What Is The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers?

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers is a global organization representing the leading commercial insurance agencies and brokerage firms. Membership in this organization, called "The Council" for short, comes with industry intelligence and continuing education opportunities. The organization also produces a quarterly Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index that tracks pricing trends, underwriting practices, and the availability of commercial property and casualty lines.

Key Takeaways

  • The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers is a global organization that represents 200 of the top commercial insurance agencies and employee benefit brokerage firms.
  • Membership in The Council comes with industry intelligence, continuing education, events and networking, and assistance with government regulation.
  • The Council also publishes the Commercial Insurance Market Index, a quarterly market report that highlights pricing and other industry trends.
  • Headquartered in Washington D.C., The Council is heavily involved on Capitol Hill, acting as a lobbyist and operating a PAC.
  • Council members place over 85% of U.S. commercial property/casualty premiums and administer billions of dollars of employee benefits accounts.

Understanding The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

The organization, founded in 1913 and headquartered in Washington D.C., seeks to grow the businesses of its members and continually push the insurance industry into the future. The Council's members consist of 200 commercial insurance companies and employee benefits brokerages, most of which are leading institutions in the industry.

The Council also serves as an advocacy group to represent the interests of insurance companies before U.S. state and federal governments, as well as international governments. Its political action committee works to support candidates who agree with its views and also lobbies Congress on relevant issues.

$3,498,163

The amount spent by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers' PAC during the 2019-20 election cycle. Of the $1.9 million contributed to federal candidates, 34.46% of the funds went to Democrats, 65.54% to Republicans

Its annual Insurance Leadership Forum is a conference where leading agents, brokers, and companies come together in a powerful setting to discuss issues that have an impact on the industry and consider what it would take to protect a commercial enterprise from risks.

Business Standing

The Council has offices in all 50 states and keeps its members abreast of new and proposed legislation that affects the industry. It lobbies on behalf of members and took in revenue of $21.2 million in 2019, the latest available data, resulting in a net income of $4.6 million. The bulk of its revenue comes from program services.

The Council publishes its Commercial Insurance Market Index quarterly, which is a report based on a survey from its members. As of Q2, 2021, the Council witnessed its 15th consecutive quarter of increased premiums with an average increase of 8.3% across all-sized accounts. The highest premium increase was seen in the Cyber line of business: a 25.5% rise, reflecting increased risks due to ransomware and other sorts of cyberattacks.

According to Council estimates, its members place 85%-90% of U.S. commercial property/casualty premiums and administer billions of dollars of employee benefits accounts.

History of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers' roots date back to 1913 when the National Association of Casualty and Surety Agents was created and held its first convention to discuss state regulations in Cincinnati. The Association changed its name to its current one in 1993.

Even since 1914, it has held annual meetings. Known as the Insurance Leadership Forum, this conference is where industry participants meet to discuss the state of the insurance industry and how to promote the interests of members.

A separate industry group, The National Association of Insurance Brokers (NAIB), was established in 1933. For a long time, this entity represented the most prominent commercial brokers in the world. But the insurance industry contracted in the 1980s and 1990s, and as a result, the NAIB merged with The Council in 1998.

The Council's focus in recent years has been on property/casualty and employee benefits issues. The Council is heavily involved on Capitol Hill, ensuring that member interests are represented in new legislation and changes to existing legislation. The Council believes that this has a direct impact on the clients of its members as well, promoting healthy and positive insurance practices.

What Is the Difference Between an Insurance Agent and an Insurance Broker?

Insurance agents represent insurance companies as opposed to clients. Their interests lie with the insurance company. Insurance brokers, on the other hand, represent clients and do not necessarily work for one specific insurance company. Their interests lie with their customers. Also, insurance agents can finalize insurance sales, generating an insurance policy for a client, whereas brokers cannot.

Who Pays the Commission to an Insurance Broker?

In most situations, the insurance company will pay the commission to an insurance broker for bringing in a client. This is usually a percentage of the total cost paid for the insurance policy by the customer. Brokers can also charge a fee to a client for their services.

What Are the Services of an Insurance Broker?

Insurance brokers have an in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry and seek to provide their clients with the best insurance policy suited to their needs and financial situation. An insurance broker is not loyal to one insurance company and, therefore, can provide clients with a variety of options. They also spend the time helping their clients understand all the terms of policies, and to make meaningful comparisons between policies.