LevelFirst Unveils New Website

The new LevelFirst website is online. Today LevelFirst unveiled a redesigned website featuring a cleaner, updated look and enhanced navigation.

The result of several months of planning, the site was designed to allow independent insurance agents to locate products, contact information, directions and other information easily. The site also provides for content integration with social media sites including Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.

Some of the features include:

  • Product pages with applications
  • Applications that can be completed online
  • An event calendar featuring trade shows and conferences
  • Customizeable product sales sheets
  • Easy access to information on becoming a producer
  • Articles and press releases

“We went through several rounds of testing to determine the best placement for information,” says April Moeser, executive vice president at LevelFirst. “The result is a clean design with information being readily accessible for our clients.”

After Historic Flooding, Gulf Coast Faces Busy Hurricane Season; Small Businesses at Risk

The threat of hurricanes and flooding is well-known to coastal region residents, but the situation may be getting worse. On Monday, April 18, Houston received more rainfall in a single day than any time in recorded history.

That’s more rain than ever came with any hurricane ever.

Houstonians woke up to the 14 inches of rain that came in just 12 hours overnight. If it seems like the rain is getting harder and lasting longer, it is. Houston has seen a 167 percent increase in the heaviest downpours since the 1950s. That’s one of the fastest rates of increase in the country, and experts chalk it up to a warming climate.

According to Climate Central, an independent organization of scientists and journalists, “a warming atmosphere becomes more saturated with water vapor and is capable of previously unimagined downpours.”

Unfortunately, the heavy rains could be followed by a busier than usual hurricane season. Experts are predicting more storms than usual in 2016 with as many as 18 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and three to five major storms.

For many the storms are disastrous. However, even those experiencing minimal property damage can face weeks of recovery. For small businesses, the effects of severe weather events can be catastrophic.

According to FEMA, just a few inches of water can cause major damage. Almost 40 percent of businesses impacted by a natural disaster do not reopen.

Almost a third of respondents to a 2012 survey of U.S. small business owners said it would take more than two weeks to recover- and nearly half of those put the time at more than one month. Nearly 40 percent of respondents were unsure how long it would take.

Conducted in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, that survey found 74 percent of small businesses do not have any disaster plan, and 84 percent do not have disaster insurance.

FEMA notes that flood insurance offers the best protection from financial loss.

FEMA offers many tips about assessing disaster-related risk. Experts at Dallas-based Wholesale Broker and MGA LevelFirst are available to provide an overview of small business coverages available. Call 800-366-4428 or visit LevelFirst.com

Rhonda Fomby Named Vice President at LevelFirst

DALLAS— LevelFirst, the service-based wholesale broker and MGA binding facility owned by IIAT Services Co., is pleased to announce the appointment of Rhonda Fomby as vice president. Fomby will assume the responsibility of underwriting new business opportunities with the MGA Binding Authority Division. In addition, she will broker opportunities within the Wholesale Brokerage Division.

Fomby has more than 25 years of experience in the wholesale Excess and Surplus industry. She is also an experienced commercial lines underwriter and producer focusing on marketing and customer development.

Prior to joining LevelFirst, Fomby was vice president, commercial producer/broker with USG Insurance Services where she worked for more than 14 years.  She also has experience with Leicht General Agency, Burns & Wilcox, and Western Surplus Lines Agency.

“We are excited to bring Rhonda on board,” says April Moeser, executive vice president at LevelFirst. “Rhonda is recognized for her commitment to customer service, has well-established carrier relationships and her in-depth knowledge of coverages for multiple industry segments. She will be an excellent resource for our clients.”

About LevelFirst

LevelFirst offers retail clients unique and exclusive product access in several areas of specialization including property, casualty, energy, transportation, healthcare, hospitality and financial services. IIAT acquired LevelFirst in 2014 to continue its tradition of providing insurance markets for independent insurance agents.

About IIAT

The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) is the nation’s largest state association of Trusted Choice® agencies. IIAT represents approximately 1,700 agencies and more than 14,000 agents and insurance professionals. Trusted Choice® independent agents represent multiple insurance companies. Since they are not employees of any single insurance company, they are advocates for insurance consumers helping them comparison shop for cost-effective and customized coverage. IIAT is also affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and works with legislative, regulatory and judicial bodies in Texas on behalf of independent insurance agents across the state. More information on IIAT can be found online at iiat.org