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PIA's Brevik Writes Article On the Public's Support for Agents in National Underwriter

The insurance marketplace has voted and the results are in. Consumers value the personal service provided by professional insurance agents. In fact, they value it...
July 17, 2007

The insurance marketplace has voted and the results are in. Consumers value the personal service provided by professional insurance agents. In fact, they value it so much that they are willing to pay more for it. That's the message from PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik, in an article he wrote for the current issue of the National Underwriter. Len keys in on a recent nationwide survey of American consumers conducted by IBM.

Len notes the IBM study found that found that three-quarters are very satisfied with the service provided by their agents and remain committed to working with them in the future, 54 percent said no amount of premium savings would make them switch and 71 percent of respondents said they will work directly with their agent for their future insurance needs.
 
"For many years, some industry observers have predicted that insurance would soon be distributed mainly online or through direct channels," wrote Brevik. "They said professional, independent insurance agents were about to become obsolete. But that hasn't happened. In fact, the trend has gone the other way. The number of carriers with independent agent distribution channels has grown dramatically, while captives are shrinking and direct writers remain static."

Brevik said certain captives, direct writers, banks and mega-brokers seem to think the best way for them to compete is by trying to get Congress to restructure the insurance market to favor them. "Here's a better idea: instead of attempting to get lawmakers to tilt the playing field in their direction by passing an optional federal charter, why don't they simply give consumers what they want?" he said.

IBM Survey Shows Broad Public Support for Professional Insurance Agents
(National Underwriter 7/2-9/07)

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