Central Insurance news
A conservative position and focusing on what can be controlled was the focus of the 138th annual Central Mutual Insurance Company policyholders meeting held May 8 in Van Wert.
“Our company is in the most conservative position we’ve been in since I have been president,” said Chairman of the Board and President F.W. Purmort.
“The property/casualty industry had a challenging year in 2012,” said Purmort, “but our conservative actions are having an impact – we beat the industry in 2012.”
Purmort provided a recap of the steps Central took to cut expenses and increase revenue. Better underwriting decisions, investments in workflow technology, and improved customer service all contributed to the company’s $32 million improvement in underwriting results over 2011 results.
“I’m very pleased with the pace of our improvement,” said Purmort. “We’ve made good decisions in selection and pricing, and spent our money in a controlled way. The improvement of $32 million in just 12 months is very satisfying.”
Purmort noted the company also committed to significant technology improvements. “We’ve made huge investments in workflow technologies that will add lots of advantages for the policyholder.” A big investment of time and resources has been in the upgrade of the company’s 20-year-old claims management system with improvements that could cut Central’s claims processes by a full day, saving the company and its customers millions of dollars.
Purmort also recapped the storm activity of 2012 and the effect it had on the company’s bottom line. While hail and tornado events were down from 2011, wind continued to be costly for the company.
“Wind is a huge issue for us,” said Purmort. Of the 14,351 recorded wind events in 2012, Central customers were affected by over 7,000 of them, an average of 19 a day. The wind event that had the greatest impact took place on June 29, 2012 – the derecho. The highest measured wind speeds of this storm were 91 mph at the Fort Wayne, Ind., airport.
“Right in our own backyard,” said Purmort. “We’ve paid out $12.8 million in claims for this storm that lasted only a few hours. This is why it’s so important to maintain a conservative, financially sound position.”
Purmort concluded his presentation by sharing his perspective on the company going forward.
Van Wert County Hospital news
Van Wert County Hospital Specialty Clinic is pleased to announce the addition of Janaki L. Emani, M.D., to the growing list of staff physicians. Dr. Emani is a board certified Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist and will join the Van Wert County Hospital Specialty Clinic to serve the needs of patients with related medical conditions. Dr. Emani’s office will be located in Suite 209 of the Van Wert Health Center. She will begin seeing patients in May on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
“Van Wert County Hospital Specialty Clinic wishes to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Emani. Her experience and professionalism makes her a valuable member to both our team of physicians and community. As a dedicated physician, I am confident she will provide exceptional medical care and treatment to her patients. We look forward to welcoming her aboard” says Nicholas Spoonmore, Executive Director of Van Wert Medical Services. Dr. Janaki Emani is a graduate of Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Evanston, Illinois. She completed her postgraduate internship at the University of Chicago, Department of General Surgery. Her postgraduate residency training was completed at the University of Chicago, Department of Otolaryngology, Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society, and the American Academy of Otolaryngolgic Allergy.
Dr. Emani is the author of several medical publications related to laryngological and otological medicine and has served as speaker and presenter at the Chicago Laryngology and Otology Society. Her presentation experience includes: Persistent Obstructive Sleep Apnea after Adenotonsillectomy in Children Under Three Years.
Dr. Emani also is a physician at Ear, Nose, Throat, & Sinus Associates in Lima. Her prior experience also includes serving as a faculty member at ENT Allergy in Chicago, Ill., and a clinical associate at Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in Chicago.
Devin Sheets, an American Family Insurance agent in Van Wert, has been recognized for providing outstanding customer experience under the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification.
Sheets has been an agent for American Family since January 2004 and is located at 118 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.
“When choosing an insurance agent, consumers can rely on the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification to help them identify agents with a proven dedication to meeting customer needs,” said Dan Schultz, American Family president and chief operating officer. “This is an outstanding accomplishment.”
Sheets has qualified for this award for seven years.
The service excellence distinction was determined through an evaluation process conducted under guidelines established through the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience certification. The process consists of a customer satisfaction survey which measures customers’ overall experience with their current American Family agent.
Only agencies that perform in the top 20 percent of all insurance agencies nationwide, based on customer satisfaction surveys, are eligible to become American Star Excellence in Customer Experience certified.
Leland Smith Insurance/Shisler Insurance Agency of Van Wert, Antwerp and Paulding has been recognized by German Mutual Insurance Company of Napoleon for surpassing $1 million in written premium for 2012. The agency joins a small contingent of German Mutual agencies that have reached this milestone.
Leland Smith Insurance joined the German Mutual family in 2008 after purchasing the Shisler Insurance Agency of Paulding. German Mutual Insurance Company is an expanding property & casualty insurer in Ohio. Established in 1867, the company has over 140 years of insuring Ohioans through premier independent agents.
Visit www.lelandsmith.com and www.heartland-ins.com to learn more about Leland Smith Insurance/Shisler Insurance Agency and German Mutual Insurance Company.
Central Insurance news
Central Insurance Companies has announced the election of Janet L. White, CPCU, AINS, to its Board of Directors, as well as her appointment to the Executive Committee of the Central Companies and promotion to senior vice president.
As senior vice president of human resources, White holds the overall accountability for the Human Resources, Training and Education, and Facilities departments. This includes responsibilities of employment, employee benefits, the performance appraisal program, salary administration program, company policies, training and development, and facilities, which includes maintenance, grounds, custodial and leases for the regional offices.
White also chairs the Pension and Savings and Profit Participation (SPP) Advisory and Administrative committees, and is a member of the Management and Risk Management committees for the company.
A graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, White began her career at Central in February 1979 in the commercial lines underwriting department as a technician. She was later promoted to commercial lines underwriter and then to senior underwriter. In February 1992, she transferred to the Human Resources Department as employment manager. She was promoted to vice president of human resources in 2004.
