And individual policyholders are more likely to be loyal to their independent agent than the insurer that writes their policy, the study shows. "This strong bond between policyholders and insurance agents makes it essential for insurers to satisfy their appointed agents in order to grow their business," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
The study also finds that fewer agents report being offered marketing dollars -- only 23% in 2010, compared with 43% in 2009. Satisfaction is higher among agents who are offered marketing dollars (an average satisfaction level of 751), compared with 698 among those who were not offered marketing dollars.
The study is based on responses
from 2,316 insurance agents who evaluated more than 10 insurance companies across the industry, including American Modern, Chubb, Dairyland, Farmers/Foremost, Fireman's Fund, Hanover, The Hartford,
Liberty Mutual, Progressive and Travelers. The study was fielded between November and December 2009.--Tanya Irwin