Insurance Roundup

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                      408 20th Ave. SW, Ste. 101 | Minot, ND 58701 | p 701.852.5383 | f 701.852.6272 | 1.800.735.4955 | www.western-agency.com
                                                                                                                                                  Vol. 3, Ed. 2




 Editorial                                                         which we are conservatively
                                                                   estimating at over $40,000,000.
                                                                                                             been inconvenienced to having a full
                                                                                                             blown crisis on our hands. We went
 I had written a newsletter and had                                                                          from being out of homes for a few
                                                                   Now to the flood situation in the
 it all ready to send. That was about                                                                        days to the possibility of being out of
                                                                   Mouse River Valley. First of all
 the time we realized the flood in                                                                           them for a year or more. Frantically,
                                                                   probably largely due to the fact we
 Minot and all communities along the                                                                         we went back to moving things out
                                                                   have been told for years that since we
 Mouse River was going to be out of                                                                          and getting them stored in machine
                                                                   had reconstructed or built new the
 control, huge beyond belief, and going                                                                      sheds, grain bins, garages, trailers, and
                                                                   four main dams controlling floodwater
 to be with us for a very long time. In                                                                      anywhere else we could simply get
                                                                   on the Mouse River we were largely
 short this was not a drill, it’s the real                                                                   things out of the flood area and out of
                                                                   ‘flood proof ’. Banks had by and large
 deal. I called up my friend Tom Lowe                                                                        the elements. My machine shed, shop,
                                                                   stopped requiring flood insurance on
 of Lowe’s Printing to see when he                                                                           granary barn and three spare rooms in
                                                                   home loans and housing projects had
 thought they would be up and                                                                                the office building are full of people’s
                                                                   been permitted in places that had
 running to get the newsletter out and                                                                       belongings. When Casey left our
                                                                   formerly been considered to be ‘flood
 he told me he was standing on top a                                                                         sister Cory Eliason’s place at around
                                                                   zone’. In short in the Minot area we
 dike above his place of business. Then                                                                      noon on Wednesday 6/22/11 the
                                                                   thought we had our ‘flood problem’
 he amazed me by saying they had                                                                             water was already coming over the
                                                                   fixed. Nature, we were about to find
 already put a deal together with a                                                                          dike behind her home and was in
 printer in another town and could get                                                                       places hub deep on his Ford pickup.
 our newsletter out with only a delay of
                                                                                                             Coverage for property stored off
 a few days. Good job Tom! Now the
                                                                                                             premises: For the hundreds of you
 monkey was on my back to rewrite my
                                                                                                             with property now stored in remote
 newsletter to give it at least a little
                                                                                                             locations, I can tell you that Insurance
 relevance to the situation we find
                                                                                                             Commissioner, Adam Hamm has
 ourselves in this spring. Here goes,
                                                                                                             requested that companies allow you
 instead of hearing that its not a good
                                                                                                             the same coverage you would have
 idea to ‘do your own insurance quote’
                                                                                                             had on your current policy for the
 and why you ABSOLUTELY need
                                                                                                             location where you were at to be
 an agent not a telemarketer by your
                                                                   out had other ideas on our idea of        extended to wherever your belongings
 side at claim time, lets talk about the
                                                                   ‘fixed’. Sure we had an earlier scare     are stored. Again, any questions call us
 real deal.
                                                                   when the first big surge hit Minot and    and we will look up your own
 First of all, even before these flood                             many of us had moved our friends and      individual personal or commercial
 losses came we had already filed crop                             loved ones out of homes located in the    policy.
 losses on over 600,000 acres of crops                             flood zone. But then dikes got built
                                                                                                             Flood Claims: It turns out there are
 which we insure here at Western                                   back up, and things started to return
                                                                                                             only around 375 flood policies in
 Agency. I explain this and the process                            to normal. We were thinking we had
                                                                                                             Minot. We have 29 of them insured
 we intend to use in Farm Shorts                                   only been treated to a minor
                                                                                                             here at Western Agency. We have
 elsewhere in the newsletter. Suffice to                           inconvenience. It was about this time
                                                                                                             already turned in losses on all of these
 say, we already had the largest loss                              an estimated seven inch cloudburst of
                                                                                                             policies and our Claims Manager, Lu
 year in the history of our agency well                            rain hit the upper Mouse River valley.
