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and DEC. PRIVATE DINING R00M3. Phone fop reserva tions. Special Sunday Dinner 7 Music by Coscios Orchestra 6:00 to 8:00 p. m. DINE AT PIRIE'S V H' \'t w3 W/, I V-tJ-'i! (V Y'-S^'jL 'MS, HQW Will You Stand At the End of the Year? ©sUgsgflyy Can you easily look over your books and ascertain your assets and lia bilities? If not, it is entirely your own fault as a checking account in this bank would give you a ready and sure receipt for all disburs ments. We accept checking accounts-either large or small and render in each case our liberal banking accommo dations. Decide today to have a bank account of your own and in choosing the the bank select one that can give you every service. Scaninviii-American FARGO, N. DAKOTA CHRiSTIANSON DRUG CO. 10 Blekdway FARGO N. D. For a limited time only we will sell all Electric Lighting Fixtures Portable Lamps a discount of 20 per cent from regular prices. Your selections should be made early while our stock is complete. fag® PlpfetS lieitti Ci. 128 Broadway Fargo, N. D. in stock at sbf AT iecent At the national convention of insurance men, held at Cincinnati, Thomas Baker, jr., of Fargo was one of the principal speakers. Mr. Baketr's subject was Promiscuous Appointment of Local Agents. The Foru-m. repro duces Air. Baker's excellent address as follows: Mr. Baker's remarks were as fol lows: Vision Has Seemed Obscure. From time to time the Are insurance agents have been told by men in au thority that we are engaged in a le gitlmate high grade, semi-professional business that we represent companies of high standing and of great re sources, who have entrusted to our care interests of great importance and that we should be trained in the busi ness, of high moral character, of fi nancial responsibility, and have the respect of the people in the community in which we transact our business. Sometimes I have had visions which seemed to confirm what we have been jitold, and then my vision has seemed to .•be obscured, for looking over the lo gical agents as I have found them, I have been surprised at the amount of ignorance displayed among some of them, not only regarding the business of fire insurance, but of business in general. I know of no other business where generally so little attention is paid to the training of those who pro duce the income, as in the fire insur ance business as now conducted. If a life insurance company is look ing for a locaj representative, it looks for men who have had experience in soliciting life insurance, and if they need further training, sends men who work with them until they are pro ficient. If a bond broker in New York wants a local representative in another city, he spends much time, and makes much nquiry before making an appointment, and makes it only because the person he selects has standing and ability to look properly afterh is interests. A lawyer before being allowed to serve his clients must spend long and arduous hours in study and prepara tion, and we are sometimes told the profession of fire insurance is only a little remote from that of the law. A banking house in a large city wanting connections in other cities, examines carefully the standing- of those who will represent it, requiring high grade standing and ability in those to whom it entrusts its large in terests. If as much care were exer cised in the selection of local fire in suarance agents as in other knds of business, the tone and standing of the profession would immediately be rais ed to a much higher level. Come From Study and E^erience. The congested values in large and small cities demand constant indemni ty from loss by fire credits are large ly based upon this protection and the local agent is the man who comes be tween the company and his custom ers. He should be conversant with all the various hazards of the risks he insures. He should be able to intelli gently Judge of proper rates should know intimately all the conditions of the policies he issues, and be able to construct policies upon which the form shall cover the full interests of the insured, and at the same time properly protect those of the comptny he represents. All these qualificat tions come only from study and expe rience. In every town and city throughout this broad land, there is to be found at least one agent of standing and character. He may have been engaged in building up his business through years of toil he may be carrying out plans made by others long before he, engaged in the business. To such agents, and them only, is due what high standing is now maintained in the business. Cause of Antagonism. We have heard much of late relative to adverse state legislation, much of it aggravating to both agents and companies. A greater portion of this legislation has been brought about through misunderstanding between the public on one side and the companies on the other. My own personal ex perience in practical legislation has been that when the average legislator learns that the companies intend to treat the pyblic fairly, they are in fa vor of fair and wholesome laws. Most of the antagonism has come through unfair rate making, unfair loss set tlements, and carelessly drawn con tracts, brought about through the ig norant acts of untrained insurance agents. From a viewpoint of fair leg islation, the companies should employ only fair minded, trained, experienced and educated men, not only as local agents, but rate makers, special agents and adjusters as well. The influence exerted by a good local agent in his community is far reaching, and