VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are once again pleased to sponsor a need-based Health & Wellness Grant program for fire departments and non-profit EMS organizations in Texas. Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded based on financial need and are intended to assist emergency service organizations in developing a health & wellness program to prevent emergency responder deaths and injuries and for cancer prevention. Departments will need to apply for the grant, expend the funds and then send in copies of receipts in order to receive the grant funds. Grant Application Deadline is December 31, 2020.
Who is eligible:
What is eligible:
How it works:
**THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS DECEMBER 31, 2020.**
Any grant questions, please contact Kayla Bridgewaters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-628-5054.
Great video from Crims Chapel VFD staying fit in this Texas heat and utilizing items purchased with the Health and Wellness Grant!
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 email@example.com or 512-628-5054
Please visit our Training Page for updated listings.
Emergency Vehicle Driver Training Instructor Level
This course is designed to teach the instructional methodology to potential and existing instructors needed to deliver the following program. The operator of emergency vehicles in today’s society carries a heavy responsibility. The penalty for not adequately training your operators also carries legal consequences. Emergency vehicle operators and the entities they represent have been held both criminally and civilly responsible for their actions. This program was developed to teach the emergency vehicle operator (EVO) proper driving technique, the mental as well as the physical aspects of the driving task. The program points out the long-term impact of an accident involving an emergency vehicle on the operator, the emergency service organization and the community in which they serve.
Emergency Service UTV/ATV Safety Program Training Instructor Level
This online course is designed to teach the instructional methodology for Emergency Services UTV/ATV Safety.
This program addresses safety topics pertaining to UTVs and ATVs within an ESO fleet including: Importance of safe vehicle operations, the need for continued training, the vehicle operator, protective gear, pre-planning, basic safety and maintenance.
This online training program addresses safety topics pertaining to UTVs and ATVs within an ESO fleet including: Importance of safe vehicle operations, the need for continued training, the vehicle operator, protective gear, pre-planning, basic safety and maintenance.
Our first class is on August 19th, but the class is currently full. We will be adding classes soon. Please reach out to us to get on a waiting list for our next class, or to request other online training classes.
A 2018 work force study showed that 58% of employees have less than $1,000 available to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected injury or illness. Even with major medical coverage, out-of-pocket expenses can be high.
In my 5 years’ experience, I have seen countless cases where a voluntary product has prevented bankruptcy, saved a college fund for kids, or made a positive financial impact on someone’s life. That’s why voluntary benefits are so crucial to your benefits package. They provide your employees with cash benefits to help offset these expenses.
We have partnered with the two industry leading carriers Aflac and Colonial Life in order to offer our clients a wide variety of plans. We believe these partnerships give us the best opportunities to create a benefits package unique to every single one of our clients.
I’ve put together a short list of plans that I want to highlight because I feel they can accomplish so many different things for your business and employees. We offer many other plans and different levels of coverage than just what I’ve highlighted today, so if you’d like more details please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979.540.7736
Accident: 24 hour on and off the job injury coverage. Benefits payable for the initial treatment and continuing care of both minor and major injuries. Daily hospitalization and ICU benefits. Built in Accidental Death and Dismemberment. Includes a wellness benefit for routine medical exams like a physical, eye exam, dental cleaning, etc. Guaranteed issue - meaning no underwriting. No coordination of benefits, pays regardless of other insurance. Portable – take from job to job or retirement.
Short Term Disability: Pays a portion of your income in the event of missing work due to injury or illness. Total and Partial Disability. 3 month, 6 month, 12 month and 24 month benefit periods available. Elimination periods start at 0/7 (injury/illness) so one can qualify for benefits after missing just 1 day of work due to injury. Off-the-job injury option available for those with Worker’s Comp. Maternity coverage available. Guaranteed issue options available.
Life Insurance: We offer a variety of term life, whole life, and juvenile life products to fit the unique individual needs of our policyholders. Many optional riders that can be attached to life policies including Spouse and Dependent riders, Accelerated Death Benefit, and Line of Duty Death Benefit rider specifically for first responders. Employer-paid and Guaranteed Issue options available for qualifying groups.
Group Medical Bridge: Gap coverage designed to pay benefits for accident and sickness. Hospital confinement benefits ranging from $1000 to $5000 can help policyholders pay for their deductible and co insurance if they have major medical coverage. Includes benefits for visits to Emergency Room, Doctor’s Office, X-rays, Prescriptions, Ambulance, Surgical Procedures, and Daily Hospitalization. Employer paid and voluntary options available. Flexible plan design options make it unique to each group and their needs.
Cancer: A plan designed to pay cash benefits before, during, and after cancer diagnosis/treatment. This is a plan that can help you focus on recovery instead of finances. Early detection and preventative care benefits. Will pay a lump sum on the initial diagnosis and then continuing care benefits (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hospital confinement, travel expenses) throughout entire treatment. Children covered at no additional cost. 3 plan options to fit any budget. Portable from job to job or retirement.
We are pleased to announce that Texas Mutual's board voted to pay $330 million in dividends two months early to support our policyholders. Texas Mutual is working diligently to deliver dividends to our policyholder owners and are on target to mail checks on April 20. Policyholders will also be able to log in to the Texas Mutual website on the 20th to see their dividend information.
Texas Mutual knows that supporting our policyholders during this uncertain time is more important than ever, which is why their board of directors has voted to pay dividends two months early. Like many of you, we don't know the economic impact that COVID-19 will have on our business, but Texas Mutual is in a good position to distribute these dividends in this critical time.
This year marks the 22nd year that Texas Mutual is paying dividends to their more than 57,000 policyholders, bringing the total to over $3.1 billion back to Texas businesses since 1999.
What is a Dividend?
As a policyholder-owned company, Texas Mutual clients contribute to their success when they make safety a priority and choose to do business with Texas Mutual. There are two components to earning a dividend. Safety, paid through the annual component, and loyalty, paid through the retention component. Our newer Texas Mutual policyholders can also earn dividends through the early qualifier program, which is paid in November. Since 1999, Texas Mutual has distributed over $3.1 billion back to Texas businesses.
Dividends are based on performance, are not guaranteed and must comply with Texas Department of Insurance regulations.
We would like to introduce Logan Mangold, a new member the VFIS of Texas family. He is our new Sales Associate for the South Texas Region.
Logan comes to us with 5 years experience in Insurance Sales with a focus on Supplemental and Voluntary Benefits. He likes to be hands-on with clients and will personally meet with you to determine the best plan of action for your organization’s insurance needs.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.