                                                                                                             Hanson is quickly getting up to speed
 under way just with the crop losses                               Within hours we went from having

                Minot | Garrison | Bottineau | Dickinson | Wahpeton | Glen Ullin | Glenburn | Kenmare | Hebron | Towner | Britton | Oakes | Aberdeen
Insurance Roundup | July 2011
Editorial Continued…
                                                                many of these policies will pay the                       within the next week we will be pretty
                                                                max amount. All I can tell you on this                    solid on what and how things will
                                                                is we simply don’t know. I know that                      be handled.
                                                                in the past in the Grand Forks flood
                                                                                                                          Again, as always, thanks for your
                                                                there were payments made but as to
                                                                                                                          business, thanks for all of your prayers
                                                                the same being done in this flood I
                                                                                                                          and assistance to family, friends and
                                                                simply don’t know with certainty at
                                                                                                                          total strangers. Times like this are
on how to help you all get them                                 the time I am writing this and neither
                                                                                                                          trying but they bring out the best in all
settled. I can tell you this, on my                             does anyone else. I can tell you if one
                                                                                                                          of us. Luckily, we are here, we can help,
mother’s policy, I filed the loss on                            company pays on sewer backup most
                                                                                                                          give us a call. I need to close and get
Wednesday and had a call back from                              likely several companies will pay.
                                                                                                                          this newsletter copy to the printers.
the adjuster within five hours. Wow!                            Whether or not you have a flood                           Dave Shomento from Sammy’s Pizza
Was I impressed. We have all of our                             insurance policy you or your loved                        is waiting out front to get his loss filed.
flood insurance contracts with Auto                             ones will have questions that need to
Owners Insurance company and they                               be answered. We of course are going to
are living up to their well earned                                                                                        The Management and Staff of Western Agency, Inc.
                                                                be heavily engaged here in getting up
reputation of being rated #1 in                                 to speed as to how these losses and                       Thanks for your business!
customer satisfaction by J.D. Power                             situations can be dealt with. If you
and Associates.                                                 want to give us a call we will do our
Sewer Backup: Of course, the elephant                           best to get an answer for you.
in the room is the literally thousands                          Furthermore, as we get into this                          Chuck Tompkins
of homes uninsured for the peril of                             situation we will get updates out to
flood. Of course rumors are rampant                             you. In the meantime, don’t be afraid
that the sewer backup coverage on                               to call and ask us. I would expect that

Backes Report/Pullen Rebutal                                   FEMA Information
  I had a nice Backes Report and a Pullen Rebuttal             We have sent staff to FEMA meetings to gather              let us know and we will get started on getting you
  written. It talked about how Scotty and brother              information which we are now forwarding to those           one of these coverage denial letters. This you can
  Rick Backes were considering raising Cranberries             who need it. We are not agents for FEMA and of             present to FEMA. We asked if we could just type
  and how I felt they could do better TV ads than              course cannot settle or even tell you what kind of         this letter up for you and were told it had to be a
                                                               payment or help they can give you. However, we can         formal letter from the insurance carrier. Therefore,
  the current ones from Ocean Spray. The Pullen
                                                               help you understand how to get the claim process           you must file a formal loss to get one. We have no
  Rebuttal was going to be about Ed thinking about
                                                               moving. The FEMA number is 1-800-621-3362                  way of knowing for sure who has had flood damage
  raising fish and since he was not busy with crops
                                                               (FEMA) or register online at www.disasterassistance.gov.   so let us know and we can get you filed to get this
  this year he was going to buy a boat and learn
  more about fishing. But seriously, it’s hard to joke         File a Flood Loss With Your Property Insurance             Denial Letter coming your way.
