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Agencies Employ 848 Vermonters and are Extremely Philanthropic
WILLISTON VT (October 10, 2017) – The impact on Vermont’s economy by the state’s independent insurance agencies is estimated to be in excess of $61 million.
That’s just one significant result of a study commissioned in May by the Vermont Insurance Agents Association (VIAA). Conducted by LONDONmiddlebury of Burlington, the study reveals that principal member agencies of the VIAA play an important role in the state’s economy as employers, taxpayers, consumers and charitable contributors.
VIAA member agencies paid about 7.4 percent or an estimated $8.4 million of Vermont’s corporate tax revenue in 2016. Additionally, 54 percent of the agencies surveyed own buildings and real estate here, further contributing to the state’s tax revenue.
Independent insurance agencies also contribute to the Mountain State’s quality of life by providing hundreds of solid career opportunities. Agencies pay an estimated $42,120,086 in payroll and $5,847,912 in employee benefits, helping to make Vermont one of the Top 10 best places to live and work with excellent health coverage and low unemployment.
The agencies have deep roots in their communities, with the majority operating in the state for more than 50 years. The median number of years agencies have been operating here is 60, with the longest being 189 years.
Between internal investments of VIAA members, payroll expenses, taxes paid and charitable contributions, the total economic impact of independent insurance agencies in Vermont is estimated at more than $61 million, according to the study.
“These phenomenal survey results show the significant economic contributions that Vermont’s independent agents make every day and how the communities where they live and work benefit,” said Mary Eversole, VIAA executive director. “Our members know their customers, provide good jobs with longevity and unlike direct (insurance) writers, buy locally.”
In addition to their economic impact, independent insurance agencies also write and service a significant segment of personal and commercial lines insurance written in Vermont. According to the most recent Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America Best Study, VIAA members hold more than a 51 percent share of the personal lines market in comparison to direct writers that hold a 36.5 percent market share. Independent agents dominate the commercial lines segment at a 79 percent market share versus 19.5 percent by direct writers.
Vermont’s independent agency system works closely with domestic insurance carriers that contribute to the vibrant insurance industry. According to the Vermont Domestic Property and Casualty Companies Association (Union Mutual, Vermont Mutual, Granite Mutual, Vermont Accident, Northern Security, New England Guaranty, Green Mountain, and Co-operative Insurance companies), independents employ hundreds of people with an average salary of $89,623 and total compensation exceeding $32 million. Unlike direct writers, their premiums represent business done in the state and the money stays in the state. These companies also contribute significantly to Vermont’s tax base with local property taxes of $328,766 and premium taxes of over $2.6 million.
Since 1906, the VIAA has been committed to helping its members succeed in a competitive insurance industry, continuously striving to advocate for its members. Preserving the independent insurance agency industry is not only essential to VIAA members, but it is also instrumental to the long-term strength of the state’s economy, according to Eversole.
VIAA members are also significant spenders when it comes to new equipment, office supplies, advertising, legal and accounting, repairs and maintenance and remodeling, according to Eversole.
Independent agents are very involved in their local communities as volunteers along with religious, civic and cultural activities. The survey found that VIAA members are very philanthropic, contributing close to $2 million to charities.
About the VIAA
The Vermont Insurance Agents Association is a statewide trade association representing nearly 100 independent insurance agencies in Vermont, with 900 employees. VIAA member independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company, and as a result, can offer clients a wider choice of auto, home, business, life and employee benefits. Founded in 1906, VIAA’s mission is to be an advocate for independent insurance agents and to satisfy the professional needs of its members.