Agent News

Fourth Quarter 2016

Marguerite Dixen Named 2016 'Woman to Watch' by Business Insurance

dixen-web-279-x-279We are very pleased to announce that Marguerite Dixen, president of Third Coast Underwriters, was recently named one of 25 “Women to Watch” in 2016 by Business Insurance. She and other honorees were celebrated at an award ceremony earlier this month in New York City.

“This is a great honor and a testament toward the exceptional leadership of our enterprise,” said Bryan Bogardus, chief operating officer of AF Group. “Marguerite demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities every day and has been able to consistently motivate her team to achieve success, despite the challenges and fluctuations of our industry.  Her clear passion for insurance has also served to benefit the Chicago community.  We are all very proud to have her represent Third Coast Underwriters and AF Group with this award.”

Dixen has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and was named president of Third Coast Underwriters in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and is designated as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and an Associate in Risk Management.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Debate Commission.

Now in its 11th year, Business Insurance’s Women to Watch Awards & Leadership Conference is the only recognition program that celebrates leading women from every facet of the commercial insurance industry.  The program was created in 2006 to recognize leading women in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields such as consulting and law.

What 3CU Has Written Recently

At Third Coast Underwriters (3CU), our customers are our top priority. Because we specialize in addressing complex operations and challenging exposures, we know the importance of developing unique workers’ compensation solutions. The list below illustrates the varied mix of accounts we have written recently within our core segments. Let us help you deliver successful outcomes for your customers today. For more information, visit, email or call 866-641-2328.


Account Type Written Premium
Contractors – Machinery Dealers and Drivers $706,600
Farm, Livestock or Cattle Raising $698,800
Store Meat, Fish or Poultry Dealer $842,100
Trucking – Local Hauling Only $284,300 – $315,200



Account Type Written Premium
Architectural or Engineering Firm $252,800
Automatic Sprinkler Installation & Drivers $182,400
Boiler Installation or Repair $1,000,500
Buildings – Operation by Contractors $155,000 – $686,000
Carpentry $148,800
Concrete or Cement Work $243,900 – $276,200
Concrete Construction $207,000 – $1,221,500
Concrete Products – Manufacturers and Drivers $1,187,050
Conduit Construction $156,400 – $391,700
Contractor – Machinery Dealer and Drivers $213,300
Electrical Wiring – Within Buildings & Drivers $271,000 – $397,300
Elevator Erection or Repair $279,300
Excavation $221,500
Glazier $164,600
HVAC & Refrigeration $188,100
Iron or Steel Erection $1,271,600
Lawn Maintenance – Commercial or Domestic $616,100
Machinery or Equipment Erection or Repair $225,900
Masonry $246,200
Millwright $187,000 – $366,000
Painting $151,900 – $187,700
Plumbing $151,900
Sewage Disposal Plant Operation and Drivers $343,100
Sign Installation, Maintenance, Repair and Removal $351,000
Street or Road Construction – Paving or Repaving $206,800 – $374,300
Water Main or Connection Construction $220,300 – $370,600



Account Type Written Premium
Junk Dealer and Drivers $161,400
Rubber Tire Dealers $1,602,600



Account Type Written Premium
Oil or Gas Lease Work – Contractors & Drivers $378,700
Oil or Gas Pipeline – Construction & Drivers $215,400
Trucking $151,500 – $338,700



HVAC & Refrigeration $507,900



Account Type Written Premium
Building Materials $320,900
Bus Company $159,500
Trucking – Local Hauling $202,100 – $328,700
Trucking – Long Distance Hauling $580,900


Access Materials from Recent OSHA Reporting Requirements Webinar

3CU strives to help our customers stay on top of the latest trends and regulations impacting their workplaces. In response to OSHA’s new electronic reporting requirements and anti-retaliation provisions, 3CU recently held complimentary webinars for our agents and policyholders to educate them on the new mandates. Robert Bernstein and Peter Gillespie (attorneys with Laner and Muchin, Ltd., who specialize in labor and employment practices law) shared useful information related to the Department of Labor’s recent enforcement action and settlement with U.S. Steel concerning injury sign-out programs. They also discussed the potential future impacts of OSHA’s recommendations related to post-accident drug and alcohol testing.

We’re glad so many of you could attend. If you were unable to make this webinar, we still want you to have access to the materials provided. You can download the webinar presentation here and access two additional sample documents below:

We hope those that attended found the webinar useful. If there are other topics that you’d like to have webinars address in the future, please contact

New Agribusiness Segment Added to 'Successful Customer Outcomes' Brochure

At 3CU, we were founded with the goal of placing customers and their business needs first within all aspects of our operations. That’s why we’re focused on helping reduce accidents, increase productivity and profits and lower direct costs.

