GT GERMANIA TODAY Insightful information for you | Winter 2020
Germania ranks among industry titans as Forbes’ best-in-state Page 6 What is umbrella insurance and how does it work? Page 8
The best ways to celebrate holidays Texas the in
T Germania Today (USPS 086230) Published quarterly by Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association Postmaster: Send address changes to Germania Today at P.O. Box 645, Brenham, TX 77834. Periodical postage paid at Brenham, Texas and additional mailing offices. Subscription price is 50 cents per year included in yearly premium. Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association 507 Highway 290 East Brenham, Texas 77833 800-392-2202 germaniainsurance.com Winter 2020 | Volume 46, Issue 4 GERMANIA TODAY Insightful information for you Paul Ehlert President & Chief Executive Officer Min Choi Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Melisa Bosse Director of Communication Elizabeth Marburger Editor Jodee Walker Contributing Writer Geoffrey Ullrich Contributing Writer Shane Butzow Designer
4 The best ways to celebrate the holidays in Texas
A message from our President 8 3 6 6 7
What is umbrella insurance and how does it work?
Germania ranks among industry titans as Forbes’ best-in-state
Save 12% with new auto Paid in Full Discount
Four things you need to know about buying life insurance during COVID-19
10 10 11 12 12
Germania launches mobile app
Germania General Agency rolls out new business owner ’s policy
What is a Net Promoter Score and what does it mean for insurance customers?
Recipe of the season
Blog... 8 Christmas safety tips for holiday decorations
2 | Germania Today
A message from OUR PRESIDENT
T Paul Ehlert President & Chief Executive Officer T
he end of 2020 has quickly arrived. Wow, what a year – a global pandemic, hurricanes and elections! As we look forward to the rollout of the vaccine and a return to some normalcy in 2021, we pause and take pride in how well Germania navigated 2020. Germania is proud to have earned a coveted spot on Forbes’ list of best insurance companies in Texas for our auto and home insurance products. Germania ranked No. 4 for auto and No. 5 for home insurance. Thank you for trusting Germania and our agents to provide you with insurance products and services. Germania prides ourselves on serving our fellow Texans with the high- quality, hands-on experience you deserve and expect. Have you heard? Germania has an app. We are excited to launch Germania Insurance on the Apple App and Google Play stores. Policyholders will have the same experience offered through their online account but now with enhanced security and one-tap dialing to reach their agent or for roadside assistance. This allows anytime, anywhere flexibility for paying premium, reviewing policy details, and retrieving electronic auto ID cards. We strive to provide you an exceptional customer experience. We continue to offer new and enhanced products, and we are particularly excited to offer a 12% Paid in Full Discount for personal auto policies. We have also extended our Welcome Discount beyond the first year. Please contact your Germania agent for additional information.
I am especially pleased to announce two new members will be joining Germania Farm Mutual’s Board of Directors effective Jan. 1, 2021. Laura Deutscher, who resides in Dallas, is a partner of finance and operations with MVP Advisory Group. Victor Carrillo is a native Texan and currently serves as the director of professional responsibility and government relations for the International Leadership of Texas. Both individuals possess professional skills and personal characteristics that align with Germania’s values and Guiding Principles. They both will be great additions to the board with their diverse experiences, perspectives, and competencies. These two new directors will appear on the slate of directors to be voted upon by our membership in April. With the holidays’ arrival, communities and organizations are supporting many fun-filled activities for families to enjoy. Germania, working with the Circuit of the Americas and American Airlines Center, encourages everyone to come out to enjoy Peppermint Parkway in Austin and Candy Cane Lane in Arlington, along with your local community events. Don’t forget to tag Germania Insurance on social media to share your holiday experiences. Please enjoy this special time with your family and friends. Happy holidays! Stay safe and well.
