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Big ‘I’ Members Win Big in 2022 Agent for the Future Awards

This year’s winners are making data-driven decisions to improve their agencies, giving back to their communities, and using technology to drive efficiency.
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big ‘i’ members win big in 2022 agent for the future awards

Earlier this week, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance announced the 2022 Agent for the Future Award winners, which saw Big “I" members secure a clean sweep across the six categories.

The award celebrates agencies that are leading the way into the future. This year’s winners are making data-driven decisions to improve their agencies, giving back to their communities, using technology to drive efficiency and more.

Here are the 2022 Agent for the Future Award winners:

Outstanding Agency Overall: INSURICA. In the last few years, INSURICA has focused on harnessing the power of data to drive innovation. “Evaluating data is essential for companies to push the needle forward in their industry and beyond," INSURICA representatives wrote in the agency’s AFTF Award application. "Data is used to make informed business decisions about a company’s present status and future direction.” 

The agency also developed an in-house artificial intelligence (AI) robot to perform routine account processing tasks, a digital revenue engine that generates sales through customer relationship management and automated marketing, and a data-backed, industry-specific risk assessment to offer insights to their commercial clients and prospects. 

Outstanding Large Agency: Insurance Management Group. Insurance Management Group (IMG) is committed to giving back—to the independent agency channel, their community and their employees. 

The agency has partnered with the Underwriters Alliance of Indiana to help agencies across the state develop their agents and also have a robust volunteer program and partner with local nonprofits and community groups. Internally, the agency has a focus on employee development, offering personal growth and development groups that meet once a month to learn and grow. Also, the agency’s president created a data analytics tool designed to give independent insurance agency leaders strategic insights into the state of their business. 

Outstanding Small Agency: RiskWell. Starting as a scratch agency in 2019, RiskWell is a fully digital agency that focuses on the commercial lines excess & supply side of the industry. Between 2021 and 2022, the agency experienced nearly 70% revenue growth, drawing on opportunities from inbound requests, referrals, social media content and local marketing. James Jenkins, CEO of RiskWell, is the host of the Agency Freedom Podcast, where he has shared tactical advice and coaching with more than 2,000 listeners. 

Digital Innovator: McMichael Insurance. Recognizing that technology can increase efficiencies, the leadership team at McMichael Insurance implemented automation processes that streamlined customer experiences and saved hours of staff time. The team can now generate a more accurate homeowners quote in under four minutes. The agency’s automated data entry bots can also enter Medicare commissions in less than four hours a month, compared to 50 hours previously. 

Outstanding Female Principal: Dawnyel Smink, CLI Select Agencies. A former elementary school teacher, Dawnyel Smink now uses her passion for education while talking to clients about insurance. She’s also passionate about improving the insurance industry, especially for women. In 2017, she started Women in Insurance Sharing Empowerment (WIISE), which puts on small retreats with female agency owners and executives from insurance carriers. 

Emerging Leader: Jiming Yan, Jim Insurance Firm. When Jiming Yang immigrated to the U.S. from China 12 years ago, he knew very little about insurance, and saw those in his community struggling to understand insurance as well. After getting a master’s degree in finance and risk management, he launched Jim Insurance Firm in 2018, which has grown by at least 30% each year.

This is the fifth iteration of the Agent for the Future Awards, which have honored the most future-thinking, growth-focused independent insurance agents and agencies. Congratulations to all the 2022 Agent for the Future Award winners! 

Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.

Thursday, December 22, 2022
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