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managing general agent (MGA)

A specialized type of insurance agent/broker that, unlike traditional agents/brokers, is vested with underwriting authority from an insurer. Accordingly, MGAs perform certain functions ordinarily handled only by insurers, such as binding coverage, underwriting and pricing, appointing retail agents within a particular area, and settling claims.

Typically, MGAs are involved with unusual lines of coverage, such as professional liability and surplus lines of insurance, in which specialized expertise is required to underwrite the policies. However, MGAs also write some personal lines business, especially in geographically isolated areas (e.g., western Oklahoma, North Dakota) where insurers do not want to set up a branch office.

MGAs benefit insurers because the expertise they possess is not always available within the insurer's home or regional offices and would be more expensive to develop on an in-house basis.

See also Retail agent; Wholesale agent; Wholesale broker.


Links for IRMI Online Subscribers Only: PLI IV.J, XV.C; TRR 5/2001

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