Four Companies Honored with Best Practices Award at Big ‘I’ Conference

October 10, 2004

Four national insurance companies have been presented the “Best Practices Award of Excellence” at the 2004 Big “I” Convention in Orlando, Fla..

Honorees were St. Paul Travelers, Safeco Insurance, Zurich North America-Small Business and MetLife Auto & Home. The award recognizes those companies that have made imaginative, outstanding and unique contributions in advocating Best Practices philosophies that enhance the independent agency system. The Big “I” Best Practices Program provides performance benchmarks and business strategies that serve as a guide in improving agency performance.

St. Paul Travelers, based in St. Paul, Minn., earned its fourth consecutive Best Practices Award through its educational outreach activities. The company provides voucher dollars that agents can use to purchase materials, and also works to raise awareness of Best Practices tools through “blast” communications reaching more than 10,000 agents.

“While the company has gone through a name change, their commitment to Best Practices has remained steadfast,” said Vincent Sylvia, state national director of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, in presenting the award. “With the belief that helping agents grow and prosper through diligent use of the Best Practices, St. Paul Travelers has educated hundreds of agencies.”

Seattle-based Safeco also earned its fourth straight Best Practices Award.

“Safeco Insurance supports Best Practices with their staff training time and financial contributions,” Sylvia said. “They also include the Best Practices materials in agent education and business consulting and strongly believe the program builds better, powerful independent agents.”

Earning the honor for the first time was Jacksonville, Fla.-based Zurich North America-Small Business for its innovative Best Practices outreach efforts.

“We honor Zurich North America-Small Business for their incredible support of Best Practices through over 150 sales workshops across the country that reach out to 7,500 agency principals, CSRs and producers,” Sylvia said. “They conduct a ‘road-show’ that includes a ‘state of the industry’ and discusses the importance of Best Practices, which is referenced often. In addition, Zurich acknowledges adhering to a Best Practices model is critical for independent agency success.”

MetLife Auto & Home, based in Warwick , R.I. , also earned the honor for the first time.

“MetLife Auto & Home supports Best Practices with their staff time and financial contributions,” Sylvia said. “They use the info rmation contained in the studies during their agency visits and large agency meetings. The benchmarking info rmation is used internally for decision making, planning and strategizing and has become a part of their marketing culture.”

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