Todays Date: Mar 8, 2014
ATTENTION NAAFA MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS!
Alert — New Important Update — 2/7/2014
Insurance Executives Hitting the Jackpot! It's nearly that time of year again when we get anxious to see how much the AmFam Executives will award themselves for the 'great job'(tsk,tsk) they have done this past year. We're told AmFam has been run well this past year….having seen a premium increase. But….what about retention? What about production? If there's been a good year it must be at the expense of somebody, right? Think "agents!" How many agents have lost their jobs at AmFam? How many have lost premiums in their agencies? What about policy count? How many agents have been downright discouraged, threatened, and ready to give up? Bonus time? We think not! 2/18/2014
How Allstate Plans to Outflank its Online Rivals! Allstate's Esurance will begin bundling Auto to Home coverages which most Allstate agents feel will impede even further their ability to sell and be competitive with their Allstate products. For another link about how Allstate's captive agents are suffering as a result of Allstate's direct marketing company, Click Here! 11/18/2013
Why McKinsey's Prediction of Demise of Independent Agents is 'Dead Wrong'! If you haven't been watching these comments by the independents regarding the controversial McKinsey Report, McKinsey Report you are not keeping up with what's going on in the insurance world. (AmFam uses McKinsey as a consultant.) Here is quite an interesting response to the McKinsey Report just hot off the press. You need to read it carefully. It may open your eyes to the security of your own future. 10/29/2013
12 Agents' Thoughts on their Futures in the Industry! 12 independent agents sound off about The McKinsey Report ... (that their futures are limited). AmFam agents need to sound off, too. Changes being made (by AmFam presumably as a result of their agreement with the McKinsey Report,) are causing heartache and great inconvenience for AmFam agents. 10/17/2013
Top-Ranked Carriers Build Agent Satisfaction into Culture! Which consultant should AmFam have hired? Mckinsey or Deep Customer Connections? (Remember, they hired McKinsey!!) Deep Customer Connections, we're told in this article, has a niche focus on building a better relationship between carriers and independent agents. This idea seems to be in direct contrast to the philosophy of the McKinsey group. Read it for yourselves….you decide. 10/17/2013
McKinsey to Agents: Adapt or Find Another Line of Work! Well, this article has caused a lot of uproar with insurance agents across America, and it's not hard to see why. McKinsey compares today's insurance agents' futures to those of yesterday's travel agents…..almost gone! What's your opinion? Is AmFam drinking McKinsey's Kool-Aid? 10/16/2013
Homeowners have Stormy Relationship with Adjusters! The adjustors the news media is talking about belong to American Family. This kind of news is not good news for AmFam agents if you are trying to sell policies! 10/4/2013
AmFam Makes Another Direct Move: Buys Homesite for $616 Million! In case you had any doubt about the direction American Family is going, you should now be able to clearly see the writing on the wall. AmFam is well on its way to becoming a more direct-selling company. And if you think this is good for you, their captive independent contractor agents, your head is in the sand. 9/6/2013
American Family's 2012 Annual Report! For your convenience, here is a link to Am Fam's annual report. You can compare to American Family's 2011 Annual Report which can be found below! 9/4/2013.
Judge's decision allows class action to move ahead! As was announced earlier, (see below "Another Class Action Filed Against AmFam") a class action complaint was filed against American Family in February, 2013, asserting that the Plaintiffs were all employees as defined by ERISA rather than independent contractors as the agent contract reads. American Family responded to the complaint and then asked for the case to be dismissed. On August 9, 2013, Judge Donald C. Nugent made his decision and denied AmFam their request to dismiss. The class action will now move ahead! 8/18/2013
The Summer 2013 NAAFA Report! If you haven't gotten a hard copy already, here it is on line. NAAFA is already getting responses to many of the articles. Let us know what you think by sending your thoughts to NAAFAwest@comcast.net! 8/17/2013
Allstate Says Book Value to Rise on Cut in Employee's Retirement Benefits! AmFam employees—beware. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere! 7/20/2013
The World is Getting More Corrupt, and These are the 5 Worst Offenders! The new Summer NAAFA Report (now posted under “NAAFA Report Online” blue tab, left column) features articles and letters to the editor regarding TRUTHFULNESS. This link rather confirms that indeed, the world is becoming more corrupt. Look closely at #5. Heads up, people. Don't get caught in the web. 7/13/2013
OBAMACARE WILL MAKE PREMIUMS SKYROCKET! Since AmFam has announced the cancellation of nearly all their health insurance plans including the Agents' Group plan, perhaps it's time to realize that your health insurance costs could really take a larger chunck out of your pocketbook. 7/13/2013
Car Insurance Satisfaction Slips as Rates Rise! According to JD Power's 2013 US Auto Insurance Study. Tops was Auto-Owners with a score of 833 on a 1000 point scale. AmFam was below average at 790 and joined Allstate, Farmers and a few others. Did you hear this on Compass?? 6/29/2013
Three Insurance Companies Placed in Liquidation in Illinois and Lumbermens Mutual Casualty is one of them. Does that name sound familiar? Didn't AmFam just buy part of them a short while ago? Interesting??? 5/25/2013
46 Insurers in Fortune 500 Check out what ranking AmFam has as compared to last year!! 5/11/2013
American Family Auto Ins Medpay Class Action Settlement: Not another class action! Well, the original class incident involves a 13 year old case, but the agreement to settle is new. Read about it here. 4/20/2013
ANOTHER CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE COMPANY On February 28, 2013, a class action complaint was filed in US District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. The suit claims that American Family has violated ERISA laws by treating their independent contractor agents as employees. Plaintiffs Walid Jammal and Dana LaRiche have filed this claim on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. 3/22/2013 CLICK HERE TO READ AMFAM RESPONSE TO JAMMAL AND LARICHE COMPLAINT. Posted 6/3/2013