may have a tendency to check unfair legis lation, as well as bad practices in the business. Then why should compa nies hesitate, when making their ap pointments, to select old and trained agents? The principal reason is be cause the excessive competition among companies for premium receipts has tempted them to apoint new and un trained agents, in order to secure a few more premiums. Limit on Number of Agents. It has always seemed to me that no person not exclusively engaged in the fire insurance business should be per mitted to represent any fire insur ance company, and that a law should be passed in each state to that effect, or at least the number of agents in any community should be restricted by law, say one agency to every'5,000 of population, in cities of less than 50,000, and one to every 10,000 in cities of over 50,000. We are engaged in a business, possibly only by a li cense, issued from our insurance de partments, so that restrictions in the number of agents could easily be ob tained by amendment to present law3. Home states have passed laws making the appointment of agents dependent upon their ability, and knowledge of the busiess. Good laws, so far as they go, but not broad enough to restrict the indiscriminate appointment of too many agents. Robbing Legitimate Agent. The tendency to appoint banks, trust companies, officers of building associations, land and loan agencies, is robbing the legitimate agent of a large portion of his preferred business, and some non-preferred, and if a concerted action could be taken by all the local agents of this country, the companies themselves would discontinue the practice and the old fashioned good agents again come into their own. The effort is worth making. The concen trated power of the local agents, ex pressed in united action through this association, will accomplish this much needed reform in the business. That the evil of appointing too many local agents is not a new one, I want to quote from an address made in 1S97, before the Fire Underwriters 'Association of the Northwest, by the [able president of a leading fire insur i ance company. He said: Views of Company President. "Another help which we misuse, or at least neglect to use to its full of efficiency, is the local agent. We in s i erf ere, with his usefulness as a. class ly carelessness in his selection, and as W&v&auai.tyg mistakes to. our ITHE FARGO FORUM AND DAILY BEPUBLICAN, SATURDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 6, 1913. CULTIVATE OLD AGENTS APPEAL OF THOMAS BAKER INSURANCE Could Take Pride in Calling, "Even as an ordinary citizen the agent is not the 'help' that he might be to us. If we limited our selection to men of character and brains, and then treated them as such, they would not feel obliged to apologize for their calling they would take pride in it as trusted and trustworthy representa tives, and they could and would ex plain many of the questions arising between the companies and policy holders. They would foster a healthy and intelligent sentiment towards the companies to take the place of the present unreasoning prejudice, and such public sentiment would eventu ally find Its expression in the repeal of many obnoxious laws." If the managers of insurance com panies who were present and listened to this able address, had heeded these wise words of advice, and put into practice at once the suggestions made, the tone of the local agents throughout this country would have been much raised the legitimate agents bene fited their business increased and maintained upon a much more profit able basis not only for the agents, but for companies as well. Fewer and Better Agents. When we prosper, the companies prosper as well. When the agent is well treated, doing a good business, he is much more disposed to see that the companies he represents get fair and liberal treatment. In my opinion, had this man's counsel been heeded, much of the late unpleasant legisla tive experience would have been avoided. From the best authority ob tainable, we learn that there should be fewer and better agents, and when the companies put the business upon a higher plane, by not appointing new agents, but cultivate the old, just so soon will they turn the tide of adverse legislation and public prejudice, and build the business upon a higher plane and a more profitable basis. Why then should this great associa tion of ours hesitate to take drastic action if necessary, to induce and aid the companies in reducing the number of agencies throughout the country, thus placing their companies with al ready existing established and re sponsible agencies. Managers and of ficers of companies are progressive as a rule, and open to fair suggestions that will benefit them and the business they are engaged in. Agents Must Do Their Part. At the same time, the agents must do their part they must make room for such companies as are not getting a fair share of the business treat them fairly give them an average of the lines don't put them on all the targets and nonprofitable business and expect them to stay with you, for they won't do it. Show the parent company that it has no need for an annex, for you will give it the busi ness it should have without this un necessary competition, the appointing other agents, new and untried, but able to swing a few good risks. This not a one-sided game. The companies 'have rights as well as we, and if we expect to get good treatment from our companies, we must give them fair treatment in return. Don't sit around and complain if you lose business get out, make a