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The best ways to celebrate holidays Texas the in
4 | Germania Today
T he holiday season is upon us, and Texas is coming alive with holiday events for the whole family. From holiday light shows to magical train rides, your family will love celebrating the holiday season with these safe, festive events! Note: This list is current as of Dec. 22, 2020. Please check with event organizers for cancellations or schedule updates. Don’t forget to tag us on social media if you visit any of our Germania-sponsored events: Peppermint Parkway Date: Nov. 27, 2020 - Jan. 3, 2021 (select nights) Time: 6 - 10:30 p.m. Location: Circuit of the Americas in Austin Circuit of the Americas’ Peppermint Parkway invites Central Texans to experience a one-mile driving attraction that will immerse visitors in millions of holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics. Germania is donating $10 per every vehicle on select charity nights throughout December to support participating charities, including Operation Blue Santa, The Trail Foundation, Dell Children’s Medical Center, I Live Here I Give Here, and Emancipet. Candy Cane Lane Date: Nov. 27 – Dec. 26, 2020 (weekends only) Time: 6-9 p.m. Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas
The Polar Express™ Train Ride Date: Nov. 27 – Dec. 26, 2020 (select nights) Time: 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. Location: Palestine Depot (789 Park Road 70, Palestine, TX 75801) All aboard! The classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg comes to life the minute the train departs from the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. Passengers will relive the magic of the tale as they are whisked away on The Polar Express™ with hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas carols, and a special gift from Santa. Santa’s Wonderland Date: Nov. 13 – Dec. 30, 2020 (all nights) Time: Hours vary Location: College Station (18898 Hwy 6, College Station, TX 77845) Get in the holiday spirit by driving through the 40 acres of light displays at Santa’s Wonderland. Visitors can also stop by Santa’s Town to visit with Santa, find some holiday gifts, or go on a hayride. Plus, write letters to Santa and catch the nightly snow that falls. 55 Nights of Fredericksburg Lights Date: Nov. 12, 2020 – Jan. 6, 2021 Time: Daily at 6 p.m. Location: Marktplatz (100 block of W. Main, Fredericksburg, TX 78624) Each night beginning at 6 p.m., visitors and locals alike can enjoy an approximately five-minute audio program that includes traditional holiday music, as well as the history of the iconic 26-foot German Christmas Pyramid and community Christmas tree. The audio program will conclude with a countdown to the lighting of all the holiday lights each evening through Jan. 6, 2021. NOON Year’s Eve Celebration Date: Dec. 31, 2020 Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location: Don Harrington Discover Center in Amarillo (1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo, TX 79106) Ring in the new year early at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. Beginning at 11 a.m., center staff will countdown each hour with a special science demonstration. Additional special activities will be going on throughout the day, so stop by to celebrate the new year with science fun.
Germania is partnering with iHeartMedia Dallas/ Fort Worth, American Airlines Center, and Ear Fuel Entertainment to host Candy Cane Lane, a zero- contact, family friendly drive-thru holiday experience. Guests can tune into a special playlist of music as they drive through the Silver Garage at American Airlines Center to view holiday lights, lantern characters, and participate in socially distant photos with Santa Claus. A portion of proceeds benefit the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank.. We are also highlighting a few longstanding events across the state (not affiliated with Germania), but we know there are many wonderful options Texans have in their own local communities! We would love to see how you spend the holidays. Tag Germania Insurance into local events that hold a special meaning to you and your family.
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Forbes’ Germania ranks best-in-state among industry titans as
Save 12% with new auto Paid in Full Discount What can you do with more? With Germania’s new Paid in Full Discount, you can save 12% by paying your entire Personal Auto premium on or before the policy effective date. The discount applies to new auto business effective Nov. 15, 2020, or later, and to renewal policies effective on or after Dec. 1, 2020. The Paid in Full Discount is available for all vehicle types, including private passenger, motor homes, antique autos, and trailers. Once you select to pay in full, the discount will continue to apply until the next renewal. If any changes are made to your auto policy midterm that increases your premium amount, the discount will apply to the new premium change. You will be required to pay any additional premium in full. More savings means more of the things you love. Contact your Germania agent for more information about the Paid in Full Discount. New car for the new year? Contact your agent Congratulations on your new ride! Don’t forget to take the next steps with your Germania agent to ensure you’re covered when you’re behind the wheel. Whether you are adding a new car to your driveway or replacing an existing vehicle, you should report the change to your agent as soon as possible. The sales staff at the car dealership may offer to notify your agent or insurance carrier for you, but the named insured on your policy should always follow up on this request. Notifying your agent of a vehicle change can: • Ensure you are sufficiently covered in the event of an accident or loss, • Maximize your premium savings by applying any new discounts you may now qualify for, and • Avoid insurance verification issues with a lienholder, police, or the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Please contact your Germania agent if you have any questions about adding a newly acquired car to your policy.
