Independent insurance agents have never been more satisfied with their carrier partners, according to a new study by J.D. Power.
According to J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Independent Agent Satisfaction Study, overall agent satisfaction with insurers of both commercial and personal lines is at an all-time high. Commercial lines satisfaction saw a significant 16-point increase (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2021.
The study was developed in alliance with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”). It evaluated overall broker and agent satisfaction with personal and commercial lines insurers in the US.
“The past two years have been tough for insurance agents, particularly in the commercial lines space where many businesses have been struggling,” said Stephen Crewdson, senior director of insurance business intelligence at J.D. Power. “What we’re seeing now in the data is the normalization of the marketplace and a return to more frequent and more positive interactions between agents and carriers. Importantly, we’re also seeing trends that suggest the changes made since the pandemic – such as increased digital engagement and updates to legacy systems with new platforms and portals – are having a positive effect on the agent/carrier relationship.”
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Key findings of the study include:
- Overall satisfaction among personal lines agents is 757, up seven points from 2021, while overall satisfaction among commercial lines agents is 756, up 16 points from 2021. The largest gains in commercial lines satisfaction are in product offerings and risk appetite, support and communication, quoting, and commission
- The use of digital channels for interaction with carriers was up 22 percentage points this year, while in-person interaction increased eight percentage points. Overall satisfaction is highest when agents interact through digital channels
- Digital carrier platforms and portals, which have been widely upgraded during the past few years, can be a positive for agent satisfaction – but only if they are fully integrated. Complete, seamless integration between carrier portals and agency management systems causes a substantial gain in agent satisfaction, but incomplete integration drives satisfaction down. Only 51% of personal lines agents and 46% of commercial lines agents say they have seamless integration with carrier portals
- Agents with the highest levels of satisfaction had been working with their carriers for two to 10 years. Agents who have been working with carriers for shorter and longer periods of time were less satisfied overall, suggesting that carriers need to refine their approaches to both newer and more veteran agents
Erie Insurance ranked highest for agent satisfaction among personal lines insurers with a score of 838, followed by Auto-Owners Insurance (817) and The Hanover (803).
Auto-Owners Insurance ranked highest among commercial lines insurers with a score of 836, followed by Cincinnati Insurance (812) and The Hartford (805).