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PIA National President Jon Spalding Comments on Soft Market in National Underwriter

Professional insurance agents are having to work longer and harder, and make more extensive use of technology, to succeed in what has become a protracted...
November 17, 2009

Professional insurance agents are having to work longer and harder, and make more extensive use of technology, to succeed in what has become a protracted soft market, according to PIA National President Jon D. Spalding. Commenting in the cover story of this week's National Underwriter, Spalding said that with commercial pricing stagnant, payrolls down and exposures reduced, clients are looking to agents to cut their insurance costs even further. That's a double-edged sword for agents, who are having to shop existing business more in order to get renewals, putting new pressure on profitability.

"If we don't, someone else may take the business from us," he said. Customers who feel a loyalty to an insurer will want the agent to give the incumbent carrier one last look before switching, Spalding added, but loyalty depends on the customer, and many will move the business for just a few dollars. Coping with the current soft market and economic downturn, agents are finding ways to work smarter, but at the same time are working harder for less business, he said. Such issues, he noted, have agents working longer, making less and utilizing technology to its fullest.

"It's not all doom and gloom - just working smarter," said Spalding.

No Celebration In Sight For Producers As Tough Economy Keeps Market Soft (National Underwriter 11/16/09)

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