On August 23, 2016, Channel Harvest Research, a firm specializing in the independent insurance distribution channel, released its annual study of agent-carrier relationships. Each of these surveys has collected information from nearly 2,000 agents. This year’s survey explores what agents expect from their carriers and why they prefer their lead carrier
Ninth annual survey of agents’ take on property-casualty carriers and industry trends.
The Channel Harvest Research study, “Key Success Factors in Agent/Carrier Relationships: 2016 Survey,” is the ninth of Channel Harvest’s an annual series examining agents’ views on property-casualty carriers and industry trends
In this 2016 report, Channel Harvest Research has found disconnects between agents’ perceptions of the importance of insurance pricing and technology and the performance of their favored independent agency carriers on those attributes.
Survey of 1,900 agents and agency principals shows performance lags expectation
Channel Harvest’s 2016 online survey drew nearly 1,900 responses, with 72% being either independent agency principals or agents.
The 2016 survey found widespread satisfaction of agents with their leading carrier: 80% were either extremely or very satisfied with their leading personal lines insurance carrier, while 75% reported the same for their top commercial lines carrier.
Participants overwhelming identified competitive pricing as a critical factor
When it comes to insurance pricing, nearly all (96%) of independent agents surveyed said competitive pricing is very important or somewhat important. Yet fewer than three-fourths (71%) of personal lines agents and 67% of commercial lines agents consider their top carrier’s pricing competitiveness to rank above average.
Technology for personal lines ranked high for nine out of ten respondents
On the topic of insurance technology, about nine of 10 respondents said a personal lines insurance carrier’s technology is important. Yet only about 70% rate their top personal lines carrier’s technology as above average.
The agency respondents gave both high and low marks to their carriers
The agents and brokers surveyed by Channel Harvest gave:
- Their top personal lines carrier the highest marks for the attributes of financial strength, claims-service quality and customer service.
- Their top commercial lines insurer the highest ratings for financial strength, underwriting responsiveness and customer service.
However, the survey’s respondents also gave their lowest performance ratings to:
- Personal lines carriers for digital/social media support, agency compensation, and training and education.
- Commercial lines insurers for digital/social media support, training and education, and technology support.
The full research study available for purchase
The 2016 study is available for purchase at ChannelHarvest.net . Narrative analysis and report for $4,000. Purchasers of the narrative report can also purchase: Full data set, with more than 200 variables for $2,500 and a Slide deck for $1,000.
About Channel Harvest Research
Formed in 2008, Channel Harvest (ChannelHarvest.net) is a joint venture of insurance marketing firm Aartrijk and research company Campbell Surveys, both based in the Washington, D.C., area.