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It would appear reports of the demise of the independent agent were greatly exaggerated, as a new survey shows the independent-agency system is growing again and is financially healthier 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 that distribute through independent agents—announced the release of its bi-annual Agency Universe Study for 2012, showing that the number of independent agencies has grown to 38,500, up from 37,500 reported in the surveys from 2006 to 2010.

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