Survey Reveals Overall Personal Lines Improved And Outscored A Declining Commercial Lines

New York, NY (CompNewsNetwork) – Results of the latest agency-carrier index by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. indicates that, overall, agencies rated their carriers higher in personal than commercial lines. The finding is a reversal of last summer's results.

IIABNY's semi-annual,"Industry Index: The IIABNY Report on Carrier Performance Executive Summary, Winter 2008," evaluated 31 insurers based on agency responses to six key factors, such as underwriter empowerment, easy technology/documentation and keeping its promises, with honesty and fairness. Allowed to add and score carriers not included in the defined listing, respondents also weighed in on whether companies treat their relationships like real partnerships, responsive of their field personnel and farness of profit sharing/commissions. Conducted in October and November 2008, the latest survey again groups national, super regional and regional carriers, but is only the second industry index in which IIABNY included both personal and commercial lines. 

The survey does not explain the approval reversal of personal and commercial lines, but the current economic climate may be a factor. "The commercial market seems to be hardening slightly, but last summer, during IIABNY's previous survey, the market was very soft," said Kathy Weinheimer, IIABNY's senior vice president, Industry Relations and Education. "Such a change often shows up in carrier-agency relations."

National carriers achieved overall improvement, although in each instance, regional companies continue to rate higher scores than their super regional and national counterparts. Again, the reason is not certain, but Weinheimer points out that, "The negative impact of the economy on some carriers may be creating opportunities for others."

The index is composed entirely of ratings from 210 agency principals or leaders responsible for carrier relations. The winter 2008 index introduced for the first time several non-IIABNY agency principals or leaders also participated, providing additional carrier information.

IIABNY commissioned Vincent McCabe Inc. to conduct the Industry Index. Based in Skaneateles, New York, Vincent McCabe Inc. is an independent, third-party consulting firm specializing in financial and insurance research.

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