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The year ahead will see the continuation of the consolidation trend we’re seeing across the insurance industry — not just of huge health insurance carriers merging into a few megaliths, but of agencies combining to form something more akin to a professional service firms, with a range of specialties under one roof.

These new combined agencies will have to be able to service not only employee benefits and group insurance, or retirement and financial plans with life insurance and annuities, or property and casualty, or business insurance — they’re going to have to do it all. Instead of needing five separate agencies to cover all an individual’s insurance needs, customers will be able to work with just one agency that has five specialist brokers, each expert in his or her area of insurance.

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