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Agents Hang-On to P/C Market But Lose Ground in Personal Auto

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After years of dwindling premiums, the property and casualty insurance industry managed to grow substantially in 2011. Independent agents and brokers hung on to their share of that market with some independent agency carriers gaining in market share by double digits, according to the newly released Property & Casualty Insurance Market study published by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
Independent agents still control a majority of the property/casualty market, writing 57 percent of all premiums, including a third of all personal premiums, the report revealed. Independent agents also continued to dominate commercial insurance sales. But where agents appear to be falling short is in the personal auto market where direct writers managed to grow their personal auto premiums 10 times faster than independent agency carriers. This challenge remains a concern and opportunity for the independent agency channel, says Madelyn Flannagan, co-author of the Big "I" report.
In this interview with Insurance Journal's Andrea Wells, Flannagan discusses the study's results and shares her views on why the next few years will be a great opportunity for agents to better understand the consumer and provide new ways to serve an increasingly diverse insurance buying community.

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