their life. It even determines
who has worked with me knows that         the topic, the foretelling of upcoming     whether they succeed at all.
I don’t go with the crowd. I tend to      disasters became his reality. In fact,          But here’s the unusual thing. NO
be an independent thinker and as          the more he listened to radio talk         ONE VIEWS HIMSELF OR HER-
such, often see things differently than   shows the more he accepted their           SELF AS A NEGATIVE PERSON!
others. Over my professional career,      topics as “reality”. The more articles          People who are negative view
I’ve been a student of human nature,      he read on the subject the more he         themselves as “realistic”. (Wait a
and one of the areas I make note of is    accepted the writings as “reality”. The    minute. Isn’t “reality” a matter of
attitude.                                 more websites he visited about Y2K,        perspective?) So the challenge is to
      Attitude has an interesting dy-     the more he accepted their perspec-        determine whether you’re a “negative”
namic around it. I’ve observed, for       tives as “reality”. By the time the end    person.
instance, that people with a positive     of December came around, he had                 Here are some guidelines:
attitude tend to hang out together and    stockpiled water and food, and was              If you feel that others determine
people with a negative attitude also      pleading with me to move up to the         your course in life and business, then
hang out together. Of course, each        mountains to escape the impend-            you need to adjust your attitude so
group tends to support the views of       ing terrorist attacks, falling planes,     you can shift your reality.
each other person within their group.     food shortages, crashing cars, and              If you feel that the cards are often
The positive people see themselves        lack of water. January 1, 2000 came        stacked against you, then you need
as optimistic and forward thinking.       and went without incident. He never        to adjust your attitude so you can
The negative people see themselves        spoke to me again.                         change your reality.
as realists. Additionally, each group          Obviously none of us are worried           If you feel that your company,
tends to view the other group some-       about Y2K any longer, but this story       manager, agents, and/or clients don’t
what unfavorably. The people in the       underlines how our attitude definitely      support you, then you need to adjust
positive group tend to look at the        affects how we conduct our life and        your attitude so you can change your
negative group as complainers, while      ourselves. Our attitude creates our        reality.
the negative group tends to view the      reality. But be clear, it’s OUR reality,        We each have the ability and
positive group as naïve, unrealistic,     not THE reality. I’ve observed that        power to literally change our reality.
and/or overly “cheery”. I guess it’s      positive people tend to view challeng-          How does one turn a negative at-
a matter of your perspective. Each        es as speed bumps while negative           titude into a positive one? The same
group feels they have an accurate         people see them as obstacles stand-        way someone with a positive attitude
view of reality - or more precisely,      ing in the way of success. Positive        maintains it. You need to eliminate
THE accurate view of reality.             folks often face the same challenges       the negative inputs, influences, and
      One thing I’m sure of in life is    as negative folks, except that negative    factors in your life and introduce
that a person’s perspective deter-        people have their thoughts and ener-       positive ones. We’re bombarded with
mines their reality. And here is where    gies focused on the problems and           messages throughout the day and
these two groups begin to differ. I’ve    the consequences of the problems,          night. Some of them are good and
                                                                                                         continued on page 5
                                            The Voice • 4 • Autumn ’07
Perception is Reality
continued from page 2                      Is Negative A Relative Term?
ask the agency force to initiate the            I hear from agents now and again         all of the additional discounts it is pil-
submission of the names and circum-        that the reason they do not join UFAA         ing on auto rates, i.e. paid in full, super
stances of those individuals within        is because the organization is too            preferred, additional affinity groups,
Farmers that are doing an outstand-        negative.                                     EFT, etc. Where have you heard,
ing job and we will publicize those             Is “negative” a relative term? Is        “it’s not about price”? Why does “the
individuals’ names in our updates, on      it only relative on the day someone           company” advertise they have more
our web site (www.ufaa.com) and in         asks you directly about joining UFAA?         discounts than any other company if
our quarterly magazine, the “Voice.”       I have to believe so. If not, why is it all   it’s not about price? Have you never
     Remember that you only get ten        right for you to talk negatively about        moaned about these contradictions?
seconds to make a positive impres-         “the company” amongst your fellow                   Tell me you did not raise an
sion on any individual that you meet       agents? You’ve all done it and still do       eyebrow when you saw our rates take
for the first time. So your future re-      it, whether it has to do with the DARG        another increase, in lieu of the fact
lationship with that person is defined      program, which is alive and well by the       that the industry, as a whole, has been
by your short interaction. Perception      way, or about the poor claims service,        decreasing. Have your company reps
is reality and you have to live with       or maybe about the pressure to pro-           told you, “but it’s giving you a raise”?
those perceptions. So, live your life to   duce life and the length of time it takes     And you work like the dickens to ap-
the fullest with integrity and respect,    to get a life policy processed once           ply whatever discounts available just
always have a smile on your face and       written and submitted and the bonus           hoping to keep their business? That’s
make a good impression, as “Percep-        you missed because of it.                     better than the alternative! We all
tion is Reality.”                               Have you had a negative experi-          know that if they have any reason at all
     In the words of the famous actor      ence with other “team members” in             to shop, in most cases they’ll be gone!
Andy Garcia, “We all fall in life; the     policy service or Underwriting? It has        And please, tell me how you really feel
trick is to fall forward.”                 been with every product line hasn’t           about the imaging program, we have
                           Tom Schrader    it? The client calls you the agent,           no choice but to contend with? Have
                                           because the claims rep has not been           you never asked, “Why do they need
Does Attitude Really Count?                in touch with the insured, or has not         to change our fire policy”? Who is “the
continued from page 4                      returned their call. Paper work faxed,        next generation” fire policy really best
                                           emailed or imaged ends up in a                for? Why is it written in the “Farmers
some of them are just plain bad for        black hole. The ball has never been           Insurance Exchange”? “The Com-
you. We get “messages” from family,        dropped when you’ve handed it off to          pany” is committing a lot of resources
friends, co-workers, radio, newspaper,     another “team member”, has it? You            selling it to its sales force. Admit it,
TV, music, the Internet, billboards,       never feel the necessity to follow up         you have become a bit suspicious
books, magazines, and any number           on every request faxed or emailed to          when “the company” appears to be
of other sources. If YOU don’t decide      another “team member” nor have you            hard selling its agents on a concept or
what goes into your head, then some-       retorted with a derogatory gripe? Not         product that, if it’s that good, let’s just
one else will. You need to take control    even after supplying, for a 3rd time, a       get on with it and be done.
of what you feed your mind.                copy of grades.                                     The favorite subject for us all
     Here are some tips on how to               Would you ever speak a nega-             comes up in the form of “Foremost.”
adjust and maintain your attitude:         tive word about “the company” in              No agent in this State would ever have
     Eliminate the Negatives: Stop         the same sentence while discuss-              the necessity to spout off something
reading the newspaper. Stop watch-         ing tiered commissions? How about             negative about Foremost. How many
ing TV news.                               those increased auto insurance rates,         households have been lost because
     Stop seeking the negative on the      especially after coming off a year like       of the boat, motorcycle or ATV prices
Internet. Stop hanging around nega-        2006 where “the company” couldn’t             we are forced to contend with and
tive people.                               boast loud or long enough about how           have caused our clients to shop? And
     Introduce Positives: Start hang-      well it did? Have you addressed “the          what is the result of giving our clients a
ing around positive people. Start          company” in any negative terms as             reason to shop?
reading motivational or inspirational      you see how much of an increase                     The reality is, you’ve always had
books - biographies, personal growth,      some of your clients are taking on their      concerns, you have concerns now,
success principles, etc. Start listen-     auto rates, especially the May and            and you always will have concerns,
ing to CD’s - motivational, personal       June renewals and your phone starts           and they come out as complaints.
growth, uplifting music, etc.              ringing with “why did my car insur-           Odds are you have not complained
     Does attitude really count? Can       ance go up again?” How else is “the           about just one of the aforementioned
attitude really change your reality? I     company”, with its prevailing attitude        topics but every one of them, more
guess it depends on your perspective.      of “premium neutral”, going to pay for        than a few times. Face it; you are
                                                                                                               continued on page 6
                                              The Voice • 5 • Autumn ’07
Is Negative a Relative Term?
continued from page 5

