Independent Producer Survey: Technology, Services, & Other Drivers of Carrier Choice

by Craig Weber, December 29, 2004

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA February 3, 2005

Independent Producer Survey: Technology, Services, and Other Drivers of Carrier Choice Property/Casualty Edition

Repeating many of the themes they voiced a year ago, independent property/casualty producers in a new Celent survey stressed technology, underwriting relationships, field service, and speed as critical drivers of carrier choice.

"Commoditization is a big factor for many lines of business," says senior analyst

Craig Weber, author of the report. "As it becomes harder to differentiate on product and price, carriers will have to look at speed and service as their ticket to generating producer loyalty."

Weber notes that last year痴 three top drivers were repeated this year (see table below), while a redefined category of "field service" was also highly ranked. "We believe that technology is consistently recognized as such a strong factor because it enables all the other factors," Weber says. "Producers often talk about their favorite carriers in terms of the way they handle specific, everyday tasks, like generating quotes and checking commissions."

Table 1: Reasons For Favorite Carrier Status
Q: Which is your favorite carrier, and why?
Rank Topic Comment Example 2004 Percentage 2003 Percentage
1 Technology "It's easy to generate quotes online." 27% 24%
2 Underwriting relationship "I can really work well with my  underwriter at Carrier X." 18% 14%
3 Field service "They're easy to reach, and they do what they say they will do." 14% N/A
4 Speed "They usually turn policies around in a hurry." 11% 14%
5 Product "Carrier X offers the coverages that my client need." 9% 15%
6 Philosophy "They know what business they are in and don't try to be all things to all people." 8% 9%
Source: Celent 2004 Producer Survey
Table 1: Reasons For Favorite Carrier Status
Q: Which is your favorite carrier, and why?
Rank Topic Comment Example 2004 Percentage 2003 Percentage
7 Price "They might not win on price, but they're always in the ballpark." 7% 9%
8 Policyholder service "They're great with claims." 3% 7%
9 Compensation "They pay great commissions." 3% 5%
10 Brand strength "It's easy to sell that AAA rating." 1% 2%
Source: Celent 2004 Producer Survey

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

 

Boston, MA, USA February 3, 2005

Independent Producer Survey

Return to report Abstract

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
INTRODUCTION 6
  Methodology 6
  Limitations 7
CORE RESULTS 8
  Respondent Profile 8
  Premium Production 8
  Agency Size 10
  Lines of Business 10
  Appointments 11
  Carrier Concentration 12
PROPERTY/CASUALTY RESULTS 14
  Sales and Service Modes 14
  Cycle Time 15
  Electronic Data Capture 16
  Use of Technology 18
  Who Pays? 20
  E-Signature 21
  E-Learning 23
  Tele-Underwriting 23
  Technology & Carrier Choice 25
  Carrier Choice Drivers 26
  Drill-Down on Carrier Choice 28
  Differences by Business Concentration 30
  Differences by Products Sold 32
  Playing Favorites 34
  Favorite Carrier Reasons 36
FINAL THOUGHTS 39
APPENDIX: RESPONDENTS' COMMENTS 41
OBJECTIVITY & METHODOLOGY 44

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