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On Sept. 16, 2008, the Wall Street Journal announced “U.S. to Take Over AIG in $85 Billion Bailout.obCrLf An insurance holding company, internationally known and geographically diversified on a global basis, owning some of the largest insurers in the world required the backing of the Federal Reserve to assuage the concerns of markets. Suddenly, consumers, producers and third parties questioned the solvency and stability of other insurers. The rhetorical question was, “If AIG needs $85 billion, what’s the story on other insurers?obCrLf

With turmoil in the financial markets dominating the headlines throughout the fourth quarter of 2008, the need for insurance companies to protect their reputations and address any issues related to their financial stability became necessary. Equally important, yet largely overlooked, was the need for producers to establish or sustain their relationships with reliable, dependable specialty markets-carriers dedicated to a niche or specialty regardless of whether the insurance cycle is in the hard or soft phase. Carriers that jump in and out of markets based upon pricing are part of the problem. To grow and prosper, agencies must have ongoing relationships with carriers that are focused on solutions.

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