Big “I” Says: Trusted Choice Brand Reaches 6,000th-Agency Milestone

May 23, 2006

Trusted Choice, the consumer marketing brand for independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms, has reached its 2006 goal of 6,000 participating agencies eight months ahead of schedule, according to a news release issued the Independent Agents and Brokers of America.

Big “I” President William G. Stiglitz set the brand program’s participation goal when he took office in September.

“My expectation was to reach the 6,000-agency mark by the end of this year; instead we surpassed that goal far earlier than anyone dreamed possible,” said Stiglitz, an account executive with Trusted Choice® agency Hyland, Block & Hyland, Inc., in Louisville, Ken. “This achievement speaks to the energy and support of the many Trusted Choice® champions in each state and the vision of the agency owners who have joined this rapidly growing brand movement.”

Ronald A. Smith, CPCU, chairman of the Trusted Choice Board of Directors, noted that this is the second consecutive year that Trusted Choice bested its agency-participation goal early; in 2005, the 5,000-agency goal was surpassed in June.

“They (agencies) see that the brand will help them compete with direct writers and captive agency companies and are joining the brand program to enhance their visibility and stature, which is increasing marketshare for the independent agency system. You can safely say that we have built an incredibly strong foundation for the brand program that will propel us toward our overall goal of Trusted Choice being a household name with American consumers,” Smith said.

Launched in 2001 by the Big “I” and several agency system companies, Trusted Choice is the national consumer marketing brand created to educate consumers—business owners and individuals—about the benefits of using independent insurance agents and brokers for their insurance needs. It highlights the benefits consumers get—choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support—when using a Trusted Choice independent agency.

In addition to the active participation of more than 6,000 agencies and brokerage firms the growing brand program is supported by 33 agency system insurance companies.

Eleven national insurers are Trusted Choice company partners: Drive Insurance from Progressive, Encompass Insurance, Hartford Steam Boiler, Markel Insurance Company, MetLife Auto & Home, Ohio Casualty Insurance, Rain and Hail Insurance Service, Safeco Insurance and three Unitrin, Inc. divisions: Kemper Auto and Home; Unitrin Business Insurance and Unitrin Specialty.

A total of 21 regional or single-state domiciled insurers are Trusted Choice company partners: Allied Insurance, America First Insurance, Capital Insurance Group, Central Insurance Companies, Colorado Casualty, Consumers Insurance, GoAmerica Auto Insurance, Golden Eagle Insurance, Hawkeye-Security Insurance, Harleysville Insurance, Indiana Insurance, Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp., The Main Street America Group, Maine Mutual Group, Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance, Montgomery Insurance, National Security Fire & Casualty, Peerless Insurance, Selective Insurance Group, Summit Insurance (R.I.) and Upland Mutual Insurance. InsurBanc, a federal thrift bank created by the Big “I,” is a Trusted Choice strategic partner.

Trusted Choice is the consumer marketing identity for more than 6,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and their branch locations. The Web address:

Source: Independent Agents and Brokers of America

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