negative about many areas to do with        positive benefits that make our agen-     journey better for each and every
“the company”. That does not mean           cies and “the company” good. That’s      agent by just joining together. Would
you and I are negative people. It also      correct; there are many good and         it surprise you non-members to learn
doesn’t mean we need to dwell on the        positive benefits to being a Farmers      that the majority of members in this
negatives, and we don’t. However,           agent. Why else are we all still hang-   “not so negative after all” United Farm-
some things need fixing and it’s not         ing around? However, the fun, the        ers Agent Association have agen-
happening. What happens when you            good ole days, where have they gone?     cies larger than the average Farm-
bring these situations to the attention     The business isn’t what it used to be.   ers agent, and whose production is
of our “superiors”? Do you get the          Just say it; as an agent with Farm-      consistently higher than the norm?
feeling they listen and care and will       ers Insurance you have become very
try and do something for you? Or is it      frustrated and keep wondering why                                  Joe Gardner
like your concerns fall on deaf ears, so    the company isn’t listening.                               18-year Farmers agent
why try?                                         The association wishes to make                      16-year member of UFAA
      Instead of bemoaning the com-         the journey and the rewards of that                            Chapter 39 in Utah
pany privately and feeling alone, join
an association, which is dedicated to
the fundamental interest and promo-
tion of all Farmers agents. We are an
association working in an environment
of proceeding forward.
      Every salaried employee of “this
company” is paid, and some in BIG
BUCKS, off the backs of every indi-
vidual agent. Who really stands up for
you? Why you stand where you stand
on this issue is your business. But
please, do not any longer use the rhe-
torical excuse that you don’t join with
the only association truly representing
each and every Farmers agent’s inter-
ests in the best possible way, because
it is too negative! It doesn’t hold water
and really never has.
      This year, The United Farmers
Agent Association is celebrating
40 years as the only organization
dedicated just to Farmers agents
and their needs to run an indepen-
dent and successful insurance
business. This Association has
accomplished much for all Farm-
ers agents over the years, often at
the expense and sacrifice of a few.
Our Association could have even
more sway with “the company” if
more of you would face the fact that
we all share the same aspirations
for ourselves and “the company”,
but do not have a strong enough
voice standing alone to over come
hurdles, obviously set too high for
us to clear alone. We must join to-
gether to have persuasive strength
with our brothers and sisters at FIG.
      As agents we already enjoy the

                                              The Voice • 6 • Autumn ’07
Legal things and stuff:
                                                                      Ralph Buchanan, Director of Legal Activities


                                                                                  Help yourself–
 Greetings to the Farmers agency force,
                                                                                  Help UFAA:
     My name is Ralph Buchanan. I was an agent from 1976 through
                                                                                      Here are some ways for you to
 the end of 2001 when I took a disability retirement. I have been a
                                                                                  help UFAA and help yourself at the
 member of UFAA since the fall of 1989 and served on the UFAA Na-
                                                                                  same time.
 tional Board from 1994 to June 2005. I attended my 17th UFAA National
 Convention in July. Much to my surprise, I was asked to run, again, for
                                                                                      Send any correspondence (i.e.
 a position on the National Board and I accepted the challenge. I will
                                                                                  Field Bulletins) involving procedural
 now, as Director of Legal Activities, be trying to help agents around the
                                                                                  changes to UFAA,
 country when and if they have legal questions and/or problems.

                                                                                      Tell UFAA about a new agent
    I will also be working closely with Larry Tencer, a man I have known
                                                                                  in your area. Send her/his name,
 and respected for over ten years, on UFAA’s Declaratory Relief Action
                                                                                  address. Agent number and phone
 (DRA) and other legal issues.
                                                                                  number to UFAA.

       An additional duty will be to correspond with various State Execu-
                                                                                     Is an agent in your area getting
 tives. The first letter was sent in early August.. It seems that Mr. Purcell,
                                                                                  DARG’d? Tell UFAA about it.
 Colorado State Executive Director, feels he can arbitrarily change your
 Agent Appointment Agreement (AAA) by sending an email to his “Dis-
                                                                                      Do you know of an agent getting
 trict Leaders” announcing his plans to visit all agents writing less than
                                                                                  terminated? Tell UFAA both who it
 ten auto policies per month. (You can see a reproduction of his email
                                                                                  is and why the agent is being termi-
 and UFAA’s response in this issue of The Voice.) It always amazes me
                                                                                  nated. Remember, we need the name
 when one of the management company employees, especially one of
                                                                                  address, and phone number.
 the State Executives, tries to circumvent a legally binding document
 (your AAA) and demand, demand, demand. You would think (Hope?)
                                                                                      Have you heard of an agent in
 Mr. Purcell would know better.
                                                                                  your area selling his/her agency to
                                                                                  a family member? Is the sale going
      On the right hand side of this page there are six items that UFAA
                                                                                  smoothly? Or, are there problems. Tell
 needs your help with. Read them carefully. I assure you that the infor-
                                                                                  UFAA what you are hearing.
 mation you send UFAA, in respect to the items on the right, will ulti-
 mately end up helping YOU. That one little bulletin. Some background
                                                                                       Has your state legislature passed
 information on an agent getting DARG’d. A lawyer needing help fighting
                                                                                  (or considering passage) of any bill
 the management company. An agent selling his agency to his daughter
                                                                                  concerning or affecting insurance or
 and having problems. All of them are important. All of them matter. So
                                                                                  insurance agents? Send UFAA the
 help UFAA help you. Send us anything and everything you see, receive
                                                                                  information, including a link to the
 or hear.
                                                                                  website that contains information on
                                                                                  that specific bill.
      Retiring soon? Call UFAA for a SECA Tax kit and save a lot of
 money on your taxes. Sorry, non-members are not eligible to receive
                                                                                      Thank you.
 this valuable tool free of charge.

                                                                                      I am glad to be back.
      (More to follow in the next issue of The Voice)

                                                                                                       Ralph Buchanan


                                            The Voice • 7 • Autumn ’07
The Voice • 8 • Autumn ’07
National Secretary Report
on National Convention
     The 40th Anniversary Conven-              Tuesday July 17th the Convention                        Wednesday, July 18, 2007, Board
tion of the United Farmers Agents         was opened by President Keith Van                        Members gave their reports followed
Association began on Sunday July          De Walker. The Business meeting                          by Bylaw changes. The following
15th with the National Board meeting      concluded in the afternoon followed                      officers were elected Tom Schrader,
from 08:30 AM to 05:00 PM. Sunday         by workshops.                                            President; Bill Wise, Vice President;
evening there was a reception for the          This year the National Board                        Mike Lillo, Treasurer; Steve Hooper,
Chapter Presidents and the National       offered a class on How to Market                         Membership; Ralph Buchanan, Legal
Board.                                    Commercial and Workers Compen-                           Affairs; and Klaas Tuininga, Govern-
     The CP gathering is an op-           sation Insurance. Bob Jasak led the                      mental Affairs.
portunity to meet other agents from       seminar/workshop. Bob detailed how                           Thursday July 19th President
around the country and share com-         to solicit, who to solicit and when to                   Keith Van De Walker introduced the
mon experiences we have as agents.        solicit. Bob explained that we have                      new Board. Incoming President Tom
The question is almost always, what’s     experienced new management lead-                         Schrader opened the floor for old
working in your neighborhood? Each        ing the Commercial Team. Farmers                         business. There was no old business.
geographical area in which we oper-       wants to write business. Why Com-                        Tom Schrader opened the floor for
ate has different concerns.               mercial? Personal Lines policies are                     new business. Many members made
     Monday, July 16th the Chapter        dropping and premiums are shrink-                        suggestions and they are included in
Presidents had their annual meeting.      ing. Competition for clients/custom-                     the Thursday convention minutes.
Minutes of the meeting are available      ers is intense. Bob indicated that if                        The meeting was adjourned at
from your Chapter President. Mon-         you continuously sell Commercial                         10:19 AM Thursday, July 19th 2007.
day at 05:00 PM there was a recep-        Insurance your business will be more                         For a copy of the minutes see the
tion for UFAA Convention delegates        diversified, hence you will not have                      www.UFAA2 website.
and their guests. A list of the vendors   all you eggs in one basket. If you                                                     Sincerely,
present at the reception is on the web    missed Bob’s Seminar, we will post                                               Merle Johnson
site at www.ufaa.com .                    Bob’s next Seminar on the website.                                               National Secretary




