IOA Seeks Partners, Not Just Producers

SEP 12, 2005 | BY MARK E. RUQUET, PROPERTYCASUALTY360.COM

Commissions shared, but so are management and service responsibilities

The best lesson can involve taking a negative experience and turning it into a positive one. What one Longwood, Fla.-based principal learned from a disingenuous promise made to him early in his career would turn his own agency into a dynamic tool for the cultivation of producers and service people to build an organization where everyone feels they have a stake in the firm’s future.

Insurance Office of America sprang from the unfortunate experience of its chief executive officer, 52-year-old John K. Ritenour, who in 1988 decided he would start his own agency–with his wife Valli as his support staff–after the agency he had been with reneged on its promises.

“I left that agency because they changed my contract three times in nine months,” Mr. Ritenour related. “I decided that there had to be a better way to run an insurance agency than to keep beating up on the producers.”

The solution Mr. Ritenour came up with was one of the factors that helped earn IOA an “Honorable Mention” in the 2005 “National Underwriter Commercial Insurance Agency Of The Year” award program. … READ MORE