In a survey conducted by research and consulting firm Deep Customer Connections about carriers’ performance, 99 percent of independent agents and brokers polled reported that ease of doing business is critical in their choice of carriers—and to that end, ACUITY tops their list.
More than 7,000 independent agents and brokers assessed more than 200 P&C carriers in the survey, basing their responses on 11 key factors including promptness in handling claims; responsible underwriting; making it easy for producers to work with policyholders; understanding and acting on agency needs; and providing marketing support.
Deep Customer Connections President and co-founder Nort Salz notes the survey is a consolidation of similar producer surveys done by the Ashfield, Mass.-based firm in the past year, measuring their satisfaction level in dealing with a variety of carriers. Primarily aimed at serving insurers, the company examines the carrier-agent working relationship from the both agent and carrier perspectives, and presents information and analyses to its clients.
The Deep Customer Connections Index represents how easy it is for an agent to place business with a carrier. The Index measures a carrier’s performance against the needs that independent agents rate as most important—where the 11 factors come in.
“We establish the importance of the factor, and the performance by the carrier is measured against that,” Salz explains.
In rank order, carriers that earned overall Top 10 status based on their Index scores are:
- Central Insurance Companies
- West Bend Insurance
- SECURA Insurance
- Cincinnati Insurance Companies
- Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
- Grange Insurance (Ohio)
- North Star Mutual Insurance Company
- Westfield Insurance and Integrity Insurance (tied for 10th place)
West Bend also earned the distinction of making the Top 10 in every one of the 11 factors. Acuity and Central made the Top 10 in 10 factors and SECURA earned that status in nine factors. This is the first time Integrity made the firm’s Top 10 list.
“Our customers find that agents’ comments often have greater impact than the quantitative metrics,” adds John Zurich, Deep Customer Connections’ vice president. “They include specific suggestions for improvement and clarify the hard data.”