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In research conducted for an integrated marketing agency that works in the insurance industry with both policyholders and agents, we hear a lot about the valued relationship between policyholders and their agent or broker.

But how do policyholders see their roles in this relationship? Whether their titles are risk managers, chief executive officers, chief financial officers or office managers, they take their responsibility for making decisions about their business insurance seriously. Along with their agent’s advice, they conduct their own research by paying careful attention to the health of their insurance carriers and reading their insurance policies.

Empowered by vast amounts of information at their fingertips, committed to holding the bottom line on their company’s expenditures as well as their risks, and comfortable advocating for their best interests, these policyholders are smart shoppers. Before presenting agents’ recommendations to their executives, designates representing small- and mid-sized businesses told us about their online searches. They satisfy their consumer instincts by investigating the carriers’ financial stability and what others in their industries had to say.

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