Hanover: Small-Business Owners Put Their Trust in Independent Agents

NU Online News Service, Nov. 11, 12:21 p.m. EST

A survey of small businesses finds these entrepreneurs have more trust in independent agents and their commercial insurance carriers than any other financial services business.

The survey, sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group, says that trust is “the single most important consideration when choosing an insurance provider.”

To that point, 86 percent of small business owners rated trust as very important, followed by competitive pricing at 82 percent, responsiveness at 81 percent and value at 79 percent.

In a statement, Michael Keane, president of small commercial at Hanover, noted that the survey underscores the reality that small business owners want to work with someone “they can count on.”

He said it confirms the company’s own impression that “it’s critical for companies to establish and maintain trust and confidence of those they serve.”

Hanover says the survey found that “small business owners actually have the highest level of trust in independent agents, compared with all the other financial services industries in the survey.”

Speaking with NU Online News Service, Chris Barnes, senior vice president of client development for Farmington, Conn.-based The Pert Group, a consulting and research firm, which conducted the survey, says that in the wake of the economic downturn, trust in many institutions is at an all time low.

However, he says independent agents have not only managed to retain their clients trust, but have actually increased the margin between themselves and other financial and insurance institutions.

Respondents say they trust insurance agents 48 percent more than banks; 97 percent more than healthcare companies and a whopping 295 percent more than stock brokers.

When it comes to property and casualty companies, respondents trust carriers 25 percent more than banks; 66 percent more than healthcare companies, and 150 percent more than stock brokers.

Barnes says that in the past, agents have finished first, but the gaps between them and the institutions was not that significant.

“What is most surprising is not that agents finished first, but what is surprising is that they finished by such a long shot,” says Barnes.

This portion of the survey was part of a larger survey sponsored by the Worcester, Mass.-based insurer to “stay appraised of the evolving needs of small business and to build upon its expertise in that area.”

Barnes says the trust measurement was not the goal of the survey, but the results were too significant to be ignored.


Resource Center

View All »

Making Coverage Letters Work for Your Clients

If you're a broker or insurance buyer with any length of service in the commercial...

Complimentary White Paper: The Compression of Workplace Time

How brokers and carriers respond to the compression of workplace time will create significant competitive...

The Changing Insurance Consumer: 6 Ways to Create Profitable Relationships

Today’s mobile and web-savvy consumers have new expectations when it comes to interacting with your...

Contractors General Liability Coverage 102

What is a prior work exclusion? Which option is right for my client? Why do...

Sign up today to get a 50% matching credit -...

Insurance marketing sometimes seems like it's a game of swings and misses, but we're here...

Guide: 5 Steps to Selling Cyber

Cyber risk and data security is on the agenda of every business owner and executive....

Citation Correlation

Do rigger and signalperson qualifications correlate with the cause of crane and rigging accidents? ...

Complete Guide to Electronic Signatures in Property & Casualty Insurance...

In property and casualty insurance, closing new business quickly is key. Learn how to leverage...

INSTANT ACCESS: Complimentary Sales Closer Questionnaires

Help property owners or managers compare your commercial residential property insurance coverage vs. the competition....

Determining Vacant Property Perils and Valuations

Are your clients fully covered for Vacant Properties? In this economic climate, your insureds may...

Agent & Broker Insider eNewsletter

Proven success tips and essential information to help agents and brokers grow their practice – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.