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Premier NW Insurance Recognized as Leading Writer of Farm Insurance

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014
 
Contact: Joel Feller
Director, Sales Development
Nationwide Agribusiness
1100 Locust Street
Des Moines IA 50391
515-508-3356

Premier NW Insurance Honored at National Sales Conference

DES MOINES, IA – Ryan Justus, Commercial Lines Agent with Premier NW Insurance located in Clackamas, Oregon, was recognized at the Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance Company national sales conference held in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, as one of the company’s leading writers of farm insurance. Premier NW Insurance is an On Your Side® Farm Certified Agent.

The annual FAST Track Conference was held in recognition of top-producing agents in sales of new farm insurance policies during the 2013 calendar year.

“Farm coverage is a highly specialized line of insurance,” said Joel Feller, Sales Development Director, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Des Moines. “Only agents who specialize in this highly complex type of business can provide our farm customers with important advice and counsel. Our FAST Track Conference recognizes agents who have made this commitment.”

While more than 6000 agencies write farm insurance for Nationwide, only 87 qualified for the 2014 FAST Track Conference.

“Congratulations to Premier NW Insurance on reaching this level of recognition,” said Feller, “and for their ongoing dedication to protecting Oregon and Northwest area farmers.”

Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, and its affiliate, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company, are part of Nationwide®, Columbus, OH. Nationwide Agribusiness, rated A+ (Superior) by The A.M. Best Company, is the country’s #1 farm insurer, and a leader in insurance and risk management solutions for commercial agribusinesses in the food and fiber chain. For more information, visit www.NationwideAgribusiness.com. Nationwide Agribusiness offers the AgriChoice® farm policy which provides customized coverages for farm operations of various sizes and types.

 Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark, and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

 

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Career Opportunities

Premier NW Insurance is currently searching for Producers to add to our successful B2B sales team. Premier NW is a locally owned, customer focused organization that provides Producers with the flexibility and support necessary to achieve their financial goals. Our agency has an outstanding reputation for professionalism, integrity and providing top tier advice and solutions to our clients. Our Producers have access to the leading insurance companies in the Northwest.

For those looking at insurance sales as a new career or as a first time career decision – insurance sales is an often misunderstood and under-appreciated profession. The most effective insurance Producers develop a close, personal relationship with their clients and become an important resource to them in the successful operation of their business. Compensation potential is unlimited and is directly related to the efforts and success of the Producer. Insurance Producers have a significant advantage in that insurance is a recession resistant industry.

We currently have opportunities available in our Clackamas and Salem branch offices. Whether you are an experienced Producer or are interested in making a career change, we have the resources and positive agency culture to enable your success.

We are looking for outstanding people with the following traits:

  • Outgoing personality with the ability to develop close relationships with clients
  • Strong work ethic, self-motivated with effective time management skills
  • Ability to work effectively in a team oriented collaborative environment
  • Strong community ties
  • Ability to quickly learn and understand market dynamics affecting the businesses of our customers
  • Ability to assess and analyze customer needs and develop recommendations
  • Above average written and oral communication skills
  • Capable of working with owners and senior management of businesses
  • B2B sales experience
  • Ability to build a successful referral network

We are willing to provide in depth sales and insurance product training to the right individual. We have resources available through our insurance company partners and agency mentorship to help ensure your success.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to enter the insurance industry. Our producers enjoy a recurring revenue stream from their clients with strong new business incentives.  Base compensation plus commission is provided to assist while you build your client base. We offer favorable commission percentages for both new and renewal business and full vesting opportunity to our sales staff.

Premier NW Insurance is not a call center. We are not a captive agency who will place unreachable goals on you each year. We are a growing, family owned agency who cares about our customers and our staff.

If you have an interest in joining a successful locally owned agency with unlimited compensation potential, please contact Mitzi Johnson at mjohnson@premiernw.net.

