Bob Skow was presented with the 2014 Burkhalter Award at Iowa CPCU I-Day on November 7, 2014. The Burkhalter Award is named after Major General Louis Burkhalter, Jr., who was the 1st individual in Iowa to attain the CPCU designation, was a charter member of the Iowa CPCU Chapter, and its first President in 1952. The Burkhalter Award is presented to a person, who like Mr. Burkhalter, has made significant contributions to the community and the Iowa insurance industry.
Bob is a Drake University graduate who began his insurance career with Employers Mutual Insurance Company and later IMT Insurance Company working as a claims adjuster for both companies. In 1978, he took over ownership and management of an independent insurance agency located in Guthrie Center, Iowa. While in Guthrie Center, he was involved in community activities, economic development, the Chamber of Commerce (serving as President), the Lions Club, was a member of a local bank board of directors and sold real estate. In 1985 he was named the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa “Young Agent of the Year”.
While managing his own insurance agency, Bob served three terms as a Representative in the Iowa Legislature. He was appointed to the IowaAccess Advisory council by then Governor Thomas Vilsack.
In 2002, Bob was named CEO of IIAI, the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. Under his leadership and in his role as the organization’s legislative lobbyist, the IIAI has developed and sustained an effective three-pronged government affairs attack: grassroots membership, a strong political action committee and effective lobbying.
Bob has taught many education classes and developed curriculum for the association, who now offers license exam schools and continuing education seminars to over 4,000 students on an annual basis.
He has overseen an E & O program in partnership with Westport Insurance Corporation, which has become one of the most successful in the country.
Bob meets with ISO and NCCI about issues impacting policies and different problems with endorsements, writes the association’s bi-monthly newsletter and oversees the quarterly magazine, Viewpoint, as well as meeting with insurance company CEO’s on a regular basis. Bob has turned IIAI into an association well respected by legislators and the Iowa Insurance Division.
Under his direction, IIAI has successfully fought to lower insurance company premium taxes, helped preserve crop insurance and keep it in the hands of independent agents, require that consumers’ needs be handled by licensed agents, helped limit the use of credit scoring in the underwriting of personal insurance and has advocated for meaningful workers compensation and health insurance statutes.
In recognition of his many contributions to the insurance industry, Bob was inducted in the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2007.
To quote Bob, “Independent insurance agents are the backbone of their communities. They are the fabric of America, and it is wonderful to be in a position to represent such a phenomenal group of people. I take that responsibility very seriously. “