Volunteers, thank you for a job well done!

Hands holding thank you image

OIA volunteers are committed, passionate individuals that give their time, energy and talent toward furthering our association’s mission for members, and their clients and policyholders. We appreciate your enthusiastic involvement in achieving our successes.

For more information on how you can become a volunteer, contact Shawna Belcher at (800) 555-1742.

2017 Volunteers

Name Agency City

Adam Augspurger

Payne & Brown Insurance Agency, Inc.

Sunbury

Christina M. Bernard, CISR

Cobos Insurance Center Inc

Elyria

Katherine G. Berry, CIC

Insurance Agencies Of Ohio

Worthington

Nicholas J. Bertke, CIC

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC

Dayton

William G. Bishop

Associated Insurance Agencies Inc.

Westerville

Stephen M. Brown, Jr.

Payne & Brown Insurance Agency, Inc.

Sunbury

John E. Burtch

AssuredPartners of Ohio LLC

Columbus

Brian Byrne

Horizon Insurance Services, Inc.

Columbus

Cameron Caryer

Frost Insurance Agency, Inc.

Napoleon

Andrew M. Crouch, CIC

C M S Insurance Agency Inc

Cincinnati

David C. DeRoberts

All Ohio Insurance Agency, Inc.

Columbus

Janie L. Geis

Wichert Insurance Services, Inc.

Cuyahoga Falls

Amanda E. Geletka, CIC, CISR, CRM USI Midwest, LLC Toledo

Jeannine A. Giesler, CISR, CPIA

USI Midwest, LLC

Port Clinton

Ryan M. Griffith

Griffith Agency, Inc.

Girard

Meghan Griffith Ragozzino

Griffith Agency, Inc.

Girard

Allison L. Hammons, CIC, CPIW Knight Insurance Group Toledo

Keith E. Hartzell

The Fedeli Group

Independence

A. Michael Heister, CIC

Heister Insurance

Cincinnati

Daniel M. Henery, CIC, CRM, DGIA

Securance Service, Inc.

Gibsonburg

Bradley P. Hosket

Hosket & Ulen LLC

Dublin

Matthew G. Hull

United Insurance Service, Inc.

Findlay

Greg Kaufman Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Dublin

Michael H. Keenan, CPCU

The Keenan Agency, Inc.

Dublin

Diane T. Keil-Hipp, MOD

Knight Insurance Group

Toledo

Logan Kirk

Dostal & Kirk Inc.

Powell

John W. Koetz, CIC, CPCU

W.E. Davis Insurance Agency Inc.

Columbus

Katrina Marschner

Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc.

Gahanna

Keith A. Miller, CIC, CWCA

L. Calvin Jones & Co.

Canfield

Robert D. Moening

Webb Insurance Agency, Inc.

Lima

Talbott C. Moon

Moon & Adrion Insurance Agency, Inc.

Middletown

Patrick T. O'Neill, CIC, CRM, CWCA

O'Neill Insurance Agency Inc.

Wadsworth

Marvin L. Pearce, Jr.

Genesis Insurance Group LLC

Fremont

Brent Phelan, CIC, CPCU, CRM, CSRM Phelan Insurance Agency, Inc. Versailles

Jeffery J. Phillips, CIC, CRM

Oswald Companies

Cleveland

Drexel Poling, CPCU, CLU

Hummel & Plum Insurance Agency Inc.

Circleville

Brandon Rapp, CIC, CPIA, CRM

Homestead Insurance Agency, Inc.

Brunswick

David A. Ray, CIC

Ray Insurance Agency

Columbus

Perk Reichley, CIC

Reichley Insurance Agency Inc.

Beavercreek

Mark T. Reilly, CIC, CPCU, CRM

USI Midwest, LLC

Port Clinton

Richard B. Roby, CIC

Roby Foster Miller Earick

Mansfield

Jeffery S. Sargeant, CPIA

Community Insurance Group, LTD

Sidney

Thomas A. Sarno, CPCU

Webb Insurance Agency, Inc.