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Producer, Ryan Justus, recently quoted in Capital Press’ article on “agritourism”

 

Agritourism requires added coverage

By

Mateusz Perkowski

 

Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press Peter Sherman and his wife, Carin, help their son, Liam, and daughter, Emma, pick out pumpkins at a farm on Sauvie Island near Portland, Ore. experts say agritourism operations require common sense to prevent injuries and insurance coverage in case they occur anyway.

Pumpkin farmer Matt Roloff says the prospect of calamity doesn’t dissuade him from opening his property north of Hillsboro, Ore., to the public each year.

“Anytime you have 30,000 people rolling through your place, inevitably somebody will get hurt,” he said. “You can’t let the risk scare you out of business.”

Roloff said he tries to use common sense when designing attractions at his 34-acre farm, which features a tree fort, pirate ship, medieval caste and Western town, among other constructions.

At the same time, Roloff makes sure the operation is well insured in case injuries do occur, he said. “Accidents happen when you get that many people.”

Liability and insurance issues, along with regulatory and legal constraints, are among the top challenges faced by agritourism operators, according to a survey by University of California Cooperative Extension.

Obtaining a policy that covers agritourism activities is now easier than it has been in the past, said Ryan Justus, a farm specialist at Premier Northwest Insurance.

“More people are doing it and more people are offering it,” he said.

Even so, coverage remains a financial hurdle for some farmers because insurance companies see agritourism operations as having a high exposure to risk, Justus said.

“Is it cheap insurance? No, it’s not. It’s expensive,” he said.

Premiums for agritourism insurance typically run from about $2,500 to $5,000 per year and must be purchased on top of regular policies that cover buildings and equipment, Justus said.

The cost of insurance goes up based on revenues as well as the types of activities involved — a pumpkin patch and corn maze will be cheaper to cover than a hay ride and inflatable bouncy castle, he said.

A rule of thumb is that anytime children are riding, bouncing or sliding on something, the insurance premium rises, Justus said. “You’re into that next category that’s going to be a bit more expensive.”

The insured farmer has to be found negligent before an insurance provider will pay out a claim — with serious injuries, the company will send in investigators to determine if negligence was to blame, he said.

Generally, an attorney for the injured visitor will send a letter seeking damages, which prompts the farmer’s insurer to get involved, Justus said. In some cases, the farmer will admit he was liable.

If the parties disagree about negligence, the case goes to court, he said.

It’s important for farmers to fully inform their insurer about the activities offered at the operation so they’re not exposed to too much risk, said Brian Bauman of Bauman Farms near Gervais, Ore.

“The activities get adjusted and changed to make sure we’re doing the best job we can,” Bauman said.

Bauman Farms has a set of rules for each activity and ensures its employees are ready to enforce them, he said. “We do a lot of training with all our staff.”

Concerns about injuries have prompted Roloff to scrap some ideas, such as a wall that visitors could climb over with the help of a net.

“We decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward,” he said.

Roloff said he mitigates risk by ensuring that parents enter the property with their children, rather than letting their kids run around unsupervised.

“You have to use really good judgment,” he said.

Some growers have visitors sign “hold harmless” waivers, in which they acknowledge the risk of entering the operation and waive claims for damages, said Melissa Fery, a small farms extension agent with Oregon State University.

Such waivers shouldn’t replace insurance coverage — a farmer can still face lawsuits alleging negligence — but they provide visitors with additional awareness of the hazards, she said.

http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131030/ARTICLE/131039989/… 11/4/2013

 

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SAIF Corporation declares dividend for policyholders

Board of Directors approves a $130 million total dividend; checks to be mailed to approximately 43,000 employers in October.

September 18, 2013

Salem, OR – SAIF Corporation’s Board of Directors today declared a $130 million dividend for approximately 43,000 current and former customers.

Customers with policies that ended in 2012 are eligible for the dividend. Individual dividend information will be available to employers through SAIF’s website, saif.com, beginning October 11. Checks will be mailed to eligible SAIF policyholders during October.

