The new International Disability Insurance Society already has 105 members.[@@]

The IDIS recently completed its first annual conference, in Tampa, Fla., and it already is laying plans for its 2006 conference, which will take place in Las Vegas.

IDIS President W. Harold Petersen, president of Petersen International Underwriters, Valencia, Calif., says the new group will fill a void left by the lack of activity at the Disability Insurance Training Council, which held its last meeting in 1991.

“This industry needs a place to go where disability experts can exchange information in comfort,” Petersen contends.

Petersen says he believes the IDIS meetings attract a wider range of disability insurance industry participants than the disability conferences that are still being held.

The Tampa meeting attracted producers, regulators, educators and trade group representatives as well as insurance company executives, Petersen says.

The IDIS founders chose to include the word “society” in the group’s name to signal that the organization will not function as a trade association, Petersen says.

“We intend to bring all the key interests together in a common forum where people can discuss common opportunities and common problems,” he says.

Petersen cites as an example discussions at the Tampa conference about prices that producers “can’t change,” such as producer continuing education requirements, which cost many producers about $5,000 per year.

IDIS meeting participants also talked about topics such as the need for more educational opportunities for producers and efforts to increase uniformity of disability insurance laws and regulations from state to state, Petersen says.

The IDIS has posted its Web site at http://www.internationaldisociety.com