To ensure you have the most up-to-date tools to communicate our outcome-based approach to your customers, we’ve updated our “Driven to Deliver Successful Customer Outcomes” marketing piece to reflect the recent addition of agribusiness as a new business segment. Agribusiness covers commercial operations from the farm through the first processor, including supporting input and output providers. You’ll find the new content on the last page of the brochure.

The eight-page brochure also highlights 3CU’s resources and expertise to handle whatever challenges a business faces including:

  • Partnering with the right insurance company
  • Managing risk management processes
  • Hiring the right people
  • Developing safe and productive employees
  • Protecting employees while on the jobs
  • Helping injured workers and safeguarding against productivity losses

Additionally, the document features highlights from our recent customer survey and includes the classes of business we specialize in. If you would like a copy of this piece, please contact me and I can provide you copies to share with your prospective customers.

AF Group Recognized on 2016 'Best Places to Work in Insurance' List

We’re proud to announce that AF Group – which includes Third Coast Underwriters and our three related brands (Accident Fund, CompWest and United Heartland) – has been named to Business Insurance magazine’s list of “Best Places to Work in Insurance” for 2016.

“We are pleased that for the sixth year in a row, our organization has been recognized by Business Insurance as one of the best places to work in insurance,” said Lisa Corless, president of AF Group. “This repeated honor is a reflection of our amazing team and their efforts to build a fun, collaborative workplace culture — one that is focused on providing the best possible service to agents, policyholders, injured workers and each other.”

This year, AF Group earned second place in the large employer category (for the second year in a row) and first-place honors as an insurer/provider. In addition, AF Group improved its scores in seven of eight categories including:

  • Leadership and Planning
  • Corporate Culture and Communications
  • Role Satisfaction
  • Relationship with Supervisor
  • Training, Development and Resources
  • Pay and Benefits
  • Overall Engagement

The prestigious Best Places to Work in Insurance program is a joint effort of Business Insurance and Best Companies Group. Its two-part assessment process recognizes companies that have created high-quality workplaces in which employees can thrive and enjoy doing so. We were excited to see several of 3CU’s valued agent partners make the list as well. Congratulations to the following for their Best Places to Work recognition:

  • Assurance Agency Ltd.
  • Connor & Gallagher OneSource
  • Holmes Murphy & Associates
  • Hylant Group
  • Insurance Office of America
  • J. Smith Lanier & Co.
  • Lockton Companies LLC
  • Kapnick Insurance Group
  • The Plexus Groupe LLC

We are extremely proud to once again be considered among the Best Places to Work in Insurance and pleased to share this recognition with our agency partners.


Legislative Update

Legislative Update is a brief synopsis of relevant legislative activity currently taking place in states where Third Coast Underwriters does business. For more details or further documentation on any of these legislative activities, contact your 3CU underwriter.


Sen. McCain Seeks Cybersecurity Committee; Views Cyber Attacks as “Acts of War”

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) mentioned he intends to establish a new cybersecurity subcommittee, which he hopes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will chair. McCain believes recent cyber attacks — including alleged Russian hacks, acts of industrial espionage, and military capabilities that foreign states have been able to crack — need to be viewed as an “act of war”

These comments and actions highlight the rise of cybersecurity as an issue carrying more importance in Congress. While the armed services committees will likely have little impact on issues pertaining specifically to property-casualty insurance, they could facilitate change in U.S. government policy toward cybersecurity within the national security context that could create momentum for shifts in policy for commercial entities. As we learn details, we will be sure to pass along.



AIA Testifies in Support of Work Comp Reform Proposal

AF Group national trade partner, the American Insurance Association (AIA), testified in support of workers’ compensation reform proposal HB 4248 before the House Labor and Commerce Committee on Nov. 28. The Republican-sponsored legislation contains several important reform provisions including a study commission, a revised medical fee schedule and provisions for electronic claim filing. Although the industry supports these changes we noted additional improvements could be made to further their effect. No action was taken on the legislation. We expect the budget reform/workers’ compensation impasse between the governor and legislative leadership to continue indefinitely.


District Court Issues Favorable Work Comp Ruling in Air Ambulance Case

On Dec. 15, the Travis County District Court issued a very favorable air ambulance case decision. The court held that the federal airline deregulation act does not preempt the Texas workers’ compensation medical fee schedule and related workers’ compensation laws and regulatory provisions relating to payment of medical fees. In addition, the court held that reimbursement under the medical fee schedule should be at 125% of Medicare, not the 149% previously decreed by State Office of Administrative Hearings.


AF Group Anticipates Additional Opt-Out Initiatives in 2017

Although AF Group legislative opposition has been successful to date, we anticipate renewed 2017 challenges by proponents in Tennessee and other unknown states. Aside from individual state challenges, opt-out feeds into a negative narrative of the states capability to administer the workers’ compensation system and encourages an argument for federal standards or federal supervision of some kind. AF Group Government Affairs will continue to work with industry partners to oppose opt-out initiatives wherever they arise.