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Verizon Tech Support Scam

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in News

The Enterprise Security Team has received notice of a scam involving a call from fake Verizon Tech Support. We are providing this information for consumer awareness.

How does the scam work?
The attack is initiated by a phone call. The caller ID actually comes up as Verizon’s tech support because the scammers are spoofing a valid 1-800 number used by Verizon. The caller on the other end of the line then convinces the victim to disclose information about their Verizon account and may direct the victim to a website to download software and/or establish a remote connection. But, rather than receiving “support,” the victim’s workstation is loaded with malware and scanned for sensitive information, such as banking or credit card data.

What can I do to protect myself?
These types of “tech support” cold-call scams have been around for a long time and have
undergone several variations through the years. For example, similar scams have been
reported for fake Microsoft and Netflix support. What makes this one unique is the use of a spoofed number that matches one used by Verizon. Using professional skepticism on all cold calls, even when the caller ID appears to be known, can go a long way.

• Do not assume that the caller ID is accurate.
• If you feel uncomfortable, then follow your instinct. Hang up, and call
the actual company on a listed, public phone number.
• Be especially skeptical if a caller asks for sensitive information, like
usernames, passwords, account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.

What if I am concerned about identity theft?
A compromise on your computer is not only a risk to Pekin Insurance®, but also your
personal data. Concerned users or victims of scams may be interested in more material
regarding identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission provides comprehensive information and advice at their website:

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Shellshock Vulnerability

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in News

What is the Shellshock vulnerability?
The vulnerability known as Shellshock is a serious flaw in the Bash shell processor. Bash shell is a command line interface, similar to a DOS box on Windows. This command line interface allows user interaction with Linux- and UNIX-based systems. There are many different types or flavors of Linux and UNIX platforms. One example of a UNIX-based operating system is Apple’s Mac OS X. Another example of a UNIX-like system is IBM’s z/OS.

On September 24, 2014, security researchers uncovered malicious code that attempts to exploit a vulnerability in Bash shell. The vulnerability makes it possible for attackers to run arbitrary commands that could lead to system compromise; however, the aftereffects of a successful exploit have not yet been fully understood or disclosed.

Is/was Pekin Insurance vulnerable?
None of the external services hosted by Pekin Insurance, like MyPI or Pekin Partners, have been affected. In addition, the Pekin Insurance Enterprise Security team has deployed security measures and will continue to monitor the situation for changes.

What do I need to do?
No action is required for users of Pekin Insurance web services; however, everyone is strongly encouraged to check public lists of prominent sites that may have been vulnerable in case of personal use.

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Pekin Insurance Receives “Excellent” Ratings From A.M. Best

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in News

Pekin Insurance is a group name adopted to designate the combined operation of The
Farmers Automobile Insurance Association, Pekin Insurance Company, PAC, Inc., and Pekin Life Insurance Company. The company recently received its 2014 ratings from A.M. Best,
a global credit rating agency with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Insurance
professionals, brokers, regulators and consumers refer to Best’s Credit Ratings as an opinion of the financial strength and creditworthiness of risk-bearing entities and investment vehicles.

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) of Pekin
Insurance Group and our two intercompany pool members, The Farmers Automobile
Insurance Association and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pekin Insurance Company. The
outlook for the FSR continues to be stable. Financial Strength Ratings are published in A.M. Best’s Insurance Reports and represent their independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The affirmed rating reflects Pekin Insurance Group’s excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, steady surplus growth, experienced management team, and solid agency relationships.

At the same time, A.M. Best has affirmed our Issuer Credit Rating (ICR) of “a.” The outlook for the ICR continues to be stable. Issuer Credit Ratings are not published in A.M. Best’s Insurance Reports, but are posted on A.M. Best’s website and Business Wire. An ICR is assigned to insurance companies, banks, hospitals, holding companies, or other legal entities authorized to issue financial obligations and represents A.M. Best’s independent opinion of an entity’s ability to meet its ongoing senior financial obligations. Although the Pekin Insurance Group has never issued any senior financial obligations, the ICR is utilized by A.M. Best to provide additional granularity in the overall rating process.

A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of “A-” (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” for Pekin Life Insurance Company. The outlook for both ratings remains stable. The ratings of Pekin Life Insurance Company reflect many positive rating factors including its integral role and generally positive contribution to the Pekin Insurance Group, high-quality investment portfolio, diversified product portfolio, and favorable level of risk-adjusted capitalization.

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Pekin Life Insurance Company Holds 49th Annual Meeting

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in News

Pekin Life Insurance Company held its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the company’s Home Office in Pekin, Illinois. The company has strong, stable roots that date back to its inception in 1965.

The company reported net income of $2.4 million. Premium income increased by 2.7 percent to $227.0 million. Life Insurance in force exceeded $14.5 billion in the year 2013.

At the meeting, shareholders elected directors Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois; Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois; and Gordon M. Walker, Groveland, Illinois, to three year terms to expire in May 2017.

Other directors whose terms continue are: Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois; Daniel V. Connell, Tremont, Illinois; Scott A. Martin, Peoria, Illinois; and Thomas C. Hornstein, A. Richard Kriegsman, and Christine A. Schwartz, all from Pekin, Illinois.

On April 16, 2014, Pekin Life Insurance Company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.01 per share payable June 2, 2014, to shareholders of record May 2, 2014. The company has paid dividends each year since June 1, 1976.

