Former farm kids — Today's farm insurance experts

Kevin Schock’s story

Most people would probably consider someone who majored in agricultural studies and minored in agronomy at Iowa State University to be more than proficient when it comes to farm knowledge. Tack on actual firsthand farming experience, and you have a true expert.

Kevin Schock, Farm & Agribusiness Underwriter, grew up living and working on a 400-acre grain operation run by his parents in Northwest Iowa. They also raised hogs and cattle that Kevin enjoyed showing at the county fair through 4-H.

“Working to get the animals ready for the fair is one of my favorite memories as a kid,” Kevin said. “It was fun to watch all your hard work pay off on show day. And even when it didn’t, you still had all the friendships you made along the way.”

Kevin worked alongside his five siblings to feed livestock, tend to the crops, and all the duties that come along with farm life.  Being able to spend time with his family made all the hard work worth it for Kevin and made them a tight-knit group.

Need insurance for your health club?

Health and Fitness Club Insurance
Your basement might have a treadmill, but somehow, it’s just not as motivating as your gym.

The amenities are what members love about fitness and health clubs, but they’re also what make them tough to insure. From rock-climbing walls and juice bars to lap pools to heavy weights, the equipment alone can pose some challenges to coverage.

Tick bite prevention and treatment

Summer is filled with outdoor activities. Whether you're camping, hiking, or doing some general exploring, it's important that you check for ticks. There are many ways to prevent ticks, but even the most precautionary individuals can be vulnerable and may need to know how to treat a tick bite in the short and long term.

Keeping your Fourth of July fun and incident-free

Fourth of July Boating

Happy Fourth of July! It’s a great day to show your patriotism, but there are some inherent risks that come with many of the traditional Independence Day celebrations, which include setting off fireworks, going boating, and hosting a barbecue. These quick reminders can help you enjoy these activities safely.

Spreading risk: Why keeping it local isn’t always better when it comes to risk

SECURA’s corporate headquarters aren’t far from its roots on a small family farm operated by the Bubolz family at the turn of the 20th Century. Our first “office” was the parlor of the family’s farmhouse, a painting of which hangs in the Home Office. It’s a powerful reminder of where we started and why we continue to focus our efforts on protecting our policyholders as a mutual company.

What financial strength ratings mean for customers in the insurance industry

When looking for an insurance provider, the ability to pay claims is likely at the top of your priority list. Put simply, you want to know that your insurance company is going to deliver when you need it most.

One way to understand whether or not an insurance company is stable enough to reliably pay claims, even in the event of large losses, is by looking at its financial strength ratings. Two of the key industry benchmarks to consider in the property-casualty (P&C) industry are A.M. Best’s Financial Strength ratings and Ward's 50®.

Former farm kids – Today’s farm insurance experts

Curt Weis’ story

When you’re born into a farm family, on the job training begins the moment you can walk. You learn quickly where it’s safe to play, not to startle the animals, and that there’s always a way you can help – no matter your age. Curt Weis, Manager – Farm and Agribusiness Training, can attest to this because he earned his keep by working on his family’s farm right up until he left for college.

SECURA Insurance donates to 27 donations to local fire departments

Gifts recognize agencies’ focus on risk management for farm and agriculture operations

If you ever experience a fire, the sounds of sirens and the glare of flashing lights are signs that help is on the way.

Firefighters, EMTs, and police officers risk their lives with every call, never knowing what they’ll face. And in rural communities, many first responders are volunteers.

As the smoke clears, the focus quickly shifts to insurance coverage and what the family or business owners will do next.

Establish and maintain a substance abuse program for your business

Substance abuse is a growing concern for all types of businesses, especially the misuse of prescription medication. The personal toll of alcohol and drug use on the employee and their families is significant in itself, but it can also put you, as an employer, in tough legal situations.

Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to absenteeism, loss of productivity, impaired judgment, and safety issues — all of which pose a threat to your business.

Workers’ Compensation: Can Risk Management help your business?

