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OIA empowers next generation of industry leaders at Next-Gen Summit

Swag bags at OIA Next-Gen Summit

CLEVELAND, OH - Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc. (OIA) is taking bold steps to elevate, energize and empower the next generation of independent insurance agents. 

Sold-out crowd at the Next-Gen SummitNearly 150 independent agents from across Ohio came together for the OIA Next-Gen Summit held June 22-23 at the trendy Metropolitan at The 9 Hotel in downtown Cleveland. The event featured two days of outside-the-box thinking, high-energy speakers and entertaining activities (risk-management tour of Progressive Field, anyone?). In other words, this unique event was not your typical insurance conference.

“I have been to at least 25 insurance conferences across the country over the last three years; none of them are similar to what I just experienced in Ohio,” says Sydney Roe, Next-Gen Summit speaker and digital content manager at Agency Nation. “There was an assumptive awareness about what’s happening in our industry shared across the whole crew, an unspoken drive that energized the entire event, a positivity about what can be grasped in the near future and a confidence in experimenting with creativity to stand out.”

Agency Nation's Ryan Hanley talks about how to sell to millennialsOIA brought in insurance industry visionaries Ryan Hanley and Sydney Roe from Agency Nation (TrustedChoice.com) who are taking the IA channel by storm with their quirky approach, no-holds barred advice and genuine passion for the IA channel. Hanley shared his expertise on how to sell insurance to millennials while Sydney talked about the importance of using social media as a relationship-building platform.

“I learned so much from Ryan Hanley’s presentation on selling to millennials,” says Brian Miller, independent agent at Mathews Insurance in Athens, Ohio. “I liked how his presentation was positive toward millennials and shed light on the unique buying behavior of this generation. All of the conference content was very relevant since everything is going digital nowadays.”

Brandie Hinen, CEO and founder of Powerhouse Learning, inspired attendees with her passion for helping people break free of their comfort zones to create lasting, radical change. A former insurance agent, Hinen talked about critical factors for success, including learning how to say “no,” overcoming daily adversities and creating a powerful vision.

A behind-the-scenes tour of Progressive FieldMike Strakhov, Executive Director with Live Oak Bank, talked about a critical area for independent agents: Preparing for agency ownership During an interactive agent/carrier panel discussion, industry leaders discussed the latest technology impacting the industry. Panelists included: Robert Dodson of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Patrick Jackson of Central Insurance Companies, Craig Welsh of Westfield Insurance, Luke Shipp of First Insurance Group, Matt Simon of Hill & Hamilton Insurance and Katie Berry of Insurance Agencies of Ohio.

The OIA Next-Gen Summit concluded with a risk-management tour of Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. Attendees, many of whom were Cleveland sports fans, experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the potential risks of a Major League Baseball stadium and the many safety measures put into place to protect visitors.

Ohio's next-gen agents brought energy and excitement to the event“Content was absolutely phenomenal – I’m able to take so many new ideas back home with me and incorporate them at my agency,” says Seth Marana, independent agent at Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services in Uniontown, Ohio. “I’ll definitely be back next year.”

The Next-Gen Summit is part of OIA’s larger mission to cultivate next-gen agents – those who aspire to be agency owners, industry thought leaders and have at least 20 years left in their career. OIA is committed to equipping Ohio’s independent agents with the skills and resources necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing insurance marketplace. We are keeping up the momentum our all-new conference – IACON17 – Oct. 19-20 in downtown Columbus.

Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of nearly 1,400 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. Our purpose is to help our member agents thrive in a modern insurance marketplace by offering them resources and content in four areas critical for success: digital marketing, recruiting and training, perpetuation and improving the customer experience.

Agent perspectives: OIA Advocacy Day showcases impact of IAs

OIA members standing outside Ohio Statehouse image

Independent insurance agents proved to be a powerful force at the Ohio Statehouse on OIA Advocacy Day held in May. 

Our member agents spent the day advocating on behalf of Ohio consumers and educating legislators on the value of independent agents in local communities. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this year’s event a success!

Two important issues, top priorities for OIA’s advocacy team, took center stage during agents’ conversations with legislators:

  • Modernizing Ohio’s auto insurance verification system with the latest technology and best practices to identify uninsured motorists. 

