AAMGA Reflects on Prosperous Year, Plans for the Future

The American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) will hold its mid-year meeting at the Phoenician Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 13-15. At the heart of this year’s meeting will be several industry roundtable sessions.

“A few of the roundtable topics include the availability and strength of the reinsurance market, carrier ratings and the adequacy of capital surplus,” Bernd Heinze, executive director of the AAMGA, said. Heinze noted that no doubt AAMGA members will address the sustainability of the current market place, both on a qualitative and quantitative basis.

The hard market has brought about prosperous times for those in the surplus lines industry. According to Heinze, the industry wrote $12.6 billion in annual premium volume in 2003, up $1.3 billion over 2002, in both admitted and surplus lines business. The increased business has exposed many AAMGA members to new faces in the producer workforce; creating relationships that managing general agents (MGAs) hope to maintain as the market begins to soften.

“In today’s marketplace, at the click of a mouse you can bind billions of dollars of business,” Heinze explained. “Even so, this is still a relationship business that needs trust. Trust comes with longevity. And you can’t establish longevity without having a trusting relationship between the agent, carrier and managing general agent.” Heinze claims that the rise in frequency of submissions has at least doubled during the last year. “2003 has been one of the most productive and important years for us,” Heinze said. “Our members have received an overwhelming number of inquiries from the retail producer market.”

To help its members maintain and foster relationships built with agents in recent times, the AAMGA University, a continuing education program, will hold a special session, “How to Grow and Strengthen Retail Agent Relationships,” at the November meeting. After the hard market subsides, perhaps positive “relationships” built during recent times will become the deciding factor when a retail agent or broker chooses an MGA.

Editor’s Note: To see the full story, see the Nov. 3 issue of Insurance Journal West.