Insightful information for you | Summer 2022 GT GERMANIA TODAY
Disaster preparedness: Are you ready? Page 5 The rise in catalytic
converter theft and what it can mean for you! Page 6
Equipment know about What you need to
F Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association 507 Highway 290 East Brenham, Texas 77833 800-392-2202 germaniainsurance.com T G Summer 2022 | Volume 48, Issue 2 GERMANIA TODAY Insightful information for you
6 The rise in catalytic converter theft and what it can mean for you!
What you need to know about Equipment Breakdown coverage
3 4 5 9
A Message from our President
Germania transitions CEO from Ehlert to Keller
Disaster preparedness: Are you ready?
Choosing the right plan for you... get a quote today.
10 11 11
President & Chief Executive Officer Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Director of Communication
Knowing more about rental coverage limits
Turning votes into hope for childhood cancer research
Madalyn Krueger Geoffrey Ullrich Shane Butzow
Recipe: Creamy dill potato salad
2 | Germania Today
A message from OUR PRESIDENT
Brandon Keller President & Chief Executive Officer T
irst, I want to say what an honor it is to serve in the role of President and CEO. I appreciate the well wishes and offers of support I have received from members, agents, directors, and employees. I am also grateful for the leadership provided by Paul Ehlert and those who served before him. I joined Germania 18 years ago after working at several insurance and consulting companies for almost a decade. Three key factors drew me to Germania: • The concept of mutuality, of being here to bear one another’s burdens. • The handshake, an integral part of Germania’s relationship-based culture. • Germania’s family focus and core values of honesty, respect, fairness, and trust.
These three factors will continue to drive Germania forward. We will focus on providing high quality products backed by exceptional service and outstanding claims handling, all at a competitive price. Straightforward, but not easy. Technology and innovation will enable us to improve how we deliver on our fundamental promise to our policyholders. We will continue to enhance product offerings, improve service, and increase operational efficiencies. But technology will never replace the importance of relationships at Germania. The handshake between two farmers 126 years ago represents a constant that remains fundamental to who we are and how we operate. Thank you for being part of the Germania community. We appreciate your business. We value our relationship.
Summer 2022 | 3
Germania transitions CEO to Ehlert Keller from
In 2021, Germania President and CEO Paul Ehlert informed the Germania Board of Directors of his desire to retire after leading Germania for more than 10 years. Effective May 17, 2022, Paul officially handed off the company’s leadership role to Brandon Keller. “I have enjoyed my time at Germania and serving as its president and CEO,” said Ehlert. “Germania’s culture and community set it apart from other insurance companies, and our employees and agents are committed to providing the best customer experience.” Paul joined Germania in June 2004 as executive vice president. In January 2005, he was appointed first vice president to oversee the Information Services, Marketing, Training, and Corporate departments as well as legislative and other corporate responsibilities. Paul was appointed as president and CEO in July 2011. During Paul’s tenure as president and CEO, Germania grew direct written premium by more than 70%, and surplus increased over 50%. Taking over the leadership reins is Brandon Keller, who represents the eighth president since Germania Farm Mutual’s formation in 1896. “I appreciate the confidence Germania’s Board of Directors has in me, and I eagerly await
serving our agents, employees and policyholders,” said Keller. Brandon Keller joined Germania in 2004 as corporate actuary. He was promoted to assistant vice president in 2006, then to executive vice president and chief actuary in 2017. He has provided executive leadership to the Actuarial, Sales & Marketing, and Data & Business Intelligence departments. Brandon and his wife reside in Brenham with their two children. Brandon is a 1995 graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering. He became a member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1997 and a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1998. He has also served on the management conference planning committee for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). “Brandon has been a key member of the senior leadership team with deep knowledge of Germania’s culture, strategy, and business,” said Dathan Voelter, chair of the Board’s search committee. “He is an outstanding leader, and we are fortunate to have such a talented executive continue building on the strong momentum achieved under Paul’s leadership.”
4 | Germania Today
Are you ready?
