If you don't take control of your business in 2016, you won't make it to 2017. Like Marty and Doc in an insurance sequel to "Back to the Future," independent agencies seem to have landed in 2015 and found a business world they don't entirely recognize. While other businesses have been innovating and evolving at an exponentially faster pace, many independent agencies have changed little from their fax machine and spreadsheet beginnings.

I asked a few friends, who I respect as some of the most forward-thinking professionals in the industry, what insurance agency trends they think 2016 will bring. Their collective responses support my overriding prediction: 

2016 is the year independent agencies emerge as independent businesses.

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