AUSTIN, Texas - 08/26/2020
WinStar Insurance Group dba VFIS of Texas continues for the 2nd year to be part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Best Practices Study Group.
The agencies comprising the study group are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected Best Practices agencies retain their status during the three-year study cycle (2019-2022) by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. During the 2020 Study year, only 262 independent agencies throughout the U.S. qualified and retained their status as a Best Practices agency.
The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual Study of leading independent insurance agencies, which is conducted by the Big “I” and Reagan Consulting of Atlanta, GA, documents the business practices of these “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.
For nearly 30 years, the Big “I” has developed a family of products and webinars designed to help cultivate a Best Practices agency culture. The offerings include materials such as the Agency Comparison Workbook, Guide to Producer Contracts, the Customer Service Experience Handbook, Sales Potential Quick Check, Interactive Agency Self-Diagnostic Tool, and Best Practices Joint Planning Tool Quick Step. Many of the publications include guidelines, worksheets, and case studies to help agents apply the information contained in each report and move beyond theory into practice.
In addition to these materials, hundreds of workshops and seminars have been conducted at various producer association functions, company sponsored agency meetings and national automation users group conventions.
The Big “I” and Reagan Consulting jointly maintain the Best Practices Gateway website (www.reaganconsulting.com/reasearch/best-practices) that provides executive summaries of the annual Best Practices Studies and various Best Practices tools. The Gateway, as well as the annual study, is made possible in part through the financial sponsorship of various insurance companies and industry organizations.
The 2020 Best Practices Study sponsors include: Amerisure, Applied Systems, Allstate, Beyond Insurance, Central Insurance Companies, Chubb, EMC Insurance, Encompass, Grange Insurance, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford, Imperial PFS, InsurBanc, Integrity Insurance, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Nationwide, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, Travelers, Vertafore and Westfield.
WinStar Insurance Group LLC dba VFIS of Texas purchased the assets of Regnier & Associates, Inc. on October 1, 2016. Regnier & Associates, Inc. was founded in May of 1982 providing coverage through the VFIS program for emergency service organizations in Texas. WinStar Insurance Group LLC also dedicates our time insuring niche industries including craft beverage, water districts, commercial ambulances, child care facilities and more and is dedicated to continuing the vision and commitment that Regnier & Associates, Inc. has provided for the past 34 years.
For more information on the Best Practices Study, contact Jennifer Becker at IIABA, 1-800-221-7917.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products—from a variety of insurance companies.
Severe Weather Resources
With Hurricane Laura upon us, we want to remind everyone to be as safe as possible, even as the need for your services increases. With that being said, here are some resources and procedures to help after the storm.
After the Storm
Claims should be turned in ASAP. The sooner a claim is submitted, the quicker the adjusters can get the assignment. We are recommending if there is any damage to an apparatus that you take a photo showing the height of the water on the apparatus (i.e. water line mark on the apparatus). This will help the adjusters determine what will be needed: repairs, fluid replacement, or just inspection. In addition, you should set aside damaged property for inspection and assemble an inventory of damaged items. If your building is flooded, please contact a mitigation contractor immediately to start the water extraction process.
"COVID has prevented our department from conducting fundraisers this year. This is the first time the department has to worry about the ability to fix equipment or even pay monthly bills such as electric and fuel."
Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2020 Financial Relief Grant sponsored by VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual!
The next part of the grant program, the 2021 Health and Wellness Grant, will open on September 1st for applications. More information below.
Texas Mutual Insurance Company, a policyholder-owned company, and Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services of Texas (VFIS of Texas) will be awarding a total of $500,000 to nonprofit emergency service organizations across Texas through two separate grant programs. $200,000 will be designated for a financial relief grant program to help provide funding assistance to emergency service organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and $300,000 will support these organizations in investing in their team’s health and wellness.
Grant applications for a financial relief grant ($2,500 per organization) will open on August 10 and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for health and wellness grants will be open from September 1 through December 31 and grants will be awarded the first quarter of 2021.
Texas Mutual, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance, and VFIS of Texas partner with the State Firefighters’ & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas to manage the application process and select grant recipients.
“Our emergency responders are essential workers who come to our aid in times of need, and this is our chance to support them in theirs. Now more than ever, these grants will continue to support the crucial work of nonprofit emergency service organizations and help take care of emergency service responders across the state.” - Barbara Marzean, President of VFIS of Texas
SFFMA President Tim Smith accepts check for $500,000 from VFIS of Texas President Barbara Marzean.
Texas Mutual and VFIS of Texas have awarded safety and wellness grants to emergency responders throughout the state since 2013. This year, they expanded their funding to include a grant program specifically to assist in the financial recovery of emergency responder organizations, as result of COVID-19. These new grants will not be restricted to a specific use other than to provide much-needed funding to the organization. During this unprecedented time, many emergency service organizations are facing critical funding needs because they are not able to conduct their traditional fundraisers.
“We recognize the challenges that many emergency responders are facing and know that these grants will help fill an important need that will allow them to continue to serve our communities. A top priority at Texas Mutual is our commitment to safety, so it’s our honor to support emergency service response teams that have the same commitment.” - Rich Gergasko, President and CEO of Texas Mutual
For more information about the grants and how to apply, visit the links below.
Any questions about either grant, please contact Kayla Bridgewaters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-628-5054
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.