Local insurance agents often carry lines from several major insurance companies. As they sell to and then service clients with claims, these local agents generally say they are satisfied with the carriers’ response to policy pricing and claims handling. But according to a Deloitte and National Underwriter magazine survey, local insurance agents say 825017_crash_carthere’s one big area where they feel ignored. Only 10% of these businesses say they are consulted often when it comes to marketing and branding.

In an era when marketing is rapidly changing and where consumers are increasingly making their opinions known online, the insurance carriers may begin to adjust their strategy in order to maintain market share.  Rebecca Amoroso, leader of Deloitte’s U.S. Insurance practice says “[c]arriers need to develop an agent-centric approach that views producers as true business partners in co-creation of value.” Her opinion is echoed by Sam Friedman, editor in chief, National Underwriter, who notes, “to really walk the walk, carriers must get distributors of all sizes more closely involved with branding, marketing, pricing and service issues, not only for their own mutual benefit, but for the benefit of their clients.”

Currently, only about 1 in 5 agents reports being very satisfied with their carriers’ branding and reputation. If carriers act on these survey results and solicit input from local agents on branding and marketing, sales could increase for all parties involved. And they may also earn more customer loyalty in the long run.

[Source: Friedman, Sam. Producers Seek More Input, National Underwriter, 11.19.09]