If you’re losing sleep at night over your company’s Workers’ Compensation coverage, it’s time to look for better partner in insurance — like SECURA.

Dan Dudley, a Senior Risk Management Consultant with SECURA, is passionate about workers’ compensation and preventing claims for our Commercial, Farm-Ag, and Specialty Lines policyholders. “For many businesses, work comp is one of the biggest cost factors in insurance — both in terms of premium costs and claims expenses,” said Dan. “When we have the opportunity to work with policyholders, we can really make a difference in the success of their safety programs and, in turn, their businesses.”

Help your children enter adulthood responsibly with the right renters and auto insurance

Renters Insurance Infographic
It may be that time – your son or daughter is graduating from college or they’re ready to move out on their own. And, you’re ready for that too!

When they do, they may need renters and auto insurance when they’re no longer covered under your policy. Tell them about the insurance you have with SECURA for your home and autos.

If you're a SECURA  policyholder, they can have these same benefits as you:
  • Access to your trusted insurance agent. No worries about where to go for advice.
  • The right coverage to protect their personal belongings. Your child may be surprised at how much property they have – it adds up fast. Plus, with a MILE-STONE Gold renters policy they get the same value-added services that you have in your insurance policy like Travel RescuerSM, Roadside RescuerSM, and Pet ProtectorSM.
  • Up to 15 percent savings on their SECURA policy. The Valued Policyholder Discount that you’ve earned as a loyal policyholder will apply to your son or daughter. Be sure to ask your agent for details.
Start the conversation. Then have them contact your agent!

Special Event Coverage from SECURA

Don’t let an event to remember become a claim you’d rather forget

There are so many details in planning any special event, and likely, insurance isn’t the first thing you check off the list. More likely, you’ll reach out to your agent with a frantic question: “We’re having a special event next week. Does my policy cover that?”

That’s a loaded question. Depending on the carrier, type of coverage, and type of event, the answer may not be black and white. So, why chance it?

A short- or long-term special event policy from SECURA Specialty Lines might be a better option with a very affordable premium.

Here are five reasons you should consider Special Event coverage for your next event.

Former farm kids – Today’s farm insurance experts

Dave Schlichting’s story

We have a confession. Unlike most of his colleagues on the Farm-Ag Underwriting team, Dave Schlichting, SECURA Vice President – Farm/Ag Underwriting , did not officially grow up on a farm. He’s one generation removed from the homestead, but he’s no stranger to farm life. And most importantly, he’s passionate about the industry he serves.

5 things you should expect in the event of a disaster

SECURA claims service delivers genuine compassion, care, and coverage

It’s a heart stopping moment when you realize your property has been destroyed.

Adrenaline and emotions are in overdrive, and it’s difficult to think clearly. You are so overwhelmed, but thankfully, if you have insurance coverage from SECURA, you won’t have to go through this alone.

What should you do? What should you expect? Here are five things you should expect from our SECURA claims team if you face a disaster or – as we say in the insurance industry – a large loss.

Dealt a bad hand while traveling? Travel Rescuer reshuffles the deck

Delayed flights and lost luggage often headline the list of concerns for travelers, but they are minor inconveniences compared to severe illness, missing prescriptions, or serious injury away from home.

With Travel RescuerSM, included with every MILE-STONE Gold home & auto policy, you have a lifeline for these and many other emergency situations while traveling 100 or more miles from home.

Take a closer look at the scenarios below to find out how Travel Rescuer can be your biggest ally while traveling.

For more information about Travel Rescuer, find a SECURA agent near you.

Stuck in the mud? Don’t let your business get bogged down by soggy conditions

Muddy conditions can spring up any time of year, but they’re especially prevalent (and costly) in the spring. The risks to businesses are trifold, including loss of production, equipment issues, and potential for employee injuries.

Food Trucks – A growing trend with no end in sight

Food Truck Insurance Infographic
According to The Economist, there are more than 4,000 food trucks in the U.S. and the numbers continue to rise.

