Pioneers in the Affinity Insurance Market: Selman & Company


The following is one of four articles in a series about pioneers in the affinity insurance market who are looking to the future through the lens of the past. Learn about how they got started and their vision for the future of the affinity insurance sector:

About Selman & Company

John Selman founded Selman & Company in conjunction with the acquisition of Daniels-Head & Associates more than 40 years ago. John felt the future of the insurance sector was in more efficient distribution of insurance products and that the association insurance market was a great fit, so he decided to seize that opportunity. Immediately thereafter, he traveled to Toronto for the PIMA Annual Meeting, where he was welcomed into the industry by its then leaders.

When David Selman (son of John Selman and the company’s current president and CEO) joined Selman & Co. nearly 30 years ago, the agency was solely focused on the association market and mostly dealt with major medical insurance. In the following years, the agency grew from a team of 20 to more than 200. Selman & Co. then branched out to provide services for employers, insurance companies, and brokers in the employee benefits, financial institution, and business process outsourcing areas in addition to continued service in the affinity marketplace.

It wasn’t obvious to identify and execute a strategy of external and organic growth to expand both the breadth and scope of the business. However, Selman & Co. has long been known for investing in the resources necessary to deliver client-centric administrative service, a superior customer experience, and insightful insurance solutions.

The Future of the Affinity Insurance Market

David believes that the growth shaping the future of the affinity industry will need to come from nontraditional affinity opportunities — not solely from the conventional association groups that powered the industry’s past (such as members of business, professional, or alumni associations).

This growth, however, will take ingenuity, hard work, and exemplary interpersonal skills, explains David. This is largely due to the challenges inherent in the affinity insurance market.

For one, an increasing number of consumers are now turning to digital solutions for their insurance needs. David says that if affinity businesses are unable to drive technological innovations, then they will miss out on opportunities for growth and will face attrition within their client bases.

The industry itself is also dealing with greater transparency around products and pricing, making it challenging to compete.

The Next Generation of Insurance Industry Leaders Can Push the Affinity Market Forward

For those starting out in the affinity insurance market sector who want to become its future leaders, David suggests identifying and nurturing relationships with mentoring leaders. In David’s experience, connecting and interacting with talented people — both partners and competitors — can provide insights into how to be successful in this business.

To that end, David recommends leveraging fellow members in the PIMA community as potential mentors. Through its interest groups, advisory forums, conferences, online forums, webinars, and more, members can connect and network with insurance industry leaders from across the country.

Aside from gaining valuable relationships, a PIMA membership also provides the opportunity to learn about trends in the affinity insurance market that can help drive companies toward a brighter future.

If you’re interested in learning more about how PIMA can help your company drive growth and connect with other insurance industry leaders, contact us today.

Published on October 12, 2021.

PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the group-sponsored benefits market.