Providing insurance coverages as a service to Iowa banks has a long history at the Iowa Bankers Association, dating back to 1900. During the late 1960s, the first full-time insurance professional was hired to professionally manage the insurance operations, and in 1971, Iowa Bankers Insurance and Services, Inc. was formed. At that point, IBIS became the banks’ own full-service insurance agency tasked with providing insurance and other service solutions on a minimum-cost basis.
Innovative From the Beginning
From the early days of Iowa Bankers providing insurance solutions solely of burglary, individual life and health policies to the full-service multiline agency IBIS has become today, innovation has been paramount to the success of our organization. In the first few years of IBIS’s existence, a captive insurance company — Iowa Midwest Insurance Company — was acquired to help banks earn greater profitability on credit life insurance. IBIS was instrumental in creating a prototype Keogh plan for banks and subsequently a prototype pension plan for banks. It also created the IDEA annuity program for banks to compete with savings and loan associations’ deferred annuity programs to maintain deposits in the early 1980s.
Iowa Bankers Benefit Plan
What has proved to be one of the most innovative endeavors for IBIS was when the Iowa Bankers Benefit Plan (IBBP) was founded in 1979. The IBBP is a self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) and operates as a tax-exempt voluntary employee beneficiary association (VEBA). IBBP insures nearly 12,000 employees and over 29,000 covered lives for health, dental, life and disability coverages for banks in Iowa and Minnesota. As a self-insured trust, the law of large numbers prevails — therefore, spreading the risk over a large population keeps our costs low.
As the agency grew both in personnel, experience and expertise, IBIS created Agency Services, which was designed to help bank insurance agencies market property casualty and other lines of insurance. By working with IBIS Agency Services, many agencies have found they have access to more carriers and products than may be available on a standalone basis. Over time, Agency Services has grown to include life and health as well as personal and commercial lines. And, it continues to search for new markets and coverages to assist our nearly 200 agency partners succeed in helping their communities.
As a division of the Iowa Bankers Association, we know banks. To that end, IBIS created the Mid America Financial Institution Safety Group, written through Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, and offers an experience earning distribution to all financial institutions written in the program if the loss ratio of the group falls below 40%. This program is available to all banks in Iowa exclusively through IBIS as well as to banks in Illinois exclusively through IBIS’s wholly owned subsidiary, Mid America Banking Insurance Services, Inc. (MABIS). The Safety Group has evolved from its original form as a workers’ compensation program into a robust, comprehensive bank insurance program. For over 20 years, IBIS has administered the Safety Group and provided cost-effective insurance coverage focused on banks and their risks all while returning millions of dollars in experience refund dividends as banks share risks and rewards as a larger, more diverse risk pool.
At IBIS, we believe we are all better together. Whether that’s the safety in numbers for the IBBP or the larger, more diverse risk pool for the Safety Group or simply aggregating insurance opportunities as part of our Agency Services. We are all better together. Our vision is to lead with expertise to contribute to your success by providing superior products and services at a competitive price.