  about how terribly wet we really are out in the              Carrier: First of all, when presenting your claim to       Other Things You Need To Have To Continue to
  country and in the flooded towns and villages in             FEMA they will want to know who your property              File Your FEMA Loss:
                                                               carrier is. Later in the loss they are gong to require a   • Social security number (you and spouse) and if
  North Dakota. I suppose as a state and as the close
                                                               letter from your Property Insurance carrier that they        business tax ID #
  knit communities we are, we will do what we have
                                                               do not cover you for the peril of overland flooding.       • Private insurance information (copy of
  always done. Help each other get through this time
                                                               This would apply to both personal and commercial             declarations page) see us for this.
  and try to keep a happy face doing it. Here’s to
                                                               insurance. To get an actual denial of coverage letter      • Address and zip code of damaged property
  hopping you and yours are safe and ok.
                                                               you will have to file a loss with your Property carrier.   • Directions to the home or property
                                                               So if you are going to try and get a FEMA payment          • Telephone number where FEMA can reach you.


Westy Hat
                         In preparing to write this spring’s newsletter, when I was contacted by the unknown, never seen, and totally secret judge that picks the Westy
                           Hat Contest winners, I was surprised to get chewed out. Turns out Antler farmer/rancher Pete Artz was on TV a while back while wearing
                                his trusty Westy Hat. I guess the Mysterious Judge had told me about it and I had forgotten to put Artz in the Newsletter! Guess that won’t
                                  be happening again. In addition Minot area farmer Chip Drawz was spotted wearing his new-style black Westy Hat this past month.
                                    Norwich area farmer Lance Lenton showed up nicely topped at the John Deere Apex meeting with a new style black Westy Hat. In
                                      the Southwest it was Charles Stafford in Dickinson with his cream colored hat and Lance Gartner (Hebron) in new Westy khaki
                                      green. Looks like $50 gift cert to Perkins for Artz, $50 gift cert to Sammy’s for Drawz, $50 gift cert to Homesteaders for Lenton, $50
                                gift cert to Jack’s for Stafford and $50 gift cert to Pizza Pantry for Gartner. Thanks to all winners for proudly wearing your Westy Hats!
Insurance Roundup | July 2011
Personal Insurance Shorts
Gap Insurance: In these days of used car           which company you have, each and every             was declared the winner. We ended up
prices falling and new car prices being high,      situation needs to be discussed with your          winning the contest by a simply huge margin.
there is a new problem to consider when            agent. Additionally, though a policy may cover     The contest ran from January to March and
talking about your car insurance. If you are       for the Liability (someone gets hurt) part of      by contest’s end there had been approximately
involved with an accident and your car is a        the loss, it may not cover for the Physical        $180,000 of premium written in North
total loss, if the value of your auto is less      Damage (you wreck the machine) part of the         Dakota on new farm accounts. It seems
($15,000) than the loan you have on it             claim. In the particular case mentioned above,     Western Agency had written $160,000 of this.
($20,000), you may well find yourself in a         if you give your son/daughter permission to        Wow! Are we in the Farm Insurance Business
situation where you are several thousand           use the machine it is in most cases and with       or what! By winning the contest we were
dollars short after the loss settlement. Think     most companies insured. However, no two            presented with a cash award for area Fire
this does not happen? We just had a case like      companies are alike and be sure and call us if     Departments. Therefore, we will be donating a
this a couple of months ago. The problem is        you are thinking of doing this. Secondly, if       check for $625 each to the Garrison, Hebron,
virtually all auto policies only insure you for    you are leaving the machine with the son/          Glenburn, Carpio, Wyndmere, Oakes, Verona,
the book value (ACV) of your auto. Even this       daughter basically as a gift to them for their     and Sawyer Fire departments.
