A History Lesson: Exploring PIMA's Place Within the Affinity Market


PIMA, the Professional Insurance Marketing Association, has a rich history of closing the gap on financial security for consumers and businesses. Its mission is to be the source for executive leaders in sponsored benefits distribution to: create business growth, connect with thought leaders, and cultivate relationships

The organization began in 1975 with a focus on affinity insurance programs. Today, more than 400 members from more than 100 companies — including the largest brokerage firms and insurance carriers in the world — belong to PIMA. The association includes top executives from member organizations who have expertise across all lines of insurance and financial services.

The following list shows PIMA's long history — and future — in the group-sponsored market: 

Setting the Stage for Affinity Marketing

Postal Life Insurance Company of New York markets to a targeted group of blue-collar workers, introducing the concept of “affinity marketing.”

The concept of "affinity group" — combining multiple employers to form a coalition — originates.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recognizes the practicality of grouping multiple employers.

Group marketing of life insurance extends beyond employers to credit unions and individuals who hold credit cards from banks and department stores.


PIMA Is Born

The Professional Independent Mass-Marketing Administrators holds its first meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

PIMA develops a paper outlining its position on national health care reform, an area of concern for its members.

The organization extends its reach beyond personal lines of life and health insurance to include commercial lines of property and casualty insurance, as well as other payroll deducted offerings.

The organization changes its name to Professional Insurance Mass-Marketing Association in response to evolving technology in the mass marketing industry.

PIMA becomes the first trade association to connect members across the entire ecosystem by providing membership benefits to companies and business partners rather than just agencies. 

The organization changes its name to the Professional Insurance Marketing Association. This reflects the movement away from mass marketing as technology provides opportunities for more targeted marketing techniques, including internet and one-to-one marketing.

PIMA holds a technology and trade show conference — the first of its kind in the market.

PIMA moves its headquarters to Fort Worth, Texas.

The membership elects its first president from the company membership group, selecting John R. Cassagne of New York Life Insurance Co.

The membership elects its first president from the business partner membership group, choosing John J. Harrison of The Keystone Equities Group.

PIMA moves its headquarters to Chicago, Illinois.

The organization launches its Agency CEO Advisory Forums, where members can talk about business issues, share proven methods, and plan for growth.

PIMA membership surpasses $15 billion in affinity premium and has more than 25 million certificates in force.

PIMA celebrates its 40th anniversary by unveiling the Affinity 2020 Report, identifying key issues impacting the affinity benefits and direct marketing industries.

The organization creates a report, “What Insurance Departments Should Know About Association Group Insurance Programs,” for regulators.

The membership structure is modified, providing full member benefits to all organizations in the group-sponsored benefits market, including noninsurance offerings.

PIMA prepares to launch a new report, "Affinity 2030: Exploring Our Blind Spots for a Brighter Future."

A Resource for All

For more than 40 years, PIMA has recognized all industry players — from brokerage firms, insurance carriers, and financial protection organizations to marketing agencies, compliance firms, and other business partners. Its wide reach strengthens the exchange of knowledge and collaboration across the entire ecosystem.

Learn how PIMA can help drive your business forward by joining today. For an in-depth look at the trends and changes affecting the affinity market industry, register for the next semiannual conference.

PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the group-sponsored benefits market. For more information on becoming a member, click here.