Independent agents, brokers produce nearly three-fifths of growing p-c market
ALEXANDRIA, Va., January 19�The overall property-casualty market grew 9.5 percent in 2003, and independent agents and brokers produced 59.4 percent of this market, according to �The 2003 Property-Casualty Insurance Market� recently released by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). The independent agency system grew its overall market share by 0.7 points in 2003, achieving growth in share in both commercial and personal lines.
The p-c market weighed in at $434.68 billion in direct written premiums in 2003, of which independent agents and brokers wrote $258.17 billion. The overall market increased by $41.29 billion, and the independent agency system produced $27.27 billion of this growth.
�The results of this report clearly show there is a strong and growing consumer and business acceptance of the independent agency and brokerage consumer model, and it also identifies the very real opportunities independent agents and brokers have for growth,� says IIABA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt. �The research also shows that that there are efficient companies using each type of distribution system, and that efficient independent agency writers are able to deliver insurance just as cost-effectively as captive-agent writers and many of the direct companies, and sometimes even more effectively.�
On the commercial-lines side, the market share report finds that the market continued to grow at the double digit rate of 11.8 percent in 2003 to $229.14 billion. This growth of over $24 billion in commercial lines written premium followed a strong year of growth in 2002, when this market increased by 19 percent.
The personal-lines market also experienced a healthy growth of 9 percent in 2003 to $205.54 billion, following 11-percent growth in 2002. Independent agents and brokers added $6.82 billion in premium in 2003, building upon the $6.7 billion in personal-lines premiums they added in 2002.
Independent agents and brokers increased their market share in personal lines by three tenths of a percent to 36.62 percent at the expense of the captive agent companies.
In addition, independent agents and brokers increased their commercial lines market share in 2003 by over a half of a percent to 79.83 percent. Because independent agents and brokers write almost 80 percent of this business, they experienced an increase in premium of $20.45 billion in 2003 following a more than $25 billion increase in 2002.
The full report provides total as well as independent agency premium volumes for the given lines, as well as the respective market shares for distribution systems.
�We are very pleased by the positive trends this report has identified,� says Madelyn Flannagan, IIABA vice president of education and research. �Clearly there are real opportunities for independent agents and brokers, and this report points the way for them to take advantage of these opportunities.�
IIABA contracts annually with A.M. Best Company to assess the state of the independent agency system with year-end industry market share and company-expense data. A complete copy of �The 2003 Property-Casualty Insurance Market� will be available at to IIABA members and subscribers to the Big” I” Virtual University at www.independentagent.com.
Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation�s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance�property, casualty, life and health�as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.