Germania Insurance has earned a coveted spot on Forbes’ inaugural list of 2021 America’s Best Insurance Companies in Each State. Ranked among industry titans, Germania secured a top-5 ranking for both its auto and home insurance products in the state. Germania is the sole Texas-only carrier to be featured on both lists. “It is an absolute honor to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as Forbes,” President and CEO Paul Ehlert said. “At Germania, we are proud to serve our fellow Texans with the high- quality, hands-on service they deserve and expect.” Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey U.S. customers for their opinions on their current and former insurance relationships. Participants were asked to rate carriers based on overall recommendation and general satisfaction, as well as financial advice, customer service, price-performance ratio, transparency, and damage- benefit service. Germania ranked No. 4 for its auto insurance product and No. 5 for its home insurance product in the state of Texas. Boasting just a fraction of the employee base and coverage area as its nationwide counterparts, Germania strongly delivers on competitive customer service and fair price points.
6 | Germania Today
to know about buying life insurance
3. Traveling to high-risk areas could impact your approval for coverage. Germania Life
esearch shows most of us agree we need life insurance but don’t actually buy enough – or have any coverage at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened consumers’ sensitivity to the need for life insurance. According to LIMRA, nearly half of Americans have no life insurance, but they are shopping. The same study shows that an all-time high of 36% of Americans are planning to purchase coverage in the next 12 months. Here’s what you need to know about buying life insurance during a pandemic and how Germania Life can help: 1. You can still get life insurance during COVID-19. In fact, it is strongly encouraged. Germania Life’s underwriting guidelines have remained the same and medical exam companies are running on normal schedules. There are no coronavirus exceptions on our policies; however, a new Statement of Good Health disclosure is now required on all applicants prior to a policy becoming active. If no health changes or COVID-19 exposure have been reported, applicants will be approved. Germania Life accepts e-signatures on applications and policy documents if you are not comfortable visiting in-person. 2. Don’t assume life insurance is expensive. Germania Life offers a variety of insurance products that can be tailored specifically to you and your family needs. Can’t financially commit to a Whole Life policy? Germania offers an affordable Decreasing Term product that decreases over the life of the policy, making it Germania Life’s lowest term product. You can learn more about Germania Life’s products at germaniainsurance.com/texas-insurance/life- insurance.
has had travel restrictions in place even before the pandemic began. Foreign travel of any kind must be reported at the time of application if the trip
has recently occurred or is planned. Depending on the type of travel and the location of travel, a Foreign Travel Questionnaire may be requested. 4. Your existing Germania Life policy
may cover the coronavirus. Germania Life insurance policy language states that any natural cause of death will be payable upon death, which would include a death caused by the coronavirus. The two-year contestability clause still remains in force for all new insureds and would be handled according to Germania Life’s claim guidelines. It’s important to be honest when filling out a life insurance application – global pandemic or not. Giving honest information from the start ensures you won’t have to worry about a claim getting denied for any reason down the road. Request a Germania Life insurance quote today at germaniainsurance.com or contact the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-836-5224, ext. 2060.
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What is and umbrella insurance how does it work?
8 | Germania Today
I f you drive a car, you probably have auto insurance. If you own a home, you have homeowners insurance. What is umbrella insurance for? Hint: it’s not insurance for your umbrellas! Umbrella insurance is a type of additional liability coverage that extends beyond the limits of other policies. How does it work and who needs it? We’ll tell you all you need to know! What is umbrella insurance? Essentially, an umbrella insurance policy is an extra layer of liability insurance that extends beyond the limits of auto, home, or boat insurance policies. Umbrella insurance is designed to pick up where your other policies leave off and protect your assets. What does umbrella insurance cover? The liability portion of a property or auto insurance policy typically covers a variety of scenarios. For example, if someone falls down the stairs at your house and decides to sue you, your property liability would help cover the costs. If you are responsible for an auto accident, the personal liability portion of your auto insurance would help pay for that.
Coverage for Legal/Defense Costs : This would provide for court and legal fees and other related costs. While some aspects of a standard property policy can provide liability coverage for incidents that occur away from your home, umbrella coverage may be applicable anywhere in the world for people covered under the policy. Umbrella insurance can also extend coverage beyond just the policyholder to other members of your household or family. Who should have umbrella insurance? Generally, the idea is that if the total value of all of your assets (i.e. home, savings, car, investments) are greater than the limits of your insurance policies, you should have umbrella insurance. This thought process is intended to make sure that you have enough protection to cover your assets in the event of a lawsuit. Even if your assets don’t exceed your standard insurance policy limits, you can still be sued for an amount greater than those limits. For this reason, looking at the total value of your assets compared to your current insurance is only one part of the equation. Another consideration you should take into account is the level of risk. If you are a landlord with multiple properties, have a dog, or a teen driver in your household, the risk of being sued for losses caused by those factors is higher in comparison to someone without them. How much does umbrella insurance cost? As with most types of insurance, the amount of annual premium will depend on the chosen level of coverage, as well as other factors that go into determining risk. Umbrella insurance is usually more affordable when compared to other types of insurance. This is because most insurance companies – including Germania – require you to have other insurance policies (like auto and property) before they will issue umbrella. As such, insureds can typically get a fairly high amount of coverage for a comparatively low premium. Germania makes umbrella insurance easy. Get a quote or talk to one of our trusted agents for more information and make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected.