Lima

Luke J. Shipp

First Insurance Group

Maumee

Matthew T. Simon, CIC, CPCU

Hill & Hamilton Insurance & Financial Services

Bellefontaine

Derek Sprouse, CIC

Sprouse Agency, Inc.

Fremont

Matthew Steele, CIC Steele Insurance Assoc., Inc. Saint Clairsville
Andrew L. Stephey, CIC, CRM, LUTCF UIS Insurance & Investments Tiffin

Jason T. Stevenson, CIC, CPIA

Oswald Companies

Medina

Carl G. Stoecklin, CIC, CPIA

Broz Insurance Agency, Inc.

Cincinnati

Jarod Stolly

Stolly Insurance Agency, Inc.

Lima

Eric Stolly, CPCU, AU, AINS

Stolly Insurance Agency, Inc.

West

Andrew L. Tomlinson

Tomlinson Insurance Agency Inc.

Chillicothe

Bill Uhl, Jr., LUTCF

Wm. G. Uhl Agency, Inc.

Dayton

Bob Walter W.E. Davis Insurance Agency Inc. Columbus

Amy Winkelman, CIC

K & J Flickinger Insurance Agency

Norwalk

Seth A. Zaremba

Zinc

Broadview Heights


Ohio independent agents urge senators to help businesses with health insurance options

Senate Bill 227 Testimony - Alex Due - Stapleton InsuranceSenate Bill 227 Testimony - Brian Thompson - Hummel GroupTwo OIA members recently urged members of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee to pass legislation that would require health insurers to release certain aggregate claims information to group plan policyholders.

OIA member Alex Due of Stapleton Insurance Group in Sylvania testified in conjunction with OIA’s Government Affairs Manager Carolyn Mangas. Brian Thompson of the Hummel Group, who is also an OIA member, testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters (OAHU).

Read full testimony

About the bill

Sponsored by Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), S.B. 227 will provide a solution to a problem that OIA members have brought to our attention over the last several years.

By allowing risk advisors and employers access to claims data, Ohio employers can make better decisions regarding properly assessing health care options to potentially reduce their health care costs.

While this claims data is typically available to employers with 100-plus employees, it is not available to those that fall below this threshold. The lack of this data hinders the ability of risk advisers and employers to pursue additional funding arrangements that have become available in the last several years.

Ultimately, S.B. 227 would empower risk advisors and employers with the ability to better design a health insurance program that balances the level of risk and reward.

Notably, both Louisiana and Texas have similar laws in place to require health insurers to release claims data.

Several others testified in support of S.B. 227 in addition to OIA and OAHU. Opponents of the bill include the association that represents the health insurance companies and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who cited concerns that employers could identify employees with serious health conditions and discriminate against them.

To date, S.B. 227 has received three hearings in the Senate Insurance & Financial Institutions Committee.

OIA is working with the OAHU to push for an amendment to the bill so that it will apply to employers with more than 50 employees to alleviate some privacy concerns. OIA will keep members informed as discussions on this legislation continue.


Kasich Appoints Mary DeGenaro to Ohio Supreme Court

Justice Mary DeGenaroGov. Kasich recently appointed Mary DeGenaro to fill the remaining time of Bill O’Neill’s term on the Ohio Supreme Court.

While O’Neill’s term does not expire until January of 2019, he resigned his seat on the Court to run for governor. He would not have been eligible to run for another term on the court due to age restrictions.

Prior to being appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court, Justice DeGenaro served nearly 17 years as a judge on the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Youngstown.
 

Upcoming Ohio Supreme Court Race

Justice DeGenaro has already announced that she will be running as a candidate for the upcoming six-year term for the seat in the November election.

With the Court races often coming down to the candidate with the best sounding name winning (usually the most Irish), Justice DeGenaro’s appointment will be beneficial in helping her to gain some name recognition with voters ahead of the November election. She has also received the endorsement by the Ohio Republican Party.

