MBA Insurance Agency celebrates 15 years of service to members

Issue July 2012

Fifteen summers ago, as the result of hard work from the volunteer MBA Insurance Committee, led by Stephen A. Roach, the MBA Insurance Agency was born. Tapped by leadership to run the new agency, Terence J. Welsh began business with a staff of five. Now, after considerable growth in size, an increased amount of products available to MBA members and a staff of nearly a dozen, the MBAIA celebrates its 15th anniversary.

The 15-year-old agency continues to offer what it was established to back in 1997 -- affordable, high quality policies for its members.

"The insurance agency was a great innovation for the MBA. The agency provided the ability for our members to control the securing of malpractice insurance while at the same time being a great benefit to the MBA itself," said Kenneth J. Vacovec, who served as MBA president from 1996 to 1997.

Shortly before being formed, the MBA Insurance Committee was at a crossroads to either go with a newly merged broker or begin its own agency. The association launched its own agency, giving control to the very constituents it served --membership. Insurance Committee member Owen Gallagher recalls that "the perceived risk was huge," but the committee and the Executive Management Board were "quite willing" to not be at the mercy of the market and to maintain more control over rates and premiums. "The opportunity was there," he added.

"The MBA is a great organization. They protect the small firm," said Roach, who explained that through the Insurance Committee and Agency, market research is done for the small firm practitioner, who often doesn't have time to research and negotiate rates and terms.

"It's a tight policy that will protect you," said Roach, who credits a knowledgeable committee and Welsh for making certain that is the case.

"The quality and expanse of the coverage is beyond others," said Insurance Committee Chair Richard Eurich. "There is strength in numbers."

Looking back on the agency's progress since 1997, Eurich says that today, the agency has grown to be a "ship on a smooth glass lake," making much progress from its start in 1997, when there were many "unknowns."

With 15 years of experience under its belt, the agency replaced those many "unknowns" with expertise in providing sophisticated risk control to protect MBA members' policies from the hard and soft cycles involved with the insurance market.

"The Association's insurance program is the gold standard for professional liability insurance programs around the nation. It is a member-designed program that has been crafted by fellow MBA practitioners to the benefit of the practicing bar," said Martin W. Healy, MBA chief operating officer and chief legal counsel.

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