It would appear reports of the demise of the independent agentwere greatly exaggerated, as a new survey shows theindependent-agency system is growing again and is financiallyhealthier than it has been in the past few years.

Future One—a collaboration of The Independent Insurance Agents& Brokers of America and a coalition of insurance carriers thatdistribute through independent agents—announced the release of itsbi-annual Agency Universe Study for 2012, showing that the numberof independent agencies has grown to 38,500, up from 37,500reported in the surveys from 2006 to 2010.

The number of agencies climbed to 44,000 in 1996 beforedeclining in subsequent surveys.

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