New Market Share Report: Independent Agent System Remains Strong

Independent agents continue to dominate commercial lines while rivaling direct response writers and captive carriers in personal lines business, according to the 20th Market Share Report from the Big “I.”

Using 2014 premium data provided by A.M. Best Company, the report finds that all property-casualty insurance premium lines grew for the fourth year in a row, bouncing back from their recession-driven low points in 2010. Combined, the p-c market grew by $23 billion in 2014 over its 2013 levels. After four years of strong growth, both personal and commercial lines have exceeded pre-recession volumes and, combined, now generate $555 billion in annual premiums.

Independent agents still control the majority of the p-c market, writing more than 58% of all premium. National independent agent carriers saw no losses in any market share in any line reviewed for 2014 and recorded nearly 18% growth in premiums over 2013.

The commercial lines market grew by nearly $10 billion in total premiums written—the primary metric used in this report. This sector has grown by nearly $45 billion since the market rebound began in 2011. Considering that independent agents write nearly $8 of every $10 in premiums in this sector—$225 billion—2014 was another excellent year for the independent agent system in this market. The direct channel continues to hold onto only 1% of market share in the commercial space.

Growth in the homeowners market has increased the shares of national, regional and direct carriers, while reducing the share of captive carriers by nearly 3%. As in other lines, national carriers saw a huge surge of 23% growth in homeowner premium over 2013.

In private passenger auto, national independent agent carriers saw a hefty 37% increase in premiums over 2013, while the direct response and captive carriers enjoyed only single-digit increases. But the captives still control nearly 50% of this market.

Download the full report for 2016 and previous years. For additional information, contact Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of agent development, research and education.

Madelyn Flannagan is Big “I” vice president of agent development, research and education.