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                                          Phone: (714) 621-2300 Ext. 173                                      ❏ Mobile Car Washes
                                                                            ❏ Products Liability
                                                                                                              ❏ Non-Trucking Liability
                                                 San Diego Office           ❏ Restaurants
                                          Phone: (858) 586-0828 Ext. 2002                                     ❏ Physical Damage Coverage
                                                                            ❏ Umbrella Coverage               ❏ Private Haulers
                                                  .O.
                                                 P Box 4880
                                               Anaheim, CA 92803            ❏ Wholesalers/ Distributors         (For & Not For Hire)


                                                                            CA Insurance License # 0613886


                                              The Voice • 9 • Autumn ’07
               Without UFAA….then who?
Who would remind Farmers to keep the promises they made to the Agency Force?
Who would challenge Farmers in court to abide by the terms of the Agents Appointment Agreement?
Who would make available a Tax Kit that saves thousands of dollars in taxes when you retire or leave the
company?
Who is lobbying in Washington, to have your contract value treated as Long Term Capital Gains rather than
ordinary income?
Who is working to save Farmers Agents from predatory practices of appointing independent agents, banks
and insurance affiliates of national mortgage companies in the same states that we operate in?
Yes, UFAA is doing all of the above and more. And we need your help. Become part of the solution. Join today
and show the company you care by filling out and mailing or faxing in the application below.



                                UFAA - MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
               I, the undersigned, hereby declare that I am currently a Farmers Insurance Agent
                       and apply for membership in the United Farmers Agents Association



Name                                                                                           Agent #

Address                                                City                                    State             Zip

Phone                                                  Fax                                     Email

Signature

Dues: $360 annually, $180 semi-annually or $30 a month drafted from your checking account. You may only
charge your dues if you elect to pay annually or semi-annually. Please select your method of payment.

[ ] Annual $360.00                 [ ] Visa                       [ ] PAC - $30.00  (Attach a voided check and fax to
                                                                     the number below to begin the plan)
[ ] Semi-Annual $180.00            [ ] Mastercard
[ ] Affiliate/Associate/Career $50 annually                       [ ] Career First Year 50.00

I hereby authorize UFAA to draw a check in the amount of $_________________ on or about the 10th day of each month payable to
its own order. This authorization will remain in effect until UFAA receives my written request to cease the withdrawals.

(X)__________________________________________________________



Credit Card Account Number                                                                             Expiration Date

                                                                                                       $
Signature of Card holder                                                                               Authorized Amount
               96% of our membership dues may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense
                                     but are not deductible as a charitable donation.

                                 United Farmers Agents Association
                           9785 Mackenzie Rd, Ste 104—St. Louis, MO 63123
                                Phone 800-275-8668 Fax 314-631-7963

                                              The Voice • 10 • Autumn ’07
REPRODUCED FROM A FARMERS PRESS RELEASE
Farmers Insurance Kansas City
Nominated For Top Employer Award
     KANSAS CITY, KS--(August 2,            to see that the Kansas City Business        Services Group, an insurance-based
2007) – Farmers Insurance Groups’           Journal recognizes the difference           financial services provider with a
Kansas City area operations is              our team is making. Our goal is to          global network of subsidiaries and of-
among the top companies nominated           become the employer of choice in            fices in North America and Europe as
for the 2007 Kansas City Business           Kansas City.”                               well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America
Journal’s Best Places to Work as                 Farmers has over 2,500 em-             and other markets. Farmers® is the
voted by Farmers’ employees who             ployees and agents in the KC area           nation’s third-largest Personal Lines
took the Kansas City Business Jour-         making it the largest private employer      Property & Casualty insurance group.
nal Survey.                                 in Olathe, Kansas and among the top         Headquartered in Los Angeles and
     A letter to Farmers from the           five employers in Johnson County.            doing business in 41 states, the insur-
Kansas City Business Journal stated:        Farmers occupies more than 300,000          ers comprising the Farmers Insur-
“We are pleased to announce that            square feet in three facilities in Olathe   ance Group of Companies provide
your company has been selected as           that house several different business       Homeowners, Auto, Business, Life
one of the winners. We look forward         operations including the HelpPoint          insurance and financial services to
to recognizing all Best Places to Work      claims operation and ServicePoint           more than 10 million households.
companies, with additional recogni-         service operation.                          The Farmers Exchanges are three re-
tion given to the top three winners in           “We have a dedicated group of          ciprocal property and casualty insur-
each of the categories at an awards         employees and agents in the Kansas          ers, including their subsidiaries and
luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 6, at the       City area,” noted Rod Johnson, vice         affiliates owned by their policyholders
Hyatt Regency Crown Center.”                president of Farmers ServicePoint.          and operating mainly under the Farm-
     “This nomination puts us in an         “According to our Human Resources           ers brand and in 2006 had USD 15
elite group and our employees de-           Department, we have hired 818 Help-         billion in gross written premiums. For
serve the credit. Not only do they do       Point, ServicePoint and Field Claims        more information about Farmers, visit
important work for our customers, but       employees in 2007 alone. The future         our Web site at www.farmers.com or
they are involved in the Kansas City        is looking very bright for Farmers in       contact our career information line at
community in a big way,” said Vince         the Kansas City area.”                      913-826-7676.
Donofrio, vice president of Farmers              Farmers Group, Inc. is a wholly
HelpPoint operations. “I am so proud        owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial



                                   DRA Legal Fund Donation Form
     Yes, I want to help myself and other agents.
     ____ I wish to contribute [ ] $300 [ ] $200 [ ] $100 to the DRA.
     ____ My check for that amount is enclosed.
     ____ Call the UFAA National Office (800-275-8668) to charge to your credit card.
                                                               OR
     ____ I wish to increase my monthly PAC by an additional [ ] $25 per month [ ] $20 per month [ ] $10 per month.



     Name


     Address


     Phone                 Fax                  Email
     Send your check to UFAA DRA Fund, 9875 Mackenzie #104, St. Louis, MO 63123


                                               The Voice • 11 • Autumn ’07
MEMBERSHIP
     In the past, Membership Direc-        all positive and allow that by joining?           retire or are terminated.
tors for UFAA would preach, plead          • You will be supporting your fellow          •   And do not forget that UFAA has
or ask all you non-members to join              agents through out the country.              always been there for you, maybe
The United Farmers Agents Associa-         • You would have access to the                    not always directly, but address-
tion. To my knowledge not a single              best Tech support anywhere                   ing the everyday issues that affect
non-member has offered a convincing             including help deciding which                EVERY AGENT at one time or
argument for not stepping forward               product is best and in many                  another. I can go on and on but
and joining.                                    cases the opportunity to acquire             it really should not be necessary
     Ah yes, the money argument,                the technology at a reduced price.           BECAUSE YOU KNOW, joining
you know the “money is tight” excuse.      • Access to a National referral base              the United Farmers Agents As-
Look at the facts: the average agent            whenever UFAA member clients                 sociation IS THE RIGHT THING
makes around $100,000 in commis-                move in or out of your operating             TO DO!
sions with Farmers. This figure does             territory.                                    At this point, usually I ask you to
not include qualified outside business.     • Exposure to other admitted mar-             JOIN UFAA, but today I am only sug-
$30 dollars per month is needed to              kets needed to place unwanted            gesting that positive thinking is good
be a regular member of the only As-             risks Farmers doesn't want or            and I trust each and every one of you
sociation just for Farmers Agents. I            have declined. Why should we             know what needs to be done.
know, I hear the same thing again               turn away business that feeds                I look forward to hearing from
and again, “why should I join UFAA”,            our families just because OUR            each and every one of you.
what will they do for me? Prove me              Company doesn't want the risk?               Steve Hooper
wrong for not joining! Etc, Etc.           • Access to a SECA tax plan that                  UFAA National Membership Director
     Why should it come down to prov-           saves thousands of dollars on
ing someone wrong? Why aren’t you               taxes when and if you decide to




