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Updated Dec. 4, 2013
Membership renewal information
Agencies opting to pay dues with auto drafts must submit form by Dec. 31
IIABSC annual dues renewal notices have gone out to all members. Payment is due Jan. 1, 2014. Those agencies wishing to pay dues in monthly installments drafted from a checking account must submit completed forms by Dec. 31. First installment will be drafted on Jan. 15.
Renew membership online (Mastercard, Visa, American Express)
Download auto draft form
Project CAP's Advantage (subscription) Plan
Subscribe by Dec. 31 to lock in special rate the cost of two leads per month
Based on user feedback, Project CAP has put together a great incentive plan available to early participants of the consumer agent portal ("Get a Quote" tool on consumer website, TrustedChoice.com).
Now available is a monthly subscription plan replacing the old $15 per lead charge that was to start on Jan. 1. As a "thank you" to early adopters, the TrustedChoice.com Advantage plan is available now for $29 per month in 2014 if purchased by 12/31/2013. The price will go up to $75 per month in the New Year.
These savings won't be offered again, so if your agency has already registered for Project CAP or was considering registering, it would be wise to do it now. There are no commitments; agencies can cancel their monthly subscription at any time.
Advantage subscribers receive premium placement on TrustedChoice.com. Advantage subscribers’ agency profile are shown at the top of the list of results when a consumer looks to find an agency in their area.
Advantage subscribers also receive a more detailed Advantage Agency Profile that showcases their agency and differentiates it from other IIABA members. This Advantage profile includes details such as:
- Agency Logo or Picture
- Agency Hours of Operation
- Agency Staff
- Client Testimonials
- Video Links
Advantage profiles are more visible in the results list because they receive more screen real-estate, meaning the Advantage agency listing is taller and more attractive to consumers.
Advantage subscribers are the ONLY agencies who are shown when a consumer uses the ‘Get a Quote’ feature.
Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund offers aid to tornado victims
As families and businesses begin to recover from the devastating effects of the recent tornados, help storm victims by donating to the Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund.
Established by the IIAA Educational Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit entity, the fund distributes cash grants to victims and surviving family members of natural disasters. It helps provide for their immediate or ongoing financial needs when other resources aren’t available, and fills the gap until other funding sources can be accessed. The fund is also used to provide insurance agents with supplies and resources to aid victims and surviving family members in their communities.
Both individuals and businesses can donate to the fund online. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
SC Agents & Broker magazine - Fall 2013 edition
Fall 2013 articles include:
- Kadi Quinn, CISR, 2013 Outstanding CSR of the Year. Read her winning essay on communications
- Affordable Care Act Update By Jerry Rhinehart, CIC, CLU, ChFC, RHU
- When is a Producer Required to be Appointed by a Carrier? By Becky, McCormack, CPCU, CIC, AAI, IIABSC Vice President
- E&O Advice when Buying, Selling and Merging Agencies By Swiss Re Claims Team
- ACT: Becoming a Social Business By Rick Morgan, ACT Social Web Working Group Chairman
- Young Agents Conference & Education Awards Luncheon photo recaps
Read now online
2014 Palmetto Partners
Special thanks to those offering year-round support to IIABSC programs
Johnson & Johnson
Liberty Mutual Insurance
St. Johns Insurance Co.
National Security Fire & Casualty
Prime Insurance Co.
Southern Cross Underwriters
Capitol Preferred Ins. Co
Central Ins. Co.
Hanover Excess & Surplus
Lighthouse Property Insurance Corp.
Phenix Mutual Fire Ins. Co.
Welcome New Members
Ally Insurance Group
Avatek Risk Management dba Atlantic Insurance Solutions
The Briles Company
CHW Insurance LLC
Crown Insurance Agency, LLC
Foster Insurance Agency
Resource Financial Services
Summit Insurance Agency
Windermere Insurance Group
Church Mutual Insurance Co.
2013-14 IIABSC holiday schedule
IIABSC office will be closed for the holiday on the following days the remainder of this year and next:
- Tues., Dec. 24 & Weds., Dec. 25
- Weds., Jan. 1
- Fri., April 18
- Mon., May 26
- Fri., July 4
- Mon., Sept. 1
- Thurs., Nov. 27 & Fri., Nov. 28
- Thurs., Dec. 25 & Fri., Dec. 26
Big "I" 2013 Best Practices Study Released
Study shows agencies with specialties significantly increased
IIABA released its 2013 Best Practices Study, finding an increase in agencies with specializations, expansion of technology investment and an increase in profitability across most of the study’s six revenue groups. Learn more about the Best Practices Study.
Other findings from the 2013 Best Practices Study include:
Specialty or Niche Markets: Specialization has increased across agencies of all sizes. Developing an expertise or proficiency in a certain industry or product has shown to facilitate targeted leads and referrals, improve retention and provide a competitive edge for an agency.
Technology Investment: Many of the Best Practices agencies plan to invest in technology for the coming year. The top investment choice for agencies with revenue under $5 million will be in internet marketing and social media, while agencies with revenue over $5 million ranked investments in agency management systems first. Internet marketing and social media investments ranked fourth for the larger agencies, perhaps because many of these firms have already ventured into these fields. Across all revenue groups, the average number of agency staff members who devote time to social media activities is 1.3 employees and that accounts for approximately 10% of their time.
Growth Strategies Worked: Between 2007 and 2010, when the soft market and an extremely weak economy made positive growth nearly impossible, Best Practices agencies continued to invest in growth strategies that would allow them to achieve organic growth and obtain a competitive edge as conditions improved. The results of those strategies (which include hiring new producers and equipping them with new tools and resources, enforcing more producer accountability, focusing on specialty/niche areas and expanding marketing/advertising activities) has paid off.
Profitability: Strong revenue growth improved profitability. Although last year’s study results identified that growth was stronger than it had been in years, profit margins remained stubbornly flat thanks to waning contingent income growth. That trend has now reversed. This year’s results show that contingent income has grown an average of 21.8% for agencies with revenue totally less than $5 million, and an average of 10.7% for those with revenue of more than $5 million. At the same time, agencies did a much better job of controlling expenses so that operating profits grew faster than contingent income. The result? Smaller to mid-sized firms enjoyed an average ProForma EBITDA margin of 29.3%, while the larger firms averaged 22.7%.
Read full article
Learn more about the Best Practices Study