Germania Director Election Requirements, Pg. 6 Roadside Assistance Keytags, Pg. 7

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1 Fall 2013 Germania Director Election Requirements, Pg. 6 Roadside Assistance Keytags, Pg. 7

2 A Message from the President As a member-owned company formed in 1896 to provide fire, windstorm and lightning insurance protection in rural Texas, Germania has withstood the test of time and has steadily grown stronger. Today, Germania and its subsidiary companies offer a full range of products insuring Texans home, business, auto and life. Paul Ehlert, President If you are not yet relying on Germania for your Auto insurance, this is a great time to save money by adding it as a companion policy to your home coverage. In addition to our competitive auto rates, you may qualify for a 15 percent discount on both your home and your auto premiums. You may also receive an additional discount on your home premium with a qualifying life insurance policy. Please contact your agent for more information on these multiple-policy discounts. And while doing so, ask about our Roadside Assistance Coverage. Our feature story addresses the continued frequency and severity of Texas weather events, along with other unforeseen events many of our members have experienced this year. Our hearts especially go out to the citizens of West, Texas, and to the families of those who lost their lives in the fertilizer plant explosion in April. Through it all, Germania has been and will always be there to honor our commitments to our policyholders. Although these increasingly severe weather trends and rising construction costs will increase insurance costs for all Texans, we will always strive to provide you the best coverage and service for the price. Being a company owned by its members, we solicit your participation in our governance process. You will see an article in this edition reflecting the process for nominating members to serve on the Germania Farm Mutual governing board. Our Germania Farm Mutual policyholders who serve as your Directors share their time, skills and knowledge in providing direction and oversight to our company. You can learn more about your current Board of Directors and the upcoming elections by visiting our website, Thanks to each of you for placing your confidence and trust in Germania to meet your insurance needs. Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association 507 Hwy. 290 East Brenham, Texas GermaniaInsurance.com Fall 2013 Volume 39, Issue 3 Paul Ehlert Gary Weiss Blake Lovelace Derrell Krebs Laura Popp James Pharaon Julia Rosenfeld President 1st Vice President 2nd Vice President Secretary/Treasurer Director of Corporate Communications Senior Creative Designer Contributing Writer Germania Today (USPS ) Published quarterly by Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association Postmaster: Send address changes to Germania Today at P.O. Box 645, Brenham, TX Periodical postage paid at Brenham, Texas and additional mailing offices. Subscription price is 50 cents per year included in yearly premium. 2 Germania Today

3 Claims Repair Estimates Now Online Life Lines Life Emergencies Emergencies hit everyone, whether it s due to a job loss, medical expense or home repair bill. How we cope with these surprises largely hinges on our ability to financially plan ahead. Exciting news to share Adjuster estimates are now available in GermaniaConnect! Policyholders who are registered for access to GermaniaConnect will be able to view and print their damage estimate as soon as the estimate has been completed by the adjuster no more waiting for the mail or ! Simply use your Policyholder Login ID and Password to access your personal, secure section of GermaniaConnect at GermaniaInsurance.com. In the Claims Status section, look for the tab with information about your claim. You can review the repair estimate details online or print them for your records. If you need help, your Germania agent will have access to the same details so you can review them together. Even if you don t have a claim, it s smart to create a Policyholder Login ID and password at GermaniaConnect. All you need is your policy number and client ID, both found on your policy declarations page. Once registered, you ll have access to your policy information. You can print Auto ID cards and pay your premium online. Plus, you ll be able to report a claim online should the need arise. GermaniaConnect is a fast and convenient way to stay in touch with all of your Germania coverage. Register today! There are ways to fund emergencies, but each has its cost. For example, you could: Tap your savings accounts, leaving yourself vulnerable until you ve saved enough again. Use high-interest credit cards that threaten your credit score should you miss a payment. Ask relatives and friends for loans and damage close relationships. Apply for payday loans with high fees and very high interest rates. Pawn or sell personal items that may have emotional value. A life insurance policy with cash value is a stronger, smarter start to creating a financial emergency plan. Germania Life Insurance Company s Economy Whole Life, Participating Whole Life, 10- Pay and 20-Pay Whole Life and Prime Life products provide death benefit protection while also offering you an option of borrowing, normally up to 90 percent of the policy s cash value. Economy Whole Life offers the lowest premium per $1,000 death benefit. Participating Whole Life has the potential for dividend payments and subsequent increasing death benefit, plus an affordable minimum death benefit of $5, Pay or 20-Pay Whole Life premiums are guaranteed to stop after a set number of years (10 or 20) and the death benefit is guaranteed for life. Prime Life offers a guaranteed premium, cash values and death benefit with simplified underwriting. It also has an affordable minimum death benefit of $3,000. Your Germania Life agent can help you choose the policy that meets your needs now and in an emergency. Ask for a noobligation quote or contact Germania Life directly at or at Fall

