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Posted by on in Press Release


A service of your agent and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents

Whether you haven’t yet taken down your Halloween decorations or you’re assembling your seventeenth gingerbread house of this season, it’s time once again to consider the safety issues surrounding many favorite winter holidays.

There are many things that can brighten the holidays. One light source that you may want to include only selectively is fire.

You may be cooking or baking more than usual. No matter how much you do, be sure to keep kids and flammable items like kitchen towels away from the stove and oven. Clean up any grease as you go.

Preparing to bring a live tree into your home? If so, choose one full of  green  needles  that  don’t  fall  of when you touch them and are diffi cult to pull from branches. Trees need to be watered daily! Don’t plug together more than three strands of lights; use a power strip instead. Throw away any strands that look worn, frayed, or broken, and always unplug all the electrical items connected to your tree before leaving home or going to bed.

Maybe you’re readying a candelabra to celebrate the holidays. You can use traditional candles instead of electrical ones, but be smart about it. Keep flammable items at least three feet from your candles, and put the candelabra on a non-flammable surface (we like to line a tray with aluminum foil in our house). Make sure each candle is standing firmly in its holder, and put your candelabra in a spot where it can’t easily be knocked down by children, pets, or careless adults. Never leave lit candles unattended.

If your holiday season coincides with the arrival of winter weather, and you just want to curl up in front of a cozy, warm fire with your family, be careful. Keep flammable items at least 3 feet from the fireplace, and use a fire screen to prevent embers from escaping into the room. Make sure the fire is completely out before you go to sleep.

Finally, some ideas that make sense year-round: make an emergency plan to use if there’s a fire in your home, and stick to the plan if you have an emergency. Avoid wearing loose, flowing clothing around open flames, whether they’re from a fireplace, stove, or candelabra. Of course, the safest way to avoid holiday fire hazards is to pass on using real fire in your celebrations.

Sources: American Red Cross; U.S. Fire Administration; U.S. Product Safety Commission.

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Posted by on in Press Release

Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
6401 Odana Rd.
Madison, WI 53719


Drones, Hoverboards, Kids Vehicles

MADISON, Wisconsin (January 4, 2016)    Drones, hoverboards and drivable electric vehicles for kids were hot items for Christmas. Be aware of potential insurance issues with their use.      

Some homeowners and renters insurance policies may not provide coverage for injuries or damage to property of others while using your new high-tech toys. Many, but not all, home insurance policies cover the operation of model aircraft which are not used to carry cargo.  Most home policies do not cover “motor vehicles”, except in very limited situations.  Some policies have an age or speed restriction on “motor vehicles” and also specify that protection may only apply while they are being operated on your premises.  Since both hoverboards and electric vehicles are powered by electric motors, they may fall under the definition of “motor vehicles”.

According to Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW):

“Injuries and property damage do occur so consumers are encouraged to contact their professional insurance agent to be sure they are properly protected. Homeowners policies, renters policies and personal liability umbrella policies should be reviewed with your agent.”

The safety and insurance issues surrounding drones, hoverboards, kids vehicles and other exciting new toys are a good reminder to have your insurance protection updated periodically.  Does your agent know about the new toys, guns, artwork or jewelry you have acquired since your last review?  These issues also highlight the importance of a personal liability umbrella policy.

Click Here to download and customize the press release for your use.

PIAW members are professionals who protect homes, autos, and businesses from the everyday risks you encounter.  To find a PIA member near you, look for the PIA logo or visit www.piaw.org


Posted by on in Press Release
Don’t Be “Skimmed” By ATM Thieves

MADISON, Wisconsin (November 1, 2015)    ATM “skimming” is a process in which thieves obtain information from the magnetic strips on the back of debit cards by placing a well-disguised device over an ATM’s card-insert area.

            The device captures the card number and security data while simultaneously recording the cardholder, by way of a tiny camera pointed at the ATM’s keypad, as the cardholder enters their PIN.  The thieves are then able to drain the debit card’s funds or spend the balance at will.  Skimming can happen at all ATM’s, including ATM’s in heavy traffic areas.