“SAIF is able to pay this dividend because of solid investment returns and continued success in managing workplace safety and controlling losses,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Brenda Rocklin.

“The first priority of SAIF Corporation’s Board of Directors is to ensure that SAIF can meet its financial obligations to injured workers and their dependents,” said Cathy Travis, chair of SAIF’s board. “We reviewed current audit reports, which confirm that we can declare this $130 million policyholder dividend and safeguard the funds we need to pay injured worker benefits.”

SAIF Corporation is Oregon’s not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company. SAIF has been doing business for 99 years and is the leading workers’ compensation insurance provider in Oregon.

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Premier NW Insurance Honored at National Sales Conference

Premier NW Insurance Honored at National Sales Conference

DES MOINES, IA – Ryan Justus and Rex Rider of Premier NW Insurance, with offices in Salem, Clackamas and Sandy, were recognized at the Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance Company national sales conference held in Las Vegas, NV as among the company’s leading writers of farm insurance. The agency is an On Your Side® Farm Certified Agency, a designation which recognizes their skill and dedication to the farming industry.

The annual FAST Track Conference was held in recognition of top-producing agents in sales of new farm insurance policies during 2012.

“Farm coverage is a highly specialized line of insurance,” said Jerry Hillard, Farm Sales Associate Vice President, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Des Moines. “Only agents who specialize in this highly complex type of business can provide our farm customers with important advice and counsel. Our FAST Track Conference recognizes agents who have made this commitment.”

While more than 9,300 agencies write farm insurance for Nationwide Agribusiness, only 94 qualified for the 2013 FAST Track Conference.

“Congratulations to Premier NW Insurance on reaching this level of recognition,” said Hillard, “and for their ongoing dedication to protecting Oregon farmers.”

 Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, and its affiliate, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company, are part of Nationwide®, Columbus, OH. Nationwide Agribusiness, rated A+ (Superior) by The A.M. Best Company, is the country’s #1 farm insurer, and a leader in insurance and risk management solutions for commercial agribusinesses in the food and fiber chain. For more information, visit www.NationwideAgribusiness.com. Nationwide Agribusiness offers the AgriChoice® farm policy which provides customized coverages for farm operations of various sizes and types.

Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark, and On Your Side are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

2nd Qtr Newsletter from the Benefits Department

Premier NW Insurance Newsletter
2nd Quarter 2010

COBRA/State Continuation Subsidy Extension

On April 15, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (HR 4851). Among other provisions, this law once again extends the COBRA subsidy eligibility period under ARRA, this time through May 31, 2010.

As with ARRA, the changes affect continuation coverage offered under COBRA and any comparable state law. Like its COBRA predecessors, this law takes immediate effect and is retroactive to April 1, 2010.

The law makes the following changes:

    New Sunset Date: The COBRA subsidy eligibility period (for Qualifying Events on or after September 1, 2008) now ends on May 31, 2010. This period had expired on March 31, 2010. As a refresher, the subsidy is a 65 percent discount off the regular COBRA premium for up to 15 months. Only Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) qualify for the subsidy.

    Eligible Qualifying Events: As before, two types of Qualifying Events are subsidy eligible. The first one is an involuntary termination of employment. The second one is a reduction in hours followed by an involuntary termination of employment if that involuntary termination occurs on or after March 2, 2010, and on or before May 31, 2010.

The new law does not change the length of the COBRA maximum coverage period. It is still based on the original reduction in hours Qualifying Event date. Also, the subsidy period (up to 15 months) is unchanged.

UPDATE on Health Care Reform

As you know, Health Care Reform has passed and continues to be discussed and analyzed and debated! To help you understand how this reform will affect you and your employees, we have attached a simplified timeline for the major components of the law.