4 Germania Car When you see headlines about severe weather in Texas, you know Germania is among the first responders. When you have a claim, Germania is at your service promptly and with reassuring solutions just as we have been for our members since The mutual insurance concept is built on the commitment to be there for one another when there is a loss, and to strengthen the Association s financial standing in years when there are fewer claims. The new normal The changes in the nation s extreme weather patterns are affecting the insurance industry as a whole. While powerful tornados and hurricanes are front page news, more frequent hail storms are often relegated to small stories in the back section. Texas has experienced an increase in hail events over the past several years and now leads all other states in the number of annual major hail events with hailstones one inch in diameter or larger. In 2012 Texas had 795 such events, while the number two state, Kansas, had 426. The severe weather trends, specifically in Texas, have increased claims for all insurers in the state. Subsequently, those increases mean rising premiums for most all homeowners, regardless of their carrier. With the continuation of severe weather trends and increasing building costs, Germania has implemented a property rate increase effective October 1, 2013 for all new and renewing policies. Cost factors While weather-related losses have driven up the cost of insurance for policyholders, it s also driven up the cost of reinsurance for insurance companies like Germania. Insurance companies usually buy reinsurance to cover unanticipated losses that are more than a certain cumulative dollar amount. If the claims exceed that threshold, the reinsurer covers it. Because of increased reinsurance losses, prices reinsurers charge to insurance companies must increase as well. Insurance companies reflect these increases in costs in their property insurance premiums. Building material costs have also risen significantly over the years, increasing the overall cost of repairs and rebuilding. Like many others insurers, Germania uses an industry standard Marshall & Swift/Boeckh (MSB) system to provide a current construction cost estimate on replacing residential structures. Apples to Apples If you are solicited by another insurance company, make sure to have a full understanding of what your current policy covers and the deductibles so you can compare policies of 4 Germania Today

5 es About You equal coverage. Some insurers may offer you a lower premium, but with less coverage or with higher deductibles. Ways to save There are several ways to reduce your Germania premium without compromising coverage. Start by talking to your Germania agent about your policy so you re sure you re carrying the amount you should. Ask your agent about Germania s Companion Policy Discounts, which are designed to save you money when you add a personal auto policy to your Germania portfolio of protection. You can save 15 percent on your Home premium and 15 percent on your Auto premium when you do. Add a Germania Life Insurance product in addition to Home and Auto and save another 10 percent on your Home premiums. Consider increasing your deductible, which normally reduces your premium. You may also want to add features like monitored burglar alarms and smoke/fire systems, which qualify for discounts. It all adds up You are a large part of the equation that continues to make Germania a very strong and financially secure mutual insurance company. In turn, that strength gives you solid confidence that your needs will be met should you have a covered loss. A Better Route for Auto Insurance If you ve never turned to Germania for auto insurance, it s time to recalculate your route. Like other insurance companies in the state, Germania is now considering a variety of factors when determining individual Auto rates making our prices more competitive than ever before for many good drivers. As an existing Germania member, you already appreciate our friendly, local and excellent service. So why not join us for auto insurance too? And don t forget, if you have a Home policy and add an Auto policy, you ll save 15 percent on both premiums. Contact your Germania agent today for a free quote and discover how a Companion Policy Discount can save you money on both premiums. Fall

6 NOTICE OF PRIVACY POLICY Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association and its subsidiaries as well as our business partner, Home State County Mutual Insurance Association, (referred to as us ) value you as our customer and respect your right to privacy. We collect non-public personal financial information from you and consumer reporting agencies about your transactions with non-affiliated third parties and us. We do this to process, administer and maintain the products and services you purchase from us. We have in place policies and procedures that limit who may access or use your non-public personal financial information that comply with state and federal regulations and our own high standards regarding privacy and confidentiality. We only disclose your nonpublic personal financial information to affiliates or non-affiliates as permitted by law. A full privacy policy notice is available at www. GermaniaInsurance.com/ privacy_policy.html or by calling us directly at and requesting one DISTRICT DIRECTOR ELECTION REQUIREMENTS L Germania District Directors serve for a term of three years and may seek reelection. Elections for District Director for districts 3, 5, 15, 16 and 17 will be held in April of Anyone seeking a District Director position must meet the following eligibility requirements and be nominated and selected at the District Meeting being held in San Antonio on January 21, 2014: The member must submit to the office of the President of Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association at least 45 days prior to the District Meeting (December 7, 2013), the member s intent to be placed in nomination for District Director; The member must submit to the office of the President of Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association at least 30 days prior to the District Meeting (December 22, 2013), an executed Board Nominee Criteria form, an executed Requirements of Candidates, and an authorization release for a criminal background check. (These forms will be provided by Germania); The member must have never had a license for any professional designation placed on probation, denied, suspended, revoked, canceled or non-renewed by any state or regulatory body; The member must have never been disciplined, fined or censured by a state department, or any regulatory body; The member must have never been convicted, pled guilty or nolo contender (no contest) to any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or to any felony; The member must not currently have charges pending against the member which could result in a conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony; The member must be a resident of Texas and have at least $3,000 of insurance in force with Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association and reside within the district for which the member intends to be placed in nomination; The member must meet with the Germania Board s Governance Committee upon timely request; The member must be one of not more than five nominated and selected at the District Meeting to run for the District Director position. For additional information, visit the Corporate Governance link on Germania s website, 6 Germania Today