President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Martin remarked at the meeting, “Our strategy for growth and profitability will always center around the sales generated by the independent agent. Last year, new paid Life sales were almost $8 million, which has doubled from ten years ago. But as you know, Pekin Life Insurance Company is much more than that. Our Financial Products division, our Pathway® Pre-need division, and our new venture into self-funded plans are all growing, often in states outside our core operating area of the property/casualty company. We believe we have the right strategy for us. We’re doing this and producing a product that helps people. That is the part I’m most proud of. We all need to be reminded of what happens when an agent does their job by convincing a family to purchase protection. On the company side, we must invest their money wisely and pay the proceeds when the time comes. What we do together is serving families, a very noble cause and something we all take pride in.”

Brian Lee, the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer/Life, in speaking to the group, commented, “Total premium increased from $221 million in 2012 to almost $227 million, and Pekin Life Insurance Company is now licensed in 19 states with the premium coming from targeted product lines in various states. 2013 was our best Ordinary Life New Business year in our company’s history with premiums exceeding $8 million. There are new challenges around every corner. With the continued support of our agents and the dedicated efforts of our employees, I have no doubt 2014 will be a successful year for Pekin Life Insurance Company.”

Pekin Life Insurance Company is an integral part of the Pekin Insurance® group of companies.

Pekin Life Insurance Company stock trades under the symbol “PKIN” and is listed on the OTCQB. Wells Fargo Advisors makes a market in the stock.

A multi-line company, Pekin Life Insurance Company offers individual life and group life and health products; including term, universal life, group medical, medicare supplement, annuity, credit insurance, debt protection, and pre-need coverages. Additionally, Pekin Life Insurance Company has created a new third party claims administration division, Group Plan Solutions, which is designed to provide employer-based, self-funded health plan administration.

Other products offered by the Pekin Insurance group include automobile, homeowners, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, boatowners, commercial automobile, businessowners, commercial property and liability, workers compensation, and bonds.

Information about Pekin Life Insurance Company can be obtained by visiting our Internet website at

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Important Information! Heartbleed Bug

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in News

What is the Heartbleed Bug?
The Heartbleed Bug is a serious flaw in a specific version of OpenSSL. This software is commonly used on the Internet to provide encrypted web services, for example when you see https or a lock icon in your browser when visiting financial or other secure sites. The bug makes it possible for remote attackers to obtain information from vulnerable sites that is intended to be encrypted and confidential. Some examples of disclosure have included login passwords, answers to security questions, and private keys that could be used to decrypt information until the site’s certificates are reissued.

Is/was Pekin Insurance® vulnerable?
No. None of the external services hosted by Pekin Insurance, like MyPI or Pekin Partners, have been affected. Our services do not use the specific OpenSSL software that is vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug.

What do I need to do?
No action is required for users of Pekin Insurance web services. However, everyone is strongly encouraged to check public lists of prominent sites that may have been vulnerable in case of personal use. Users should change passwords for these sites, especially if the online application is accessed via a mobile device.

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Celebrating Excellence at Annual Awards and Appreciation Banquets

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in News

Pekin Insurance® recently held their 54th annual Awards and Appreciation Banquets to honor agents and agencies for insurance production that has gone Beyond the expected.® With sincere pride we presented 38 Beyond the Expected® Agency Awards, 167 Underwriter of Merit Awards, 142 Gold Key Awards, 161 Silver Key Awards, and 101 Inner Circle Club memberships at banquets held in the states of Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The top 3% of agencies were recognized with the Beyond the Expected® Agency Award for exceptionally high standards of service to an agency’s customers and community. As our top award, the Beyond the Expected® Agency Award is given only to an agency which has demonstrated outstanding professional performances in both the Property/Casualty and the Life and Health lines of insurance. The top 14% of agencies were presented with the Underwriter of Merit Award, which recognizes agencies with excellent professional skill and knowledge in the field of Property/Casualty insurance. Individual agents who demonstrated commitment to and superiority in the sales of Life and Health insurance were awarded the company’s Gold and Silver Key Awards. Gold Key Award winners represent the top 2% of the company’s agents, and Silver Key Award winners are in the top 4% of agents. Membership in the elite Inner Circle Club, which was established in 1979, is the highest honor that Life and Health insurance producers can attain and was achieved by those agents who excelled Beyond the expected® to be among the top 1% of Pekin Life Insurance Company producers.

In addition, the coveted Robert T. Tebben Agency of the Year Award was presented to one agency in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This elite award honors the late Robert T. Tebben who, in his more than 50 years of service to the company, contributed more than any other single individual to the present success of Pekin Insurance. He believed that all Pekin Insurance agencies should strive to go Beyond the expected® to provide a full range of services to their customers. The agencies honored with this award were Farmers Woods Group, Phoenix, Arizona; Hartauer Insurance Agency, Inc., La Salle, Illinois; Home Insurance Agency, Tell City and New Albany, Indiana; Nelson Brothers Agency, Bettendorf, Moline, Muscatine, and Blue Grass, Iowa; Schneider Insurance Agency, Inc., Gahanna and Newark, Ohio; and Lakeshore Financial Group, LLC, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It is a true honor for Pekin Insurance to recognize the accomplishments of their outstanding agents and agencies at Awards and Appreciation Banquets that have become traditions for 54 years.

Pekin Insurance, which provides multiple lines of insurance, has been in business since 1921. The company offers a wide range of insurance products in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin through its growing agency force, which now totals over 1,200 independent agencies and nearly 8,000 producers in the six-state area. The company is headquartered in Pekin, Illinois, with service offices in Mount Vernon, Rockford, and Warrenville, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana;
Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Ohio; and Appleton, Wisconsin.

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