Judge Reduces Nationwide Agent's Jury Award! An Ohio jury’s award to Nationwide Ex-agent is lowered $10.3 M by judge due to state law caps. 3/1/2013
Class action filed against American Family. “Insurance Company Fleeced Us!” A Minnesota couple is suing AmFam in a class action for what the couple says are excessive charges on homeowner replacement costs. 2/18/2013
5 Insurers Make List of Top 50 Companies for Executive Women! Where is American Family? Although improvement has been made in employment for women, it appears AmFam has a long way to go yet, at least among insurance companies. 2/8/2013
The grass is always greener…or so they say... “SafeAuto trying out sales from storefront” is a recent headline in the Columbus Dispatch. SafeAuto is a direct sales writer, but now they think they need store front sales locations to satisfy their cross-section of customers. Sound familiar? 2/8/2013
AmFam's Purchase of the General - Another Slant: Evidently there is no intention of allowing AmFam exclusive agents to sell General products. But General products will be sold by other independent agents. Anybody think there won’t be competition here? 1/25/2013
Ohio Jury Smacks Nationwide: Agent Christine Lucarell won $42.8M in a jury decision for damages she suffered as a result of unrealistic production quotas, withholding disbursements from a company loan, cut commissions, etc. which ultimately resulted in her termination. Lucarell lost her home to foreclosure, her car was repossessed, and her credit ruined. Sound familiar? 11/9/2012
This WI newspaper reported that Jared Roeker of Mauston, WI bought an American Family Insurance Agency. Either things have changed at American Family and they are now allowing agencies to be sold, or the Wisconsin newspaper has reported it wrong. Help! Somebody check this out for NAAFA. Click here to read the article. 10/19/2012
American Family to buy The General... Most agents by now know that AmFam is purchasing The General, but do you understand how its products will be sold? Rumor has it that field agents will only be able to sell General’s products through brokerage. That means split commissions and no renewals. Hmmmm!! How do employee agents get paid? 9/26/2012
Evidently Jack Salzwedel, AmFam CEO, is not very popular with his employees. He gets only a 45% approval rating and only 47% of the employees recommend this company to a friend! Read more here at The Glass Door. 9/15/2012
Do Insurance Brokers have to Offer the Cheapest Coverage? Insurance brokers should be cautious in advertising their abilities to obtain the lowest cost insurance for their insureds, Learn why. 8/25/2012
FreeAdvice.com is a site where customers can post their thoughts regarding their insurance companies. See what customers are saying about American Family. Scroll down to get the most recent comments. 11/15/2010
Want to “vent” about your job or company? www.jobvent.com is the place to do it. Read what others are saying, also. 7/23/2010
Did you know copiers have hard drives?
Information that you copy could fall into the hands of the wrong people, particularly the company you lease your copier from. Agents BEWARE! 5/16/2010
What Every Agent and Customer Should Know About Clue Reports! 1/23/2010
IRS Private Letter Rulings!
American Family agents, and other captive agents, are considered independent contractors by the IRS. Since the IRS issued Private Letter Rulings for most of the captive companies, captive agents who filed SS-8’s found their appeal rejected immediately because of these Private Letter Rulings. Very few agents have actually read the 111-page Correspondence between AmFam and the IRS, nor have they read the summary American Family Private Letter Ruling so we are posting both of them for you. You will be interested to read about how little ‘control’ the company is supposed to have over the operation of your agency.
Information in an Allstate Private Letter Ruling states that an independent contractor agent has an “economic interest” in the customer list, and agents will realize this ‘interest’ when they are either paid by a 3rd party for their business OR the agent receives termination benefits based on a formula designed to equal a fair market value of their accounts. [Paragraph 6 under Independent Contractor Phase, (Allstate Ruling)]
This presumes a fiscal value which should allow an agent to claim capital gain when paid termination benefits. Even more interesting is the fact that AmFam issued a document that says “Formerly called Extended Earnings, the name was changed to “Termination Benefits.” These are payments made to the former agents not to compete.” (See SECA Kit)
The non-compete clause applies for one year.The AmFam contract does not state that a customer list cannot be used after the one year because logic would dictate that you’d have to have in your possession a customer list in order to begin competing after the one year.
Courts Allowing Private Facebook Posts as Evidence in Lawsuits!
Facebook Comments May Get You Into Trouble! We knew it was only a matter of time until information found on Facebook could be used as evidence in court cases. Well, here it is! 2/4/2011
The 20 Common Law Factors of a Perfect Independent Contractor Relationship
Deliberately Misclassified? What Allstate Has In Common With FedEx!
This article appeared recently in the Allstate Agent Association’s Winter 2008/2009 issue of the FOCUS. The article deals with the ongoing question of whether captive agents are independent contractors or employees. We suggest you read this article carefully. You might find you are able to substitute American Family’s name each time you see Allstate’s name. Quoted from the article, “If it Quacks Like A Duck, It’s Probably a Duck.” 3/14/2008
Captive Agents, the Forgotten People!"
NAAFA is again honoring agents’ requests to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution regarding this article, but we think this is perhaps one of the best letters we have received which summarizes the position and fate of all captive agents in America. You won’t want to miss this! 2/28/2008
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