The Minnesota President’s Advisory Council for SECURA Insurance met via Zoom Oct. 20, 2020

Agent Representatives
Matt Sundeen, Maguire Agency; Bob Proudfoot, North Risk Partners; Craig Armbrust, Assured Partners of Minnesota; Steve Carey, USI; Josh Vickerman, Farmers Union Agency Inc.; Anthony Zimny, Zimny Insurance Agency

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; Tamara Bates, Regional Vice President-Sales

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 Lines | Commercial Lines | Farm-Ag Lines | Specialty Lines | Risk Management | Claims | Miscellaneous

Personal Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: We would like the ability to quote in real time/ make changes (especially auto). Almost all competition has this ability.

Response: This capability exists in MILE-STONE Link by using the endorsement feature. The user is able to see the premium for the newly added auto before actually uploading the change.

2. Comment: Are MVR and Clue uploads running prior to upload?  Some carriers charge for and credit it back if the policy is written.

Response: In 2021, we will begin work on automating the flood of MVR activity into the applicable rating fields in MILE-STONE Link. This step will likely take place during the beginning of the upload step to alert the user to any activity on the MVR that is not already coded in the quote fields. In this way we can avoid the costly and cumbersome workflow of charging/crediting agents for unused underwriting reports.

3. Comment: We would like RCE built into the rater.

Response: SECURA provides agents with access to the e2value replacement cost estimating tool in MILE-STONE Link. We will, however, accept any vendor’s replacement cost calculations. You can find the ‘house-like’ icon in the top bar of MILE-STONE Link.

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Commercial Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: Do you offer download to agency management systems?  (Farm Ag, CP, Umbrella, BOP – time spent doing)

Response: 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 2021.

2. Comment: What are your plans for a service center? 

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 policyholders with 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 estimated live date established at this time, but are working on resource allocation and project mobilization in 2021.

3. Comment: What are your Bizlink future plans?

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. 

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Farm-Ag Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: Do you offer download to agency management systems?  (Farm Ag, CP, Umbrella, BOP – time spent doing)

Response: Our future plans include download for additional commercial lines of business which will come online in 2021. Unfortunately, we have no current plans to provide download for our Farm Protector policy, as there are few vendors that provide support for Farm policies at this time. We will continue to watch for opportunities to address this issue.     

2. Comment: What is your appetite and pricing of implement dealers? 

Response: We began considering Ag Repair/Service shops in 2010 and in 2018 that expanded into some small implement sales exposures up to $1M in inventory. We have had success in this area and continue to look for opportunities in this class.

3. Comment: We feel appetite for ag is inconsistent state-by-state. 

Response: Our Ag underwriting team is small, has little turnover, and is very experienced. We feel this leads to solid consistency in underwriting operations. The collaboration between underwriters is an important part of our continued success. The Hit and Decline ratios across all states has shown that underwriting actions are similar between states. We would love to hear more about what might be causing this perception. Please reach out to Brian Buechel, our Director – Farm and Ag Underwriting, who leads our Agribusiness efforts, or Dave Schlichting, Vice President of Farm and Ag Underwriting to discuss.

4. Comment: Co-op/elevator for grain storage?  Piece of a risk? 

Response: We are currently not a market for these classes of business and would not likely entertain pieces of these risks due to the exposures they present. A phone call to the underwriter is always welcome for further discussion.   

5. Comment: Would like to have risk-by-risk Ag conversations. 

Response: The Ag underwriters enjoy establishing relationships and talking through risks on an individual level. This is part of how we strive to create mutually beneficial relationships. We consider each risk on its individual merits and price and underwrite accordingly. We try to be as clear as we can with our agents and insureds on why rates might be changing or underwriting actions may be warranted. We strive to be empathetic with our agent partners and the challenges they face.

6. Comment: What are your plans for state expansion into South Dakota? Or even just filed rates.

Response: South Dakota is, and has been, on our radar for some time for Farm and Ag. We are evaluating state expansion timelines with resources accessible. We will update you as more information is available.

7. Comment: What are your rates on small farms - $10k & under?

Response: We have recently taken a reduction on our dwelling rates on the Farm policy as part of our initiative to write smaller farms. Additionally, our underwriters have the flexibility to aggressively price those accounts that warrant more aggressive pricing.

8. Comment: Are you increasing custom farming receipts ($20k? $5k? limit)? 

Response: We are open to considering marginally higher receipts within the base form or within the Farm Operations Protector Plus form. We do intend for this coverage to be available for those risks that are doing custom work on an incidental basis with much broader coverage availability for larger custom operators in the Agribusiness division.

9. Comment: Are you allowing dollar limit on incidental back hauling? Most carriers have $10-$15k limit. (very incidental). 

