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2013: LD10012013_BP The Big "I" provides numerous resources to assist consumer and general business writers, editors and producers with insurance-related or small business-related stories. IIABA has knowledgeable staff sources as well as hundreds of local agent spokespeople located in communities across the nation who are available to answer questions from reporters and serve as news sources on insurance-related consumer issues.
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Big “I” Presents Company Partners Best Practices Awards
CNA, Central Insurance Companies, EMC and Travelers honored for advocating “Best Practices" philosophies.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 1, 2013 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) presented insurance carriers CNA, Central Insurance Companies, EMC and Travelers with the prestigious Best Practices Award of Excellence at the recent education convocation held in conjunction with the Big “I” Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
 
The awards recognize those companies that have made imaginative, outstanding and unique contributions in advocating Best Practices philosophies that enhance the independent agency system. The Big “I” Best Practices program, which was launched in 1993, provides performance benchmarks and business strategies that serve as a guide to improving agency performance.
 
CNA has promoted Best Practices by using numerous avenues including: continuing to be actively involved in the Council for Best Practices, training their field forces on the value of Best Practices, and using Best Practices as a metric for choosing which agencies to work with and their overall strategy with their agency force. CNA also includes Best Practices information in their agent communications and in their workshops for their agents and field force.
 
“CNA has done an excellent job of using the Best Practices metrics and programs in their agent training and communications,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “We are honored to recognize CNA for their hard work, excellent service and dedication.”
 
Central Insurance Companies launched their support for the Best Practices program in 2005 as agents requested guidance from their company partner to grow their personal lines books of business. Central used the Best Practices studies and, through consultations with Reagan Consulting, developed and launched a Best Practices plan. The feedback was positive and the program continues to succeed. Central communicates the value of the Best Practices resources through agent education, business consulting, its online presence and monthly agency newsletters and other outlets.
 
“Since 2005, through numerous online and company-wide efforts, Central Insurance Companies, a Trusted Choice® company, promotes the philosophies of the Best Practices through materials in agent education, business consulting and numerous innovative efforts,” continued Rusbuldt. “We applaud Central’s ongoing leadership, dedication and cutting edge efforts.”
 
EMC Insurance Companies (EMC) is recognized for promoting Best Practices by nominating many of their agents for the study, using the Best Practices materials at their meeting and conferences, using the materials in their agency/company joint planning, using the Best Practices materials to aid in agency retention and perpetuation, promoting the Best Practices materials to their field and marketing departments  as a tool to better work with their agents and providing their agents with copies of the Best Practices materials.
 
“EMC, a Trusted Choice® company, continues to develop and grow with the Best Practices program,” continued Rusbuldt. “We are excited to recognize EMC for their dedication to helping agents further developed their business.
 
Since the Best Practices Awards of Excellence were launched in 2001, Travelers has been recognized each year for their support of the program. Travelers continues to be committed to making a difference by communicating the value of the resources and working with agents to help them grow their agencies. Travelers to be a leader in implementing the Best Practices Council and program by: nominating many agencies to participate in the study, conducting workshops with their agents and field using the tools and products, using the tools directly with agents in the field, regularly featuring and promoting Best Practices tools in their agency publications, distributing the Best Practices materials to agencies nationwide and by basing their Agency Development and CSR Workshops on Best Practices materials.
 
“We are proud to announce, that for the twelfth year in a row, Travelers, a Trusted Choice® company, has earned a special award recognizing their support for Best Practices,” said Rusbuldt. “Through countless efforts, Travelers continues to demonstrate their commitment to Best Practices by working directly with agents to help them reach their goals.”
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:  www.independentagent.com.
           
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