Big “I” Releases 2007 Best Practices Study

Agencies show increase in organic growth rate

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 1, 2007 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big �I�) announced today the release of its annual Best Practices Study, which includes the new �Rule of 20� statistic which provides a quick means of calculating whether or not an agency creates value for its shareholders.

The 2007 Best Practice Study names 195 new agencies in six agency revenue categories ranging from under $1.25 million to over $25 million. The Big �I� will follow the financial results of these agencies for the following two years and publish annual updates. New this year the study provides greater detail for both revenues and expenses which provides more meaningful benchmarks for better �apples-to-apples� comparisons of the agencies.

The leading agencies included in the annual study must be nominated for participation. Once every three years, the IIABA asks their insurance company partners, state association affiliates, and other industry organizations, to nominate those agencies they believe to be among the most efficient and high performing agencies in the industry, for each of the studies� revenue categories. These agencies are asked to submit operational information in many areas. This information is carefully evaluated and ranked, culminating in the choice of the top 30 agencies in each revenue category earning the status of �Best Practices Agency.� Participation in the Best Practices Study has become a prestigious recognition of the superior accomplishments of the top insurance agencies in the United States.

This year�s study shows overall the agencies are doing much more with fewer people, and the organic growth rate was much stronger than expected. The new crop of Best Practices agencies were asked to what they attributed their success and overwhelmingly, regardless of agency size, they noted �the quality of our people.� This quality can be defined as a strong work ethic, expert knowledge in agency products and services, as well as a high ethical stands, and dedication. These factors coupled with advanced proficiencies with agency technologies allowed the 2007 Best Practices Agencies to push productivity levels higher than ever.

�These are just two of the myriad reasons that the BP agencies continued to grow, be more productive and achieve quantifiable success, �said Madelyn Flannagan vice president for education and research.

The study and a listing of the 2007 Best Practices Agencies can be accessed through the websites of IIABA (http://www.independentagent.com) and Reagan Consulting (www.reaganconsulting.com) or directly at (http://bp.reaganconsulting.com/). Through this site you can also view an HTML version of the current and past Executive Updates; download a Best Practices comparison spreadsheet to compare your agency�s year-end results with the study�s results; access other Best Practices studies, tools, and products, and download order forms.

The annual Best Practices Study originated in 1993 as an initiative by IIABA to help its members build and maintain the value of their most important assets-their agencies. By studying the leading agencies and brokers in the country, the association hoped to provide member agents with meaningful performance benchmarks and business strategies that can be adopted or adapted for use in improving agency performance, thus enhancing agency value. IIABA retained the principals of Reagan Consulting to create and perform the first Best Practices Study. Annual updates conducted by Reagan Consulting continue to provide important financial and operational benchmarks, and the study is recognized as one of the most thoughtful, effective and valuable resources ever made available to the industry.

Founded in 1896, the Big �I� is the nation�s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance�property, casualty, life, and health�as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.