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The traditional growth model for “serious” property-casualty agencies and brokerages typically has centered on commercial lines business. Agencies that sold personal lines coverage did so more as an accommodation for the CEOs of their top commercial accounts than selling personal lines as a freestanding profit center. The thinking held that because the profit margins were so narrow, it made more sense to leave the personal lines business to the cavemen and the geckos. But whiplash market cycles, fierce pricing competition and rate declines have turned the commercial market into more of a roller coaster ride than a steady income stream for many producers. That’s why more agencies are growing personal lines businesses.

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