Houston, Texas, July 31, 2013 – Dean & Draper Insurance Agency LP announced that Kyle Dean has taken the helm as President and CEO in the wake of Bob Dean’s sudden passing. In his former position as Vice President and Partner, Kyle Dean played an integral role in the strategy and daily function of Dean & Draper.
“We are strong and we are moving forward,” said Dean. “It’s business as usual at Dean & Draper. I am humbled and honored by my father’s faith and trust in me to carry on his legacy.”
Kyle Dean holds a BA in Entrepreneurial Management from Texas Christian University and an MBA from Texas Wesleyan University. He has spent the last nine years fully committed to the company’s clientele, business partners and the Dean & Draper team.
He also serves the insurance industry as a whole in his role as board member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston and Vice-Chairman of its Legislative Committee. In addition, he is an active member of Independent Insurance Agents of Texas. He is well positioned to maintain the vision he and his father shared, upholding the reputation of quality and service on which Dean & Draper was built.
Throughout his lifelong commitment to building a strong agency, the elder Dean crafted a business that would continue to grow and thrive in his absence. The Dean duo worked hand in hand over the years, formulating strategies for the future based on shared values and philosophies. Both agreed the people who make up Dean & Draper are its most valuable asset.
“My father left us much too soon, and his presence will be greatly missed,” said Dean. “However, he set us up for success, focusing on a solid, trustworthy staff as the driving force of this agency. Together, the team and I share a commitment to insure the growth of Texas for many generations to come."
About the Bob Dean Memorial Fund
In memory of Bob Dean, the Bob Dean Memorial Fund was set up to benefit the Insurance & Risk Management Degree Program at the University of Houston-Downtown. Mr. Dean was a founder of the Insurance & Risk Management degree program and Chair of the IRM Center Advisory Council. Checks made payable to UH-Downtown may be mailed to Dr. Wendall Braniff, Director Insurance & Risk Management Center, University of Houston-Downtown, One Main, Suite B-488, Houston, TX 77002.
About Dean & Draper Insurance Agency LP
Founded in 1980, Dean & Draper caters to an international roster of clients from six offices, including its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Through a network of more than 200 diverse insurers, the independent company offers the most competitive, comprehensive policies for personal and commercial insurance needs. This National Top 100 agency in Property & Casualty and Top 50 agency in personal policies underwrites in excess of $150 million in annual auto, home, health and corporate premiums.
According to the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, Texas has changed the way auto insurance is handled. Texas and twenty-four other states are trying something new with proof of insurance. They are allowed to show police officers electronic versions instead of the paper ones. The legislation was signed March 28th, but since many other states have followed the trend it has become a nationwide movement.
Texas residents can access their auto insurance coverage online. Called TexasSure, it requires auto insurance companies in Texas to send their information to the site. The information will display online for you to see for you to see. This breakthrough is a combination of the following departments: Texas' 79th legislature, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Insurance, the Department of Information Resources, and the Department of Public Safety. Since it’s online, it can easily be accessed by smartphones with an internet connection. The great thing about this is you can see your coverage anytime you want. When natural disasters destroy any copies of insurance the internet will keep your insurance information safe, valid and relevant.
However, Texas DMV departments and Texas law enforcement will see it too. The days of fraud, falsifying insurance information, and dropping coverage immediately after receiving an insurance card is over. They can see the information too, and you will be contacted if there is a discrepancy.
Many people forget to transfer the insurance paper and card to their car and wallet, respectively. On the other hand, no one is going to forget to carry their phone. Since the phone stays with them in and out of the car, it makes sense that insurance should be in electronic form. Smartphone owners can flash their phones instead of paper. Everyone understands the convenience of this movement, and this is an excellent example of blending technology with the law. At least it saves space in the glove compartment.
Houston-based insurance agency combines acquisitions with organic growth to set foundation for success. Dean & Draper was able to maintain a top spot in the Texas insurance industry by acquiring other companies, investing in technology, and adhering to high standards.