She has also earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designations.
In the Van Wert community, White has served as a board member for both the Red Cross and Van Wert County Hospital, a member of the Community Health Professionals Advisory Board, and a board member, campaign chairperson, and board president of the United Way of Van Wert County. She resides in Van Wert with her husband, John.
Central Insurance Companies was founded in Van Wert in 1876, and writes more than 328,000 auto, home, and business policies in 18 states. Regional offices are located in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Van Wert. The Central group of companies has combined assets of over $1 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (excellent).
Internal Revenue Service news
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A key deadline of May 15 is facing many tax-exempt organizations that are required by law to file annual reports with the Internal Revenue Service. Organizations will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked if they have not filed reports for three consecutive years.
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempt organizations file annual Form 990-series informational returns or notices with the IRS. Under this law, organizations that fail to file reports for three consecutive years automatically lose their federal tax-exempt status. The law, which went into effect at the beginning of 2007, also imposed a new annual filing requirement on small organizations. Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.
Form 990-series information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s fiscal year ends. Organizations that need additional time to file may obtain an extension.
Many organizations use the calendar year as their fiscal year, which makes May 15 the deadline for them. Organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years will see their tax exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third required filing.
Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called a Form 990-N (e-Postcard), which asks organizations for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts above $50,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ, depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations file a Form 990-PF.
The IRS began to publish the names of organizations identified as having automatically lost their tax-exempt status for failing to file annual reports for three consecutive years. Organizations that have had their exemptions automatically revoked and wish to have that status reinstated must file an application for exemption and pay the appropriate user fee.
The IRS offers an online search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, to help users more easily find key information about the federal tax status and filings of certain tax-exempt organizations, including whether organizations have had their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked.
First Federal news
Brian Renner, president of First Federal of Van Wert, announced that Diana Cearns was promoted to BSA officer and operations officer during First Federal’s March board meeting.
Cearns joined First Federal in May 2011 and has a combined 20 years in the financial services industry. She currently manages the operations department.
Cearns is a graduate of Van Wert High School and received a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from The Ohio State University. She has also attended various banking classes and seminars, graduating from the Ohio School of Banking, Bank Leadership Institute, and Community Bankers for Operations/Deposit Compliance School. She is currently attending the Leadership Program sponsored by the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce.
She is a longtime member of the Van Wert Optimist Club and Calvary Evangelical Church and has also been involved in various community activities, including Relay for Life.
Cearns and her husband, Paul, reside in rural Convoy with their daughter, Courtney, and son, Cameron.
Paulding-Putnam Electric news
PAULDING — Paulding-Putnam Electric Cooperative has earned the distinction of being one of the lowest cost providers of electricity in Ohio.
A recent independent survey of rates from all types and sizes of utilities across the state showed Paulding-Putnam to have lowest rates among electric cooperatives, in addition to having a rate structure competitive with large investor-owned power companies.
This is quite an achievement for a member-owned and non-profit electric co-op, serving in mainly rural areas where households per mile of line are fewer and commercial-industrial load less than in urban areas.
In fact, the survey published April 7 by The Columbus Dispatch showed Paulding-Putnam’s monthly bill for 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to be lower than Ohio Power Company, an American Electric Power (AEP) subsidiary with more than 600,000 consumers.
The Ohio Power Company bill cited in the survey was $129.38, while Paulding-Putnam’s charge for the same amount of electricity was $116.08.
According to the survey, Paulding-Putnam’s 1,000-kWh bill also was lowest among Ohio’s 24 other electric co-ops, many of them larger and with more commercial-industrial load.
The Dispatch survey ranked power companies, municipal utilities and electric co-ops.
The range of rates showed the disparity between urban service territories, where household density is high and demand for electricity is great from businesses and industries, and rural settings, where consumers and revenue per mile of line are less and operational and maintenance overheads are higher due to distance and terrain.
For example, electric co-ops in Ohio serve 40 percent of the state’s landmass, but average only seven members per mile of line. Investor-owned electric utilities average 31 consumers per mile.
Michael Baldea, owner of Flagship Tax Center, 114 W. Main St., presents a check in the amount of $130 to Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Ken Amstutz as part of the “Help Our School” campaign during this year’s tax season. In January, cards were sent home with elementary and preschool children offering a $40 discount on income tax preparation fees and a $10 donation to the school of their choice for each card presented to Flagship. Now in its third year, Flagship has donated over $300 to the Van Wert City Schools. The program has grown each year and Baldea plans on continuing this fundraising program for years to come. (photo submitted)
DELPHOS — H.G. Violet Equipment recently was recognized as a “Top 100” Dealer for the 2012 sales year. H.G Violet has been a consistent recipient of this coveted award.
Woods Equipment Company, a division of Blount International (NYSE: BLT), is headquartered in Oregon, Ill. A leading full-line manufacturer of high-quality attachments and implements, as well as a leading distributor of aftermarket parts, Woods serves a dealer network of agricultural, landscape, and construction professionals with products marketed under the brand names Woods®, Alitec®, Central Fabricators®, Gannon®, Wain-Roy®, WoodsCare™, and TISCO®.
With a reputation for durability and reliability, Woods’ attachments are manufactured to American Welding Society standards, tested in rigorous real-life conditions, and comply with recommended industry safety standards.
Woods continues to lead the industry with the recent introduction of the totally redesigned front deck FZ-22 Mow’n Machine. H.G. Violet has many Woods products, including field mowers, grader/scrapers, tillers, Mow’n Machines and more in stock, so stop in soon for a great spring deal!
With over 80 years and three generations of business in the same location, the friendly staff at H.G. Violet are ready to help area residents with their equipment needs.