THIEVERY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE
     Listen up, this is not acceptable     leads or developing circles of influ-          probably paying fewer premiums and
behavior. Over and over again, UFAA        ence the new agents are provided              thus the company loses. Secondly,
is receiving the same complaint from       policyholder lists and they exclusively       the policyholder is being charged
district managers, company employ-         target these existing policyholders.          an unnecessary additional policy
ees, members and non-members and           Now one could argue that if there is          fee. Thirdly, the agents are steal-
that is the thievery of existing policy-   unwritten business in a household,            ing from each other and that type of
holders. It is causing resentment and      that it is fair game. But, that’s a differ-   unethical behavior can not be toler-
many agents are starting to believe        ent discussion for another day.               ated. Fourthly, the losing agents are
that the company is condoning this              What is happening is that agents         becoming angry because they are
type of behavior. Thievery is non pro-     are not necessarily writing new busi-         not receiving satisfaction from their
ductive and is certainly not the way to    ness. They are cancelling existing            District Managers when they discuss
build a long term successful agency.       policies and writing new business just        the situation. The agents are almost
     District Mangers are under tre-       to add a discount or change cover-            universally being told the new agents
mendous financial and policy produc-        age. This serves a two fold purpose.          need the policies to make their quotas
tion pressure to ensure their new          It gives the agent new production             and stay on the program.
agents succeed. This in itself is not a    count and it also allows them to                   On behalf of every Farmers
bad incentive to become creative and       escape paying the existing agent              agent, UFAA appeals to the man-
think outside of the box. However,         the standard one year agent transfer          agement of Farmers to review this
some District Mangers have chosen          commission.                                   unacceptable behavior and issue
to try a shortcut and therein lies part         This whole situation is problem-         a directive that this whole situation
of the problem.                            atic in that there really is no new           is counter productive behavior and
     New agents wanting to fast track      business being written in these situ-         needs to stop.
to success are soliciting existing poli-   ations. This should be of interest to              Tom Schrader
cyholders instead of new business.         the management company. Primarily,                United Farmers Agents Association
Instead of cold calling, purchasing        because the existing policyholder is              National President



                                             The Voice • 12 • Autumn ’07
                                                                                       REPRODUCED FROM A
The Gathering of Attorneys                                                             NEWS RELEASE FROM
                                                                                       THE COUNCIL OF
     This July marked the 7th anniver-    nated. The company refused to pay            INSURANCE AGENTS
sary of The Gathering of Attorneys,       contract value, not because the agent
which UFAA created to level the play-
ing field with the management com-
                                          was accused of embezzlement, but
                                          because he wouldn’t relinquish his
                                                                                       Commercial
pany. What you may not know is that       phone number and office lease. That           P/C Premiums
the management company retains            fact that the phone number and office
one or two of the top law firms in each    lease weren’t in his name didn’t seem        Continue Free
of its operating states to act as local
counsel in any agent litigation. These
                                          to bother the management company.
                                          At the conclusion of the trial, the jury
                                                                                       Fall in Sec-
top rated firms benefit from the advice
and direction provided by Farmers
                                          awarded this agent a six-figure judg-
                                          ment, which is now on appeal. Watch
                                                                                       ond Quarter
Home Office Legal Department. That         for an article from the legal firm repre-          WASHINGTON - Commercial
is a tremendous advantage because         senting this agent in a future issue of      property/casualty insurance rates
Home Office Legal maintains a              The Voice.                                   continued their free fall during the
                                                                                       second quarter of 2007 in a mar-
vast library of agent litigation cases          After discussing these cases, the
                                                                                       ketplace environment described as
throughout its operating territory and    focus turned to several issues poten-        “totally unpredictable” in terms of
shares that information, as needed,       tially affecting every agent. The top-       pricing and underwriting, according
with the local counsels.                  ics included whether an agent can be         to the latest commercial market index
     In order to provide assistance       terminated without good cause, the           survey by The Council of Insurance
to attorneys representing Farmers         family rights provision and the incon-       Agents & Brokers.
                                                                                            Although brokers and agents
agents, UFAA invite attorneys who         sistency in which it is administered,
                                                                                       handling earthquake insurance in
are representing agents or are about      the one-year non-compete provision           California or wind coverage in the
to represent agents to come together      and what contract value represents.          Gulf Coast, Florida and up the Atlan-
for a day and share their experiences.    I know every agent reading this is           tic coast were still experiencing firm
Over the last seven years, dozens         thinking why The Gathering would             market conditions, premiums for the
of attorneys from many states have        spend time discussing something              vast majority of commercial accounts
                                                                                       of all sizes were down significantly
participated in The Gatherings.           as obvious as what contract value
                                                                                       from the first quarter 2007.
     This year, The Gathering fo-         represents. Every agent knows that                The Council represents the larg-
cused on two lawsuits currently in        contract value represents a sum they         est domestic and international com-
progress and one on appeal. One           have to look forward to once they            mercial insurance agents and brokers
suit involves an agent terminated for     leave Farmers and that is certainly          who annually place more than 80 per-
placing business with another com-        true. But does it represent the pur-         cent of the commercial property/ca-
                                                                                       sualty premiums in the United States
pany, even though Farmers didn’t          chase of your book of business, the
                                                                                       and administer billions of dollars in
offer that coverage. This case may        consideration for the non-compete,           employee benefits accounts.
answer the question, at least in one      your phone number, office lease, or is             Seventy-nine percent of the
state, of whether or not agents must      it severance pay? Without question,          respondents to the second quar-
offer Foremost policies, even though      what your contract value actually rep-       ter commercial market survey said
Foremost is not one of the companies      resents is extremely important for a         premium rates for their small account
                                                                                       renewals were down between 1 and
named in the Agent Appointment            number of reasons, including taxation.
                                                                                       30 percent compared with similar
Agreement. The second suit involved       And yet what the management claims           business in the second quarter of the
an agent handed an immediate notice       it is and what the attorneys at The          year. The largest group (44 percent)
of termination for allegedly misrepre-    Gathering believe it is are on opposite      reported premium rates down in the
senting a risk, one of the five deadly     ends of the spectrum.                        1-10 percent range for small ac-
sins. The final suit involved an agent                                Larry Tencer      counts.
                                               UFAA Legal Liaison and DRA Consultant        Ninety-two percent of the re-
who resigned, but was reinstated,
                                                                                       spondents said their medium account
without his consent and then termi-                                                    premium rates were down between
                                                                                       1 and 30 percent, with 40 percent
                                                                                                        continued on page 22
                                            The Voice • 13 • Autumn ’07
Meet Your New National Vice President
BILL WISE
     It all began when Mom and Dad          moved to Tucson because Dad had              nine years. Then there was the
decided that Jack needed someone            gotten “black lung disease” and was          rebound marriage, which lasted two
to play with. Being no dummies in the       told to get to a warm, dry climate or        years.
area of procreation, I arrived roughly      die. After visiting Tucson a few times,            Finally, I hit the” jackpot.”
nine months later.                          I decided that Arizona was going to                While I was visiting one of my first
     I was born in Johnstown, PA and        be my home. After 40 years, I’m still        insured’s in the fall of 1982, she told
raised on a farm a half-mile from the       convinced this is the place for me.          me about her daughter and thought
town of Commodore, PA. Dad was                   After college, I married the            I should meet her. She showed me
a coal miner and a farmer and Mom           daughter of a man who owned a                a picture and I was sold. So, I asked
was a homemaker. Looking back, l            chain of TV and appliance stores in          her “Where does she live?” and her
couldn’t have had a better childhood.       the Phoenix area and he asked me to          Mom said, “In Tulsa, but I’m trying to
We were taught right from wrong.            work for him. For ten years, I worked        get her to come out here.” Well, just
It wasn’t a ‘do as I say, not as I do’      for him learning the retail business         after Thanksgiving that year, she came
thing. It was a “Do as I say and I’ll       inside and out. However, after ten           to Arizona and I met her. In February
show you the way.” It has served me         years, I was pretty frustrated because       of 1983, we got married. Marilyn had
well. I felt like there was more of a       my father-in-law was unable to adapt         two girls who just happen to be 31 and
world waiting out there so, immedi-         to changes as the market changed             33. I think this marriage is going to
ately after high school, I left the farm    and consequently ended up watching           last.
and went to Chicago to attend DeVry         his business dwindle away and finally               I’ve been with Farmers for 26
Technical Institute.                        sold it for almost nothing.                  years now. And, the best referral I
     I realized after a year that I was          During those ten years, I was           ever got was my wife.
not cut out to be a techie so I began       blessed with two sons who are now                  Thank you, Farmers.
college. While in Chicago, my parents       31 and 33. The first marriage lasted