HOUSTON, Texas (June 6, 2013) – Launched as a two-man shop in 1980, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency LP has grown over the past 33 years to be one of the top three Houston-area property and casualty insurance agencies. Rankings were based on 2012 local premiums, as recorded by the Houston Business Journal, a leading provider of local business news for the Greater Houston area. Total local premium volume for Dean & Draper in 2012 was nearly $131 million.
Company founder Robert (Bob) Dean attributes his agency’s enduring success and impressive growth—including a 54 percent growth rate between 2006 and 2011—to acquisitions and targeted marketing programs, with a focus on technology.
Dean estimates that he has made more than 35 acquisitions over the years, expanding his business by bringing independent agents onboard while retaining some equity in their produced business. This mutually beneficial arrangement that allows the company to offer and cross-sell policies from more than 250 insurance companies. “Clients benefit from choices with valued counsel to choose what is right for them,” Dean said.
Early on, Dean created a contract that gave agents of acquired companies an equity interest in the business they brought over with them. The strategy, designed to keep agents on board, worked, and was a prelude to other client employee focused initiatives, including investments in technology and ongoing operational improvements.
“Keeping up with technological advances is critical”, Dean said. “Realizing how much an effective digital platform means to today’s buyer, we recently revamped our whole digital strategy to both generate leads and deliver value to providers and carriers.”
Through the agency’s website clients can obtain and compare quotes, view their coverage, and communicate with their agents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The website features the latest social media techniques, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and also includes a blog with hundreds of articles. Additionally, the agency created a smart phone app geared toward younger clients and is using a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to improve its search engine result rankings.
On the operational side, Dean and Draper has moved to a paperless environment companywide and implemented a standard management structure in all of its offices, allowing it to operate more efficiently and effectively. The company has also revamped its sales structure, giving its employees new tools, training, and incentives to excel.
Dean said he will continue to seek growth opportunities through acquisitions, new marketing programs, technology investments, and internal structural enhancements.
“My view is that in business, you either grow or die,” he said. “There are no plateaus.”
A lot of media coverage and controversy surrounds the Affordable Care Act. There are so many facets to this new legislation, it's no wonder many are confused about how it will affect them. In fact, an estimated 26 million low and middle-income Americans will qualify for subsidies next year to help them obtain health insurance through their state's insurance exchange, but many are unaware of this provision. Who qualifies and how do the subsidies work?
There are several variables at play for eligibility. First, subsidy recipients cannot already be on a government insurance program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Secondly, the subsidies are specifically for people who do not have access to an affordable insurance plan through their employment. Proponents of the subsidies say it will really help those in the middle class. Subsidies will be available to people with an annual income up to four times the federal poverty level. That means if the legislation was already in place this year, individuals earning up to $45,960 and a family of four earning up to $94,200 would qualify. It's estimated that almost a third of subsidy recipients will be young adults between 18 and 34 years old.
How Does the Subsidy Work?
Those in need of health coverage will choose between four plan levels through state health exchanges. The four levels are labeled platinum, gold, silver and bronze, and vary based on premium amounts and required out-of-pocket expenses. Subsidies will be associated with the "silver" level plans. Here's an example, according to Families USA, a consumer advocacy group. If a family of four earns $94,200 and purchases a silver plan that requires an annual premium of $12,500, the subsidy would be $3,550. The amount of subsidy is scaled to ensure Americans are not paying more than a specific percentage of their annual income toward their premiums. In the above example, 9.5 percent of the family's income goes toward their health coverage after the subsidy. The government subsidy is paid directly to the insurance company.
Research by the March Kaiser Family Foundation Poll found that only 62 percent of Americans are aware of subsidy provisions and two-thirds of the uninsured admit they do not know how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. However, everyone is required to have health insurance by January 1, 2014, according to the legislation. Failure to obtain it can carry financial penalties.
With three different termite species, it is easy to understand why termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the Houston area. It is estimated that the Houston and surrounding areas have approximately 16-20 colonies of termites per acre. Even though direct termite damage is not covered under a standard home insurance policy, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances of a termite problem.
