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IBA West Article

Personal Lines Growth Alliance Launched; IBA West Member Steve Brooks Chair

The Personal Lines Growth Alliance debuted this past week announcing to the industry a new coalition of independent agents and brokers organized to help agencies increase their personal lines business.

“We are a virtual association, free to all independent agents, organized to help agents be more competitive in the marketplace,” explained Steve Brooks, PLGA Chair and president of Steve Brooks Insurance Services, Westlake Village.

Brooks, a longtime member of IBA West who currently serves on the IBA West Service Corporation board, said he joined IBA West years ago to learn and network with other agents and brokers. He’s hoping the PLGA can serve as a personal lines networking and information resource for agents around the country focused on growing their personal lines book of business. For Brooks, who serves as the volunteer chairman of the new alliance, the main objective is to focus more agent/broker attention on the personal lines market in the hope of creating more demand for independent agency companies.

“I’m looking at the bigger picture,” explained Brooks, “any effort to make independent agency companies stronger in personal lines will be better for me.”

Brooks thinks stronger independent insurance agent personal lines insurance companies will create better brand awareness that he can tap into when he’s competing with direct writers. Brooks jokes that if he’s successful he will be growing his competitors’ businesses, but he doesn’t mind, in fact he thinks it will help him in the long run. Independent agents and their carriers command 80% of all commercial lines but they only write 34% of personal lines, explained Brooks. Ideally Brooks would like to see large agencies get involved in the personal lines market, one he considers more stable and more loyal.

“Agencies could easily cross sell their commercial accounts and generate very good revenue with a persistency rate of 90%,” said Brooks.

The goal of the PLGA is to help agents and brokers across the country share information with each other using the internet and other social networking technology. The website http://personallinesgrowth.org/ features a blog contributed to by PLGA partners and advisors offering sales and marketing tips.

“We just started ten days ago, hopefully, we can help make the personal lines market stronger,” said Brooks.

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