    WHAT DO WE KNOW?
         A client called and asked a simple question, “If I use my current insurance coverage, and have an accident, will
    the rental company charge me for DOWNTIME (loss of use during the rental car repair)?”
          I guess that over the years I had not actually come across this term, so I called our 30-year claims adjuster for a
    clarification. This discussion brought up even more information that I was clueless about.
         The answer to the “downtime” is YES with one exception. Farmers’ has a contract with Enterprise and if Farm-
    ers’ orders the rental, downtime is waived for Farmers ONLY.
         The next thing was a discussion of K5 coverage. Did you know that K5 is only applicable to the actual car the
    endorsement is on and IS NOT PORTABLE! In other words, the coverage is not transferable to any rental car.
         The next discussion was about “diminutive value”. I had never heard of this term. Simply stated, “An unknown
    3rd party acting on behalf of a rental company derives “diminutive value”. The established resale value of any given
    rental car, before an accident, is reset to reflect the value after an accident. The difference is the diminutive value.
         MY FRIEND, THE 30-YEAR ADJUSTER, EMPHATICALLY RECOMMENDS BUYING THE INSURANCE
    OFFERED BY THE RENTAL COMPANY. Their insurance waives both downtime and diminutive value exposure.
         My adjuster said, “We previously covered any reference to downtime or diminutive value until a little over a year
    ago when we added the extra rental endorsement.” At that time Farmers changed the wording and intent of our Auto
    contract, effectively negating any chance that downtime or diminutive value charges would be covered. Anyway, I
    am more informed but both angry and disappointed that the management company wasn’t professional enough to at
    least openly inform us about this exposure to our clients. The threat of an E & O exposure makes one wonder, since
    the management company has a history of placing claims against itself, if they expected to collect from the E & O
    carrier and dodge a claim payout on this issue. It is important to note that the above scenario may not apply in your
    state, however, in order to really KNOW, call a rental company and ask about “downtime and diminutive value” and
    what effect these terms would have on one of your clients that chose not to buy the rental companies insurance but
    extended their Farmers Insurance Auto Policy.
                                                                                                    A Northwest area agent


                                              The Voice • 14 • Autumn ’07
                   Agents - - -You asked for it -
         How to cash in on the biggest planned growth explosion
             in Farmers history……a dynamic new seminar
   Personal lines markets are stagnated and federal regulations limit access to households.
   Farmers is dedicated to being the dominant small business insurer in the U.S.
   Truck has been transformed by hiring the best and brightest managers from leading
   competitors to head up this new era. It’s a whole new company – a whole new ballgame.

          Get in on this incredible once in a lifetime opportunity
             to explode your PIF and income – Here’s how......
Bob Jasak with 42 years in the business…..32 years with Farmers……Commercial
Masters……Commercial Round Table……Toppers 20 times (19 in a row)……grew to almost $4
million in premium in 6 years with only 2 employees……775 production one mo......971 the next.

Bob is now retired and wants to share his secrets with you in a marketing package. This
seminar covers - eliminating time wasters, getting never-ending free quality leads,
telemarketing secrets, what’s the best business, the BOP and work comp made easy, why
Farmers agents have a huge edge and stuff you’ve never heard before….all in a 2 hour DVD
and 34 page workbook – a step by step, day by day plan for success.

This is a must for new agents and seasoned pros who want to streamline and boost
production. Order today and get in on the biggest boom in Farmers history.
                             Seminar Package –
        2 hour DVD (recorded live at convention) with 34 page workbook
                   Only $199 tax deductible – free shipping.
 ____________________________________________________________________
Fax credit card orders to 619-631-0660 or mail w/check to:
Robert Jasak                               ____ Seminar Pkg. @ $199.00 = $__________
10769 Woodside Ave. #204                   (Sorry no refunds or returns.)
Santee, CA 92071
                         Ship to: ________________________________________
                         Address________________________________________
                         City/State__________________________Zip__________
                         MC/VISA #________________________
                         Signature_______________________Exp.Date_________

   For those who are serious about their future.



                               The Voice • 15 • Autumn ’07
Meet Your New UFAA Treasurer
     Hello fellow UFAA members. I                 Group agents. The unique challeng-                       the opportunity to share and relate
would like to introduce myself since              es that we face together as Farmers                      with these other agents from sev-
I have been recently elected as your              agents create a need to band togeth-                     eral different states. Currently, I am
National Treasurer. My name is Mike               er to help each other succeed in this                    stepping up to serve on the National
Lillo and I have been a Farmers agent             career path we have chosen. This                         Board because I feel that Farmers
in Michigan for just over 16 years                is the primary reason I joined UFAA                      agents deserve a proactive organiza-
now. I am originally from the great               over 14 years ago. I decided that if                     tion to represent them, protect their
state of Minnesota, however, I ended              I am going to be a Farmers agent, I                      interests, and to continue to strive to
up in Michigan after attending college            should be a part of the only profes-                     become a group of positive minded
there and making a career in the in-              sional organization that represents                      “Agents helping Agents”. I want to
surance business. I am 40 years old,              the concerns and desires of Farmers                      be a part of the vision for a brighter
and unlike many, Farmers Insurance                agents.                                                  future for Farmers agents. I believe
was my first career decision.                           After participating as a regular                    wholeheartedly that UFAA will be part
     I take pride in being a Farmers              member for several years, I decided 3                    of this vision. With effective and time-
agent and feel blessed for the lifestyle          ½ years ago to step up to the posi-                      ly communication to our members, I
it has afforded me. I feel fortunate              tion of president of our local chapter                   pledge that UFAA will strive to be an
to have survived the many ups and                 in Michigan. This opportunity allowed                    organization of irrevocable value to
downs which we, as agents, have all               me to network with several other                         the Farmers agent. Thank you for the
felt by participating in this industry.           Farmers agents from around the                           opportunity to serve as your National
Many of the challenges we face are                country. In doing so, I realized that                    Treasurer.
simply because we are in the insur-               some of our challenges are different.                                                  Mike Lillo
ance business, however, some are                  However, many of them are very simi-                                        UFAA National Treasurer
unique to being Farmers Insurance                 lar. I have appreciated and enjoyed



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                                                     The Voice • 16 • Autumn ’07
An attack on your contract (yet again)
        The following is a reproduction of an email sent by James Purcell, Colorado State Executive Director to District Managers
   concerning QUOTAS for auto production in Colorado. UFAA responded with a letter to Mr. Purcell which can be found on the
   following page.
                                                                                 Ralph Buchanan, UFAA Director of Legal Activities

       From: james.purcell@farmersinsurance.com
       Sent: Monday, July 02, 2007 7:18 PM
       To: [Colorado District Managers]

       District Leaders,

       In the spirit of giving you as much notice as possible.

        I have planned to personally meet one on one with every agent who remains on the (Auto Averaging Less than 10 monthly)
   starting October 1st. I am hopeful many of the agents currently on this list will improve their performance between now and
   October. I will have some tough decisions to make on many of these agents and I want to give them the opportunity to discuss
   their situation in October before these decisions are made. Please continue to work with these agents and provide plenty of
   support. We should all be focused on assisting the agents that want to improve. I also understand it’s very hard to help some-
   one who is unwilling to take the necessary steps to improve their performance. That is their choice but we all need to under-
   stand each one of us will have consequences based on the choices we make.

