Thinking of joining your local trade association? Here's what you should get out of it.

If you’re a member of your local insurance trade association, you already know what an incredible resource it can be for you and your insurance agency. However, if you’re still on the fence about joining, here is a list of things you can expect as a member! The benefits can help you grow professionally, build your agency, access products, meet other agents, and much more.

All local associations are a bit different, but here are some of the many features they may offer and what you can expect to gain from joining.

Connect with like-minded professionals

State and local insurance associations offer various opportunities for building professional relationships virtually and in person. Expand your network and build partnerships through face-to-face meetings, online communities, discussion boards, and events. There are even special interest groups for young agents, new agency owners, and more. Many associations hold conferences, conventions, state-wide or local events, and fundraisers. Get involved and expand your access to your peers and the community.

Gain a specialized education

Many insurance associations offer in-person or online courses with opportunities for members to earn continuing education (CE) credits. Educational resources may include topics like starting an agency, insurance industry training, business plan basics, and insurance agent toolkits. They may also cover diversity, recruitment, hiring, training, sales, and marketing. These courses can help you understand your market and consumer base and learn about managing risks for your clients. They can also teach you about accessing investment capital, financing your business, managing cash, and more. Some associations even have scholarships for college students interested in the insurance industry.

Stay informed with expert advice and various publications

Insurance associations often have a wide range of publications members can access. Associations may publish blog posts, articles, magazines, journals, white papers, webinars, podcasts, online libraries, membership directories, and newsletters. When you join an association, you’ll be surprised at the guidance and advice you can find from the organization itself and other agents. You may find branding, identity, social media, and logo support, agency management tips, HR tools, E&O checklists, sales and marketing tools, proposal language, new hire and staff training solutions, talent recruitment, FAQs, best practices, and more.

Get access to insurance products

Membership can offer access to high quality products and services and access to markets. For example, some associations give members access to insurance products including errors and omissions, liability, cyber, health, dental, flood, and disability insurance.

Enjoy discounts on other services

Further, members can get lists of trusted resources and recommended brands. Some associations offer access to free legal consultations or discounts on valuation and perpetuation services. Others have discounts on technology solutions for agencies like eforms, esign, payment processing, client portals, coverage analysis, risk exposure identification, branding, flyers, mailers, etc. Still others offer perks like shipping, car rental, or prescription discounts.

Be a leader

If you’re interested in leading within your field, insurance associations offer an array of leadership opportunities. Further, you can enjoy the professional designation of being associated with the organization.

Enjoy having an advocate on your side

Insurance associations help protect agents’ interests in the legislature. You can be part of a professional organization that lobbies on your behalf and even get involved in the advocacy and electoral process. When you’re a member of an insurance association, you’ll be more informed about how the insurance industry is affected by legislative, regulatory, and judicial matters. You’ll gain insight on upcoming elections, candidates, and legislative events and how they affect the insurance industry and you as an agent. Some groups even meet up at state capitols during legislative sessions.

Whether you’re interested in learning, leading, or networking, membership in an insurance association can enrich your insurance agency and your career. Do a little digging, and you’re sure to find a local organization that fits your needs.

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