A fractured and at times lethargic membership is making it difficult for the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. to face off against powerful insurance brokerage firms that sell and place commercial insurance, according to RIMS leaders.
Leaders of RIMS, which represent thousands of buyers of commercial insurance, also say that without more involvement on the part of the membership, little is likely to change with regard to their power to influence the behavior of brokers.
"The problem is that the industry is divided," said Janice Ochenkowski, treasurer and director of RIMS. A frustrated RIMS President Ellen Vinck was even more blunt, urging members to get more involved.
But RIMS leadership itself appears torn between wanting to come up with a consistent position, yet at the same time wanting to serve the various constituencies of its duespaying members. "It's not what RIMS wants," said Vinck, during a press conference at the organization's annual conference, held this year in Philadelphia. "It's what the members want."
Debate among RIMS members is swirling around the kinds of compensation models the organization believes best serves the industry.
"Some people feel the entire service model should be redrawn and that we have to reinvent the whole thing," said Vinck. "Then there are others who think it's just the compensation portion. The debate surrounds the models." Some RIMS members favor larger brokers, and other favor smaller brokers.
June 1, 2005
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