Umbrella insurance expands upon standard liability offered by those policies, but typically covers other scenarios that they do not. While coverage certainly can vary from company to company, an umbrella policy usually covers anything that isn’t explicitly excluded in the policy. You can typically break down umbrella insurance coverage into the following categories: Bodily Injury Liability Coverage : This generally refers to bodily harm, sickness, disease, or death caused to the other party involved due to an accident and that you are legally responsible/liable for. Property Damage Liability Coverage : This generally means physical damage to, destruction of or loss of use to someone else’s tangible property that you caused and are legally responsible/liable for as a result of some type of accident. Personal Injury Coverage : This can provide coverage in the event you are sued for libel, slander, defamation of character, false arrest, etc.
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Keeping your family cyber-secure Helping family members understand the importance of security when it comes to the technology they use every day (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) can be a challenge. According to the SANS Institute, keeping things simple is often the best approach. Focus on the key items that will have the biggest impact: 1. Give examples . If possible, providing real examples, such as copies of phishing emails or suspicious text messages, will make the information more relatable and will help connect the dots for family members so they understand what to look for. 2. Update devices frequently . Make sure all devices in the household receive automatic updates to ensure they get the latest security patches applied. 3. Strong passwords . Encourage family members to use strong passwords — or even better, passphrases — and ensure that the Wi-Fi network in the home is password protected. A passphrase is a string of words used for authentication that is longer than a traditional password and is not a common phrase (ex. Greenroostergroovy#1 or WhereisKingJulian?). 4. Two-factor authentication . Add an extra layer of security to their account in case their password is stolen. Where available, set up two-factor authentication on accounts to require entry of a code to verify the user ’s identity.
launches Germania mobile app
Policyholders will now have more access at their fingertips with the launch of Germania’s new mobile app. Compatible for both Apple and Android devices, the Germania Insurance app expands upon key features already available through your online account at germaniainsurance.com, such as making payments and filing claims. You can now contact your agent and roadside assistance – if included in your policy – with one-tap dialing directly through the app. “The Germania Insurance app continues to enhance our customer digital experience,” Chief Information Officer Tim Tarnowski said. “We are very excited to offer this option to our policyholders.” Additionally, users can take advantage of built-in mobile device security features like biometric authentication (Face ID, Touch ID, etc.) for enhanced security. The app is available to download for free on the Apple App and Google Play stores by searching “Germania Insurance.” Protecting your privacy and financial information is important to us. Learn more about our privacy promise to our customers at www.germaniainsurance.com/privacy.
Germania General Agency rolls out new business owner’s policy
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and now, more than ever, is the time to support our neighbors as they pursue their livelihoods. Germania General Agency (GGA) is excited to introduce a new product offered through Chubb that provides property and liability protection for small-business owners. Chubb’s Business Owner ’s Policy (BOP) protects small-business owners with up to $30 million in revenue in more than 1,000 classes across multiple industries. “This BOP program offers broad protection for property and liability exposures all wrapped up in one product,” GGA President Cyndi Franz said. “This is a true Texas business owner ’s policy available now through GGA.” From landscaping to breweries, you may be exploring
alternative means of income this year – but it may come at a price without the proper protection. With the new BOP product, GGA has yet another standard package market that can address your entire insurance portfolio. Chubb’s BOP also offers optional enhancements to complement its property and liability insurance products, including cyber risk management, animal bailee coverage, equipment breakdown, and employee dishonesty. GGA adds value to Germania Farm Mutual and our agency force by providing access to additional insurance products and services. For more information about Chubb’s BOP offered through GGA, contact your Germania agent or GGA directly at 1-855-442-1669 or email@example.com.
10 | Germania Today
What is a Net Promoter Score and what does it mean for insurance customers?
