Michigan families face financial uncertainty that includes loss of employment and financial insecurity. In the face of that uncertainty, I’m proud of the fact that the insurance industry is doing all that it can to promote and enhance the economic and business climate in this state. While the current economy is laced with bankruptcies and layoffs, the insurance industry is one of the few industries that continues to grow and create jobs and is financially strong. The Michigan insurance industry employs more than 60,000 people and contributes more than $241 million in state and regulatory taxes. For every three people employed in the insurance industry, one additional job is created elsewhere in our state’s economy.
While the manufacturing sector is outsourcing jobs and shipping jobs overseas, the insurance industry remains a shining light in a dark and gloomy environment. The Michigan Association of Insurance Agents recently reported that approximately 30 percent of their members planned to hire additional personnel over the next three years. Michigan insurance companies remain a stable employment force.
It should also be pointed out that Michigan insurance companies pay more than $400 million annually to state and local government in taxes, special licenses, sales, real estate and employment taxes, motor vehicle registration and retrieval taxes. The industry also pays more than $180 million to fund special state mandated programs.
The time is long overdue for insurance industry critics to recognize the value Michigan’s insurance industry brings to this state.
Bob Pierce is CEO for the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents and a Certified Association Executive.