2020 saw a decrease in overall salary and total income growth for insurance agency personnel—yet satisfaction rates rose, especially in agencies that offered employee benefits.
While 2020 saw a decrease in overall salary and total income growth for insurance agency personnel, satisfaction with compensation increased to the highest overall score in more than five years, according to the 2021 Agency Salary Survey.
Overall, total compensation for most agency positions decelerated slightly. While agency owners, principals and management total income increased by 6% in 2019, they reported a 5% increase in total income in 2020. Agency support staff total income experienced a larger drop, falling to a 2.3% increase for 2020 compared to a 3.6% increase in 2019.
Producer and sales roles were the only categories to show raises in total compensation, with an 8.4% increase for 2020 compared to the 5.9% increase in 2019.
Salaries—excluding bonus and incentive income—rose through 2020, but again at a slower pace. Salaries for agency owners, principals and management rose 3.1% compared to 3.8% in both 2019 and 2018. Producers and salespeople reported 3.3% increases compared to 4.5% in 2019 and 4.2% in 2018. And agency support staff salaries went up just 2.1% in 2020 compared to 3.0% in 2019 and 3.1% in 2018.
After compensation was revealed to be the main reason people leave the insurance industry, satisfaction with compensation increased across the board, according to the study—perhaps as we all count our blessings after a stressful year. On a scale of 1 to 5, (with 5 equaling “most satisfied") satisfaction over pay rose to a 3.5 overall score, up from 3.3 in 2019.
Agency principals, owners and management were the happiest with their compensation, reporting an average score of 3.9 in 2020, up from 3.6 in 2019. Producers and salespeople reported satisfaction of 3.5, up from 3.2. Support staff reported an average score of 3.2, up from 3.0.
As in previous years, the score for overall satisfaction was higher when agencies offered employee benefits. The benefit most likely to increase satisfaction is childcare or daycare, with the average score from workplaces with this benefit reaching 4.1. Education reimbursement brought an average satisfaction score of 3.8, profit sharing 3.9, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans 3.9.
AnneMarie McPherson is IA news editor.