       James Purcell
       Farmers Insurance Colorado State Office
       Colorado State Executive Director
       (303) 283-6100




Clients Corner
HOMEOWNER SECURITY AND SAFETY
     You’ve all been there, your long-         neighborhood watch program. Inquir-              If the new house is 1-1/2 or more
time client’s son or daughter is buying        ing about the program and becoming          story house are there 2 ways out from
their first home and you are writing            active in neighborhood and communi-         the upper floors in case of a fire? If
their homeowners policy. They may              ty activities will allow you to meet your   the primary way is blocked by fire or
not think of it, so reminding them to          neighbors and will give you an idea         smoke, you will need a second way
change the locks, all the locks, might         who belongs and who doesn’t.                out. A secondary route might be a
help them out. You never know who                   Most thieves look for easy             window onto an adjacent roof or using
the previous owners lent or gave keys          targets, so don’t help them. Install        an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) ap-
too not to mention during the sales            ample lighting around outside doors         proved collapsible ladder for escape
process realtors, inspectors, potential        and cut back shrubs and trees from          from upper story window. Make sure
buyers and workmen are in and out of           pathways. Don’t give that thief a           that windows are not stuck and that
the house. Many times these individ-           place to hide. Keep garage and shed         the screens can be taken out quickly
uals are allowed use of the door keys          windows covered and locked. Don’t           and security bars can be opened.
unsupervised. (This covers outside             leave tools, extra bricks or toys in the         Make sure everyone can open all
doors, garage doors and shed doors.            yard. These can be used to break            locks from the inside of your home.
Changing the garage door opener                into your home.                             Replace inside-key locks with dead-
code is also suggested)                             All homeowners should know             bolt locks that have a “Thumb Turn”
     What about calling the local              where the main water and gas supply         instead or attach the door key so
police department for a home security          shutoff valves are for their house.         that it cannot be lost, but not seen or
inspection? Local law enforcement              This knowledge could prove to be            reached from a broken window. Have
agencies will review your home’s               very important in the case of an            window locks that open from the in-
security and make suggestions on               emergency. Each plumbing fixture             side and NEVER nail windows shut.
where to make improvements.                    should have its own shut off valve as                           A new homeowner
     Most neighborhoods have a                 well.

                                                 The Voice • 17 • Autumn ’07
                             United Farmers Agents Association, Inc.
                                9785 Mackenzie #104 • St. Louis, MO 63123
                                     800-275-8668 • 314-631-7963 fax
                                      www.ufaa.com • no@ufaa.com



    Farmers State Office – Colorado
    Attn: James Purcell – State Executive
    PO Box 37107
    Denver, CO 80237


    August 1, 2007


    Dear Mr. Purcell,

    This letter is in response to your July 2, 2007 email to the Colorado “District Leaders” concerning your planned “one
on one” meetings with every agent who writes less than ten auto policies per month.

   Your email says you will “have some tough decisions to make on many of these agents” and “it’s very hard to help
someone who is unwilling to take the necessary steps to improve their performance.”

    Let me help your decision making process by directing your attention to the Agent Appointment Agreement (AAA),
which states, “Nothing contained herein is intended or shall be construed to create the relationship of employer and em-
ployee; rather, the Agent is an independent contractor for all purposes.” It goes on to state, “The time to be expended by
the Agent is solely within the Agent’s discretion, and the persons to be solicited and the area wherein solicitation shall be
conducted is at the election of the Agent.” And, “The Agent shall, as an independent contractor, exercise sole right to de-
termine the time, place and manner in which the objectives of this Agreement are carried out, provided only that the Agent
conform to normal good business practices, and to all State and Federal laws governing the conduct of the Companies
and their Agents.”

     UFAA is confident that any court of competent jurisdiction would conclude your threat to take some action against
agents not producing some specific number of policies constituted the imposition of a quota. That action would represent
a breach of the AAA because, according to the AAA, “No change, alteration or modification of this Agreement may be
made unless it is in writing and signed by the Agent and an authorized representative of the Companies.” Furthermore,
I seriously doubt that Home Office authorized or even has knowledge of your attempt to establish quotas, as that would
lend substantial weight to the belief that agents are really employees rather than independent contractors, something that
Farmers Group Inc. has constantly fought since the first hearing before the National Labor Relations Board in the 1960s.
For that reason, a copy of this letter is being forwarded to Home Office Legal, to the attention of Jason Katz.

    Your email said, “That is their choice but we all need to understand each one of us will have consequences based on
the choices we make.” I do believe that statement is true and, in this case, applies to you. Are you prepared to live with the
consequences of your actions?

    UFAA will be watching closely to see how agents who produce less than ten auto policies in October are treated.

    Ralph Buchanan
    Director of Legal Activities
    United Farmers Agents Association

    Cc: Jason Katz      Home Office - Legal



                                             The Voice • 18 • Autumn ’07
UFAA National Convention
Forty years of “Agents Helping Agents!”
     The National Convention was           an evening of fine dining and much         family. I have said it many times. As
again held at the beautiful New York       conversation leading to the fun filled     an insurance company, Farmers is as
New York Hotel and Casino in Las           auction. Assorted gifts, many rare,       good as it gets. I absolutely believe
Vegas. The National Board met on           or one of a kind, were donated by the     that. However, it is not perfect and
Sunday, July 15th. The Chapter                                                               when you or I see something
Presidents’ meeting was held                                                                 that could be better, we owe
on Monday, July 16th to discuss                                                              it to Farmers, our clients and
and plan for the coming year.                                                                ourselves to speak out. If a
Foremost in the discussions                                                                  DM or DMM or an agent or any
was membership. Membership                                                                   representative of the company
is the blood of UFAA and the                                                                 is acting inhumane, it should be
Chapter Presidents comprise                                                                  made known and focused upon.
the heart of UFAA. Essentially,                                                              The greatest tool we have to
the Chapter Presidents deter-                                                                accomplish this is our commu-
mine the direction of our orga-                                                              nication network and the Voice.
nization based on the feedback                                                               The Voice is the official UFAA
received from the membership.                                                                news and information magazine
     On Tuesday, July 17th, the                                                              mailed out quarterly to Farmers
UFAA Delegation convened for                                                                 agents.
the fortieth time. Imagine that                                                                    The insurance business
for a moment. Four decades.                                                                  is changing and Farmers is
That is longer than most of us                                                               changing constantly and so
have been agents, although there           various chapters and auctioned dur-       must we. One of my fellow agents
are several who have been with the         ing much friendly banter and laughter.    said a while back during a conversa-
company almost that long. At the           The entire proceeds of the auction        tion, “You remember back when we
convention, we had some great pro-         are given to the DRA or legal fund.       were talking about who moved my
grams presented to teach agents how        It’s a great fun way to raise money for   cheese? I don’t even know where
to `farm’ their agencies to generate       a very important cause.                   my cheese is anymore.” For many of
more income. We were presented                   This year’s convention was a        us, it’s a lot of balls that we have to
                                                                                                     juggle. In fact, it may
                                                                                                     be too many. That’s for
                                                                                                     each one of us to de-
                                                                                                     termine. The one thing
                                                                                                     I have determined is
                                                                                                     that being a member of
                                                                                                     UFAA provides me ac-
                                                                                                     cess to information that
                                                                                                     affects me as an agent
with a program that showed, step by        milestone- forty years. If we look        and more specifically as a Farmers
step, how to build a commercial book       back, we see the many achievements        agent. It is comforting to know that
of business. That is especially helpful    of UFAA. I remember my 5280Z. I           you don’t have to go it alone.
if you are not competitive in fire or       remember when I first got E&O
auto. We were also presented with          deductible buyback. I also remember                                   Bill Wise
an alternative health insurance plan       the first time I heard of an agent be-                       UFAA Vice President
that can be marketed to our clients        ing fired because his
who either don’t qualify for traditional   DMM didn’t like him
health plans or believe they can’t         and wanted to make
afford them. It’s another arrow in our     himself known as a
quiver.                                    hatchet man.
     As has become traditional at the          This shouldn’t
conventions, the banquet was held          happen. Not when
Wednesday evening with many of the         we call ourselves a
attendees wearing their finest. It is       family - the Farmers

