Agent Portal Quality Helps Drive Carrier Choice for Small Commercial Agents, says New Report from Novarica

11 August 2009 – NEW YORK – In a wide-ranging survey, research and advisory firm Novarica (www.novarica.com) documents the relationship between key e-business functionalities delivered through portals and agency management system integration, and agent wallet-share.

The study, Novarica Agent Survey 2009: Small Commercial Lines ? How Technology and Service Drive Carrier Choice, will be presented on a webinar on Wednesday, August 19th at 2 PM ET (register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/157047881). The study is based on a survey of more than 250 small commercial agents from across the US, who have more than 60 different P/C insurers as their “top carrier.”

“Convenience, relationship, responsiveness, and speed are the areas most likely to make a carrier the agents? top choice,” notes Karlyn Carnahan, CPCU, a principal in Novarica’s insurance practice who lead the research project along with analyst Tse Wei Lim. “While an underwriter relationship may make the difference in whether a carrier is number one or number three for an agent, other factors are also highly correlated with the ‘top carrier’ position.”

Key findings include:

  • Agent portals make a difference. Agency principals and high-value producers show a clear preference for carriers with better portals.
  • Quick quote, full quote, and app submission are critical functions for portals.
  • Portals are used more widely than AMS connectivity. Uptake rates are particularly low among CSRs and agents at large agencies.
  • Application upload, policy download, commission statement downloads, and policy quote are critical functions for AMS connectivity.
  • CSRs are a unique constituency. While a company may hear loudly from principals that certain features are needed, they look to those who actually place the business to determine which features to add next.

The report is available from Novarica for $1,500 at inquiry@novarica.com

About Novarica

Novarica provides information, insights, and perspective on markets, operations, and technology to financial services and insurance executives and others through published research, retained advisory services, and project-based consulting. www.novarica.com.