BIG “I” TEAMS UP WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Independent agents and brokers pledge to work to rebuild New Orleans
ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 24, 2006—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) has arranged with the New Orleans chapter of Habitat for Humanity to spend a day during the Big “I” Fall Leadership Conference and board meeting volunteering with the rebuilding work in areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina last year.
“The Big ‘I’ recognizes that, while much progress has been made one year after Katrina, there is still so much to be done,” says Big “I” CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. “In addition to the money raised from Big ‘I’ members and others in the insurance industry through our Katrina Relief Fund to support victims personally and professionally still reeling in the aftermath of this hurricane, we feel that it is important to give back in every way we can. While we are in New Orleans with such a large group, we want to do what we can to help ease the suffering of at least some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.”
The Katrina Relief Fund, created by a non-profit foundation run by the Big “I”, raised nearly $500,000 from more than 530 contributors and awarded grants to help individuals and businesses devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The Big “I” donated $100,000 to the fund and received generous contributions from several insurance carriers, including Safeco, Zurich, OneBeacon, Allstate and Encompass. In addition, agents, brokers, Big “I” staff and state associations also contributed to the Katrina Relief Fund as a way to help make a difference in the lives of those affected in the insurance community.
The Big “I” donated hundreds of catastrophe packs to agents and those in need in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The Big “I” Virtual University also offered assistance and support to victims through a Hurricane Katrina resource page, with frequently asked questions, satellite and aerial imagery, links to health and safety pages, flood and mold clean up tips, survivor information, housing information, and more.
Big “I” state associations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Texas have also provided tremendous assistance to agents and brokers, insurance company employees and the citizens of their communities and states who were and are in dire need of help.
“When I asked our membership if they’d like to volunteer their time in New Orleans to participate in this community rebuilding project, the response was unanimously positive,” says Big “I” President William G. Stiglitz III, an executive with the Louisville, Ky.-based Hyland, Block & Hyland agency. “I am proud of the Big ‘I’ members for understanding that there is so much more to be done in New Orleans and all the regions devastated by last years’ storms and that anything we can do to help will make a difference.”
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 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.