(Apr. 1, 2009 -- DEWITT, NY) The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York today announced it has signed an agreement with auto insurer GEICO to form a joint venture. The four-year deal gives the insurance giant access to the not-for-profit trade association’s 1,800 member agencies in return for cash and options on stock in Berkshire Hathaway, GEICO’s parent company. IIABNY did not disclose the amount of the contract, but sources hinted that it is in the eight-figure range.
As part of the agreement, IIABNY will display the GEICO logo along with the Trusted Choice® logo on all web sites, advertisements, letterhead, business cards, and other promotional materials. On top of the payments to New York’s oldest insurance producer trade association, GEICO plans to establish an advertising fund for use by IIABNY members.
“As a long-time admirer of GEICO’s operations, I am very pleased that our two organizations have agreed to work together,” said Neal Sullivan, IIABNY chair of the board and president of Sullivan Insurance Agency in Mahopac. “The professionalism of IIABNY’s member agents combined with GEICO’s advertising prowess and low, low prices will provide a synergy that will benefit both organizations.”
A joint advertisement featuring GEICO’s trademark caveman at a sporting event in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse is planned. IIABNY is headquartered in Dewitt, New York, a Syracuse suburb.
IIABNY President and CEO Dick Poppa said, “A fifteen-minute phone call can save you fifteen percent. In our case, it earned much more than that. We are very pleased to be able to partner with one of the most respected names in insurance.”
“If you believed one word of this, all I can say is happy April Fool’s Day,” Poppa added.