Big I Virginia E-News
June 2021

Ritchie’s Insurance & Notary Agency, LLC King George District 1

Synchrono Group Inc. dba: Synchronosure Raleigh, NC  
Synergy Select Sharon, PA  
From the Desk of the President & CEO
The IIAV Young Agents Council will be hosting their FIRST get-together on June 24th at the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery – West Creek – from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., and we look forward to seeing you there.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been out and about, and we’re excited to host this IN PERSON networking opportunity! You heard me ... it is NOT a Zoom event. We’re also excited to announce that Markel has offered to sponsor the first drink at the brewery for attendees.
(All photos:
IIAV Member Resources
Check out Independent Agent magazine’s feature on how property-casualty agencies could be missing out by ignoring the life-health market. Members can read the latest issue online.
Learn More...

As we move into the second half of the year, we may need to do a reality check on our progress toward goals and commitments to the agency. In some cases we may need to make some halftime adjustments,

An agency success and value story is often driven by growth, and growth is a function of a sound marketing strategy. Now is the time to again ask the tough questions. Are your target market, ideal client and service niche still valid? How have the needs and desires of your target market changed? Is your value proposition still compelling to customers and prospects right now? Is your messaging still appropriate? How have the players in your agency ecosystem changed?

Next steps: Schedule time to evaluate whether changes to your marketing strategy are needed. Challenge the assumptions for your market risks, threats and opportunities. Adjust where necessary so that you are positioned for success in the second half.

David J. Dillon, Principal

Watney Insights Network, Inc.
703-648-0584 (O)
703-785-9440 (M)