stir and get something new to work with and on. Put brains into your business, and eventually the companies and managers will recog nize you. Rates Being Lowered Rapidly. From what we can learn, fire In surance rates in this country are be ing lowered rapidly, while tho Are loss is not diminishing but increasing, and companies are complaining bitterly. What is the cause? Recently competi tion has been increased by multipli cation of annexes. New agents have been appointed in the mad race for more premiums any kind of premi ums will do.. ®very netw a^en£ want* 4WI CONVENTION treatment of Win. We hear so much talk about good agents. Now, if they were all good, we should not make so much of those who are notoriously good and without saying that there are any bad agents, if there are any in the business who are not good, it ia the fault of ourselves, who are respon sible for the appointment. I appre ciate that in any considerable num ber of men there are some whose mor al standards are below the average, but I do not refer to them. We do not wittingly appoint thieves as agents, but we have appointed and are ap pointing every day as agents men who do not know, and cannot learn, how to write a policy properly: agents who are poor financial mangers, who are delinquent with their correspondence and accounts agents who lack the in telligence to explain the contracts wo have empowered them to make agents whose personal reputations in the communities where they dwell are such as to lower the public estimation of any business in which they may en gage. No New Appointments, "I think we display too great a wil lingness to establish new agents in the business. Competition and tho ambition to increase premium receipts, are responsible for this. To educate a new agent is always troublesome, fre quently expensive. We have our hands full of this educational work from necessary changes in existing agencies, and as a rule, too, the estab lishment of a new agency infringes on the real or fancied right of some old agent, and we all know what a con stant source of friction this is. If no new men were appointed as agents for several years, we should find a great improvement in the tone of our local agency field. With the number and kind of agencies already in ex istence, we cannot elevate the force by establishing new men in the busi ness. "Under our present system we pay the same compensation to the inex perienced, incompetent and careless agent that we offer to the experienced, faithful and painstaking one, and un der existing conditions the rewards of the local agents are not such as to in duce the kind of men we want to en gage in the business. But if we will let the natural law the 'survival of the fittest' work undisturbed in our inter est, we will find a most gratifying im provement in the kind and amount of aid we receive from our agents. We are making a mistake, a serious mis take, the consequence of which cannot be foreseen in indiscriminately adding to the large army of local agents that are overrunning the land. Protect Agent in His Territory. "An agent should be protected in the territory assigned him. Overhead writing, whether from the head or de partment office, is an injustice to him, and demoralizing to the agency, and should never be permitted without the consent and co-operation of the agent. 'My companies seem to have no confi dence in me or my judgment,' is the cry of some agents. In many cases the companies are right. They know they have appointed a class of men unfit for the positions, and their lack of confidence is born of sad and ex perience. But there are many agents who are worthy in every way of the confidence and respect which they re ceive. It needs no argument to prove that the statistics of American under writing would read very differently if all our agents had alway/i been of this class. k\ H, A k i y. v Vt v ~yAm.fi nJr .. \'.Si0"*.SvY ISSis 1 ti H'vV 52S to impress upon his customer that ho can do something for him that no one else can do do, so he sets about to get tho rate reduced, thus securing for his company a premium, no matter at what cost. Do companes expect that old and tried agents are going to sit around and let their business go off their books? No. The old agent then gets busy in reducing rates and tries to go his new brother one better, and between the two the company gets a lower premium than before, and when the average is made up, the income is materially lowered. I do not mean that fire Insurance agents should not have some competition, for all busi ness is made healthy by reasonable competition, while it is ruined by un healthy and that which is excessive. One-Third of Present Number Enough. One-third of the present number of fire insurance agents throughout the United States would be sufficient to transact all the business and do it up on a much higher and better basis than at present, and when the compa nies come to understand that this Is the condition and reduce the agents to a much less number, then will their business improve, their Income In crease, and the general condition of the business be put upon a higher plane. Much has been written and said up on the question of overhead under writing, and competition of brokers. Did you ever stop to think that If all agents had the training, ability and enterprise displayed by leading brok ers, that we could obtain and hold os much business as they can? What se- f' P1"00*1 cret do they possess that we do not? Why don't we go to large insurers and tell them how to put in a salt water barrel, stop a hole there, put