SIAA Network Eyes Major Growth

April 20, 2004

Already writing $3.1 billion in premium, the 1,400 member independent insurance agency network Strategic Independent Agents Alliance, better known as SIAA, sees itself expanding to as many as 4,000 to 5,000 agencies nationwide over the next five to 10 years.

“We have seen steady growth year after year and we will continue to make the effort,” stated James Masiello, SIAA president, who initiated the concept behind the highly-successful SIAA in New England in 1983 with the formation of SAN Group. The SAN Group is now the largest of SIAA members with 165 agencies writing more than $205 million in business.

In 1995, SIAA was formed for the purpose of replicating the SAN Group concept and creating a series of national, independent master agencies.

SIAA has 55 so-called “master agencies” covering 200 territories across the country. These master agencies in turn are responsible for recruiting individual “independent strategic members” (ISMs) among agencies with from one to nine employees to join in the network. The network provides markets and profit opportunities these smaller ISMs would otherwise not be able to access.

SIAA’s most recent agency affiliation is with the Garden City, N.Y.-based The Treiber Group. The Treiber Group, which itself wrote $132 million premium in 2003, bought the Insurance Agents Alliance of Long Island, the SIAA master agency for Nassau, Queens and Suffolk counties in New York.

SIAA’s Masiello participated in an interview with Insurance Journal during SIIA’s 17th semi-annual business meeting in Boston, along with Matthew Masiello, president of the pioneering SAN Group.

The Boston meeting included presentations by SIAA’s top performing agencies and remarks by Clyde Fitch, president of Travelers personal lines operation. Travelers is one of SIAA’s partner companies, along with Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, Safeco and Zurich.

Masiello said the organization’s growth will continue to come as a result of its “careful selection” of quality master agencies and ISMs.

“We don’t want everyone,” he said, stressing that quality control and loss ratios play an important part in the network’s success.

For more on SIAA and the interview with Masiello, see the May 3 Salute to Independent Agents edition of Insurance Journal East.

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