Termite Damage Is a Normal Home Insurance Policy Exclusion
The standard home policy includes an exclusion for “Maintenance” issues. Insurance companies consider a termite infestation as preventable and feel that it pertains more to the proper maintenance of your home. Home insurance policies are designed to cover losses that are considered accidental.
Steps To Take To Reduce Chances Of Termite Infestation
Regular Termite Inspections – Schedule an annual termite inspection with a licensed pest control specialist. These experts are trained to spot warning signs of possible infestation and can help prevent damage to your home or business.
Correct Conducive Conditions – Excessive moisture or clutter in the crawl space of your home gives termites the opportunity to set up a colony beneath your house. Small cracks in foundations give termites an entrance way into your home.
Keep Foundation Visible – At least two to three inches of your home’s foundation should be visible to aid in early termite detection. Excessive mulching around the foundation can not only hide a possible infestation, but it also provides a source of food. Removing or thinning foundation vines will help expose termite evidence.
Remove woodpiles and other wood to earth contact – Wood piles next to your foundation are inviting for swarming termites to set up a new colony. You should re-grade to eliminate direct ground contact of home siding.
You may have had your home properly treated for termites, but you must understand that the treatment products used can diminish over time. Also, if you have made additions or other changes to your home, an additional inspection and treatment may be necessary. If you are buying a new home, make sure it has been properly treated for termites. Many pest control companies guarantee their termite treatments by offering a warranty in which they are responsible for additional inspections and/or treatments at agreed intervals. These tiny creatures cost homeowners billions of dollars each year. Termites damage your home from the inside out and if left untreated, a colony can cause considerable damage to your home. Performing proper maintenance and regularly checking for visible signs of a termite infestation can help you eliminate possible damage and very costly repairs.
Many parts of our nation, including Texas, have seen some significant storms this year. The National Weather Service has already recorded 3,500 severe storms involving hail, tornado or high winds. As devastating as losing your home can be, many people have seen further devastation through fraudulent contractors who claim to work with their home insurance companies to repair their houses. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) issued a warning to consumers regarding fraud just this month. How can you protect yourself?
It's not uncommon for professionals to infiltrate neighborhoods that have been affected by a storm. They often go door-to-door offering to make repairs or clean up. While many of these professionals are legitimate, others take the homeowners money and never show up to work. Another tactic is to use inferior materials so they can pocket more of the profit.
The first rule is to always contact your insurance company before making any repairs. Secondly, be suspicious of anyone soliciting for work. Trustworthy contractors usually wait for customers to call them. They rarely solicit for work. Additionally, follow these tips.
- Get multiple estimates.
- Ask for everything in writing, including cost, time line and guarantees.
- Check their references
- Write down the salesperson's driver's license number and vehicle plate number for your records.
- Don't sign a contract that is blank. A dishonest person can fill in blanks later with unacceptable terms. If there are truly lines that do not apply, write "not applicable" on the line.
- Do not pay for services in full until the work is complete and you have verified it was up to code.
- Carefully review documents submitted to your insurance company.
- Do not rely on the contractor to interpret your insurance policy. Call your agent.
- If a contractor discourages you from contacting your insurance company, do not work with them.
If you drive a vehicle in the state of Texas, you are required by law to pay for any auto accidents you may cause. Buying automobile liability insurance can most easily satisfy this legal obligation. Most states have established minimum liability limits, but it is important to understand some reasons why minimum Texas auto insurance may not be enough.
Satisfying Texas Financial Responsibility Law
Liability insurance is designed to repair or replace the other driver’s vehicle if you are found to be at fault in an auto accident. It also pays any medical expenses that may be related to an at fault accident. In order to meet the Texas financial responsibility law, a vehicle owner must purchase the following minimum amount of liability insurance coverage:
- $30,000 Bodily Injury Liability (each person)
- $60,000 Bodily Injury Liability (each accident)
- $25,000 Property Damage Liability (each accident)
This 30/60/25 minimum auto coverage will allow you to drive legally on Texas roads and highways, but it may not provide the insurance protection you actually need.