Germania has been sharing helpful tips and information via our social media channels to help policyholders prepare for a variety of Texas weather events, including thunderstorms, hailstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, microbursts and more. If you have missed any of these postings, not to worry! We’re recapping them right here with links, so our policyholders are able to view them with easy access.
Determining Your Risk
Know the Facts
Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist Developing an Evacuation Plan
Video Video Video
Thunder, Lightning & More (oh my!)
Lightning Part I Lightning Part II
Lightning Facts & Safety Tips
How do Thunderstorms form and how to prepare for them
Tornado Preparedness Thunderstorms Part I Thunderstorms Part II
Video Video Video Video
Hail Part I Hail Part II
Severe Weather Checklist
Hail & Hailstorms Tornado Part I Tornado Part II
Microbursts & Downbursts
Wildfire Preparedness Checklist Creating an Evacuation Plan
Wildfire Facts & Figures
Summer 2022 | 5
The rise in catalytic theft and what it can mean for you!
6 | Germania Today
F or most car owners in America, unexpected car repairs are typically an unwelcome surprise in your budget. Which is why a recent rise in catalytic converter theft has made car-owning Americans even more fearsome over what odd noises come from under their hood may mean for them. Found underneath your car and attached with bolts to your exhaust pipe is your catalytic converter. Comprised of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, your catalytic converter works as an emission control device by helping bring down the emissions from harmful compounds that are often produced by your car exhaust. You may be wondering, if these car parts are such a benefit to the environment, why are catalytic converters a target for theft? There are a few reasons why: • They are easy to access. Easily located underneath your vehicle, unprotected by an alarm system, they require little to no skill to detach. Stealing them takes little effort. • They are easy to sell. The highly valued metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, along with
protection is by keeping your vehicle in a garage or well-lit area. Should you discover that your catalytic converter has been stolen, report the theft to the police. Beyond catching the thief, having a police report may be an important step when filing an insurance claim. Contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible after you’ve discovered the missing part. Depending on your auto insurance coverage, your company may be able to help you cover the cost of replacing the stolen car part. Although your vehicle can technically operate without a catalytic converter, it is quite illegal to drive without one in Texas and the fines for doing so can be hefty. Talk with your mechanic.
significant disruption in the supply chain, caused their price to skyrocket and make catalytic converters a commodity. • The crime is untraceable. With no identification numbers attached to these car parts, there are essentially no ways to track or identify them once a thief sells them to a junkyard or on a black market. How can you help prevent catalytic converter theft? You can now purchase many useful anti-theft devices to prevent catalytic converter theft. Devices may include indestructible wires, catalytic converter plates to prevent access, or motion sensor alarms that sound when vibration or tampering is detected. Some communities have held drive throughs collaborating with local automotive shops to have VIN numbers etched on the car parts. This causes thieves to hesitate because the converter can now be traced. One of the safest ways to ensuring catalytic converter
Stay prepared and look at your current insurance coverage and ensure you have comprehensive coverage. Standard liability and collision coverage does not cover such losses as theft. If you are uncertain to what your auto policy covers, make sure to reach out to your insurance agent for specific details. Although thieves are getting smarter, you can always stay one step ahead by arming yourself with knowledge and making sure you have the right car insurance coverage. Find out more about catalytic
converter theft and other topics at www.germaniainsurance.com/blogs.
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Equipment What you need to know about Breakdown coverage
Earlier this year, Germania introduced new coverages for equipment breakdown and buried utility lines to help meet the growing needs of our customers. Equipment Breakdown coverage is automatically added to your policy at renewal for a nominal cost and protects against losses incurred due to the breakdown of many different types of equipment used in and around your home, including appliances, electronics, air conditioning and heating systems, pool equipment,
and much more. At renewal, you will see this coverage listed on your Germania policy declarations page. Coverage details can be found in the Equipment Breakdown coverage endorsement of your policy. The Buried Utility Line coverage is optional and must be requested from your agent to add to your policy. Please reference the Spring issue of Germania Today for more details on this coverage.
