Skip to content

Prime Insurance Agency Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance


I’ve never blogged before, but I’m going to try to stay on insurance topics and perhaps business related topics. While I’d love to blog about realignment armageddon and what that means for our local universities, you’ll have to follow me on Twitter (@rgerstner) for that and other random subjects.

This is my second week running my own agency and fortunately, some sense of sanity has come back.  If every week was like last week, I certainly would second guess my decision to own an insurance agency.  I attended my agency alliance meeting yesterday and got some good information on Kemper Preferred.

Kemper Preferred is the new name for Kemper Insurance.  The name changed when Fortunate 500 company Unitrin decided to take the Kemper name for its corporate brand.  Additionally, the insurance side took Kemper Preferred because they thought it was better branding for their pursuit of the preferred insurance market.  Contrary to popular belief, most insurers aren’t trying to attract anyone and everyone.  There’s a myriad of factors from age, household type, home age, and credit responsibility scores that insurers gear their algorithms.  That’s what it’s so important to find an independent agent that offers insurer choices.

Kemper Preferred strives to attract clients with preferred credit, homes $200k-$1M, higher auto liability limits. Kemper offers a “package” policy so if a hailstorm damages your home and autos, only one deductible is going to apply.  Their better home packages are going to include $50,000 of identity fraud, higher sublimits on jewelry and water backup as well as blanket property coverage limits that gives you more flexibility come claim time especially when a disaster like Joplin occurs.

One thing I enjoy learning about is how the industry is doing; I like having a macro understanding of what’s going on.  According to Kemper, the top 3 insurers are running a 106% combined ratio this year while the top 20 are running a 104% combined ratio.  What does that mean?  Insurers take in premium and pay out claims and expenses.  Any time that ratio is over 100%, more is being paid out than was collected so there’s an underwriting loss.  It can be covered with investment portfolio gains, but combined ratios in excess of 100% generally indicate a rising rate environment.  So regardless of whether or not you had a claim, your insurance rates can rise and likely will rise due to industry results.

My family and I really enjoy the Northland and it’s great to be part of the Liberty community.  I certainly look forward to becoming more involved in the community.