It’s amazing how $2 tacos or lattes can add up to a $1.6 billion dollar industry.

View the full-size infographic

SECURA knows these unique businesses have unique risks, and our Specialty Lines coverage has a lot to offer these businesses.
  • Comprehensive Auto Coverage (with a variety of deductibles and coverage options)
  • Business Personal Property and Mobile Property Coverage (including commercial prep spaces, equipment inside the truck, canopies, tables, and portable cooking equipment)
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Business Interruption for Scheduled Vehicles
  • Mobile Property Coverage
  • Spoilage Coverage
  • Blanket Additional Insured for Auto & General Liability
  • Primary/Non-Contributory Endorsements available
  • Short-term or annual policies available (for General Liability only)
  • Products and Completed Operations Coverage

Bonus: Startup businesses aren’t a deal breaker for this class, as long as the owners have restaurant ownership or management experience.

Former farm kids – Today’s farm insurance experts

Patti Lemke’s story

Patti Lemke, Sr. Agribusiness Underwriter, spent her entire young life living and working on a farm. Her parents owned and operated a small farm in Eden, Wis. that milked 65 cows in a stanchion barn, and she worked on a large dairy farm that milked 700 head from the time she was 14 until she left for college.

Anyone who has milked in a stanchion barn knows it’s not easy on the knees. Patti always knew she wanted to pursue a career in agribusiness, but didn’t see herself running her family’s farm.

“The people in the agriculture community are some of the most passionate and hardworking people I’ve ever encountered. Being an Agribusiness Underwriter gives me the opportunity to support the community that has given so much to me,” Patti said.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a degree in Agribusiness Management which led to her first job as a Specialty Lines Underwriter. Patti stayed in this position until she learned of an opening for an Agribusiness Underwriter at SECURA.

SECURA recognizes top agencies of 2017 at annual conference

SECURA Premier Agent Award Winners
From left to right: Roger Beth, Beth & Rudnicki Insurance; Mike Tiedt, Spectrum Insurance Group; Chad Beth, Beth & Rudnicki Insurance; Tim Heyroth, SECURA VP­–Sales; Gary Ascher, Coverra Insurance Services, Inc.; Dave Gross, SECURA President & CEO; Bruce Vaaler, Vaaler Insurance, Inc.; Terry Friedman, Friedman Insurance, Inc./LMC Insurance; Tom Dawson, Dawson Insurance/Marsh-McLennan Agency

Every year, we honor our top agencies for their outstanding business performance at our Premier Agent Professional Development Conference.

We place great value on the relationships we have with these agents, and honored six agencies who represent the best of the best. They were chosen based on their premium volume, profitability, growth, and loss history with us.

Insurance tips for Trade and Commercial General Contractors

Lexie Roffers provides her expertise on protecting your business

When you’re shopping for insurance for your construction contracting business, you have so many things to consider. Do I need an agent? What types of coverage do I need? What coverage do my customers expect me to have? Should I go with the lowest price or the best coverage?

Lexie Roffers, one of our Commercial Lines Underwriter experts, understands how confusing these questions can be. Her dad is an independent insurance agent, and she practically grew up in the insurance industry. Still she says that she learns new ways to help our agents and policyholders every day.

Today, she offered to share some tips on how you can find the right coverage to fit your needs.

Trade Contractors

Trade contractors can span the gamut of the construction industry. Some of the most common types of businesses that Lexie helps are Concrete, Electrical, Excavation, HVAC, Janitorial, Plumbing, and Water Well Drillers. “At SECURA, we insure a lot of Trade Contractors, and we’re very familiar with your work, your equipment, and the coverages you need to protect your businesses,” said Lexie.

Preventing and responding to seasonal illnesses

Don't go viral

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza alone costs the United States $10.4 billion in hospitalizations and outpatient medical costs for adults. In fact, almost 60 percent of reported flu hospitalizations affected adults between the ages of 18-64.