The insurance agency and brokerage system is stable, but challenges remain, notably for insurers in New York, according to Richard Poppa, president and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York who presented on a panel at the fourth annual SNL Insurance Brokerage Summit today.

More than 20 executives, advisers and investors in the insurance brokerage industry shared their insights on strategic planning, growth and mergers and acquisitions at the one-day conference produced by the SNL Center for Financial Education. Poppa outlined the size and composition of the independent agency system and the significant report that there has been as many agencies formed in the last two years as have been merged or consolidated. The panel that Poppa participated on also discussed the direction of agency consolidations, prospects for organic agency and brokerage growth, as well as the industry’s current soft market and forecasts for change.

“These are among a wide range of important issues that not only affect independent agents and brokers in New York, but could have a substantial impact on how the insurance industry overall conducts business nationwide starting in 2011,” Poppa said. “The industry must stay engaged so that we continue to play an important role in shaping our future rather than allowing the future to shape us.”

IIABNY and the Council of Insurance Brokers of Greater New York are legally challenging the New York State Insurance Department authority to begin implementing Regulation 194 on Jan. 1, 2011. The regulation would require producers to disclose certain information about their compensation to all clients, regardless of whether the clients have asked for it. IIABNY and CIBGNY also contend the regulation’s mandates are arbitrary and burdensome.

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