Germania boasts industry-high 76.2 NPS versus national average of 44 Shopping for a new product or service can be daunting. While the internet has provided a wealth of information and resources, one thing remains true: We often find the most helpful details are the thoughts and opinions of customers who have experienced a product or service firsthand. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a single number or rating you could use to sum up that kind of customer evaluation?
and anything over 70% indicates that a business is doing something very well or the customers are extremely satisfied and very likely to recommend to others. While these ranges are a good start, determining whether or not a company’s NPS score is “good” or not is more involved. When evaluating whether or not a company has a good NPS score, you must look not only at the individual NPS, but how that score compares to the average score for the industry. If you’re shopping for insurance – or any other product or service – be sure to not only look at the company’s NPS rating but the average scores throughout its industry. What does a Net Promoter Score mean for you? NPS can be just as useful to you, the customer, as it is to the business. Having a metric that gives you insight into the way people feel about a company can be a powerful tool when deciding which company to give your business to. First, you need to look at the average NPS industry as a whole based on what type of insurance you’re shopping for. With that industry average in mind, you can now evaluate an individual insurance carrier based on their NPS and how it relates to the industry average. Of course, there are many factors to consider when shopping for insurance beyond the carrier ’s NPS rating. However, a high score means that the carrier has taken the time to reach out to customers and get their opinion about the services and products. It also means that the customers took the time to respond and, on average, feel strongly to recommend the company to family and friends. Many companies will prominently feature their NPS rating somewhere on their website or in their promotional materials. A variety of websites also feature lists you can reference when shopping for insurance and evaluating carriers. How does Germania compare? In addition to ranking fourth in Texas for fair and efficient collision claims service by repair facilities across the state, Germania’s NPS consistently ranks as best in class. With a current score of 76.2, Germania ranks well above the industry average of 44. Germania’s commitment to fair and honest insurance protection and around-the-clock claims service has earned the praise of our most important critics: our policyholders. For more information about our insurance products, request a free quote online, or reach out to one of our trusted agents today.
It’s called a Net Promoter Score! What is a Net Promoter Score?
Have you ever seen a little window pop up after you make a purchase on a website or heard an automated message ask if you’d be willing to answer a brief question after a customer service call? These types of survey questions are commonly used for calculating what is known as a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The answers to these types of questions are used to calculate this type of customer satisfaction rating industries and businesses use to evaluate consumer opinions about their products, services, and their business. It can also be used to evaluate an entire industry. For example, you could look at a NPS for the insurance industry as a whole, a NPS for specifically the auto insurance industry, or even a NPS for a specific auto insurance company. Using a NPS, a company can get a better idea if what they’re doing is resonating with the customer base and meeting their expectations. This score isn’t just for businesses or industry leaders – it’s also for you, the customer! How is NPS calculated? Surveys are quick and easy and are often sent at various points when a representative from a company interacts with a customer. This could be after a claims call, customer service call, or after some sort of interaction on the website. A customer is asked to rank their likelihood to recommend a company, product, or service from zero to 10. After collecting a certain number of responses, a company will analyze and group the various ranked responses. The score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of people who respond 6 or lower from the percentage of those who rank 9 or 10. If a business has 20% of respondents who are 6 or below and 60% who are 9-10, you subtract 20 from 60 to get a NPS of 40%. What is a good NPS? In general, a NPS of 0% to 30% is good, 30% to 70% is great,
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PO Box 645 Brenham, TX 77834-0645 GT GERMANIA TODAY
Recipe applecider Homemade slow cooker
Ingredients: 10 apples (Gala and/or Red Delicious) 10 cups water 3/4 cup brown sugar
5 cinnamon sticks 1 tbsp. whole clove 1 tsp. ground allspice
Instructions: 1. Cut apples into quarters (don’t remove seeds). 2. Place apples, spices, sugar, and water into slow cooker and cook on low for three hours. 3. After three hours, use an immersion blender or masher to puree the apples. 4. Cook for another one to two hours or until the desired flavor intensity is reached. 5. Strain the liquids with a strainer covered with cheesecloth to remove any fine apple pieces. 6. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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8 Christmas safety tips
Decorating for Christmas always brings the magic of the holiday spirit into your home, but sometimes, we overlook safety for the sake of creating a beautiful display. Before you begin opening boxes of lights and ornaments, check out these eight Christmas safety tips to have an accident-free holiday! Continue reading at: germaniainsurance.com/blog/
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