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EBC and MBIS offer flexible security for WBA-member banks

By Daryll J. Lund

As National Insurance Awareness Day approaches on June 28, all WBA-member banks should take a moment this month to review their insurance policies. While this is good practice in preventing certain aspects of the bank from going underinsured, it is also important to verify your bank and employees are getting the best offers for the best price.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association – Employee Benefits Corporation (WBA EBC) offers WBA-member banks competitively priced plans covering life and disability, dental, medical, prescription drug, and vision insurance. Our flexible plans allow Wisconsin community bankers the purchasing power usually only offered to larger groups and access to an online insurance portal. Contact Brian Siegenthaler at 608-441-1211 or bsiegenthaler@wisbank.com to learn more.

Additionally, Midwest Bankers Insurance Services (MBIS), co-owned by WBA, offers banks throughout Wisconsin security with three distinct lines of coverage — professional lines (FI bond, D&O liability, and cyber liability), property casualty lines (building, liability, business auto, workers compensation, and umbrella liability), and lending-related lines (mortgage protection/E&O, lenders single interest, force placed hazard, and flood). These coverage lines protect banks across the Midwest and allow them to stay ahead of the unexpected. MBIS offers solutions and protection from the best carriers in the insurance industry. Contact Jeff Otteson at 608-217-5219 or jeffo@mbisllc.com to learn more about enrollment.

As uncertainty in our daily lives remain — be certain that WBA EBC and MBIS are here to offer the best, competitively priced policies for both your bank and employees. Take the first step in strengthening your employee benefits package or bank coverage lines this June by enrolling with WBA Insurance Services!

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UnitedHealthcare provides WBA-member banks cost-effective benefit packages

By Daryll J. Lund

Now’s the time to start thinking about your employee benefits package and how an Associated Health Plan (AHP), serviced by UnitedHealthcare, could help you save. Gain similar purchasing power advantages and options that larger employers receive when you join other Wisconsin banks by enrolling in our AHP.

Through your enrollment in an AHP, your bargaining position is strengthened to help you obtain more favorable rates. A variety of flexible plan options are available to help balance costs and your administrative costs can be reduced through economies of scale.

And your employees will benefit too. They’ll have access to UnitedHealthcare’s provider network — the largest in Wisconsin — resulting in less disruption and a smoother transition. Wellness programs designed to motivate healthier habits and cost estimator tools to assist with making more informed care choices will help your employees with their overall health and budgetary goals.

The advantages don’t stop there. If you’re looking to add vision to your employee benefits package, UnitedHealthcare has you covered. Like their medical network, UnitedHealthcare has one of the nation’s largest vision networks. That means your employees will have the freedom to visit their favorite provider or retailer for vision services and eyewear needs. Alliances with Warby Parker® and GlassesUSA.com are included.

Learn how much you may save by contacting Brian Siegenthaler from Wisconsin Bankers Association – Employee Benefits Corporation at bsiegenthaler@wisbank.com or 608-441-1211.

By Daryll J. Lund

The Wisconsin Bankers Association Employee Benefits Corporation, Inc. (WBA EBC) was formed in 1982 and as our Association Health Plan (AHP) begins its fourth year, I would like to thank each WBA member that has chosen to trust us for their insurance needs.

The flexibility of our high-quality health benefits (dental insurance, medical insurance, prescription drug plans, and vision) as well as life and disability insurance are typically reserved for large employers but — through the purchasing power of WBA EBC — are offered exclusively to WBA members at preferred prices. In the last three years alone, our member banks have collectively saved $1.8 million thanks to their member-driven AHP.

This year we are pleased that nearly 40 banks throughout the state have chosen the WBA AHP through UnitedHealthcare for their health insurance program. Through your enrollment in our AHP, 1,800 members will have access to affordable, highquality benefits and insurance throughout Wisconsin. In addition, our partnership with Lincoln Financial provides life and disability coverage for 10,000 members and our Delta Dental plans cover 7,000 members.

I, along with WBA EBC Vice President Brian Siegenthaler and our dedicated team look forward to continuing to assist you and your employees through our one-stop-shop for members enrollment and administration. We thank you once again for choosing WBA EBC to provide for the well-being of all employees in your organization.

