What Is the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America?

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America is a U.S.-based, nationwide organization consisting of professionals who sell insurance and financial services products.

Key Takeaways

  • The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America is a U.S.-based, nationwide organization consisting of professionals who sell insurance and financial services products.
  • The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) members work independently to compare pricing for policies at a variety of insurance companies on behalf of their clients.
  • Unlike direct writers, IIABA members are not faithful to a single insurance company’s policies and shop around for the best deal they can find for their clients.

Understanding the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) was founded in 1896. IIABA members work independently to compare pricing for policies at a variety of insurance companies on behalf of their clients. Unlike direct writers, IIABA members are not faithful to a single insurance company’s policies and shop around for the best deal they can find for their clients.

IIABA members sell a variety of insurance policies, which include auto, health, business, life, and homeowners insurance. Agents not only assist their clients in choosing an insurance policy but additionally advise on lowering insurance costs and mitigating risk. If one of their clients files a claim, they will negotiate with the insurer on behalf of their clients, making sure they get the best possible settlement.

As an association, the IIABA provides a number of benefits to its members. To keep members informed, the IIABA publishes white papers and other articles that feature analysis, resources, and trend forecasts in the service of their members increasing sales. The association also tracks and profiles insurance companies, not only offering agents useful information but providing a performance model for other insurance companies. Furthermore, the IIABA assesses market performance as well as industry buzz and connects agents looking for more information with industry professionals in the know. IIABA members are eligible to receive benefits, professional liability insurance, and retirement accounts.

History of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America

There have been several name changes in the IIABA’s history, which spans over 100 years. These name changes actually reflect the changing and expanding insurance market over a century’s time. The association was founded under the title National Local Association of Fire Insurance Agents, then became the National Association of Insurance Agents in 1913, the Independent Insurance Agents of America in 1975, and finally the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America in 2002. The IIABA refers to itself as “the Big I."

The IIABA actively shapes its industry's future by exerting its influence publicly as well as behind the scenes. The association is engaged on a political level, addressing issues that impact the insurance industry. The IIABA is associated with InsurPac, a political action committee supporting campaigns in the House and Senate that benefit insurance agents and brokers. Furthermore, the IIABA holds conferences, provides expert spokespersons to media sources reporting on insurance industry news and consumer-related education campaigns on insurance products.