Florida Association of Insurance Agents Donates $500,000

Tallahassee, FL (CompNewsNetwork) - At its 105th annual conference in Orlando this weekend, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) announced a donation of $500,000 to launch a new charitable project, the Good Works Fund. In addition to helping independent insurance agents via education grants and storm assistance, the Good Works Fund will provide financial assistance to deserving Florida citizens in need of a helping hand.   

"FAIA is proud of the role independent agents play in their communities, and this will only further enable them to help consumers in time of need," said Jeff Grady, president and CEO of FAIA. "The Good Works Fund will expand the existing role of Florida's 56,000 property and casualty licensees and highlight the role they play in communities all over Florida."   

Through the Good Works Fund, FAIA also will respond to the need of independent agents by encouraging interest in the field, in part, by offering college scholarships. FAIA recently developed a model two-year insurance degree, which is already sanctioned by three Florida community colleges: St. Petersburg College, Valencia Community College and St. Johns River Community College. 

FAIA has long been a leader in insurance education and is nationally recognized for the InVEST program, a school-to-work program for high school students aspiring to work in insurance agencies. FAIA also was the first independent organization to offer insurance training beginning in the late 1930s and the first in the United States to offer online insurance training beginning in the 1990s. 

"The education component of the Good Works Fund is the next logical step for us," added Grady.   
FAIA individual members also will have the opportunity to donate money to the fund. Such contributions, or those made by estates or corporations, are tax deductible as charitable donations and will be used to develop a deeper reservoir of funding. This will help educate or assist more insurance agents and more consumers who may need a helping hand from time to time.  

"FAIA's nearly 2,000 locations house local Floridians, just like you and me, who are deeply involved in their communities and who are looking for opportunities to give something back," said incoming board chairman Bill Gunter, an owner of Rogers, Gunter and Vaughn Insurance in Tallahassee. "This fund will enable us to do that on a much larger scale."

The Good Works Fund project will be managed by the Community Foundation of North Florida (CFNF). CFNF has an effective, long history of managing funds for charitable organizations. 

The formal mission of the Good Works Fund is to support charitable activity within the insurance industry, giving priority to insurance education including scholarship programs.

FAIA is the oldest and largest association serving Florida's independent property and casualty agent community. It represents over 1,800 such businesses employing over 10,000 licensed producers and close to 17,000 employees. Independent agents are not employees of companies, but independent contractors usually representing numerous carriers.

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