WASHINGTON 30th April 2012 —At a time when technology has eroded the security agents and brokers have known in their traditional business model, membership in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America remains a valuable beacon for future opportunity, says the association’s chairman.
In his state of the association address here Friday at the IIABA’s annual Legislative Conference and Convention, Mike Donohoe, chairman of Iiaba and owner of James R. Weir Insurance Agency in Mankato, Minn., focused on how the business environment for agents and brokers has rapidly changed.
“Think of how fast things have changed over the last 14 years, which is really a relatively short period of time, and think about how we’ve continued to resist it,” says Donohoe.
The world now runs at a quicker pace, he says, noting that just 12 years ago “we had plenty of time to deal with things: with problems, concerns and opportunities. We had time to do things the old way,” he says.
Those days have vanished.
The challenge, Donohoe says, is for IIABA to stay relevant and fill the needs of agents in the future because technology “is changing everything.”
“The association has always been there for us, filtering out the bad things that come along,” he notes. “The difference today is how fast they can come” and that can make for a very “scary” time for agents and brokers.
“…we’re dealing with things that are new to us—really new. Things that, unlike many of the other problems that have come up during our careers, we aren’t really confident dealing with. It’s scary.”
The uncertainty only serves to heighten the value of membership in the IIABA, says Donohoe.
Throughout its history, he says, the association has fought to protect the interests of independent agents. “Who has always been there for us? Who gives us comfort, safety and support? Who provides us with [information] that we know has been vetted, that’s solid, and we know can be trusted? The answer is the Big ‘I,’” says Donohoe. “That is the association’s value. That is what our members need. That’s why we belong. I can’t imagine the future without it.”
By Mark E. Ruquet, PropertyCasualty360.com