Whenever I talk about my job in social settings, there are two phrases I often invoke: "It's far more interesting than it sounds," and "Nothing happens without insurance."

While the former statement is more subjective, the latter is indisputably true — and it is America's independent agents whom we largely have to thank for facilitating millions of transactions per year, helping citizens and businesspeople alike secure the proper insurance protections. These agencies of hardworking men and women throughout the U.S. — from the smallest shops to the largest multi-line businesses — will always have my deepest respect.

Which begs the question, why doesn't NU P&C have an awards program honoring the top independent agencies? It's a question I asked myself out loud last year right around the time I started preparing this year's editorial calendar. We give awards to workers' comp programs (our Excellence in Workers' Compensation Risk Management Awards, featured in this issue); top minds in cyber security (our Excellence in Cyber Security Risk Management Award, coming up in our November issue); and even carriers (our Risk Manager Choice Awards, in April), but where's the love for our core audience?

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