Response: The Agribusiness segment is currently a market for Ag Transportation. Backhauling should be reviewed with the underwriter, but is not uncommon within the book. On the Farm side, we have not been eager to consider this exposure within our farm commercial auto, particularly if filings are required. We may consider some incidental hauling for others within narrow guidelines. Please contact your underwriter when you have specific risks to discuss.

10. Comment: We would like pick and choose on cosmetic hail buy back. 

Response: We weighed several options in the process of developing the cosmetic loss buy back. The combination of system constraints and ease-of-doing-business concerns led us to the method we chose for providing that coverage.

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Specialty Lines

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: JoAnn does a great job.       

Response: Thank you for the personal mention of JoAnn, she does a great job and is always looking for ways to help our agents write and renew their best business.

2. Comment: Do your plans for a Service Center include Specialty Lines?

Response: At this time we have not finalized our plans for a Service Center, but the addition of Specialty Lines in that model is under consideration.

3. Comment: BizLink?  

Response: At the current time Specialty Lines has many quotable classes in BizLink. They include Special Events, Farmers Markets and Concessionaires, Pet Care, Sports Camps and Leagues, Pest Control, Hunting and Fishing Guides, Personal Trainers and Tree Trimmers. Thank you for using BizLink thus far, we think it is a great tool for our agents to write more profitable business in Specialty.

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Risk Management

(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: We would like availability for Farm (larger/$25k+). 

Response: Our Minnesota Risk Management team does visit farms of varying premium sizes, certainly those $25K and above. During the current COVID situation, we may have or will ask our vendor to do one here or there, but for the most part, you can expect SECURA Risk Management to be doing the visit.

2. Comment: Do you have a brochure/list of services available? 

Response: Your sales manager or risk manager can provide one to you.

3. Comment: We would like to see a stronger online system for multiple locations, training, etc. 

Response: Currently, the only “online” system we have is the free on-demand video training. Each location can sign up through the Risk Management portion of the SECURA website, Prevention Connection, as long as they have an email and know their policy number. Prevention Connection will be upgraded and renamed in the next few weeks; the new name will be Risk Management Resources. You should be getting an email, and your Sales Manager will have more information.

4. Comment: We are seeing more toolbox type at a mobile level. 

Response: Currently, there are no plans to have an app for Risk Management Resources, but anyone can access the new site and print toolbox talks or any other information they will need.

5. Comment: Kudos to Andrea and Nate. They take transaction and turn it into a relationship.  

Response: Thank you for the kind words! Andrea, Nate, Mark, and Sam all realize the importance of establishing a relationship, alongside you, with your policyholders.

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(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: Phenomenal job on claims. We rarely have a complaint.

Response: Thank you for the compliment. We appreciate it very much.

2. Comment: It would be nice to have a claims liaison person (reference to policy language, scenarios, etc.). Claims are very fact based focused on what is the intent of the policy.

Response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will discuss as a management team and see if there is anything we can do differently in this area. Currently, these types of questions get fielded by supervisors or a member of our Senior Management Team, including me. If there is something we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to reach out. Claims are very fact based and sometime a precise answer is difficult to give, but we will do our best to give you our perspective and our opinion when possible.

3. Comment: For Work Comp, instead of listing the adjuster and supervisor there is just a generic email address listed. This is not our preference. 

Response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will discuss with our management team and IT and see if there is anything different we can do here or give you a better reason as to why it is listed this way currently and follow up with the requestor.

4. Comment: We would like to see payments downloaded with name of person paid (payee). 

Response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will discuss with our management team and IT and see if there is a way to provide this level of detail on AgentLink.

5. Comment: Are you able to export losses into an excel document? (WC loss analysis tool, loss runs).

Response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will discuss with our management team and IT to see if there is a way to provide this and follow up with the requestor.

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(Agent comments with SECURA responses)

1. Comment: How do you come up with a planning percentage growth number?

Response: We force rank numerous metrics by state and market segment.

2. Comment: You need state expansion. What are your plans?

Response: We will be reviewing and coming up with a plan. We are licensed in 27 states and currently doing business in 12. With the business we write we look at what states fit best. We likely won’t expand east (except Ohio and Pennsylvania) or in the Deep South. We look to limit wind exposure. We are a few years out from state expansion. We may not enter with all business units in new states. 

3. Comment: You handled the pandemic great.  You were accessible – never noticed a difference. It was seamless. 

4. Comment: You are one of the few carriers we have met with.

5. Comment: Virtual training has worked well – effective. Nobody wants to lose personal interaction, but a mix of both works well. (loved the claims course). Person-to-person is great, but sometimes need to choose efficiency.

Response: We miss providing face-to-face training for our agents, and we will resume training when we can based on state specific guidelines and COVID-19 rates. We will continue to add webinars until we can start traveling again. Going forward, our goal is to have a nice mix of in-person and virtual training.

6. Comment: Sales is great – you don’t commit to things you can’t deliver.

7. Comment: We value the great relationships.

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