A new newsletter item this year, our Member Benefit Spotlight aims to help you build your agency using the tools at hand through Big I membership, by reminding you of benefits you may have forgotten about. If you need help finding the benefits most in line with the priorities of your agency, you can always contact IIAV’s Membership Director Don Bragg at or 804-747-9300.
Agency member benefits of Trusted Choice include supplementing your agency's branding efforts. The MRP offers assistance to members leveraging the Trusted Choice brand in adding the logo to agency branding items, creating/updating your agency's digital presence and starting an Advantage subscription for leads with the consumer website, See our video explaining how it all works.  
June is the month to think about the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ rights here in the United States and around the world. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has published a new resource: ‘Business Success and Growth Through LGBT – Inclusive Culture.’
The Temperature Might Be Rising But Mortgage Rates Are Still Low!
Thinking about refinancing? Take advantage this summer by calling one of our personal mortgage bankers for a free refinance quote!
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Carrie L. Angyal
Personal Mortgage Banker
Office: 860.674.2314
Cell: 860.559.4954
The Security You Need. The Name You Trust.
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies®
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies are rated A+ “Superior” by A.M. Best (as of July 26, 2023) and backed by the financial strength of our ultimate parent, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.  In Virginia, we offer a full product suite for your commercial clients that includes a Businessowner’s Policy (with typical limits up to $20 million; $50 million for select classes), Commercial Auto, Commercial Umbrella, Professional Liability, and Workers’ Compensation.  “Pay-as-you-go” billing options are also featured. 
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State & National News
VAPAC Contributions    
Avery Ins Agcy Inc Tom Avery  Norfolk
Ins Agcy Svcs LLC Ted Joyce  Richmond
Cushman Ins Agcy Inc John Liberty  Chantilly 
Fieldale Ins Agcy Phillip Davis  Fieldale
Towne Ins Agcy Mindy Capaldo  VA Beach
Ball Martin Ins Agcy Jason Ball  Chesterfield
W A Watson & Sons Ins Agcy  Gene Watson  Farmville
Gaines & Critzer Jason Critzer  Richmond
Hundley Ins Agcy Inc Scott Hundley  Pearisburg
Hanckel Citizens Ins Corp John Watson  Charlottesville
S L Nusbaum Ins Agcy Inc Cynthia Amick  Norfolk
Asset Protection Grp Monty Dise  Midlothian
 (Photo Source:,
The price per thousand board feet of lumber soared to an all-time high of $1,359, according to Random
Lengths. Since the onset of the pandemic, the price of lumber has skyrocketed 280%.
2020 was another record year for insurance agent and broker merger & acquisition activity. In total, 728 transactions were completed and the prices related to those transactions were also at record-high levels. Imagine telling someone just five years ago that even a premier asset would be trading at guaranteed multiples of more than 14 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) — you would have been accused of being under the influence of a narcotic.
Although ocean-related weather is relatively quiet now, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and follows an active 2020 hurricane season that serves as a stark reminder of the need to plan ahead for hurricanes. After a record-breaking 2020 season with 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, six major hurricanes and 12 storms that made landfall, forecasters are predicting another above average hurricane season for 2021. Virginia was spared the brunt of last year’s storms, but certain areas of the Commonwealth felt them indirectly in the form of remnant rainfall and accompanying floods.
Over the last several days, FEMA released new and important information about Risk Rating 2.0. The agency's new pricing methodology for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is currently scheduled to be implemented starting on Oct. 1 for new policies and for those seeking to renew polices that will see lower rates under the new methodology. Risk Rating 2.0 will be implemented for all other renewals starting in April 2022.
Goodville Mutual
IIAV is pleased to announce that Nicole McAllister has joined the IIAV staff as Director of Communications. Nicole will be responsible for the IIAV’s public relations and communications strategies including creation and development of marketing campaigns, web site management, content development and press releases.
Perhaps a dumb question ... but how does one know if there is/has been a data breach? You read all the time that there was a breach and it was not found/recognized for months or even years. What are warning signs that agencies/licensees should look for. Clearly there are the obvious signs, such as a notification/email suggesting, “you may wonder why you can’t access your system any more.”  But other than that, what should employees be looking for?
We want to thank all of the agencies who responded to our questions related to business operations and the pandemic. Perhaps we should have said this up front, but IIAV outsourced the survey and we only saw the aggregated responses and therefore could not see how any specific agency responded to our questions.  That said, the responses were quite enlightening though general in nature.  Clearly it would be as helpful to identify large agency vs. small and rural vs. urban. 
I’m in Control of My Future, Are YOU?
Smart Choice®
Going independent was a challenge, but my partnership made it possible. Agents that join Smart Choice retain ownership of existing and future policies.  That’s right, agents keep what they already have, what they write and give up nothing.  Agents pay no startup fees, monthly fees, maintenance fees, or exit fees, ever.  Agents can utilize our support when they need carrier access or our expertise.
Click HERE.
Upcoming Events
Now’s the time when we need to be thinking about those who need our help.
The IIAV Young Agents Committee has selected the Cell Phone for Soldiers program as one we can support. Our U.S. soldiers and their families are heroes that continue to help our country in so many ways, and here’s a way that we can help them back.
Commonwealth Underwriters Ltd
IIAV will be working to assist in the creation of a NAAIA chapter in the Richmond area. The National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) was organized to create a network among people of color and others employed in or affiliated with the insurance industry. The association currently has 15 chapters throughout the nation, with 2 others in development, and its members represent every sector of the industry. Pooling this wealth of talent contributes significantly to the association and its members through the sharing of professional knowledge, information and experiences.
View webinar recordings on FREE member marketing resources! What marketing efforts is your agency currently engaged in? Whatever the answer, your agency should be utilizing the free marketing resources available from Trusted Choice. As a IIAV member, these resources and programs are available to you free of charge. In our recent webinar series (recorded for on-demand viewing), Trusted Choice Marketing Manager Joseph Cox explains how to integrate these resources into your marketing strategy in areas like strengthening your website, improving your social media presence, digital advertising and leveraging the Trusted Choice brand. His advice can help amplify your local marketing in as a little as two hours a week