Minimum Insurance Coverage Does Not Protect Your Vehicle
The minimum coverage shown above provides absolutely no insurance coverage to repair or replace your personal vehicle that may be damaged or destroyed in an accident. If you drive an older vehicle that you could easily replace, this type coverage might be sufficient. If you drive a vehicle that would cost several thousands of dollars to replace, you should consider purchasing collision coverage. Also, you may need to find a replacement vehicle should yours be damaged or destroyed in an accident. Rental reimbursement coverage could be very important.
Minimum Texas Auto Insurance May Not Cover Costs
Car prices are steadily increasing and the cost of medical care is going through the roof. These minimum limits of liability coverage may not be sufficient to pay all the other driver’s costs. Let’s assume that you were found to be at fault in an accident that totally destroyed a $30,000 sports car. Under your minimum insurance policy, your insurance company will only pay $25,000. This would mean that the remaining $5,000 would have to be paid out-of-pocket. It is not uncommon for hospital and medical care expenses to reach $100,000 or more. With minimum coverage, the insurance company will only pay a maximum of $60,000 per accident. If your insurance coverage is not enough to pay the total costs, the other driver can sue you to collect the difference. Minimum auto insurance coverage may not protect you and your family financially.
Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage Does Not Protect You Against Uninsured Drivers
Even though Texas law provides penalties for not buying minimum auto insurance coverage, there are those who simply don’t abide by the law. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, one in five drivers on Texas roads are uninsured. Uninsured or underinsured auto insurance will offer you the financial protection should your vehicle be damaged or destroyed by one of these uninsured motorists.
Insurance companies who proudly advertise that they will keep you legal really aren’t doing you any favors. Just driving legal in Texas may end up costing you a lot more money than it would have cost to buy adequate auto insurance in the first place. If you don’t understand your auto insurance policy or are concerned about your coverage amounts, the best thing to do is to sit down with an experienced auto insurance agent.
About Dean and Draper Insurance Agency
Founded in 1980 by President and CEO Bob Dean, Dean and Draper Insurance Agency caters to an international roster of clients from five offices, including its headquarters in Houston. Through a network of more than 200 diverse insurers, the independent company offers the most competitive, comprehensive policies for personal and commercial insurance needs. This National Top 100 agency in Property & Casualty and Top 50 agency in personal policies underwrites in excess of $150 million in annual auto, home, health and corporate premiums and employs over 135 people.
Summary: Benefit Solutions, L.P., a Dean and Draper company, is hosting its next health care reform seminar on May 16. The seminar will offer a comprehensive review of health reform provisions affecting businesses and information on how Benefit Solutions can help companies impacted by upcoming changes.
Houston – Sharing the latest information and resources on health care reform, Benefit Solutions, L.P, a Dean and Draper company, is hosting its next quarterly Health Care Reform Seminar May 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at River Plantation Country Club.
Part of a free series of seminars focused on health care, the upcoming session will offer a comprehensive review of health reform provisions and how Benefit Solutions can assist businesses and their employees.
“Health care reform remains one of the hottest topics for both businesses and individuals, which is why we’re so pleased to offer these educational seminars for our clients,” said Bob Dean, president and CEO of Dean and Draper. “Texas business owners and HR teams need to be prepared for a variety of changes over the next year, and our next seminar is designed just for that purpose.”
In particular, the May Health Care Reform Seminar will focus on:
Provisions that will affect employer groups
The employer mandate
Potential penalties for employers
Who these provisions apply to and how they work for employers
Plan design restrictions and requirements in 2014
The small group market in 2014 and upcoming changes including community ratings, essential health benefits and more
How insurance agents can offer guidance in navigating the new system.
River Plantation Country Club is located at 550 Country Club Dr., Conroe, Texas, 77302. To RSVP, please contact Maya Pillai, Benefit Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-586-4366. Each associate attending must RSVP individually.
“Health care reform measures will impact businesses and employee groups, so it’s incredibly important to understand reform legislation before these provisions take effect,” Dean added. “We look forward to meeting with clients and friends to share this information and the best strategies and options for businesses of all sizes.”