n a stand pipe and hose here, a watch clock there, or equip their plants with automatic sprinklers if circumstances warrant, and obtain their business? It is our own fault if we do not take ad vantage of all these situations and protect our business, and the compa nies' fault if their agents do not knaw how. Appointing Agents in North Dakota. A short timo ago in conversation with a prominent special agent, he stated that a number of years ago he sent his assistant into my state for the purpose of appointing new agents for his companies. Upon his return he said there was no use in trying to appoint new agents under his compa nies' requirements, for a number of special agents in that state would load into a boxcar bunches of supplies and as they went through the towns throw enough supplies upon the depot platform to make the necessary num ber of appointments, and whoever took the supplies was considered an agent for their company. Another special agent says: "What are you going to do when you are working for a small company, and find In each town agents already burdened with companies?" I say: "stay out. Don't appoint a blacksmith or a bar ber." He says he never leaves a town without getting some kind of an agent any old kind seems better than none at all, and thus through the action of companies and special agents, they are daily lowering the average intelli gence of their agents. Send Out Literature Until Doomsday. Much is being written and said of fire prevention both by laymen and those engaged in the fire insurance business. Much stress is being laid up on educating the masses, both by dis seminating literature upon the sub ject, by addresses from leading the orists, by bringing the subject to the attention of teachers in public schools, by calling the attention of the public to the fearful fire loss in this country as compared to the small loss in for Oil mm&r KIMHMHII K 4 Lumbago and The first thing to do, if you suffer from Rheumatism or Luinbago, is to rub the aching parts with then soak a piece of flannel wilt^ P/x 1 Pabst Suggests Diamond Rings, Watches, Set Rings, Lavalliers, Pendants, Necklaces, Bracelets, Silverware and Cut Glass. China Dept.—A very beautiful line of hand painted china—individual pieces and sets. Pabst JEWELER 612 Front St., Fargo, N. jf.t' D. eign countries. All these efforts seem to be along tho right direction, but you may lecture, send out literature until doomsday to little avail, if the companies continue to place their policies in the hands of ignorant and untrained agents. Competition has extended to such an extent that com panies do all they can to keep their agents sending in more premiums, not caring upon what kind of property or what kind of moral or physical hazards, so lonjr as a good fat check comes in at the end of each month. Not long ago an agent In a small town in my state was ordered by his com pany to cancel a risk. He replied that he would do so as soon as he could find the policy, and notified the company that if they did not come and get their supplies by a certain date that he would burn them up. This agent represents a number of leading companies. What chance does a com pany stand in the hands of this sort of an agent? And yet by their scram ble for representation, the companies must put up with almost any kind of treatment if they are to receive a few more premiums. Too Many Companies. There are too many fire insurance companies now engaged in the busi ness. Their great number, to which is added the ever increasing annex, if continued will bring the business to a chaotic state, weaken many of the companies themselves, and by exces sive competition reduce rates to such a point that no company will be able t,len will tho public show distrust, weakened companies fail or reinsure, a general reorganiza tion take place, and then may we hope to see the number of local agents re duced, the general quality raised, and the business put upon a safe and sane basis. Preparation Involves Much Expense. Local fire insurance agents every where are held responsible for their acts both by tho companies they rep resent and by their customers. In every public address made upon the subject of the local agent wo arc told that to them the public must look for proper protection. They must so draft their policy forms that their customers may bo fully protected in case of a loss they must look after rates and the standing of their com panies. To prepare an agent to meet all these responsibilities takes time and involves much expense. When an agent has so prepared himself, he oc cupies a semi-public position and no incompetent competitors should be permitted to engage in the business. Much complaint that has been recent ly made in tho press concerning over insurance has arisen solely from over competition among agents and brok ers. If a good agent refuses to add to an already fully insured risk, the cus tomer immediately goes to some in competent agent or broker and se cures ail the Insurance he wants. By this means, frequently, a moral hazard is produced, thus making the incen tive to fir© loss much greater, and when the Are comes another percent age is added unneecssarily to the al ready burdensome loss ratio. Note of Warning to Companies, All writers, thinkers and public speakers upon the subject of local agents agree that the multiplying of the number of agents produces dissen sion, unfriendliness, and distrust, leading to bad practices in their at tempt to keep up premium receipts, and unless in some maner curbed, will produce results that will be difficult