The mission of the Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi, working in the public's best
interest, is to be the unrelenting advocate for independent insurance agents and to provide our
members with a sustainable competitive advantage.
Overview & History
The Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi is one of the state's oldest and largest associations dedicated specifically to the improvement of professionalism and to provide better service to the public it serves.
IIAM was formally organized at a called meeting of agents at the "Red Light Club" in Vicksburg on June 4, 1899. It therefore pre-dates the establishment of the State Department of Insurance by some three years, the latter being created by legislative act in 1902. IIAM is also only three years younger than the national association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, which was formed in 1896.
The small group of dedicated agents who met in Vicksburg in 1899 (where attendees traveled by train) voted to name the new organization "The Mississippi Fire Underwriters Association" and elected C.H. Campbell of Winona as the first president. Over the next few years, reports in various newspapers gave several different names for the association. Among them were "Insurance Federation of Mississippi" (1916) and "Mississippi Local Underwriters Association" (1918). In 1920, members voted to change the name to "Mississippi Association of Insurance Agents" or MAIA. The organization kept the MAIA title until 1976 when it was changed to the present name.
Years after the turn of the century, leaders of the organization felt the need for a better funded and structured association. This was especially true as property and casualty insurance became more complicated, and as coverage was extended to a number of things in addition to fire protection. News reports from as far back as 1901 said agents advocated a "state fire inspection bureau" to help bring order to policy writing and to protect the public.
When the legislature established both the State Insurance Commission and State Rating Bureau in 1924, complexities in the industry mounted. On August 1, 1939, the organization took a major step forward by employing its first full-time manager and by opening a state office.
IIAM has distinguished itself, and is recognized nationally, for its accomplishments in state and national government affairs, public relations, communications and education.
IIAM membership includes more than 260 independent insurance agencies located throughout the state. Independent insurance agents provide customers with a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies and offer multiple lines of insurance, including property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products.