8 | Germania Today
get quote today. a Choosing the right plan for you...
We want to hear from you Your experience with Germania is important to us. We’re on a quest to learn more about your thoughts on our claims process, coverage satisfaction, and digital experience. Germania has emailed a survey to randomly selected policyholders to capture your feedback. Thank you for responding. Emails from email@example.com and the links within are safe, and we encourage you to participate when receiving this request. Thank you for trusting Germania for your insurance needs!
Germania Redesigns Company Website
If you are in the market for life insurance, Germania is making it easier than ever to get a quote in just a few minutes by answering some basic questions. We offer a variety of whole life and term life plans with options that can be tailored to meet your specific needs and budget. To get started: 1. Visit https://quote.germanialife.com, and answer the four qualification questions on the screen. 2. S elect the type of plan you are interested in, and then fill in a few additional pieces of information. 3. Click Get a Quote. It’s that simple! You don’t need to register or log into the site to receive a quote. If you need help in choosing the right plan for you, please contact our GermaniaLIFE team at glife@germaniainsurance. com, or call 1-800-392-2202, Ext. 2060. They will be happy to assist you!
Germania is excited to release our newly redesigned company website. “The modernized look reveals a new, more streamlined interface for better user experience,” said Germania Brand Strategist Shane Butzow. Some key features to note: • Navigation (buttons, menus, information tiles) is more streamlined to use less space. • The “request a quote” form is redesigned and placed on every page for quick and easy access. • A new home page section allows for promoting new products, and posting features, announcements, and newsletters. • An alert message bar displays important or critical messages. • A Helpful Tips and Useful Information section features key blogs. • Our partnering companies’ logos highlight Germania’s community involvement.
Check out the new look now at www.germaniainsurance.com!
Summer 2022 | 9
Knowing more rental
coverage limit about
Germania offers multiple rental coverage options to its policyholders. Most of our insureds prefer driving a rental
$35 coverage will result in out-of-pocket expenses. Germania offers a $50 coverage to help mitigate additional expenses. However, if you are needing a larger vehicle, the $75- or $100-a-day coverage options may work best for you. To decrease out-of-pocket expenses, increase your rental coverage limit. For more information, discuss your rental vehicle preference and coverage options with your Germania authorized agent.
that is comparable to their covered vehicle, which can include out-of-pocket expenses if you do not have enough coverage. As rental rates are increasing, a
10 | Germania Today
childhood cancer research Turning into votes hope for
The final numbers are in, and Germania ended its 2022 Director Elections with nearly 17,000 ballots cast!
Germania welcomes back to the Board the following directors who were elected for a three-year term: • Donald Scott Phillips (Denison) • James Bryant Holub (Wichita Falls)
• Suzanne Loehr (Richmond) • Michael Bayless (Lumberton) • Dathan Voelter (Austin) • John Caley (Sugar Land)
Earlier this year, Germania committed to donating $1 to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for every member who voted in this year’s director elections. The participation was exceptional, and we are excited to give $20,000 in support of childhood cancer research! You can learn more about Germania’s support and contribution to its community by visiting www.germaniainsurance.com/about/community.
Creamy dill potato salad Directions:
Ingredients: • 3 lbs. potatoes, white or red • 1 ½ c. diced celery • 3 T. green onion, finely sliced
Boil the potatoes until tender (approx. 15-20 minutes). Cool and cut into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, except the potatoes. Combine cooled potatoes with dill mixture and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
• ¾ c. mayonnaise • ½ c. sour cream • 2 T. lemon juice • 4 T. fresh dill, minced • 1 T. Dijon mustard
Summer 2022 | 11
PO Box 645 Brenham, TX 77834-0645 GT GERMANIA TODAY
Texas Read our latest blog
Although some busy, pesky garden workers seem like a grievance, many Texas pollinators tend to be favorable sights in our gardens! We’ll give you a list of these pollinators and talk a little bit about how your garden can contribute to this essential ecological cycle. Continue reading at germaniainsurance.com/blogs
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