Saying it is a move that will benefit both groups, the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) has a tentative agreement in place to take on the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC).
Joe Annotti, assistant vice president for public affairs with the NAII, told Insurance Journal that “Our board of governors has approved a tentative agreement to essentially take over the ACIC. Our members came to us really with the idea. Many of them are also ACIC members. ACIC has a very valuable and well-respected name, and it makes sense for members of both organizations to do such an affiliation.
“I think for NAII, the access to the name and ACIC’s reputation in California political circles allows us to expand our political clout in the state,” Annotti added. “From our perspective, that is a huge benefit. We also think we can enhance the value of ACIC to maybe attract other insurers’ to join ACIC whether or not they’re a member of NAII.”
According to Jeff Fuller, president of the ACIC, the move will give the group some new clout in the state.
“Given California’s significance on the national scene, it serves both organizations,” Fuller commented. “It enhances NAII’s presence in California and gives ACIC access to NAII’s resources which are just tremendous. They wanted to increase their presence in California and I think it will enhance the property and casualty industry’s presence in California.”
Fuller pointed out that the idea of a merger had been kicked around before, and that ACIC’s staff is smaller then when the group had workers’ comp, but is basically full-time on personal lines, adding the group will play some role in the workers’ comp arena with the merger.
“I think the concept is ACIC would remain a kind of subsidiary of NAII,” Fuller
commented. “It would retain its identity as an association. It will allow us to retain what we think is the goodwill we’ve built up over the years.”
When looking at the challenges facing the industry in California in 2002, Fuller notes that the challenge is to “stay active in the political environment and get its message across the street.”
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