The Michigan President’s Advisory Council for SECURA Insurance met Oct. 28 via Zoom

Agent Representatives
Bryan Gross, New Lothrop Insurance Services; Brian Klein, VTC Insurance Group; John Walker, Insurance Advisors, Inc.; Dave Giancola, Custom Insurance Agency; Andrew Ahlschwede, Emil Rummel Agency Inc.; Bill St Charles, Michigan Community Insurance

SECURA Representatives 

Dave Gross, President & CEO; Larry Wright, Vice President and Chief Claims Officer; Marty Arnold, SVP and Chief Underwriting Officer; Tim Heyroth, Vice President and Chief Sales Officer; Garth Wicinsky, SVP & Chief Administrative Officer; Amy DeHart, Vice President and Chief Actuarial Officer; Tripp Humston, Regional Sales Director

We kicked off our meeting with showing the updated brand video:

Watch the video below for an overview and SECURA updates.

Click the links below to navigate to the comment/response section for each topic.

Personal LinesFarm-Ag LinesCommercial Lines | Risk Management | Claims | Miscellaneous

Personal Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: PIP reform feedback. Most agents have settled into a comfortable routine. The sweet spot appears to be $500,000 limit (70% insureds choosing less than unlimited and bulk $500k-portal; agents choosing unlimited). Is there an unlimited exposure concern?

Response: The majority of July – September policies, 94%, are selecting Unlimited PIP. We’ll continue to monitor the PIP limits profile on both new and renewal business.

2. Comment: We feel the market will settle in 5 years less than unlimited. Think direct writers are low balling.

Response: We agree it will take several years to learn what the state’s new norm will be for PIP limits. It is highly likely to vary by distribution channel with independent agent’s books carrying higher PIP limits.

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Farm-Ag Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: We would like the ability to add vehicles in software versus emailing (it is immediate/while customer is in the office).

Response: This function is currently out of scope for the near term as we move toward the next release of BizLink (where you quote new farm commercial auto business). This item is on the enhancement list, but there is currently no timeframe for addressing it as our focus at this point is getting select BOP classes implemented.

2. Comment: Can you look at use of lienholders on checks? Claims check on equipment – length/process (2-4 weeks).

Response: While we do our best to make the claims process as efficient as possible, we are open to any feedback to help us improve in this area. We do have an obligation to include any parties that are listed on the policy as having financial interest in the property involved in a claim. Additional details around the specific pieces of equipment when issuing the policy helps to streamline this process.

3. Comment: Agents feel the market is slowly recovering. Great yield. Farm Bureau’s rates are decreasing; it is a competitive market even with recent years’ poor results.

Response: We recognize that the market is competitive, and we are balancing the need for rate with our desire to write new business and retain our very best accounts. We implemented the first phase of our predictive modeling project for Farm at the beginning of 2020. We will be implementing the second phase Jan. 1, 2021, which will include the ability to place the very best business in SECURA Supreme, which will have a lower base rate.

4. Comment: We feel base rates are way too high (have to give too much/many IRPM credits…maxing out and nothing left). Underwriting is using imagination to write. Deluxe farms with no losses – we can’t write. We should put pricing flexibility for best farm risks in notes.

Response: As mentioned above, the second phase of our predictive modeling project will give us additional flexibility to aggressively price the very best new business risks that qualify.

5. Comment: There is more pressure for value (as the younger generation takes over). Insureds want value add with their policy.

Response: We have a regular process for implementing product upgrades. However, that process was on a temporary hold in order to focus resources on a Farm Policy rewrite as it has been nearly 40 years since the Farm Policy has had a major upgrade. Unfortunately, that required holding off on product enhancements in order to complete that work. We are happy to report that we will be getting back to regular product upgrades beginning with our Aug. 1, 2021 rate change. Many of our product ideas come from our agent partners, and we encourage you to share any ideas you may have with your underwriter, sales manager, or a member of the Farm-Ag management team.

6. Comment: Need differentiator.

Response: See number 5 response.

7. Comment: Cosmetic damage to a roof is challenging; only RC building – but using building premiums from all? This is an expensive charge.