            According to FICO (a credit scoring and analytics firm), attacks on ATM’s have reached the highest level in 20 years.  ATM thefts on bank properties have increased by174 percent while successful attacks on non-bank ATM’s have experienced a frightening 317 percent increase.

            Here are a few tips you can utilize to protect yourself says Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW):

1.      Try to visit only ATM’s you trust.

·         By using your bank’s network, you may be eligible for security policies or services they provide to members.

·         If an ATM looks damaged or tampered with, report it to the ATM owner and move to a different ATM.

2.       Cover your PIN.

·         Make it a habit to cover your PIN when you’re withdrawing cash.

·         Use whichever hand corresponds to the card-insert area.  If you insert the card on the right side of the ATM, enter your PIN with your left hand, covering it with your right. This will ensure your hand blocks any hidden camera on the machine.

3.       Pay attention to your charges.

·         Check your statement carefully for charges that you did not make yourself. Skimmers will often make small, infrequent charges to avoid detection.

4.      Report fraud ASAP!

·         If you experience any ATM fraud, report it as fast as you can.  Under the Electronic Transfer Fund Act, the sooner you report any unauthorized charges, the greater your federal protections are.

Click Here to download and customize the press release for your use.

PIAW members are professionals who homes, autos, and businesses from the everyday risks you encounter.  To find a PIA member near you, look for the PIA logo or visit www.piaw.org

Posted by on in Press Release

  August 17, 2015
RELEASE DATE:  Immediate

MADISON, WI    The 66th Annual Convention of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin, Inc. was held August 5-7, 2015 at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Elected to serve as officers for the 2015-2016 term were:

·         President:  Rick Clements, LUTCF of Clements Insurance Agency, Inc., Wausau, WI

·         Vice President:  Brian MacGillis, CPIA of MacGillis Agency Inc., Fredonia, WI

·         Treasurer:  Jodi Cordes, CIC, CRM of A.F. Glass Insurance Center, Lake Geneva, WI

·         Secretary: Matt Cranney, CIC, CRM of M3 Insurance Solutions, Madison, WI

Elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors were:

·         John Klinzing, CIC of Affiliated Insurance Agencies of WI, Madison, WI

·         Sandra Hardrath, CIC, CPIA, AAI, IIA of Ansay & Associates, Manitowoc,  WI

·         Sean Paterson, CIC of Allied Insurance Centers, Brookfield, WI

The Professional Agent of the Year Award was presented to:

·         Julie Ulset, CPIA of Grams Insurance Agency, Edgerton, WI

The Company Representative of the Year Award was presented to:

·         Erin Pinney, CIC, CPCU, MBA from West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, West Bend, WI

The Stony Steinbach Achievement Award was presented to:

·         Jeff Glass, CPIA of A.F. Glass Insurance Agency, Lake Geneva , WI

The Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin, Inc. is a trade association representing over 650 independent insurance agencies in Wisconsin and over 3,500 agents and employees.


Posted by on in Press Release
Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
6401 Odana Rd.
Madison, WI 53719                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTN: Ron Von Haden
Phone (800) 261-7429

Homeowner Liability When Hiring Contractors Or Other Help

MADISON, Wisconsin (July 1, 2015)    Anyone you hire to help around your house, such as the neighbor boy who mows your lawn, a babysitter, a contractor or other outside services, opens you up to potential legal headaches.  If anyone is injured while performing work on your property, you may be financially liable for the person’s injuries and disabilities.

         “Many homeowners assume that their homeowners insurance policy will protect them If someone is injured on their property,” says Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW).  “That is not necessarily true. Contractors such as builders or landscapers should be covered by their own workers’ compensation, health or disability insurance.  However, if they do not have coverage, you could be held liable.  That’s why it’s important to thoroughly check out any contractor you have working on your property.”

            “Some homeowners policies may provide limited coverage for the minors that mow the lawn and even domestic workers like maids, nannies or cleaners.  If yours does not, it might be a good idea to purchase an umbrella liability policy to supplement your homeowners liability insurance.  Discuss your policy and your needs with your professional independent agent to determine whether or not you are adequately covered.”

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Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
6401 Odana Road | Madison, WI 53719
Phone: (608) 274-8188 | Toll Free (800) 261-7429
Fax: (608) 274-8195 | Toll Free (866) 203-7461