announces new holding company, AscendIA Group

AscendIA Group formed to advance the independent agency channel with investments in innovative insurtech ventures

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., June 4, 2018—The investor partners of, the leading provider of digital marketing platform solutions for the independent insurance agency channel, today announced a new holding company, AscendIA Group, LLC. The new entity was created to encourage and accelerate investment in next-generation digital marketing technology for independent insurance agents and independent agency insurance companies.

Backed by its 10 investor partners, including the Big “I” (Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America), Central Insurance Companies, Motorists Insurance Group, Selective, Safeco Insurance, State Auto, The Main Street America Group, Travelers, W. R. Berkley Corp. and Westfield Insurance, educates millions of consumers each year to be more informed and empowered insurance buyers. Launched in 2013, the site has grown dramatically every year and is expected to attract 7 million online insurance shoppers in 2018.

Leveraging the power of its network of over 20,000 Trusted Choice member agencies in all 50 states and over 60 participating independent agency companies, including most national and super-regional carriers, will connect over 200,000 insurance buyers this year with the right independent agent for their family or business.  Each customer’s needs are individually assessed and each recommended agency is chosen based on that agency’s expressed and demonstrated service expertise and appetite-specific carrier appointments.

Building on the success of and its digital education marketing arm, Agency Nation, AscendIA Group will expand the company’s mission to IA-friendly insurtech initiatives beyond the consumer web portal space. “Through strategic investment and partnerships, we see tremendous opportunities to fuel future success for the IA channel with insurtech solutions that keep independent agents at the heart of the insurance buyer customer experience,” said Bob Rusbuldt, President and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and Chairman of the AscendIA Group board.

“AscendIA, a word that combines ‘ascend’ and ‘IA’, for independent agent, reflects the mission of the holding company, which is to elevate the independent agency channel,” said Chip Bacciocco, CEO of, Agency Nation and now AscendIA Group, LLC.

The AscendIA and team recently welcomed a group of 25 thought leaders to Milwaukee to talk about digital innovation in the IA channel. The group was comprised of innovation leaders from insurance companies, independent agents, national and state trade associations, industry consultants and insurtech startups. “We couldn’t be more optimistic about the interest and opportunities we see in the marketplace,” said Bacciocco. “We believe AscendIA gives us a firm foundation to pursue our mission to promote a more competitive IA channel for the benefit of everyone concerned—independent insurance agents, independent agency companies, innovation-focused technology companies and, of course, insurance buyers everywhere.”

About AscendIA Group



AscendIA Group’s purpose is to encourage, nurture and promote the success of emerging insurtech ventures and related initiatives to substantially improve the competitiveness and profitability of independent agents and independent agency companies.