Four Companies Join Trusted Choice Branding Initiative as Founding Partners

October 29, 2001

Four leading insurance carriers have signed on as founding sponsors of Trusted Choice, the new consumer marketing brand created by the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) and independent agency insurance companies, IIAA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt announced.

“These companies understand, as do others, that Trusted Choice agencies will be the valued and preferred choice of consumers,” Rusbuldt said.

The companies that have committed to the program are SAFECO, of Seattle Wash.; National Grange Mutual/Old Dominion Insurance, of Keene, N.H.; Encompass Insurance, of Chicago, Ill.; and The Hartford, of Hartford, Conn. Investment varies for each company and is based on a percentage of the company’s property-casualty premium written through independent agencies. Combined, their commitment in the program totals more than a half million dollars.

“These companies understand that by investing in their sales force, they are ensuring their own future,” said Ronald A. Smith, chairman of IIAA’s Communications Committee. “Together, we have the opportunity to improve the image of independent agents among consumers and increase market share for our distribution force and company partners. Over time, when consumers think insurance, they will know they need a Trusted Choice agency.”

Promotion of the Trusted Choice brand will be accomplished through advertising, public relations, local agency marketing and an innovative website. All forms of media will direct consumers to www.TrustedChoice.com, where they will find a cutting-edge agency locator and current consumer insurance information. IIAA also encourages participating companies to utilize the Trusted Choice logo in their own marketing as an ingredient brand.

“Our company partners have played an invaluable role in the development of this program, and we look forward to their continued involvement and support,” said Smith, president of Smith, Sawyer & Smith Insurance Agency in Rochester, Ind., and an IIAA past president. “We know other national and regional insurance companies are ready to partner with IIAA to brand their distribution force as the preeminent choice of consumers for all lines of insurance — business, home, auto, employee benefits, life, and other types of coverage.”

In addition to company investments, Trusted Choice is supported financially by member agencies, which pay a fee to participate in the program: $250 for agencies with nine or fewer employees, $499 for agencies with 10 or more staff. Agency sign-up for the program began last week and is available at www.TrustedChoice.com.

The Trusted Choice brand officially debuts at IIAA’s InfoXchange in Hawaii, October 27-30. The consumer rollout is planned for 2002.

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