It is time to see you at the Kansas State Fair.

For more than 30 years, the Kansas Insurance Department (KID) has been a fixture at the fair in Hutchinson for its 10-day run, which begins Sept. 7 this year. We have occupied the same corner booth space in the Meadowlark Building since 1992, right across the aisle from the concession stand.

Every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., we will have insurance department staff members in our booth to answer insurance questions. We come prepared to help you understand your health, homeowners, auto, life insurance and long-term care concerns.

This year, with the alignment of the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner as a division within the insurance department, we will also have information and assistance available in case you have investment questions.

Setting up for the 10-day run at the fair requires some expert planning. Most of the KID preparation is because of the efforts of Glenda Haverkamp, our senior administrative specialist in the Government and Public Affairs Division of our department. Glenda has worked for the insurance department for more than 40 years, and since 1992 she has been organizing the needs and logistics for our booth. Her expertise is invaluable.

Glenda begins our fair preparation about two months prior to fair time. Her work usually consists of making sure each of our four fair shifts is fully staffed; sending enough publications and brochures on various insurance subjects to provide booth visitors with proper information; making the staff lodging and travel accommodations; and interacting with state fair officials so that the fair contract T’s are crossed and I’s dotted.

In addition to our public affairs staff members, the Consumer Assistance Division at the department, which coordinates all inquiries sent to us, sends booth crew members. The consumer representatives are the people many of you interact with when you phone or stop by our department. They are adept at answering consumer insurance questions, or, if in the case of a possible complaint, making sure you know how to follow up with information.

The range of questions we receive at our booth is as diverse as our Kansas population. Some people want to know what we do at the department and how it operates. Others want to know specifically if we can help them with a particular problem, such as long-term care insurance, hail damage to property, choosing the right Medicare supplement plan or dealing with health premiums.

In many cases our booth staff will give information and invite the fairgoer to learn more by taking one of our free publications or by calling in to our Topeka office to further explore the situation with one of the CAD reps.

The Kansas State Fair activities for our department have been one of our most important outreach programs over the decades. When visiting with our booth staff, you can get the assurance that we want to fulfill our mission to “educate, advocate and regulate.” We hope you will stop by the Meadowlark Building to say hello to our staff and ask questions. If you can’t make it to the fair, you can always call us at 800-432-2484 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, or go online at www.ksinsurance.org to use our “chat” feature.