The 2023 theme in the indy agent channel? Community.

​​How a spirit of partnership is empowering independent agencies and the insurance industry. ​

The independent agent channel is all about community.

​​As I reflect on the first half of 2023, I am excited about the spirit of partnership and collaboration that we’re experiencing across the independent agency channel right now. This spirit is empowering the agencies to find new and better ways to serve clients, driving InsurTech innovation, and bringing our industry together to address challenges and surface opportunities. 

​Agencies supporting agencies: The value of a peer-led community  

​Let’s start with the Network of Vertafore Users, also known as NetVU. If you aren’t familiar with NetVU, this independent, volunteer-driven organization is a treasure trove of information, advocacy, and peer-networking for Vertafore users. NetVU provides year-round education on Vertafore solutions, facilitates user communities, and runs our annual user conference, Accelerate.  

​We’re privileged to have a wide and diverse group of users across independent agencies, carriers, and MGAs. And the NetVU team does a great job of bringing together this community so that users can learn from one another, share business and technology best practices, and help each get the most out of their Vertafore solutions.  

​Every day I see our customers in the NetVU Community (NCOM) answering each other’s questions, providing practical tips on running their business, and talking about what’s happening in the industry. Curious how other agencies track the progress of claims? Want to know how to do automatic downloads from Progressive into AMS360? Looking for advice to onboard new employees? This is just a sample of the hundreds of recent discussions on NCOM. And they are a testament to the fact that we work in an industry full of people willing to support each other. 

​The best news? This wealth of knowledge and the power of our user community is just a click away. All Vertafore users can become NetVU members—at absolution no cost! Reach out to NetVU to get plugged into this great resource.   

​Rocking Accelerate 2023 

​The sense of community was certainly evident at Accelerate 2023. This year’s conference—the largest gathering of Vertafore users since before the pandemic—was held in Austin, TX, which is my old stomping grounds prior to joining Vertafore and moving to the Pacific Northwest. It is always fun to come back and see how things have changed since I moved away in 2010.  

​In addition to the typically packed sessions for products like AMS360 and WorkSmart, this year NetVU added a full MGA track of education sessions for our AIM and MGA Systems customers, as well as new sessions for AgencyZoom customers. Another area of focus of this year’s education sessions was more content for our QQCatalyst customers (and we are looking to grow that community’s engagement for Accelerate 2024 in New Orleans!).  

​Many Accelerate sessions and tracks are a collaboration between Vertafore product experts and users—giving attendees the most-up-to-date information on their solutions along with real-world-tested guidance on how to make the most out of their investment.  

​We heard from many of the attendees that this is the best Accelerate they have ever attended (watch the recap video here!), and it was great to see at least 400 first-time attendees at this year’s event.  

​We are working towards an even bigger event next year. If you were there tell your fellow agents this is an annual event not to be missed. As Dean Giem, NetVU's Conference Steering Committee Chairman and Immediate Past Chairman, said during the keynote address:

“The power of NetVU is in our ability to make meaningful connections for you—to peers, to knowledge, to the industry and to Vertafore. And Accelerate is THE place to make lasting connections in each of those areas.”  

​InsurTechs partnering to fuel independent agencies 

​Another thing that was exciting at Accelerate was the number of other InsurTech providers who joined. Besides being in the exhibit hall, our Orange Partners led great panels and sessions. For example, during the BenefitPoint track representatives Plansight and PerfectQuote were on a panel along with HUB International.  

​Other partners that contributed their time and insights to sessions included Accelerated Automation, Angela Adams, Client Circle, ePayPolicy, Exdion, InsCipher, Inteveo, Key Management Group, LeO, Premier Business Consulting, ResourcePro, Rhodian, SelectSys, Turnkey Solutions, and WAHVE.   

​This participation reflects something we’re seeing more and more: InsurTechs partnering and working together to streamline and magnify the benefits they bring to their joint customers. Agencies, MGAs, and carriers are demanding solutions that integrate to truly simplify the user experience. And insurance technology providers are listening.  

​For example, Vertafore’s Orange Partner Program is now 50+ members strong. These tech and service providers are embracing open architecture, APIs, and integrations. In contrast to the combative attitude a decade ago, many InsurTechs are realizing that partnering with both legacy and start-up providers has the potential to bring more value to the industry. This is a trend to watch! 

​Working together for the independent insurance channel  

​During Accelerate I also participated in a session along with Jennifer Becker, Senior Director of Agent Development, Research and Education at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, talk about the Big I Best Practices Study and how to use KPIs to measure and monitor agency performance and benchmark against peers.  

​I am a big fan of the Best Practices study. It highlights how top-performing agencies are succeeding in order to give other agencies strategies they can leverage for their own growth. But the Best Practices Study is just one example of how we can come together to support each other.  

​In April I also joined nearly 1,000 other attendees at the annual Big I Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., which is one of our industry’s best advocacy events. As you may already know, the Big I lobbies on behalf of independent agents on a national level to bring awareness to topics such as the small business tax deduction for pass-through businesses such as subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships that was passed as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.   

​What makes this event so fun is getting to spend time with our legislators on Capitol Hill bringing awareness to the importance of the independent agent and your contribution to our national economy by servicing individuals and businesses to cover their risk and be there in their time of need. The event is also attended by just about every carrier that services the independent channel as well.  

​If you have a chance to attend this event in the future I highly recommend it—it is the one industry event that I look forward to each year. Getting involved in this event—and with other organizations in our industry—is a great way for insurance professionals and agencies to tap into the energy and power of collaboration.  

​If you are interested in learning more about NetVU, Vertafore’s Orange Partners, or the Big I’s Best Practices feel reach out to me at

Dough Mohr, VP of Industry Relations & Partnerships at Vertafore

Doug Mohr
Vice President of Industry Relations & Partnerships at Vertafore

Doug joined Vertafore 13 years ago and leads our team that looks towards industry trends and manages strategic partnerships, including the Orange Partner Program members and industry organizations such as The Big “I” (IIABA), Invest, ID Federation, and ACORD. Doug currently sits on the board for NetVU, Invest, and ID Federation as a representative of Vertafore. He brings 38 years of software and technology experience having worked at companies that provide solutions to a variety of industries including insurance, healthcare, apparel, professional services, tech, and manufacturing.  ​