In this edition of “Focus”, WRIN.tv speaks with Bob Rusbuldt, President & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) about the health of “Independent Agents”, which Mr. Rusbuldt describes as “robust and well.”

Mr. Rusbuldt notes an Agency Universe Study of the independent agency system, conducted by the “Big I”, which found that revenues are up, and growing across commercial lines, personal lines and employee benefits. Independent agents are competing on trust and personal relationships. With over 80% of the commercial lines marketplace, Mr. Rusbuldt see a lot of opportunity in the personal lines market, where they have only 34-35% of the market.

The growth is challenges by the “Two Ts”, according to Mr. Rusbuldt: Technology and Talent. The IIABA launched a new program called The Big I Hires, connecting young people with independent agents looking to recruit new talent. He also notes threats from legislators and regulators. One example is the New York Financial Services/Insurance Department enact regulations on cyber security that has far-reaching impact on insurance agents.

Mr. Rusbuldt explains the value of TrustedChoice.com, attracting some 8 million consumers looking to engage a trusted independent agent for their insurance. The IIABA’s Young Agents Program is training the next generation of insurance agent. He also introduced the Big I Diversity Summit to be held in New Orleans in January 2020, an event he hopes will be the biggest of its kind in the insurance industry.

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