In the immediate future (for groups renewing in October 2010 and each month thereafter) the major changes that will affect your health insurance policy in 2010 are:

    1. Dependent Children will be covered to age 26
    2. Bans lifetime and annual maximums
    3. Children cannot be excluded from group or individual coverage for pre-existing conditions.
    4. Requires insurance carriers to fully cover preventive care services (with no cost sharing by subscriber)
    5. Provides a Tax Credit available for Small Employers (under 25 employees for calendar year 2010) who purchase health coverage for their employees.

PLEASE SEE THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION
ABOUT THIS PROVISION.

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220809,00.html?portlet=6

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220839,00.html

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/small_business_health_care_tax_credit_scenarios.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/3_simple_steps.pdf

A few other items to be aware of that will become effective in 2011:

    1. Employees who have access to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) will no longer be able to be reimbursed through the FSA for over the counter drugs.

    2. Employees who have access to an HSA account will now be taxed 20% (was 10%) for non-qualified medical expense distributions.

We will continue to keep you updated on any changes in the law or updates as we are notified. We also would encourage you to sign up on the State of Oregon DHS website, for daily updates to Health Care Reform. That website is: http://insurance.oregon.gov/FAQs/fedrealhealthreform-oregon.html

The CLASS Act (part of Health Care Reform)

There is a small “hidden” provision that was deep in the heart of the Health Reform Law that was passed, which may escape people’s radar, but is important for employers to know about. It is THE CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Support). This is a government sponsored, long-term care plan that offers a basic level of guaranteed issue coverage to working Americans. Employers will be strongly encouraged to offer this plan, but it will not be mandatory. As of now, it appears that all working Americans will be automatically enrolled in this program unless they choose to opt-out. Premiums have not been set, but they will be automatically deducted from employees’ checks. The government is hoping to raise revenue with this product to help pay for the cost of the Health Care Reform.

Employee Benefits Department Contacts:

Suzie Moll, Employee Benefits Manager

  • 503-655-6344 ext 33
  • Stephanie Bartrug, Employee Benefits Specialist

  • 503-655-6344 ext 27
  • Robert Rivenburgh, Employee Benefits Specialist

  • 503-655-6344 ext 32
  • Jared Harding, Employee Benefits Specialist

  • 503-655-6344 ext 29
  • Lisa Ewers, Office Support, Individual/Medicare

  • 503-655-6344 ext 31
  • 1st Qtr Newsletter from the Benefits Department

    Premier NW Insurance Newsletter
    1st Quarter 2010

    COBRA/State Continuation Subsidy Update

    A new federal act, HR 4691 now extends the eligibility period for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act premium subsidy for an additional 31 days (through March 31, 2010) and clarifies eligibility for the subsidy resulting from an involuntary termination of employment that follows a period of reduction in hours of work that caused an individual to lose health benefits under a group health benefit plan. These temporary rules make the same changes to the state continuation program allowing Oregonians enrolled in the state continuation plans to receive the maximum subsidy provided by the federal law.

    More information can be located at: http://insurance.oregon.gov/FAQs/federal-stimulus-cobra-faq.html#eligibility

    Premium Assistance Helps Families Afford Coverage
    If employees are eligible for your group health coverage, but are unable to afford their portion of the premiums or dependent coverage, a state premium assistance program may be able to help. Several states use funds from their Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs to help people who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, but need help in paying their health premiums.
    As part of Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), employer groups with plan years beginning after February 4, 2010, are required to notify employees of possible premium assistance under state Medicaid and CHIP programs annually.
    Oregon:
    • Medicaid Web site: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/healthplan/index.shtml
    • Medicaid phone: (800) 359-9517
    • CHIP Web site: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/healthplan/ app_benefits/ohp4u.shtml
    • CHIP phone: (800) 359-9517
    Washington:
    • Medicaid phone: (800) 562-3022
    • CHIP Web Site: http://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/maa/chip/
    • CHIP Phone: (866) 543-7669
    • SHIBA FAQ Sheet: http://www.insurance.wa.gov/publications/shiba_helpline/Losing_employer_insurance.pdf
    Here is a link to the Model Notice: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/chipmodelnotice.doc
    For more information on special enrollment rights, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration Web site at www.dol.gov/ebsa.

