In a move to cover all those it serves, the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) has changed its name to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) to more accurately reflect the Association’s inclusive membership makeup, CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt commented.
“The change was driven by our members,” Rusbuldt said. “We are an organization that represents the interests of member businesses of all sizes-from the smaller independent agencies to the largest agencies and brokerage firms in the country. The new name-the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America or IIABA-now matches the mission of the Association, which is to advocate on behalf of all independent agents and brokers.”
IIABA was unanimously recommended by the Association’s National Board of State Directors during its meeting in January. The new name officially was ratified during a membership meeting conducted April 12 at the Association’s mid-year meeting.
“The IIABA name is a positive step for all independent agents and brokers. It conveys the reality and broad charge of today’s national Association,” IIABA President Thomas B. Ahart commented. “Through this change, we highlight the important role of large agents and brokers in our association and place a spotlight on the advocacy work we do on behalf of the largest agents and brokers.
“IIABA is the only national trade group that represents the legislative concerns of agents and brokers at both the federal level and on a permanent basis in state legislatures and insurance departments. The Big ‘I’ is highly revered on Capitol Hill. This change will enhance our broad-based advocacy efforts in all venues,” Ahart added.
Several factors drove the decision to change the name, according to the Association.
First and foremost was the fact that most of the largest agencies and brokerage firms in the country are members of the Association and benefit from its advocacy on their behalf and from Association programs that are critical to their operations.
Second, many of the national Association’s state affiliates already have incorporated “broker” into their name. “IIABA state affiliates are not required to modify their names, but I am sure that each of our states will assess their own region and membership and make a decision about their name that is appropriate for their membership,” Ahart commented.
Third, it will reinforce the Association’s political and legislative strength. “The name IIABA conveys to Congress, state legislators and regulators that we represent the needs of agents and brokers of all sizes and that our members write all lines of insurance,” Rusbuldt commented.
Finally, the addition of “brokers” to the name more accurately reflects to consumers, the media and insurance companies who IIABA represents and who its member agencies and brokerages serve.
“We believe this decision will reinforce our role as the voice of all agents and brokers with political leaders, regulators, companies and insurance consumers,” Ahart said.
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