Independent insurance agencies in the U.S. have remained relatively stable, with continued growth in volume, but emerging purchase channels have become a top concern.
These are among the findings of the 2016 Agency Universe Study, a biennial research project sponsored by the Future One Coalition, a partnership of the Independent Insurance Agencies (Big I) and 17 major insurance agencies. The study examines how independent agencies operate, the types of technology and marketing tactics they deploy, their revenue, demographic and compensation metrics, and more.
The 2016 AUS was conducted for the third time by Zeldis Research with over 2,000 respondents. Courtney Robertson and Bert Russick, both Senior Research Directors, co-managed the study with Madelyn Flannagan, VP, Agent Development, Education and Research for the IIABA.
“Zeldis Research has been a valued research partner in conducting our biennial Agency Universe Study for many years,” said Madelyn Flannagan. “ Their attention to detail, knowledge of our industry, and excellent project management capabilities provide us with a quality credible research project every time!”
Among the key findings:
- One-third of agencies believe that direct purchase through carriers will significantly impact their business. Far fewer (two out of 10) are concerned about the impact of technology such as car-sharing services or driverless cars.
- ‘Perpetuation’ continues to be an issue, as independent agency owners seek to find suitable talent and secure succession plans.
- Aging of the independent agency universe may be slowing.
- Small agencies compose 21% of the population, reversing a decline since in 2014, and more of them are moving towards larger metropolitan areas.