    Health Care Reform

    On Sunday, March 21, 2010 the House narrowly approved the Senate-passed healthcare reform bill by a vote of 219 to 212. The bill will be sent immediately to President Obama to be signed into law in a ceremony expected on Tuesday.

    Also Sunday night, the House approved the reconciliation bill containing “fixes” to the Senate-passed bill by a vote of 220 to 211. The reconciliation package will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to face numerous procedural challenges and amendments. If the Senate adopts any changes to the proposal, the House will have to take another vote on the reconciliation bill.

    We will continue to keep ourselves apprised of these matters as they develop and we will make certain to advise you of any changes that occur that could impact your coverage.

    Supplemental Benefits

    As insurance costs rise employers are making the choice to modify their benefits to keep their plans as affordable as possible. We recognize that this is a difficult decision and we want to offer assistance in finding creative ways to cover the gap that higher deductible plans can leave. As such we have partnerships with both Aflac and Colonial Life. Both carriers offer a variety of accident and sickness plans that employees can purchase to help cover their out-of-pocket expenses. If you would like to learn more about these options please contact your agent.

    Individual Plan Updates


    Keep in mind Premier NW Insurance is a full-service agency. If you or your employees need assistance with an Individual medical, dental or Medicare plan, please contact Lisa Ewers at 503-655-6344 or email lisa@clackamas-ins.com.

    ¬¬¬¬¬¬Employee Benefits Department Contacts:

    Suzie Moll, Employee Benefits Manager 503-655-6344 ext 33
    Stephanie Bartrug, Employee Benefits Specialist 503-655-6344 ext 27 Robert Rivenburgh, Employee Benefits Specialist 503-655-6344 ext 32
    Lisa Ewers, Office Support, Individual/Medicare 503-655-6344 ext 31

    Clackamas Insurance Buys Premier Insurance

    In March of 2010, Clackamas Insurance Agency purchased Premier Insurance located at 4741 Liberty Road S in Salem, Oregon.

    Clackamas Insurance was founded in 1972 by Karl Moll and today is run by his son, Mike Moll, with locations in Clackamas and Sandy.

    Spokeswoman Mitzi Thornberg says in regards to their expansion, “We’ve always had close ties with the agricultural industry, so Marion County seemed a perfect fit for us.”

    Premier Insurance has served the Salem community for more than 30 years. Thornberg says “The purchase by Clackamas Insurance brings a much broader level of diversity.”

    Workers’ compensation is one area where we feel we offer a huge advantage to our clients.”

    Clackamas represents more than a dozen major insurance carriers, including Mutual of Enumclaw, Liberty Northwest and Oregon Mutual.
    The firm offers business, farm, home, auto, workman’s comp, and  life and health insurance.

    “Our hope is to fill the void created by other independent agencies who have recently left the Salem area,” Thornberg said, including Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

    The agency has 11 staffers, including the two previous owners, Kirk Marley and Rex Rider, who will stay on as agents. “We don’t expect to make any new hires at this time,” Thornberg said. “Given the addition of new carriers and products, we will be expecting to increase our customer base and will need to address additional staffing as the need arises.”

    4th Qtr Newsletter from the Benefits Department

    Medicare Update

    Plan sponsors must notify participants of a plan’s creditable prescription drug coverage status at least once a year by November 15. The notice must be provided to all Part D-eligible individuals who are covered under, or who apply for, the plan sponsor’s prescription drug coverage. 

    These individuals include Medicare beneficiaries who are active employees, disabled, on COBRA/State Continuation, as well as Medicare beneficiaries who are covered as spouses or dependents (including those spouses or dependents who may be disabled or on COBRA/State Continuation) under active employee coverage.  

