Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section
February 2020

Issues & Answers: Still Leading the Way 25 Years Later

Doug Coombs, executive VP & CMO of SIAA, the largest independent agency alliance in the nation, said providing access to companies and so much more is the reason this organization is so successful. “More income, greater agency value—those are the outcomes,” he said.

Doug Coombs

Doug Coombs
Chief Marketing Officer

“SIAA succeeds when our member agents succeed. Increasing the income and agency value of our members results in the same for SIAA.”

Membership with SIAA Makes Sense for IAs

  • Access to top companies and so much more.
  • Proven model that has been in place for 25 years.
  • Increase agency income & value.
  • Win-win model made to help independent agents grow.


Why should an agent consider SIAA when thinking about career development?

SIAA provides access to many areas that boost an agent’s career development and success. Support tools, services, and professionals are critical. SIAA provides access to training and learning, marketing tools, life programs, commercial lines growth and so much more through our online portal for member agencies. That’s augmented by in-person mentorship and support provided by more than 140 insurance professionals at the national and local levels.

What impact does SIAA have on the success of an independent agent?

The impact begins with a philosophy that is very much a win-win: SIAA succeeds when our member agents succeed. Increasing the income and value of our member agencies results in the same for SIAA. We’re vested in the success of our members, yet they remain totally independent. All the access and support result in a considerable impact on the success of our independent agency members. More income, greater agency value—those are the outcomes.

What about the prevalence of technology in the industry and its effect on the independent agent?

The biggest challenge for most business owners, not just insurance agents, is understanding the back-end or inner operations of systems—but do they really need to? Today, much of the technology focus is on output, measurement, connectivity and efficiencies. SIAA provides its member agencies with access to many of those technology tools.

What does your crystal ball say about the future of the independent agency channel?

I believe it’s a good time to be an independent agent and it will be for a while. With challenges come opportunities and technology provides a good example. Technology has emerged, resulting in cybercrime and data breaches—which is now critical coverage for businesses, creating a new market for insurance. Challenge and opportunity. The industry, independent agents, and SIAA will  continue to evolve—successfully.

View the full spread as it appears in Best's Review print edition.