Article Synopsis :
It may seem self-evident that the more satisfied an independent insurance agent is with a carrier, the more business they will place with that carrier.
However, at a time that insurers are increasingly placing their customer at the centre of their business, independent agents seem to have been left out. This is because the satisfaction these agents have with the carriers is among the lowest of business relationships measured by JD Power.
Not very happy
Overall, the satisfaction level for independent agents with personal lines insurers is 735 (out of 1,000). This score falls to 720 for commercial lines.
These scores are very low, even lower than financial advisers, which polled 737.
Placing the customer/agent first
Those that perform better in the survey have taken different approaches to the market, based on region, price or service.
They understand that better outcomes for them are based upon the agent. The most successful know what keeps the agents satisfied and focus on making sure they achieve it.
What matters most
The factors that are most important for insurers to improve is support and communication in personal lines, while it is quotations in commercial lines.
Carriers that focus on making it easy to do business achieve the highest satisfaction scores from agents. Those that invest in agent platforms find those distributors spend more time adding value to client interaction rather than performing administration.
Best of a mediocre bunch
Auto-Owners Insurance receives the highest ranking among personal lines for the second year, with a score of 800.
Progressive trails some way behind on 762, while Safeco and Travelers both score 737.
Liberty Mutual does best among commercial lines for the second consecutive year, polling 749. Chubb and The Hartford tie on 720.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThis paper shows that placing the customer first is what delivers to better business outcomes. In this case, it is the agent as distributor that is the client. But it proves the point being made continually by those advocating transformation and digital alignment, that insurers must place the client above all else – even the processes that have served them so well for so many decades.
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