amount is based on the condition of the auto.      use, it may not be a bad idea to have them
In other words, if your car has excessive miles    insure it on their own homeowner’s policy.         Crop Corner
on it, lots of superficial dents and scratches,    One final caution, what if your son (who in
                                                                                                      Prevent Plant Losses: I suppose all I can say
etc the value will be even less. However, just     most cases is probably covered) allows a friend
                                                                                                      about crop insurance is state our #1 Goal here
because the value of your car is low doesn’t       of his to use the machine. Now we are really
                                                                                                      at Western Agency. That goal is three fold: get
mean your loan is less. The way to be sure you     getting out there as far as the chain of
                                                                                                      our crop claims Filed, get the audits done, and
do not have a Gap in coverage from what you        permission goes. Folks, only one way to be
                                                                                                      get the claims Paid: Quickly, Accurately, and
owe on the auto (loan) to what its Actual          sure what you have covered. Call us…
                                                                                                      with as little hassle as possible. All policies
Cash Value (insured value) is, would be to         Anytime…and I do mean ANYTIME.
                                                                                                      losses are filed, We were totally focused on the
purchase an additional coverage called Gap         Before the claim happens. We will look into
                                                                                                      fact that this will be or largest claim year ever,
Insurance. This policy is not very expensive       it, and be sure we have your assets correctly
                                                                                                      and we have been gearing up for these losses
and can be a life saver if you in fact have your   covered. There has simply never been a policy
                                                                                                      for months. All of our companies are on
vehicle totaled while owing more on it than        written, by any company that covers
                                                                                                      notice, the adjustors are in place, and we too
the car is worth. In the case we just handled,     everything automatically, all the time. Oh, by
                                                                                                      have staffed up to help get your losses
the person had Gap coverage and was paid           the way, we here at Western Agency speak
                                                                                                      handled. ‘Let’s get er done!”
the $5000 difference between the Value of her      perfect English, not an Asian dialect. Call us.
car and what she owed on it.
                                                   More Theft Trauma…Thieves punch a hole              Flood Story
Personal Watercraft Coverages Discussed:           right under the door handle on the passenger’s
Although this discussion centers on Personal       side of the vehicle. No broken windows, no
Watercraft (jet skis) it could apply in many       broken glass, usually you don’t even know your      Jackie Best: When due to rising
cases to boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and      car has been broken into for several days.          floodwaters, Minot residents were told
even autos in some cases. For that matter, it      Meanwhile, thieves, check your GPS to see           that they needed to evacuate as of
could even apply to borrowed or rented             where your home is. This way they know              immediately, Western, CSR Jackie Best
machinery. However, this discussion is             where you live, they know what you drive;           was in a total quandary. How to get her
primarily about letting others use your            they may be able to get your cell phone             and her two children moved out of the
personal watercraft, ATV’s boats or                number. They can call to see if you are home        house and to higher ground in a mere few
snowmobiles. In most cases this involves a son     and if not; break into your home etc. If your       hours. Western Agency CEO Ryon Boen
or daughter (that is not living in your            purse is in the car they only take one or two       called wife Kristin Boen and asked her to
residence) using your boat, personal               cards; they hope you won’t notice for a couple      call Jackie to see what she needed. When
watercraft, snowmobile, or some other form of      of days. Meanwhile, they have run up a bunch        Kristin called Jackie, she asked if I could
recreational equipment. The case in point          more costs to you. All I can say is don’t leave     get some boxes, and a trailer. Luckily,
involved one of our long time clients who          your purse in your car, don’t leave the portable    Western Insured’s Troy Coons, Jeff Braun,
happened to mention his personal watercraft        GPS unit in sight, and look on the passenger’s      Max Braun, and Scotty Backes were in the
was being kept at his son’s home and his son       side of the car to see if you have a small hole     office and heard of her dilemma. Not only
was using it. At that point I called the           under the door handle where it shouldn’t be.        that but Troy Coons had his son and two
company to see if in fact my client’s liability    Do I do this? Not all the time, but I am            of his son’s friends with him. All headed
and physical damage coverage would still           working on it. “Linda, you left your purse in       for Jackie’s house. Kristin had some boxes
cover the machine. What I found out in this        the car…                                            left over from her own move and Barb
case was that it would. Also, in this case the                                                         Kohlman and Shannon Berens had some
son has his own homeowner’s policy. Would                                                              to contribute as well. With the help of
his policy cover a borrowed Personal               Farm Shorts                                         these clients, friends, and family within
Watercraft? Since we are not the son’s agent,                                                          four and ½ hours Jackie and her family
                                                   ”Western Agency Wins Contest: In a recent           were packed and moved. Amazing job! A
we simply don’t know. We advised the son to
                                                   state wide contest concerning written               heart-felt thanks to everyone who helped.
