AAMGA Looks to Expand Membership

By | May 14, 2013

After a two year process in which the board of directors of the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) has examined the changing demographics within the wholesale insurance space, the board has voted to expand its membership to bring all wholesale insurance practitioners who meet membership requirements under a single umbrella.

The board made the announcement to members on May 10. Members will vote on bylaw changes that allow for the proposed membership expansion starting in June, according to AAMGA Executive Director, Bernd Heinze. The association’s new name would be changed to the American Association of Wholesale Insurance Professionals and go by the acronym AAWIP.

“Given the increasing number of new entrants in this space that has traditionally been held by general agents, the [AAMGA] board of directors thought it would be appropriate to examine where the market currently stands and where it is going,” says Heinze.

The proposal would mean qualifying brokers, managing general underwriters, program administrators, program managers, aggregators and other insurance entities operating on a wholesale basis could be added to the association, in addition to the managing general agents, national and international insurance companies, business services and state stamping offices that it currently serves.

“This change will make us a stronger association and invites the entire wholesale marketplace to transact under a single wholesale platform,” says Heinze. “It also ensures the longevity of the market segment of wholesale insurance professionals and our association.”

Under the proposed changes, new members will still have to meet membership standards of required minimums for written annual premium, time spent transacting and writing business on a wholesale basis, three recommendations from existing members and compliance with the Code of Ethics. The vetting process will also still include approval by the board. Heinze says this ensures that current members and those working with the association can still be confident in what it stands for.

Voting will take place over a 30-day process. If members vote in favor of the proposal, Heinze estimates the change will take effect by July or August of this year. Based on the positive feedback received so far, Heinze expects the change will be approved, but if not he says the board of directors would take that under advisement and look at other ways to strengthen the organization.

The board proposal will be discussed further at the AAMGA annual meeting, May 19-22, 2013 in New Orleans, where an attendance of over 1,050 members is expected.

About Amy O'Connor

O'Connor is the Southeast editor for Insurance Journal and associate editor of MyNewMarkets.com. More from Amy O'Connor

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