  • Protecting consumers from “storm chasers,” residential roofing contractors who deceive customers about unnecessary repairs following severe weather. 

A diverse group of independent agents from across the state took part in Advocacy Day, from next-gen agents to experienced industry leaders.

OIA member agents at OIA's Advocacy DayOIA staff and member agents got to meet and network with Ohio legislatorsOIA staff and member agents outside of the Ohio Statehouse

For several attendees, this was their first foray into the advocacy arena, and they were excited to become more involved. We chatted with a few attendees to learn more about why they participated in OIA Advocacy Day: 

“I’ve been in the insurance industry for 11 years, but this is my first time participating in Advocacy Day. When I first heard about this event, I thought about the main issues impacting my clients, and the uninsured motorists issue is something I see at our agency all the time. It’s an issue with such a huge impact, from consumers to small and large businesses. This is also a great networking opportunity with legislators, the OIA team and my peers in the industry." Andrew Crouch, CMS Insurance Agency, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) 

“As independent agents, we are experts in our industry, so it’s up to us to share information with our local representatives. When they have questions, I want to be a resource, somebody who they can call to learn more about insurance and important issues impacting our industry. My takeaway from this experience is to take that next step and start building relationships.” Janie Geis, Wichert Insurance Services, Inc. (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) 

“Advocacy Day is all about touching base with members of our legislature to maintain or establish relationships. I try to reach out on a regular basis to let them know about the issues that matter most to me as an independent agent and why they should care about them too. My hope is for independent agents to be viewed as a significant part of their constituency."  Brent Phelan, Phelan Insurance Agency, Inc. (Versailles, OH

OIA partners with state associations to launch regional survey to rate agents’ carrier experiences

GAHANNA, OH - Nine independent agents’ associations, including Ohio Insurance Agents, launched a region-wide survey today to uncover carrier best practices. The goal of the Northeast Carrier Alliance Survey, a series of surveys, is to give valuable feedback to carriers, provide meaningful benchmarks to agencies and facilitate communication among carriers and independent agents.

The first survey will focus on personal lines carriers’ technology usage and standards. Several thousand independent agents and brokers are expected to take the initial survey over the next two weeks.

The multi-state reach allows for a larger survey sample, adding credibility to the results. Participating associations will release the results on a state-by-state and collective basis.

The Northeast Carrier Alliance Survey is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among associations in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. The next survey will be released later this year.

About the Collaboration

Nine independent agents’ associations are participating in the Northeast Carrier Alliance Survey, including the Delaware Association of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Maine Insurance Agents Association, Insurance Agents & Brokers of Maryland, New Hampshire Association of Insurance Agents, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New Jersey, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Ohio Insurance Agents, Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island and Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania.

About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,400 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. Our purpose is to help our member agencies protect consumers and employers by offering them access to the best resources, tools and professional development programs available. OIA serves our members in four key areas: advocacy, professional development, business solutions and industry thought leadership.

Motorists Insurance Group launches commercial insurance company

Motorists Insurance Group, a platinum-level company partner, has launched its new commercial lines company – Motorists Insurance –  in Michigan and Tennessee.

The company features state-of-the-art technology to make the process from quoting to issuance and policy servicing simple and streamlined via Guidewire InsuranceSuite™, which Motorists Insurance Group purchased in 2014.

The suite includes underwriting, claims management, billing, rating and policy administration. Motorists also purchased Guidewire portals to improve its agency and policyholder interactions.

Progressive announces new compensation opportunities for independent agents

Progressive announced new compensation opportunities through Paths to Partnership, including a national auto commission schedule and performance bonus to reward independent agents who write more, and longer-retaining, personal auto business with the insurance company.

According to a company news release, this tiered commission structure rewards auto growth regardless of risk profile. New incentives reflect the company’s strategy to add more preferred, multiproduct households.

“Paths to Partnership provides more options for independent agents,” says Karen Bailo, Progressive’s Agency Sales & Distribution GM. “Offering multiple paths ensures we can help agents achieve their goals, no matter how they choose to use Progressive in their agency.”

The national auto commission schedule provides independent agents with access to an annual performance bonus and marketing benefits. Progressive will roll out the schedule in phases, starting with 12 states in July 2017, and another 32 in January 2018 when the new partner program and performance bonus launches nationwide. For more information, visit ForAgentsOnly.com.

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