7 The Extra Help You Need More than 10,000 members are part of the Germania Roadside Assistance program. Roadside Assistance provides invaluable peace-of-mind for just $25 per year, covering all the vehicles on your policy for one low price. The 24/7 service dispatches road emergency help for towing services, dead batteries, flat tires, lockouts and assistance with just about any other road emergency you can imagine. And it goes with you throughout the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) and to Canada and Puerto Rico. You and your family members using any private passenger vehicle are covered, as are others driving any covered vehicle on your Germania personal auto policy. Designed for Germania Roadside Assistance Coverage has been customized for our members and includes: 24 Hour Emergency Towing Service To the destination of your choice. The first 50 miles are covered under the plan; you ll have to pay for additional towing miles. 24 Hour Emergency Road Service Up to 60 minutes, from the time of arrival, for minor on-site labor where the vehicle is disabled. 24 Hour Emergency Delivery Pays for the cost of delivering emergency supplies you need like gasoline, water, oil or other mechanical necessities; you ll have to pay for the supplies themselves. 24 Hour Emergency Battery Service A service vehicle will jumpstart your drained battery and take care of minor adjustments to other ignition parts to get you back on the road. Lockout Service Sends help to unlock the passenger compartment. Map Routing Service Free directions and travel routing. Theft/Hit & Run Protection If you are a victim of vehicle theft or a hit and run accident, the coverage offers a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible criminal. New! Free Key Tags If you have Roadside Assistance Coverage, now you won t have to fumble through paperwork or your contacts list to find the Roadside Assistance emergency number. Germania has created key tags printed with the toll-free emergency number, and is providing three free tags to every new and renewing Roadside Assistance policyholder. And if you haven t added Roadside Assistance yet, ask your Germania agent to get you started on the road to on-road confidence. This article is an announcement and not a complete solicitation for a policy of insurance. Coverages described are subject to the provisions of the policy. Please read the policy for coverages and exclusions. Dollars and Sense Get Ready For a Road Trip Two telltale signs you re ready for a new car: You rent a car for road trips and you haven t washed your car in months. Since the average car on American roads is 11.4 years old, you re not alone if you re thinking about shopping for a replacement vehicle. Your Germania Credit Union just made car shopping easier with these special auto loan rates, available October 1- November 30, 2013: New vehicles up to 2 years old: As low as 2.45% APR* for 60 months. Used cars older than 2 years but no more than 7 years old: As low as 3.20% APR for 60 months. Rates are even lower for shorter term loans: New car loans for 36 months: As low as 1.95% APR; 48-month loans as low as 2.20% APR. Used car loans for 24 months: As low as 2.45% APR; 36-month loans as low as 2.70% APR; 48-month loan as low as 2.95% APR. Get your loan preapproved and shop with confidence or apply for a loan once you ve found your dream wheels. And if you get caught up in the moment on a car lot and sign on the dotted line for a higher APR, talk to Germania Credit Union about replacing the dealer s loan for a smarter rate from GCU. Remember, Germania Credit Union loans come with benefits: No charge for a credit report. Repay by check, payroll deduction, GCU account transfer or electronic transfer from your account at another financial institution. Extended warranty, GAP and multi-shield coverages are available, as are low-cost Credit Life and Credit Disability Insurance. Not a member? No problem. Germania policyholders are eligible for GCU membership, as are many of their relatives. For a membership application and more information on our rates and products, visit *APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Terms and conditions apply. Stated rates as low as applies to well-qualified applicants. Actual rate may vary depending on credit qualifications and term of loan. All loans subject to normal credit review. Loan terms and rates subject to change without notice. Promotion applies to new money loans for purchase or competitor refinance only. Please call for details. Fall

8 PERIODICAL PO Box 645 Brenham, TX Corn and White Bean Soup Add a Texas kick with a sprinkle of Jalapeño Jack cheese just before serving. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 cup sliced green onions ¾ cup chopped cooked ham (about 4 ounces) 3 cups corn kernels (frozen or from about 5 ears) ½ teaspoon salt 2 (14.5-ounce) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained 2 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained Heat canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and ham and cook three minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in corn and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer five minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serves 6 (about 1½ cup each)

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