                                             The Voice • 19 • Autumn ’07
IS “free” REALLY FREE?
    There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t get   How long is a “lifetime”?
a call from some UFAA member saying they sent an              Free email services often market themselves as
email to someone or someone sent an email to them         being “free for life”... but they should really say, “free
that didn’t get through.                                  for the life of this company”! Every week, several
    Now many of you are pretty savvy from what I          free email providers disappear, either through lack of
have seen as you know one thing that is very true         funds, or buried under systematic abuse from spam-
now days, that if you do not use email many of your       mers.
customers ignore you, and some ignore you acciden-            Try to check how long the company you want to
tally as the email service you use dictates that your     sign up with has been in business; if it’s really crucial
email ends up in a trash or a spam folder.                that your free email service remains available, choose
    For all of you that use a free email service I came   a company that also has a for-fee email service, such
across this article in my archives that really hits the   as Google’s Gmail or one of the largest services,
free services for what they are…FREE                      such as Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or AOL. If you’re less
                                                          worried, some of the smaller companies offer more
For all of you who attended the UFAA conference           services than the giant companies they are compet-
in July in Las Vegas one of my main topics was,           ing with.
“Understanding email, spam and FREE.”
    Almost nothing is really free; although you are not   A dirty little secret: guilt by association
paying for free email, you will be indirectly paying in       Here’s something that most free email provid-
other ways. In general, companies offering free email     ers will never admit: because their services are often
services are not doing so out of kindness... they         abused by spammers, you may find that some ISPs
expect to gain something in return, either tangible       (Internet Service Providers -- companies providing
benefits (i.e. Cash) or intangible benefits (name rec-      web access) have taken to automatically blocking
ognition, happier customers, etc.)                        mail coming from some free email domains. You
    Many free email services are supported by ad-         may well find that your messages will never get to
vertising, especially web-based email services. With      certain people, no matter how many times you send
a web-based service you will generally view one or        them out; that’s because their ISP is filtering the mail
more banner advertisements every time you open an         before they get a chance to see it!
email message. Some services rotate banners every             This is one of the reasons why free email ad-
30 seconds or every minute to expose you to the           dresses are fine for individual use, but not a good
maximum number of advertisers.                            idea ever if your business depends on people getting
    Other free email services, such as POP mail           through to you.
services, make their living by reselling or reusing           Hope this helps, call if you have any questions or
your email information. For instance, they might send     save them for Chapter Meetings.
you one ad message a week, or sell your name to
companies in certain fields (some free email services          **Some archive material from emailaddresses.com
require you to complete a personal profile when you
sign up; this is to better target the advertising they                                                Alex Conger
offer you).                                                                             UFAA Tech and Web support



                                           The Voice • 20 • Autumn ’07
REPRODUCTION OF AN ARTICLE FROM INSURANCE NEWSCAST

PIA’s Auerbach Says Main Street
Agents Being Unfairly Penalized By
Mega-Broker Settlement Agreements …
TELLS STATE INSURANCE LEGISLATORS THEIR AUTHORITY
IS BEING USURPED BY SOME STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL
     Seattle, Wash. - Legislation via     independent agents and their carriers     ance regulations or regulatory deter-
settlement agreement is a bad way to      nationwide. Retail independent agen-      minations of any kind. No individual
make public policy, has none of the       cies were not engaged in the kinds of     state DOI or AG has authority to
checks and balances of legislatures       alleged abuses that were investigat-      make regulatory determinations on
and undermines state sovereignty.         ed, but they’re being dragged into the    behalf of other states simply by di-
That message was delivered during a       settlement compliance procedures of       recting that a settlement implement a
panel July 21 at the summer meeting       those who were under investigation        state order countrywide; or by merely
of the National Conference of Insur-      for possible wrongdoing.”                 being a participant in settlement
ance Legislators (NCOIL) in Seattle            Auerbach added that as a result      discussions in one federal court case
by PIA Vice President/Treasurer Ken-      of some settlements, agents are in        involving several states.
neth R. Auerbach, Esq.                    some cases being forced to use dis-            State Attorneys General have
     Auerbach made the remarks dur-       closure forms or processes that are       never had, nor should they have,
ing a panel entitled Attorneys General    both factually and legally inaccurate     extraterritorial power to enforce their
and Insurance Policymaking: Courting      as well as confusing to consumers.        state’s laws on other jurisdictions
State Regulation? Auerbach was the        These defects in the forms potentially    without the full signed, written con-
only independent insurance agency         expose agents in noncompliance            sent of the other jurisdictions and only
principal to participate in the NCOIL     with existing with state law. “Each       if that person has both the scope and
panel.                                    state legislature has taken the time      authority to do so for their jurisdiction.
     “State Attorneys General are not     to carefully deliberate and enact laws    AGs do not have public policymaking
state legislators, and they need to       governing insurance transactions,”        authority in their own state, much less
stop acting as if they were,” he added.   he said. “How can a requirement           any other state. The 10th Amend-
Auerbach addressed these issues           imposed on all insurance jurisdictions    ment to the U.S. Constitution not only
both during the panel and in extended     by a legal settlement hope to com-        guarantees state sovereignty with
remarks filed with NCOIL in advance        port to all these various established     respect to the federal government, it
of the discussion.                        procedures? As we are finding out, it      also provides states with protection
     “PIA supports state officials’ use    cannot.”                                  from other states’ attempts to impose
of the settlement process to resolve           The broader issue is one that        their policies beyond their borders.
enforcement matters, and appreci-         involves the separation of powers.             Using the settlement process to
ates the value gained in extending        Auerbach addressed these issues           formulate and implement new public
some settlements into a coordinated       during the panel discussion and in        policy, as opposed to enforcing al-
multi-states vehicle,” Auerbach noted,    extended remarks filed with NCOIL in       ready established law, is a dangerous
“However, using the legal settlement      advance of the discussion.                precedent that cannot be allowed to
process to create new laws or alter            Among the points Auerbach            go unchecked.
current established laws is unwise,       raised:                                        “Main Street agents are being
unfair, undemocratic and unconstitu-           The authority to determine           unfairly penalized as the result of
tional.”                                  insurance statutory law and thus to       alleged abuses by a few individuals
     “The ability of agents to earn       direct regulatory policy is exclusively   who worked for a few big firms in
contingent compensation has come          within the domain of legislatures. Any    another sector of our industry,” Auer-
under attack by a handful of over-        changes or additions to current law       bach said. “Today, it is independent
zealous state Attorneys General and       are important considerations to be        agents who are being unfairly victim-
insurance commissioners using the         made by state legislatures in open        ized by the attempt to use legal settle-
multi-state settlement vehicle,” said     meetings, not in settlement negotia-      ments to alter insurance laws. But if
Auerbach. “They are attempting to         tions that take place behind closed       this process is allowed to go forward
use settlements with a handful of         doors.                                    unchecked, then who will be next?”
mega-brokers and carriers to dictate           No state Attorney General has        www.pianet.com
the method of compensation for all        authority to override existing insur-          Editorial Note: UFAA has included
                                                                                                       continued on page 22
                                            The Voice • 21 • Autumn ’07
Oak Street Funding offers Custom
Financing for Insurance Professionals
     Lisa Nordhoff, Director of Mar-        states. Loans are provided to cap-               “We are very easy to do business
keting and Sales for Oak Street             tive agents using business assets as        with,” said Nordhoff. “We’re agent
Funding, discussed the enormous             collateral. The terms of the loans are      friendly, we understand insurance
opportunities for agents to achieve         calculated by the in-force and future       and we provide excellent customer
their goals with the Insurance Agent        commissions earned by agents.”              service.” She added that, “As direct
Loan Program during her presenta-                Every OSF loan is custom-de-           lenders, we can fund loans very
tion to UFAA’s Chapter President            signed, allowing the borrower to            quickly—normally within two weeks.
July 16th in Las Vegas. Through Oak         determine terms of the loan. OSF            Since we lend exclusively to the
Street Funding, UFAA agents can use         can fund loans from $25,000 up to           insurance industry, we’re prepared to
the value of renewal commissions to         $10 million, with repayment terms,          customize every loan for an individual
generate immediate cash for growth,         through OSF, from 1 to 10 years,            borrower’s needs, collateral type and
acquisitions, succession planning and       depending on the product type. OSF          cash flow.”
more.                                       lends against all types of insurance             If you need extra capital to grow
     To fill a critical need for insurance   policies, including direct carrier-billed   your business, to invest in technol-
agents, the ability to borrow money         policies such as, standard auto–P&C,        ogy, to purchase an office building, to
against anticipated commission              sub-standard auto–P&C, homeown-             pay off business debt or to acquire an
revenues, CEO Rick Dennen founded           ers, commercial lines, workers’ comp.,      agency—without risking your person-
Oak Street Funding (OSF), a special-        whole life insurance, long-term care,       al credit, your customers, or control
ty finance company headquartered             individual/group major medical,             of your business, Oak Street Funding
in Indianapolis, IN, in 2003. Typically,    individual disability income, long-haul     can help.
agents find it difficult to borrow money      trucking and professional liability.             For more information on the
from banks, which tend to loan only              OSF’s goal is to structure ev-         OSF’s Agent Loan Program and Line
against hard assets.                        ery loan so it will be repaid through       of Credit Product, please call 1-866-
     “Oak Street Funding pioneered          renewal commissions, with little or         OAK-FUND (1-866-625-3863) or visit
commission-based lending for the in-        no out-of-pocket cash from agents.          www.oakstreetfunding.com.
surance industry,” said Nordhoff. “We       During the life of the loan, OSF’s pro-          As always, you can visit our of-
have originated over $100 million in        prietary system monitors policies to        ficial website www.ufaa.com for more
business loans to public and private        make sure they’re generating enough         information on this or any other UFAA
insurance agents and agencies in 44         income for repayment.                       advertiser or sponsor.


