The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America issued the following statement regarding the controversial sign posted by the Harry E. Reed Agency in Millinocket, Maine, on Juneteenth.
Earlier today, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America issued the following statement regarding the controversial sign posted by the Harry E. Reed Agency in Millinocket, Maine, on Juneteenth.
“The abhorrent actions of this one individual earlier this week do not represent the spirit and purpose of the Big 'I.' We are deeply saddened and disappointed that a member of the Maine Insurance Agents Association is not upholding the values and culture of inclusion that we at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America espouse," said Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I" president and CEO. “This local business will certainly suffer from the consequences of its misguided actions."
The structure of the Big “I" dictates that membership matters are managed at the state level.
The backlash from the offensive sign prompted widespread condemnation and was nationally reported, as well as responses from the agency's affiliated carriers, including Progressive and Allstate.
“We're aware and appalled by the sign recently posted at the Harry E Reed Agency and are terminating our relationship with the agency," said Jeff Sibel of Progressive, in a statement.
“At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our core values. We're committed to creating an environment where our people feel welcomed, valued and respected and expect that anyone representing Progressive to take part in this commitment. The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn't align with our company's Core Values and Code of Conduct," Sibel said.
"We are terminating our contract with this independent agent," Allstate said in an email to NEWS CENTER Maine. "Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct."
Meanwhile, in a post on the Harry E. Reed Agency's Facebook page, the person who wrote the sign issued an apology.
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.