Congratulations Universal Insurance Services: 1999 Marketing Agency of the Year

Congratulations Universal Insurance Services: 1999 Marketing Agency of the YearThe readers of Rough Notes have named Universal Insurance Services (UIS) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 1999 Marketing Agency of the Year. UIS, which was featured in the September 1999 issue, was the overwhelming choice of Rough Notes readers, who voted via e-mail, fax and mail during the month of January.

Universal Insurance Services was started in 1982 and for its first 12 years concentrated on writing traditional commercial lines business. In 1994, faced with soft market pressures, it began to diversify its book of business, eventually forming five profit centers and reducing its traditional commercial book to just over 50%. Today 23% of agency revenues come from a national association program providing property/casualty and life/health coverages; 12% come from its Marine Division; 7% from its Life/Benefits division.

UIS has 65 employees. It is owned by nine equal partners-eight of whom concentrate on production while William J. Rothwell, CPCU, serves as president and managing partner. "Our success is a team effort," says Rothwell-and he emphasizes the team approach by sharing agency financial results with all employees.

The agency commits a fixed percentage of revenues to technology, and it has paid off. A UIS Web site receives 50,000 hits per month, primarily providing interactive service for association member insureds.

Congratulations to all the employees of UIS. A review of the agency's accomplishments and photos from the Marketing Agency of the Year celebration in Indianapolis will appear in next month's issue.