Visit www.wisbankins.com or contact Brian Siegenthaler at bsiegenthaler@wisbank.com or 608-441-1211 to learn more about the advantages we offer.

After nearly 30 years of dedicated service, Kathy Gallagher will be retiring at the end of May. We are very appreciative of all of Kathy’s efforts over the years and she will be greatly missed.  

Kathy began working at the Wisconsin Bankers Association on Jan. 20, 1992, as the Employment Benefits Company’s (EBC) insurance trust enrollment administrator. At the time of her hiring, she wasn’t the only new part of the company — her position was brand new as well! As a result, Kathy figured parts of the position out as time went on and quickly mastered her responsibilities while she got to know the many bankers she would regularly communicate with each day. In a 1997 WBA Profile titled “She ‘Benefits’ All”, Kathy noted that, “It’s exciting to interact with such a variety of people in the industry on a daily basis.”  

Although Kathy began as trust enrollment administrator, she has had many new titles since her hiring. In 2004 she was promoted to client service specialist and in 2010 was promoted to assistant director of insurance services. Since 2015, Kathy has taken on the role of director of insurance services, and in 2017 she celebrated her 25-year anniversary with WBA. Four years later, she now celebrates her retirement after almost three decades with the association.  

In her ‘97 WBA Profile, she also noted that “It’s challenging, but very rewarding, to be able to assist more than 225 banks in the state on so many different aspects of the Insurance Trust.” Several members that Kathy has worked with in the past have reached out to share how grateful they’ve been to have Kathy to contact. One member recalled their first experience speaking with Kathy and noted her “sweet, patient, completely knowledgeable voice on the other end of the line” who helped them understand everything from “health, life, dental, AD&D, vision, LTD insurance — you name it, she knew it inside and out.”  

Thank you, Kathy, from all of WBA, for the countless memories and the 29 years of incredible work! 

By, Alex Paniagua

Bankers understand risk management. That’s what the business of banking is all about, after all. Bankers accept the risk of protecting their customers’ funds and manage the risk of extending those funds out as loans to build the community. Without effective risk management, no bank can be successful.  

That’s why Wisconsin Bankers Association wholly owned subsidiary WBA Employee Benefits Corporation (EBC) partnered with the Minnesota Bankers Association nearly a decade ago to form Midwest Bankers Insurance Services LLC (MBIS). This partnership created an insurance agency dedicated to providing community banks with comprehensive insurance options.  

As an association-owned entity, ultimately the revenue generated by MBIS flows back to support the overall mission of WBA, which is to support you, our member banks. Another advantage of working with MBIS: we serve only you. The banking industry is the only market MBIS serves; its products are specifically tailored to banks’ insurance needs. All of MBIS’ financial products are designed to protect banks, their officers, directors, and employees from disasters of all kinds.  

Because MBIS is owned by your association, you can rest assured we’re working on your behalf and you can contact us with concerns. For example, recently, we have fielded questions from bankers wondering about the impact of the current pandemic on pricing for their D&O liability policy renewals. Some experts have stated they expect increases of nearly 50% as a result of emerging claims related to COVID-19.  

Our response: while the D&O markets are a bit shaken right now, the banking sector has not seen the significant premium increases other areas have. However, some carriers are tightening in various ways, including more disciplined risk selection, increased retentions, lack of three-year prepay options, and narrower terms and conditions. 

MBIS’s lead D&O carrier, AmTrust, continues to offer broad terms, conditions, and less-than-market pricing with three-year prepay options. The MBIS-negotiated D&O forms have been broader than what we have experienced with policy forms negotiated by other agencies.  

For more guidance and insight like this, you need to work with an agency that knows banking as well as it knows insurance. That’s MBIS.  

Find out how MBIS can help your bank manage risk, and join our over 200 bank clients in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota in enjoying peace of mind. Contact Jeff Otteson at 608-217-5219 or jeffo@mbisllc.com today. 

Lund is WBA executive vice president – chief of staff and president of EBC and MBIS. 

By, Amber Seitz