Throughout our history, the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) has retained its mission and identity while adapting to changes in the insurance industry. We began in 1926 as the Association of Fire Insurance General Agents, then we became the American Association of Insurance General Agents in 1930. In 1948, we took our current name: AAMGA.
During each change, we admitted more market participants to our membership, refined our focus and revised membership standards. Association leadership has long worked to ensure opportunities for members mirror those offered by an ever-changing insurance market. Throughout these 87 years, the AAMGA has built a reputation and culture based on integrity, professionalism and strict membership standards. This reputation has distinguished the association, served as a source of pride for its members and incentivized new members.
On Aug. 27, 2013, AAMGA members voted to proactively adapt to changing market conditions – just as they had twice previously since the association was founded in 1926 – when they voted to amend association bylaws and expand membership to all wholesale insurance professionals who meet membership requirements.
Membership will now be open not only to MGAs, but also to managing general underwriters, program administrators, aggregators, wholesale brokers and other wholesale insurance professionals. Membership will also continue to include risk bearing entities, insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers, state stamping and surplus line offices and organizations that provide supporting products and services to our industry.
Our standards remain stringent. Membership is open to insurance professionals transacting business with underwriting or binding authority, and they must meet our standards for minimum years in business and annual written premiums.
This vote comes on the heels of a two-year strategic review that documented how MGAs had changed over the last decade, both in the size and scope of their operations. A prolonged soft market and economic forces spurred an increase in mergers and acquisitions, while the wholesale insurance market moved toward greater program specialization.
The AAMGA board of directors felt a mandate to respond. In May, we proposed bylaws changes that create new membership categories for all professionals conducting business in the wholesale insurance market – as long as they meet the stringent membership requirements for which AAMGA is known.
These changes were discussed with members for nearly two months and ballots were sent out on July 26. More than 63 percent of eligible members responded, and 83 percent of members responding voted to approve these critical changes. The amendment passed on Aug. 27.
A More Sustainable Future
A more diverse membership means a more sustainable future for AAMGA. By including a broader swath of the wholesale insurance market, we can expand and enhance technical underwriting and other professional educational development through the AAMGA University.
We are excited to afford members more diverse and relevant programs, tools, resources and benefits. These efforts will lend greater credibility and strength to the entire market, as well as reinforcing our advocacy with domestic and international regulators and legislators. The membership expansion can only serve to enhance and sustain our association, while increasing our value to members and the industry.
The Road Ahead
This board and our committee members will continue to work cooperatively with other trusted associations that serve specific niches in the market. These include the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO), Target Markets Program Administrators Association (TMPAA) and the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB), among others. We expect many members will continue to maintain multiple association memberships and reap the rewards they bring.
We will continue to communicate with our colleagues in the insurance industry about developments and, most importantly, we will continue to seek member feedback as we implement our renewed strategic focus.