Summary: Dean and Draper Insurance Agency is collaborating with the University of Houston Downtown on its growing Insurance & Risk Management program. Dean and Draper President and CEO Bob Dean is one of the founders of the program and is helping to provide more insurance-related education for the insurance industry.
Houston – Dean and Draper Insurance Agency, “a Trusted Texas Choice agency,” wants to insure that more students get the education they need to succeed in this industry today. To that end, Bob Dean, president and CEO of Dean and Draper, along with a small group of industry leaders who, in 2007, founded and personally funded the University of Houston’s Risk Management Program in 2007 and has served on the Insurance & Risk Management Advisory Council since 2009. In 2011, he became chairperson of the council with a dedicated focus on education and employment.
Under Dean’s leadership, more students have pursued a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, through the university’s Insurance & Risk Management program. Recently, the program has made education even easier by offering online courses, which help more students and professionals achieve their goals in the insurance industry by creating internships and connecting students and graduates with industry employers. This program, now available to students across the State of Texas, currently has 23 graduates, all of whom are employed in the industry and 30 majors who will graduate within the next two years.
“We believe that education is the key to succeeding in the insurance industry today and tomorrow, and are thrilled that more and more students are gaining the knowledge and background they need to succeed at the University of Houston Downtown,” Dean said, a graduate of the University of Houston.
Dean has worked with the University of Houston Downtown on the program for the past six years, helping to expand courses and enrollment, providing funding for scholarships and operations, offering internships to students and participating in the search for the program director and the school’s first full-time tenure-track faculty member. The program requires all majors to complete an industry internship and graduates enjoy a variety of career opportunities, since Houston is the third largest insurance market in the United States. The program prepares students for insurance careers in areas including underwriting, claims, risk assessment, accounting, finance, technology, sales and marketing. Further, students can also complete coursework and take examinations for various professional designations, including the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), the Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) designation, and the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designations while obtaining their degree. Each course, approved by the Texas Department of Insurance, will count as 30 hours of continuing education for those students currently licensed.
“We look forward to working with the University of Houston Downtown and its students for years to come, providing education and employment opportunities throughout the insurance industry,” Dean added.
About Dean and Draper Insurance Agency
Founded in 1980 by President and CEO Bob Dean, Dean and Draper Insurance Agency caters to an international roster of clients from five offices, including its headquarters in Houston. Through a network of more than 200 diverse insurers, the independent company offers the most competitive, comprehensive policies for personal and commercial insurance needs. This National Top 100 agency in Property & Casualty and Top 50 agency in personal policies underwrites in excess of $150 million in annual auto, home, health and corporate premiums and employs over 135 people. For more information, please visit http://www.deandraper.com.
Less than one quarter of property/casualty industry executives, polled in a recent Insurance Information Institute (III) survey, agree the U.S. economy is finally “on the right track” in 2013.
Ninety-five percent believe the ongoing budget problems in Washington will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy, while 74% think the feds want to expand their regulatory oversight of insurers.
Other significant statistics in the III survey suggest:
- 59% of participants feel personal auto and homeowners lines will improve
- 68% expect improvements in commercial lines
- 61% do not expect any improvement in workers’ compensation
- 74% expect premium growth to increase, while 21% believe it will remain flat
- 54% expect an increase in consolidation among insurers and reinsurers in an effort to lower expenses
Additionally, business bankruptcies are on the decline, so the deterioration of commercial accounts will continue to ease. The number of business startups is rising, increasing the demand for commercial insurance.
Why is this significant to you? Commercial insurance is vital to the world economy because insurers essentially assume the risks associated with the production of goods and services. Their efforts protect our economic system from failure.
That means as a small business owner, they have your back; along with the over seven million other small businesses in the U.S. Without the right commercial insurance coverage, your business could easily be wiped out by a disaster (like Hurricane Sandy) or a lawsuit.
What should you do? Review your current commercial insurance policy with your representative to ensure you have the right amount and type of insurance coverage. Look for things such as irrelevant, repetitive, and outdated coverage. Ask if there are actions (joining a professional association or training employees) you can take to lower your commercial insurance costs. Most important of all: seek the advice of an insurance professional.