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It’s 2011 and the market is as soft as can be. Independent agents going it alone are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain steady business, let alone grow new business. Customer need has shrunk, as has sales revenue for agencies of all sizes. Customers are demanding more options, better rates and exceptional coverage for the premiums.

Yet agents are finding ways to meet the growing demands of customers. Some are joining forces in agency networks—also called associations, aggregators and marketing groups—to get the support they need, find better rates and find those options that customers are expecting.

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