A second vacancy will be created on the Court later this year as a result of Justice Terrence O’Donnell also being ineligible to run for another term. Judge Craig Baldwin has already announced that he will be running for this seat. He has also been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party.

Both Justice Mary DeGenaro and Judge Craig Baldwin visited OIA last summer. 

In January, Michael Donnelly, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge, and Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Melody Stewart of Cleveland, announced that they will also run for election to the Ohio Supreme Court.
 

The Court and Ohio's Insurance Marketplace

As the third branch of government, the Court’s decisions play a critical role in determining whether Ohio consumers, businesses and independent agents will have a stable, predictable and competitive insurance marketplace to do business.

If you weren’t in the insurance industry in the 1990s and missed the era of an extremely activist Ohio Supreme Court, take a look at my blog about some of the crazy decisions that created havoc in the insurance industry and why the Court races really do matter.

OIA will keep you informed on these races as they get closer.


Federal Tax Reform: What IAs Need to Know

Tax reform stamp US Capital building

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law sweeping changes to the U.S. tax code.
 

Impact on IAs

The centerpiece of this law is a reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. This is a significant tax reform that will have a positive impact on many independent agencies.

The law also changes tax rates for individuals and creates a special deduction for small businesses (including insurance agencies).

While OIA focuses on state issues pertinent to Ohio’s independent agents and consumers, your national associations advocate before Congress and the Trump administration. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) focuses on national issues such as changes to the federal tax code.

The Big “I” has developed a white paper outlining the most salient provisions of the new tax law that could impact independent agents.

Keep in mind that the tax changes will impact you differently depending on whether you’re organized as a C corporation or a business entity such as a subchapter S corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship.
 

The Times, They Are A-Changin’

This law is the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years (since former President Ronald Reagan’s Tax Reform Act of 1986). How the law is being implemented, including how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will interpret certain provisions, remains to be seen.

In 2018 and beyond, the IRS will issue detailed regulations and guidance that will impact tax planning for independent agents moving forward.

For more information and exclusive resources about the new tax changes, visit the Big “I” member page.


Can punitive damages be awarded in a breach of contract?

Gavel and scales punitive damages

Last week, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a ruling in an insurance case that called into question whether punitive damages can be awarded in a breach of contract claim.

The case, which involves an insurance agent and Nationwide Insurance, had the potential to change the landscape of not only the insurance industry, but businesses at large in Ohio.

In a 6-1 decision, the Court reversed a judgment of the Seventh District Court of Appeals, clarifying that punitive damages are not recoverable in a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The exception to this rule is if the breach involves a tort, among other clarifications the decision provides to Ohio contract law:

  • When a breach of contract involves conduct that also constitutes a tort, punitive damages may be awarded only for the tort, not for the breach, and any punitive damages awarded are subject to the statutory limitations on punitive damages imposed in R.C. 2315.21.
     

  • A party to a contract does not breach the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing by seeking to enforce the agreement as written or by acting in accordance with its express terms, nor can there be a breach of the implied duty unless a specific obligation imposed by the contract is not met.
     

  • An unconditional release of liability becomes effective upon execution and delivery and bars any claims encompassed within it, unless it was procured by fraud, duress, or other wrongful conduct.
     

  • A party seeking to avoid a release of liability on the basis that it was procured under duress is required to prove duress by clear and convincing evidence.
     

  • The prevention of performance doctrine, which states that a party who prevents another from performing a contractual obligation may not rely on that failure of performance to assert a claim for breach of contract, is not a defense to a release of liability and therefore cannot be asserted as a defense to a release.
     

  • A fraud claim cannot be predicated on predictions or projections relating to future performance or on misrepresentations made to third parties.

This is just one of many cases that showcase the important role of the Supreme Court of Ohio. With two of the seven justices up for election this November, you’ll want to pay close attention to this race. Learn why Supreme Court of Ohio races really do matter.

Read more about this ruling in Court News Ohio.
 

Read more

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