Strong as MANY. Powerful as ONE. That’s the ARM difference.
Associated Risk Managers (ARM) History
In 1969, an independent agent in Indianapolis had a better idea for selling commercial insurance. He envisioned the localization of mass marketing efforts by a group of independent insurance agencies, a group devoted to working together to better serve the consumer and each other.
By 1970, Wayne W. Hoffman had assembled a select group of independent agencies to develop and market insurance programs in Indiana. That was the genesis of Associated Risk Managers. In the years that followed, ARM developed new chapters and hand-selected member agencies throughout the country.
As new state member groups formed, benefits blossomed as ARM members began sharing and practicing ideas and innovations developed within the network.
In 1974, ARM expanded into Illinois with a group of insurance agents who believed that association programs was the future and would eventually become a more prevalent method of purchasing insurance. They felt that offering niche programs to their members would make ARM a stronger marketing force in the state of Illinois.
The initial members of ARM of Illinois believed that aside from the marketing aspect of the association, the relationship between the members was profitable as they were able to share market information, thoughts & ideas, and other concepts within the industry.
Richard Jones of The Checkley Agency, one of the original members, stated, “Possibly the greatest benefit to ARM agents is somewhat intangible. Each meeting of the members contains some form of information that not only benefits the ARM member agent, but their clients. It is also stimulating to meet with some of the best insurance minds in the state of Illinois.”
To this day, ARM is still one of the strongest marketing forces in Illinois with 25 agents spread throughout the state. Even now, ARM is continuously forming key partnerships with companies and vendors that provide a wide array of programs and products for ARM members such as the co-brokerage deal with Arthur J Gallagher and the Prairie State Insurance Cooperative for school districts, Iroquois’ aggregation of markets, RPS and Arlington Roe for wholesale business, the PPP for Dentists, etc.
Holding true to the founding members, ARM of Illinois continues to look to the future of carving out cutting-edge products and services to offer the Illinois shareholder members.
ARM is an insurance service organization, member owned without intent to hold substantial book value, that provides member agents with resources and tools to distinguish themselves from their competition, better serve their clients, increase agency revenues and maximize profits.
Hanford Insurance joined ARM of IL in 2008 mainly to participate in the newly created Prairie State Insurance Cooperative for K-12 school districts. The PSIC program has been a tremendous success and my agency has written several school districts. Our partnership with ARM of IL has allowed us to write new accounts that we would not have been able to without being a member due to lack of market access. Because of the ARM relationship with some of the largest brokerage firms in the industry, we have won accounts with exposures that previously could not have even been considered. The commission and override opportunities are very competitive and Hanford Insurance has certainly benefited on that front.
However, the most meaningful part of our membership has been the development of relationships with other like-minded agency principals and insurance professionals in ARM of IL. The knowledge gained regarding programs, markets, how to handle agency situations, marketing ideas and being a better producer has been invaluable. Joining ARM of IL is one of the best decisions we have ever made as an agency.
Thankfully I found ARM of IL in my career’s formative stages. I immediately realized the organization’s power to achieve collectively what no one agency can accomplish alone. These top-performing IL Independent Agents are my support network, my own trusted professionals in this evolving field, on whom I rely for industry insight, operational guidance, and marketing leverage to keep “us little guys” not just viable, but thriving. I can’t imagine doing this alone and am forever grateful to my ARM of IL friends for both my success and enjoyment.
Membership in the ARM of IL has been very beneficial to our agency in a number of ways. The ability to work with other members and share ideas in regards to agency operations, market analysis and proprietary program-building has allowed our agency to excel in these various areas. We have built a strong client base in the Prairie State Insurance Cooperative as well as build relationships and books of business with a few of the country’s top brokerage firms in both commercial and personal lines. The staff and executive board are always looking to the future with training and information to offer us members. Our agency looks forward to many more prosperous years together.
The Lee/O’Keefe Insurance Agency has been affiliated with ARM of Illinois for many years. Furthermore, I personally have been a representing member, serving in various officer and board positions, for most of my insurance career. Being an ARM of Illinois shareholder member has been a very rewarding relationship for our agency and myself. Financially, our agency has benefited from increased commissions captured through alternative product options not commonly available in the marketplace and increased contingencies based on uniquely tailored aggregations. Fraternally, establishing relationships with fellow member agencies throughout the State of Illinois and carrier personnel nationwide, has created long standing friendships and valuable sources of information and networking. It is without question, ARM of Illinois has been a proven strategical asset to the Lee/O’Keefe organization!
“As an ARM agent we have access to great niche programs as well as a network of other like-minded agencies.”