LAS VEGAS, Sept. 22 - W. Cloyce Anders, the outgoing president of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA), today outlined the significant progress and achievements of the past year during the opening general session of the association’s Convention & InfoXchange in Las Vegas.
Anders told a packed room of nearly 2,000 independent agents & brokers that he has thoroughly enjoyed “witnessing our hard work bear fruit” during his six years as a member of IIABA’s Executive Committee. “In those six years, our E&O program grew to $117 million of annual premium. InsurPac is on target to become a million-dollar PAC. Our Young Agents are active in 42 states.”
Anders noted that he is particularly pleased with IIABA’s continued strong presence on Capitol Hill, both through grassroots advocacy and agents’ support of InsurPac—the political action committee (PAC) of the Big “I” and the largest property-casualty insurance industry PAC in the country.
“We worked through action—not rhetoric—to accomplish results,” Anders said. “The Big “I”’s grassroots strength emanates from our 300,000 members. Congress notices when Big “I” members speak with one voice. Our legislative successes on defeating a dangerous crop insurance pilot program and delaying implementation of the Do Not Fax rule are a direct result of our grassroots strength. ... But we cannot rest. As Mark Twain said, ‘No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.’ We must encourage even more grassroots involvement by Big “I” members. Nothing is as critical to our success on Capitol Hill and in our states.
“InsurPac has surpassed the half-million dollar fundraising mark, putting us on schedule to achieve the longtime goal of being a million-dollar PAC over two years,” Anders continued. “We—the national association and the states—pulled together to reach this historic achievement.”
Anders reported that enthusiasm for Trusted ChoiceSM is growing. “It is now a movement of more than 3,000 agencies,” he said. “Twenty-five companies have committed to building a stronger agency system by partnering with us on Trusted ChoiceSM and making it the smart choice for consumers. This year, we invested $1.5 million in advertising, reaching more than 121 million consumers. This exposure is paying dividends. Consumers and business owners are using the Agency Locator to find Trusted ChoiceSM agencies for their insurance needs. Many agents—like Ed Higgins in New York—are writing new business through Trusted ChoiceSM.
“But we cannot rest. We will make Trusted ChoiceSM and its agencies a household name in the mind of consumers.”
Anders also praised IIABA’s success in several other areas.
“The Big ‘I’ recently signed a new, five-year contract with ERC to extend the highly successful agents’ and brokers’ E&O program. This move ensures our members a stable and affordable professional liability program,” Anders said.
“Our future is being shaped today by the support we provide our next generation of leaders. Three critical programs are fostering our future: Young Agents, InVEST, and the Diversity Initiative. Each (program) prepares those who will succeed us as the leaders of our agencies, our association, and our industry. We all—the Big “I”, our states, and our members—must promote this young talent and encourage diversity.”
Anders concluded by saying that IIABA must continue to evolve in order to sustain its strength.
“An organization that lives in the past will not remain great,” he noted. “We must remain vigilant so we are prepared to tackle new challenges, grasp new opportunities and build new relationships. ... We cannot, we must not, we will not rest.”
Anders became IIABA’s 98th president in September 2002 at IIABA’s New Orleans InfoXchange and his term ends this week. Anders owns Raleigh-based VFIS of North Carolina, which sells specialty insurance for emergency services agencies and personnel. He is a partner in Anders, Ireland & Marshall, also of Raleigh, a general insurance agency; and he is a partner in Independent Agency Services, LLC of Durham, an application services provider (ASP) virtual office services company for independent agents.
The Convention & InfoXchange is IIABA’s showcase meeting taking place in Las Vegas from Sept. 21-24. The event features a compelling company CEO roundtable; several prominent guest speakers and panelists; a variety of innovative continuing-education (CE) classes and other cutting-edge workshops; the largest exhibit hall in the insurance industry; numerous networking opportunities; and many other exciting events.
Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 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.