    Typically it may be hard for a group administrator to discern who meets this criteria especially when it comes to spouses and/or dependents, so it is our recommendation that you send the notices to all employees and their families. This is especially important if a plan is not creditable, because participants in a non-creditable plan will pay a penalty if they later enroll in Medicare Part D.  

    In addition, plan sponsors must provide notice of creditable coverage annually, when a beneficiary first becomes eligible for Part D, when plan changes are made, or when a beneficiary requests it. Failure to properly inform plan participants of creditable coverage status could cost participants significantly if they later elect to enroll in Medicare Part D instead of the plan sponsor offering.  

    Finally, you also are required to disclose the creditable coverage status of your plan to CMS via the Disclosure to CMS form on the CMS website. The disclosure must be made to CMS on an annual basis, and upon any change that affects whether the coverage is creditable.  The link to the CMS website is below.   

       https://www.cms.hhs.gov/CreditableCoverage/45_CCDisclosureForm.asp

    You should be receiving a letter from your health plan that will notify you if your current drug plan meets the criteria of a Creditable or Non-Creditable plan. If you need assistance in making that determination you may also contact our office. 

    UPDATE on 1% Premium Tax—Rate Calculation change 

    On September 18th, 2009 the Oregon insurance division issued another bulletin that replaced the original bill that was signed in August to assess the 1% premium tax.  The new bulletin changes the way that the premium tax is calculated and implemented.  We are hearing that all the insurance  companies (except for Regence),  have calculated this incorrectly and they will be correcting it on your November 1st billing.  Please call our office if you have any questions regarding this change. 

    Health Care Reform 

    It seems that we can’t open a newspaper, watch the news or have a conversation with friends without discussing the current Health Care Reform efforts.  There is a lot of press and talk about what the government is proposing and it can all be very confusing.  There is talk of mandated coverage, fines, coverage for everyone, a public option, affordability, increasing taxes to pay for the reform….and the list goes on and on.  We encourage you to read as much as you can and stay informed, as the proposals and issues change daily.  We will be sure to update you with any changes that will affect your coverage as they occur.     

    Group Profile Forms 

    Every year, your carrier sends you a Oregon Standardized Group Profile Form that they are required by the State of Oregon to mail out to mainly verify your employer size and they also ask for some additional items.  The carriers will NOT release the renewal without this information and will in some instances, either terminate your plan or inflate the rate increase unnecessarily.  Please contact your agent here in the office, if you need assistance in filling this form out.  It is very important that it is completed timely and correctly and we are more than happy to assist you!  

    Flu Shot Season 

    We are right in the middle of flu season….so we would like to remind you and your employees to go get a flu shot.  This is an important preventive action that we all can take to prevent the spread of this virus.  Please access your carrier website, or call customer service to find out your coverage for flu shots.  Most of the carriers will cover the flu shot for your doctor visit copay, and some are free.    The H1N1 vaccine is also coming in and being available and most carriers are covering the vaccine for the at risk (young children, pregnant women, elderly) for the same benefit as the regular flu shot.  You can also call our office and we can help you determine your coverage.   

    Helpful Information from the Department of Consumer & Business Services 

    In July 2009 the DCBS issued a NEWS RELEASE  that lists resources from each of the major carriers here in Oregon to help health care consumers find out in advance what the cost of their care will be. 

    If you would like a copy, please contact a member of our team.  

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    Employee Benefits Department Contacts: 

    Suzie Moll, Employee Benefits Manager                     503-655-6344    ext 33

    Stephanie Bartrug, Employee Benefits Specialist     503-655-6344    ext 29

    Robert Rivenburgh, Employee Benefits Specialist   503-655-6344    ext 32

    Lisa Ewers, Office Support, Individual/Medicare   503-655-6344    ext 31