The United Pool Association was founded in the early 1960’s and was known then as the Independent Pool Service Association. The UPA can trace several of its original members back to a group that was known as the Orange County Sand Dabbers. The Sand Dabber Chapter formed in 1958 with the intent of servicing pools for fellow members when they went on vacation. The vacation program later evolved into a sick route coverage plan.
During the 1960s Jack Berry, the IPSA President, was pursuing a liability insurance program for poolmen but needed additional members to make the program more plausible. It was at that time that the Sand Dabbers were offered membership into IPSA and they accepted. The promised insurance program came into being in 1969 and was brokered by Gerry Baron of Max Behm Insurance with Fireman’s Fund Insurance providing the liability coverage.
Years later IPSA would split up and then later regroup as IPSSA but the original Sand Dabber Chapter, now UPA #7, and a few other IPSA Chapters decided to strike out on their own and formed the United Pool Association. The newly renamed organization continued its long history with insurance broker Gerry Baron of Max Behm Insurance and Fireman’s Fund. Gerry Baron has since retired and Sean Reardon of Western Growers Insurance Services now administers the UPA liability insurance program.
In 1991 Fireman’s Fund was bought out by global insurance giant Allianz. In 2015 Allianz decided to sell off the Fireman’s Fund name along with the personal lines of insurance and keep the commercial and corporate lines under the name Allianz. This change sparked the UPA to look for alternative options in the insurance world hoping to find a company that was nimble and adaptable like our organization. We were fortunate to forge a new relationship with the program focused insurer, American Southern. The change has been extremely positive for our members and we look forward to another long 50 year partnership.
From this humble beginning the UPA has grown to over 1,800 members but still maintains its grassroots belief in:
“Freedom at the Chapter level…Simplicity at the Board level”.