More than 170 leaders from insurance agency networks, markets and service providers gathered for the inaugural meeting of the Insurance Networks Alliance (INA) last week in Tempe, Arizona to promote and support the critical role that insurance agency networks play in the independent agent distribution channel.
Live Oak Bank supports this segment with SBA loans and developed the concept for this group. “In discussing the many partnerships we have in the insurance industry, we realized that there were no groups specifically supporting the agency networks we service,” stated Michael Strakhov, Executive Director of Insurance Lending. “We sponsored a meeting of 11 networks and as many carriers early in 2017 to determine what type of support Live Oak Bank could provide these types of organizations. The feedback was very clear; some type of forum to represent the specific needs of this growing segment of distribution in the industry was needed.
The INA meeting in Tempe represented the culmination of these efforts over the past year. With more than $10 billion in premium and seven of the top 10 networks represented, we were thrilled with the outcome.” “This inaugural INA meeting was the first time all stakeholders could meet at a forum dedicated to fostering better alignment between carriers and agency networks. While agency networks are appreciated as reliable sources of new business growth, carrier/network interaction is not yet optimized,” commented Steve Pearson, President of ISU Insurance Agency Network. “Attending carriers and networks each have distinctly different business models, products, pricing structures, and services. As the meeting concluded, I found that improved understanding of these differences combined with face-to-face communication with key executives, laid the foundation for enhanced interactions in the future.”
Carrier Panel: Steve Pearson, ISU; Paul Morrissette, Chubb; Bryan Fry, Grange Insurance and Doug Avrin, State Auto
Doug Avrin, VP of Sales & Marketing with State Auto Insurance stated, “From a carrier perspective, the ability to meet with almost 40 networks at a single event and look at best practices for these relationships is enormously efficient. Further development of this group is certainly an effort we would support.”
Networks representing over $7 billion in written premium attended the inaugural INA Winter Meeting.
34 Networks (7 of the top 10)
20 Service Providers
INA Winter Meeting Presentations and More
Growing and Preserving Your Network (Jon Persky)
Leading Multi-generational Teams in Organizations
Program Administrator Panel
Networks in the News
January Best’s Review Article
“A growing number of larger independent agencies are joining agency networks as they seek greater negotiating leverage as well as technology, data management and other resources.” Read More.
Are Networks the Distribution Channel of the Future?
While the debate about online insurance sales versus in-person agents isn’t particularly novel, it has escalated with the rise of “Insurtech” as an attractive investment sector and the emergence of new, more robust online carriers and insurance markets.
Absent from this ongoing discussion are networks. At a fundamental level, insurance networks provide their agency members the opportunity to scale, which is necessary to survive. As in any industry, a scalable agency will not only grow, but its profits will increase at a greater margin.
Read more in the latest edition of Rough Notes Magazine.
Thank You INA Sponsors
Carrier Panel – Grange Insurance
Program Administration Workshop – Utica National
Perpetuation and Growth Presentation – Live Oak Bank
Multigenerational Teams Presentation – Zurich
Technology Panel – EZ Lynx
Personal Auto Workshop – Agency Network Exchange LLC
Networking Lounge – Chubb
Networking Breakfast – Palmetto Advisors
Networking Lunch – TYSERS
Networking Reception (Mon) – Breckenridge Insurance Group
Networking Reception (Tue) – AFCO Prime Rate