talk to his own agent, or better yet let us
                                                   premium on Farm Insurance by one of our
insure him. The problem is that no matter
                                                   larger farm insurance carriers Western Agency
Insurance Roundup | July 2011
  Westy Pen?
  Jim Thom one of our longest                           408 20th Ave. SW, Ste. 101
  term Western Agency insured’s;                            Minot, ND 58701
  (well over 30 years and counting) recently            www.western-agency.com
  pointed out that he has a Westy pen that
  has been to over 16 states, signed countless
  documents, and is his very favorite pen.
  He pointed out that since there is no
  known ‘secret, unknown, never seen’ Westy
  INK PEN judge but “there should be”.
  Anyway, in view of the fact we can never
  hope to locate another judge such as the
  Hat Judge we will simply recognize Jim
  and his favorite pen and record how far
  the pen has traveled. Also, for helping get
  me some more fodder for the Westy
  Newsletter how about a $50 gift certificate
  to Barry’s Quick Stop in Surrey, where
  Jim is known to stop for Hamburgers and
  Coffee. In addition, if any of our other
  Westy Insured’s have a well traveled
  ‘famous’ Westy pen let us know about it.




Minot Airport Museum a “Must See”                                                                    Jim Winczewski Retires
                                                                                                     Longtime Western Agency
                                                                                                     insurance agent Jim Winczewski
                                                                                                     has retired from the insurance business after
                                                                                                     a career spanning several decades. Jim’s
                                                                                                     retiring was not good news to us since he
                                                                                                     has long been a valued and excellent part of
                                                                                                     our insurance team here in Minot and
                                                                                                     Garrison. The Minot staff held a barbecue
                                                                                                     for Jim and Rosie and it was an absolutely
                                                                                                     perfect evening. At the party Jim was
                                                                                                     presented with a new shotgun, several
If you have never had the chance to stop up         Texas Flying Legends Museum and consist          plaques, and lots of good natured teasing.
and go through the Minot Airport Museum             of a B-25 Mitchell bomber, a P-51 Mustang        When I asked Jim what he was going to be
this next few months you should for sure            fighter, a P-40 Warhawk fighter, a Corsair       doing to keep busy, he mentioned more
take the time to do it. The museum is opened        fighter, and a Japanese Zero, fighter. The       fishing, hunting, yard work, and other jobs.
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through              Japanese Zero is the only flying one of its      He emphatically mentioned they would be
Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. on        kind in the world that flew during the Pearl     jobs with NO PAPERWORK!! Since Jim
Sundays. The Museum is home to countless            Harbor era. All airplanes are award winning      has been planning his retirement for some
displays of aircraft beginning with a replica       in quality and are in nearly the exact livery    time most of you have been introduced to
of the original Wright Brothers Flyer to            and condition they would have been in            your new agent and if you have any
dozens of other military and civilian aircraft.     WWII. It is awe inspiring to see these planes    questions at all as to who will be handling
However, what makes these next few months           and unbelievable that we can have them           your accounts, please call and we can get you
critical is there are five of the finest examples   right here in our town to be viewed by all. If   in touch. Luckily, Jim has agreed to continue
of surviving WWII aircraft on display until         you get a chance be sure and stop up to see      on as our premier cook for the yearly
July. These aircraft are on loan from the           these genuine pieces of flying history.          Pheasant Hunt with all the Western agents.

Insurance Roundup | July 2011

				
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