Response: The charge for cosmetic loss is only based on the premium for those buildings that have replacement cost and not all buildings on the policy. The premium impact on any given policy can vary significantly given the differences in exposures across all policies. If all policies in our book opted for the cosmetic loss buyback, the estimated premium impact would be +3%.

8. Comment: Cosmetic versus functional definition?

Response: Cosmetic Loss is defined within the policy and basically means that the damage to metal roof surfacing (cov A) or metal exterior surfacing (cov D) will not allow the penetration of water or prevent the material from performing its intended function of keeping out the elements. If the damage allows water or the elements into the building, it would be considered functional. However, specific claim scenarios may differ based on facts and circumstances of a given claim.

9. Comment: Collapse – potential issues with building code? (no code?). You stand out on this interpretation

Response: We need clarity to answer this comment.

10. Comment: Reduction in coverage on infestation or nesting? This could be an issue.

Response: For coverages A, A2, and B, it is merely a reinforcement of our intent to exclude from special form coverage (formerly Risk of Direct Loss). For Cov D, E, and F, we added the exclusion for buildings and Farm Personal Property with Special coverage (formerly Risk of Direct Loss). The language was modified to be consistent with bureau language. These items have been articulated in the PLI that is going out to policyholders. Our approach is comparable to our competitors.

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Commercial Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: What are your planned Service Center details? Cost; retention; new business.

Response: We’ve approved the concept of a Commercial Lines Service Center and are in the early planning stages. We plan on rolling out in a crawl, walk, run method starting with about four staff members and a very small group of agencies. The addition of Specialty Lines in that model is under consideration.

Our main objective is to have flexible, thorough, knowledgeable staff members who can provide our insureds excellent customer service and maintain open communication with our agents. Our rollout would start with commercial classes, account size $10,000 and under. We’re aiming to provide full service including endorsements, certificate of insurance, renewals, upselling/cross-selling and all other insured inquiries. We do not have an estimate live date established at this time, but are working on resource allocation and project mobilization in early 2021.

2. Comment:  BizLink released. What is included and what are your next steps?

Response: We are currently working on BizLink Release 3, which includes the addition of retail, office, and service BOP classes to the existing Target Contractor classes. We are also working on some user experience enhancements based on direct feedback from our agency partners and also straight through processing for some Specialty Lines classes. In addition, the team will continue to address feedback concerns and suggestions and implement changes/updates accordingly.

3. Comment: We are seeing tightening umbrella market; reduced capacity; building a tower is a challenge; lead time doubled to accomplish (first layer toughest/longest – example fleet…lead excess toughest).

Response: We’re also seeing tightening in the umbrella market. We believe that this is primarily driven by accelerating social inflation. We’ll continue to monitor the marketplace and only make changes when absolutely necessary. Outside of putting a $2mm cap on trucking risks, we’ve made no across the board changes to our umbrella capacity. We will continue to evaluate this on an account-by-account basis and offer limits based on the individual risk characteristics. Please contact your underwriter if you have questions on a specific account. We will do our best to find a solution that works for you, your client, and for us.      

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Risk Management

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: Good communication with Risk Management and agency.

2. Comment: Very responsive.

3. Comment: Leverage carriers – most carriers do a good job; big investment – rely on carriers.

Response: Thank you for the positive comments! Thomas has been doing a great job since joining us right before COVID hit, and Tyler Becker,, is going to become an additional carrier asset for the western part of the state. Call on them for any assistance you need.

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(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: There are a couple that are classified under the farm section.

Response: I believe this is referring to when we mark a claim confidential. When that happens, you are no longer able to see the notes on AgentLink. You can still reach out to the claims representative or their supervisor directly to get an update as needed.

2. Comment: Claims are great.

Response: Thank you for the compliment!  We appreciate it.

3. Comment: There seems to be slowness with farm claims when they get to the home office.

Response: Thank you for raising up this issue. We apologize as this should not be happening. I will discuss further with the Property Director, Brian Salm, and our VP-Property, Jennifer Nelson and one of us will follow up with you.

4. Comment: Field Adjusters are excellent.

Response: Thank you for the compliment. We are very appreciative to have such outstanding claims professionals working for you, our policyholders, and us every day. People make the difference and we feel we have some of the best.

