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Independent Markets Solutions

IMS_Full color.jpgIMS: Providing Members Access to New Markets

Independent Market Solutions (IMS) provides market access through association membership, helping agents who are unable to secure company appointments for any number of reasons grow their business through competitive commissions and a clear pathway to direct appointment.

IMS is jointly owned by 14 independent agent associations throughout the country to provide a membership-driven solution to market access.

IMS was launched in 2007 to help create a more robust private property market for member agents and since that time, IMS has grown to include 14 state association partners with over 9,200 member agencies.

Today, IMS operates in 16 states and has more than 4,000 contracted sub-producers. IMS sub-producers are expected to generate more than $140 million in direct written premium through more than 25 different insurance companies. IMS seeks to:

  • Provide member agents access to markets and alternatives that may be otherwise unavailable.
  • Offer more choices for independent agents, which equates to greater competition for their services.
  • Create added marketplace leverage, particularly for smaller agents, through IMS negotiated contract terms.

Our initial insurance company partners include:

  •          Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation
  •          Southern Fidelity Insurance Company
  •          Attune - small commercial lines of business

IMS develops relationships and contracts with insurance companies to distribute their personal lines insurance products through IIABL member agencies.  IIABL members apply to become subproducers of IMS for specific insurance companies.  There are no minimum premium volume requirements for IIABL members to participate in IMS.  IMS does not charge fees for IIABL members to access these markets.  IIABL member subproducers have a Subproducer Agreement that protects their ownership of expirations. 

Each insurance company has complete control over the appointment of individual member agencies, appointing the ones they want and withdrawing appointments that are not beneficial over time.  Agency appointments are made to compliment and not conflict with direct appointment agencies.  Appointments are based on mutually beneficial and profitable relationships, and no appointments are guaranteed.  IMS manages the relationships between insurance companies and IIABL member agencies. 

This consolidation of markets under the management of IMS benefits both IIABL member agencies and insurance companies because it creates a broad geographic spread of risk throughout the entire state of Louisiana.

IIABL acts as the marketing department for IMS and our insurance companies, but IIABL member subproducers deal directly with insurance company underwriters and claims departments. 

IMS downloads policy information each night produces monthly production reports for each IIABL member subagent, and pays commissions by EFT.  IMS keeps 2% - 3% of the commission to pay for operations and pays the balance of the commission to our IIABL member agency.  For example, several insurance companies pay 15%, IMS retains 3%, and pays the subproducer agency 12%. 

Initially we have no profit-sharing agreements.  We hope that once we are well established and have a profitable book of business, we will earn profit sharing.  If/when we do, IMS will retain a small override and will pass the majority of profit-sharing back to our member agencies / subproducers.

If an IIABL member subproducer develops a significant book of business and meets established requirements, they may be able to earn a direct appointment with an insurance company.  There is no cost to remove your book of business if you earn a direct appointment.

IMS CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT EVERY IIABL MEMBER WILL GET MARKETS, but we will be able to help many of our members.  IIABL and other state Big I associations did NOT create IMS to make a lot of money we created IMS to help perpetuate and strengthen the independent insurance agency system by helping small agencies to gain access to markets and be more successful.

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Jeff Albright,

Jamie Newchurch,  

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