to improve. Without seeming to con tinually repeat what I have said be fore, I want to sound a note of warn ing to the companies, that unless this multiplying of the number of agents ceasts, they will find the competition will so reduce their premium income by reduction in rates, that it will be found a real menace not eafeily chang ed. I do not want to be classed as ad vocating too many reforms, but I be lieve a few able reformers, both among the local agents and the com panies, could bring about the desired results if they would devote a little time and thought to the subject. Accommodate New Agents. It has been said that a fire insur ance company will sometimes carry a target risk for a new, untried agent, when they would decline the samej risk for an old, faithful and good agent. Not long ago I heard of a case where a company was dissatisfied with' an old and tried agent, and made a transfer of its agency to a new and unexperienced man. He sent in a few risks to which, the company objected and ordered cancelled. The new agent wrote a letter to the company Y! agent could have treated his companj in this manner and kept the agency of his company. The truth of the matter Is, there are too many companies and too few good risks to go around so some of them must take what they can get as long as they must continue in tho game. Average Gross Income $554. In a certain town of less than 15, 000 people, and an annual premium in come of 575,000, there are twenty-sev en agents. If the business were di vided equally among all these agents, there would be a premium Income of S2.770 each. If the business should produce an average of 20 per cent commission, there would be a gross annual income of $554 for each agent. How much office expense, taxes, dona tions, to say nothing »of a living for the agent, would such an amount pro vide especially in this time of high living expense? Is this not a sad commentary upon so extensive and important business as fire insurance? Recent statistics show that there are now In full fledge in the United States seventy-two annexes and mores forming. Where will it aU end, and will the timo soon come when everyone having property to insure will act as his own insurance asent, getting whatever commission there may be upon his risk, into his own pocket instead of its going to some old tried local agent? In some towns certain companies are now appointing merchants as insur ance agents. Buch a practice would seem to have no excuse for its being. Cat-and-Dog Competition. And will not fire insurance compa nies soon bo compelled to heed the warning of tho insurance commission er of New York, in hJ« instructions ta casualty companies, when he says, "their underwriting must be based up on statistical experience and free from the element of competition?'' That means they must charge such rates and insist upon such practices as ex perience shows necessary to support the business profitably, is it not per fectly plain that if fire Insurance com panies continue to carry on the pres ent method of competition by multi plying the number of agcncies, that the insolvency of some may be ex pected? It Is popular nowadays to encourage a cat and dog competition, due somewhat to progressive politics. The agent who writes insurance as a side line is in effect, in the same class as a cut rate merchant who is now being so much condemned by right thinking people. He puts little time and thought into his business, writes badly constructed forms, thus giving little or no service in return for tho premiums he collects, and yet the companies will employ this kind of an agent, and expect, the public to be sat isfied. Companies will never receive fair treatment from the people until they appoint a higher grade of agents, and stop appointing incompetent men as our competitors. Therefore the remedies suggested are: concerted action by this associa tion In trying to induce companies not to appoint new and untried agents, and aid legislatures in passing laws restricting the number of agents in each town or city, to a reasonable number. A Fair Proposition. The manufacturers of Merltol Rheu matism Powders have so much confi dence in this preparation that they authorize us to sell them to you on a positive guarantee to giv© you relief in all cases of Rheumatism or refund your money. This is certainly a fair proposition. Let us show them to you. Central Drug Store, 66 Broadway, Fargo, N. D., exclusive agency.—AdvL THE ANGEL OF PATIENCE. To weary hearts, to mourning hornet God's meekest angel gently comes te v No power has he to banish pain. Or give us back our lost again 1 And yet in tenderest love our dear And heavenly Kather sends him her®. I There's quiet In that Angel's glance^ There's rest in his still countenance! He mocks no grief with idle cheer, Nor wounds with words the mourn-t er's ear But His and woes he may not cure He kindly trains us to endure, Angel of Patience! sent to ealm Our feverish brows with cooling palnijj To lay the storms of hope and feat. And reconcile life's smile and tear The throbs of wounded pride to still. And make our own our Father's wiUJj O thou who mournest on the way. With longings for the close of day 4 i He walks with thee, that Angel kind* to the effect that he was running the, And gently whispers. "Be resigned: business and if they did not like his Bear up, bear on, the end shall tHl way, to come and get their supplies. The dear Lord ordcreth all thinktt They not only stayed on the risks, but I well!" pcnt&uea ihe jigenofc JNo old ox tried I ,._ enJoh« 3reenleaf Whittij*.