WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commented on the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) final version of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) which determines the terms and conditions for the Administrative and Operating (A&O) reimbursements and underwriting gains for crop insurance companies.
“The Big ‘I’ is very disappointed with the final version of the SRA that was released today,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “The destructive effects that the SRA agreement will have on rural America should not be underestimated. The agent commission cap provision in the SRA is misguided and potentially dangerous to the farm safety net.
“Research shows that the average commission rate has declined from 2008 to 2009 proving the fact that allowing the marketplace to determine commission rates works,” continues Symington. “The agent cap does not impact the crop insurance budget whatsoever and has no policy merit. Crop insurance agents are small business owners in small towns that not only employ agency staff, but are intertwined with the vitality of their communities. In a time of great economic strain, it is reckless to slash the incomes of American small businesses in our country’s heartland. We have repeatedly communicated to this administration the harmful impact that the commission cap would have on small businesses and are astounded that in this final document they have chosen to side with insurance companies over small business.”
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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.