5. Comment: We appreciate a “heads up” notice when there is an issue (proactive communication).

Response: We are glad to hear that you feel we are doing a good job of keeping you in the loop and proactively reaching out to you when needed.

6. Comment: There are challenges in the industry (not SECURA); could be an opportunity.

Response: We greatly value the outstanding relationships we have with all of our agency partners. We do our best to listen to your concerns, be responsive, and do what we can to get things back on track quickly when a specific claim is not going as planned. If you have a concern, please reach out to Larry Wright directly at 920-830-4467 or

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(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: No complaints with SECURA’s communication working through the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to communicate and get in touch with anyone throughout the company.

Response: Thank you for this feedback. We focus our communication to make sure you get the information you need while not sending too many messages, and all of our associates are dedicated to responding quickly, whether they’re working in the office or from home.

2. Comment: Technology usage (i.e., Zoom) is great.

3. Comment: Chris Connolly, Sales Manager, does a great job.

4. Comment: The highest priority technology improvement we would like to see is integration with management systems (bridging, rating, etc. – most carriers struggle with) to assist with agency efficiency.

Response: SECURA currently does integrate with multiple multi-carrier comparative raters in Personal Lines. In Commercial Lines, there are several SEMCI players coming into the market and no clear leaders among our agency force. However, we are exploring integration with some Insuretech companies in this space. In regards to bridging from carrier to agency AMS, we currently offer download to Agency Management Systems for the following transaction types: Personal Lines, Commercial Lines (Auto and Work Comp only), Claims, Billing, and eDocs. We will soon be adding all remaining lines of business within Commercial Lines (Package, GL, Umbrella, BOP, etc.) with an anticipated live date of Q1 2021.

5. Comment: We appreciate the training online option and we feel it is well-done.

Response: Thank you. We always strive to make training educational and engaging with topics that are relevant to our agents. If you ever have any suggestions, please feel free to reach out to Angela Kain at

6. Comment: I don’t think all agents/agencies know what is available/resources. Communication is important.

Response: You can view available courses and webinars on AgentLink under “SECURA Academy.” To make sure you receive SECURA emails with training options and other relevant communications, confirm your email address and responsibilities in AgentLink under My Agency > Agency Information > Email Addresses.

7. Comment: Have you thought about sponsoring courses like Dynamics of Sales course (great for new producers) Co-op potential?

Response: Thank you for lifting up this topic to us. The National Alliance does have a successful program with Dynamics of Sales. We have developed a very similar program that we offer each year for newer producers. It is generally held each year in April at our Home Office in Neenah, WI. We have a variety of SECURA speakers, but the main speaker for this program is Jeff Jenkins from Blueprint Consulting Group. Jeff does a great job training newer agents on the sale process and how to keep their pipeline full. Attendees of this program also have the opportunity to spend time with the leadership team at SECURA and their underwriters. For more details on this program, or any program that SECURA Academy offers, please reach out to your sales manager or Angela Kain at

8. Comment: What has SECURA’s COVID impact been?

Response: The impact has been less than expected. We returned some premium, some exposure reduction; increase restaurant auto exposure (GL down but Auto up). The biggest uncertainty is over a cash crunch that still could possibly come – economy uncertainty. There was less impact early on than expected. A mix of business benefited (i.e., construction – considered essential).

9. Comment: What are your state expansion plans?

Response: We are currently having discussions internally, but we are a few years out.

10. Comment: I like the video. Like “genuine.” Why are you different? Why should we place business with you? What does that translate to from an agency perspective?

Stakeholder versus stockholder; community involvement

Response: We heard directly from our agents and policyholders that the things that set SECURA apart are our genuine, approachable nature, our relationship focus, and our responsiveness. These are all factors in our purpose to make insurance genuine. In our relationships with our agents, that means being responsive via phone and email, giving you a quick yes or no so you know what to expect from us, using your feedback to make enhancements to products and systems, providing tailored, unique coverage options you can offer to your customers, and partnering with you to best serve our policyholders. Our commitment to all our stakeholders differentiates us: building relationships with our agents and policyholders, living out a genuine culture among associates, and giving back to the communities we live and work in, and to the causes that our agents care about.

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