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Big "I"  Members Ready to Assist Hurricane Harvey Victims

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Aug. 31, 2017— As families and businesses begin to recover from the devastating effects of the flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, members of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I") stand ready to help those affected by the disaster through the Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund.

"Trusted Choice independent agents in Texas are assisting their customers and helping them through the claims process despite personal losses they might have suffered in the storm," says Bob Rusbuldt, president & CEO of the Big "I". "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Houston area, and our Trusted Choice independent agents are working around the clock to put the lives of people back together. The Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Fund was created to assist these agents and their employees as they do the important work of rebuilding their communities."

Established by the IIAA Educational Foundation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, the fund distributes cash grants to victims and surviving family members of natural disasters. It helps provide for immediate or ongoing financial needs when other resources are not available, and fills the gap until other funding sources become accessible. The fund also provides insurance agents with supplies and resources to aid victims and surviving family members in their communities.

"An established permanent relief fund allows us to financially assist victims when and where a disaster strikes," says Rusbuldt. "I am proud of our agents and brokers around the country and our insurance company partners who have contributed to the fund to assist people in their greatest time of need. We encourage those affected by Hurricane Harvey to apply for a grant."

"This fund is a great way to show our ongoing support as an industry for victims of disasters and to assist independent agents, industry colleagues, families and communities at a time when many have lost everything," added Kevin Brandt, executive director of Trusted Choice®.

Individuals and businesses can donate online. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. For those seeking aid, grant applications and criteria and guidelines are also available.

Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big "I") is the nation's oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a national network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees. Big "I" members 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