Business Politics

Ind Insurance Agents of America

Independent Insurance Agents of America

History

Formerly known as the Independent Insurance Agents of America, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America has been in existence since 1896, when it was known as the National Local Association of Fire Insurance Agents. The organization later expanded to include property and casualty insurance, renaming it in 1913 the National Association of Insurance Agents. In time, its members’ ability to work for various carriers became the organization’s most salient feature. In 2002, the association was changed to its present designation, to include insurance brokers in its lineup.

What they represent

IIABA or the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America refers to a collective entity of independent agents across the US. This national association counts in 300,000 insurance sales agents raring for improvement through political initiatives, education, and the like.

The Independent Insurance Agents of America does not represent any other insurance sales agents but those who represent more than one insurance company-independent insurance sales agents or brokers. Conversely, captive agents are those exclusively employed by a single insurance company. By representing multiple brands, independent agents give clients a broader selection of policies.

Major issues

Unlike captive agents, independent insurance agents are able to pair clients with the carrier offering the most optimal coverage, prices and services. Since their agents are not bound to one company, clients do not have to switch agencies with their changing needs. What’s more, independent agents evaluate the policy to keep up with ephemeral demands.

While captive agents contact clients and arrange business with them from their offices, independent insurance agents, or brokers, are committed to meeting the client in person.

Ideally, the independent insurance agent assists policyholders, if they incur a loss, until their claims are settled. If anything, IIABA agents not only deliver financial analysis, but also suggest ideas on minimizing risk, cutting costs.

Through its Office of the General Counsel, the IIABA assists member agents and brokers in their entanglements with the federal laws and regulations governing the industry. Members can also approach the OGC for any inquiries regarding compliance with legal requirements. The OGC also examines contracts between a member agent and the carrier, and goes as far as negotiating for changes that benefit agents. The office has even strategized relevant litigation measures.

Truly, the IIABA maintains a beneficial mesh of programs and services for member agents and brokers, such as the online study courses of Virtual University. Another, Trusted Choice, is used to certify IIABA’s agencies, with their broad scope of rates and coverage and adequate support in advocacy. Trusted Choice is also the name of IIABA’s Disaster Relief Fund, which financially empowers IIABA members to assist victims of calamities, natural or manmade.

Recent activities

IIABA has volunteering affiliates in every state and the District of Columbia. In particular, the IIABA maintains an active branch on Capitol Hill. This way, the IIABA can best protect member agencies and brokerages, consumers, and small-time entrepreneurs from adverse decisions made in Washington. In fact, the IIABA has constantly lobbied for the passing of laws advantageous to independent agents and brokers in the US.

To complement IIABA’s legislative initiatives, the IIAB has established InsurPac, its Political Action Committee (PAC). Founded in 1975, InsurPac is the largest of its kind in the US.