PIA’s Auerbach Says Main Street…            Commercial P/C Premiums Continue Free Fall in Second Quarter
continued from page 21                      continued from page 13

this article in the Voice to help make      reporting rate decreases in the 10-20       medium account rates were down by
agents aware that some potential            percent range. For large accounts, 83       an average of 12.6 percent, and large
problems can arise from our gov-            percent of respondents said the rates       account rates were down by 14.5
ernment, even with its structure of         were down from 1 to 30 percent, with        percent in the quarter, according to
checks and balances. Normally the           the largest group, 40 percent, also in      the Lehman analysis.
balance of power makes it possible          the 10-20 percent range.                         The same premium rate trends
for the legislative, executive and               A Lehman Brothers analysis of          were evident in most commercial
judicial branches to hold each other in     The Council’s market survey data            lines, with the exception of being bro-
check. However, it seems lately that        said the average drop in premium            ker Errors & Omissions policies, flood
our courts and now some Attorney            rates for all sizes of accounts was         insurance, surety bonds, terrorism
Generals are trying to make law and         11.8 percent in the second quarter.         and medical malpractice coverage,
establish public policy. This means         Small account premium rates were            which were generally holding steady
they are superseding their jurisdic-        down by an average of 8.3 percent,          or down slightly. www.ciab.com
tion. Please be on the look out for
governmental officials overstepping
their authority in your state and notify
UFAA immediately, if you see these
particular violations.

                                              The Voice • 22 • Autumn ’07
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                              The Voice • 23 • Autumn ’07
                                             UNITED FARMERS AGENTS ASSOCIATION
                                                        9785 Mackenzie, Suite 104
                                                           St. Louis, MO 63123
                                                   Office Hours: 8 am to 5 pm Central Time

                                                             E-mail: no@ufaa.com
    Phone: 314-631-7898                                   For Members: 800-275-8668                                        Fax: 314-631-7963

                                                            Executive Board
President—Tom Schrader                                Vice President—Bill Wise                        Treasurer—Mike Lillo
(P) 913-631-1202 (F) 913-403-8636                     (P) 480-924-4070 (F) 480-924-2581               (P) 616-281-2888 (F) 616-281-9613
E-mail: tschrader@ufaa.com                            E-mail: bwise@ufaa.com                          E-mail: mlillo@ufaa.com

Secretary—Merle Johnson                               Membership Director—Steve Hooper                Director at Large—Jeff Acklie
(P) 503-682-1583 (F) 503-682-8527                     (P) 406-752-4357 (F) 406-257-5190               (P) 402-391-1979 (F) 402-397-6798
E-mail: mjohnson@ufaa.com                             E-mail: shooper@ufaa.com                        E-mail: jacklie@ufaa.com

Legal Activities—Ralph Buchanan                       Governmental Affairs—Klaas Tuininga             Media Relations—Mike Ward
(P) 480-306-5224                                      (P) 406-587-0765 (F) 406-586-3817               (P) 918-258-6611 (F) 918-258-6613
E-mail: rgbuch@ufaa.com                               E-mail: klaast@ufaa.com                         E-mail: mward@ufaa.com

UFAA Technology Services—Alex Conger                  UFAA Historian—Chuck Simpson
(P) 866-441-8018                                      (P) 913-788-3110 (F) 913-788-5593
E-mail: ufaatech@ufaa.com                             E-mail: csimpson@ufaa.com


                                                        Chapter Presidents
ARKANSAS                                              KANSAS                                          OKLAHOMA
(30) Bill Miller, Little Rock 501-223-2661            (13) Scott Smith, Desota 913-583-3331           (12) Tony Reese, Lawton 580-355-1335
(31) Deanna Parks, Barling 479-452-6491                                                               (15) Michael Ward, Broken Arrow 918-258-6611
                                                      MICHIGAN
ARIZONA                                               (45) Dave Arbanas, Comstock Park 616-531-9070   OREGON
(16) Murray Fink, Tucson 520-622-6405                                                                 (14) Merle Johnson, Wilsonville 503-682-1583
(43) David Webster, Mesa 480-964-6414                 MINNESOTA
                                                      (17) Brian Fitzgerald, Fridley 763-586-0750     SOUTH & NORTH DAKOTA
CALIFORNIA                                                                                            (52) Loretta Berg, Sioux Falls 605-362-6600
(01) Bill Phillips, Chico 530-895-1887                MISSOURI
(02) Victor Acevedo, Daly City 650-994-1791           (41) Paul Juergens, Sullivan 573-259-7159       TEXAS
(04) Dan Nelson, Bakersfield 661-834-4440                                                              (33) David Barron-Rajme, El Paso 915-581-3315
(05) Jan Neveu, Glendale 818-943-3995                 MONTANA - WYOMING                               (34) Joe Brown, Fort Worth 817-926-1598
(08) Damien Simeone, San Diego 858-459-3741           (51) Brian Coleman, Helena 406-443-8884         (35) Robert Fox, Houston 281-920-2315
(10) John Duncan, Concord 925-825-1808                                                                (36) Hank Alves, Converse 210-659-6176
                                                      NEBRASKA - IOWA                                 (38) Joey Carlin, Abilene 325-673-4591
COLORADO                                              (19) Tom Dahulick, Omaha 402-572-9344
(27) Roxye Santorno, Wheat Ridge 303-940-3233                                                         UTAH
(29) Jim Stanich, Colorado Springs 719-528-1010       NEW MEXICO                                      (39) Joseph Gardner, W. Jordan 801-561-1567
(46) Bernie Clark, Greeley 970-353-2208               (24) Steve Collins, Albuquerque 505-346-1023
                                                                                                      WASHINGTON
IDAHO                                                 OHIO                                            (22) Steve Hall, Everett 425-743-1122
(28) Randy Frates, Fruitland 208-452-4011             (44) Bernie McGuire, Fairfield 513-829-7222
                                                                                                      WISCONSIN
ILLINOIS                                                                                              (20) Ron Mikesell, Menomonie 715-235-6588
(21) Paul Adams, La Grange 708-246-3800

                             For information, contact the Chapter President nearest you or any Board Member
                                                  Visit our website — www.ufaa.com




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  St. Louis, MO 63123


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