A new study from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), the largest insurance agent and broker association in the U.S., brings some good news regarding the state of the nation’s independent agencies. The 2011 Best Practices Study outlines the organic growth that is currently moving throughout the industry. The study notes that 2010 was a year of promising growth and that the trend has continued throughout this year as well. The IIABA says that independent agencies are showing real signs of recovery for the first time since the 2008 recession.
The study shows that the growth is due to changes agents had to make to their strategies to help cope with a more volatile economic climate. The recession had agents shift their focus toward account development and advertising rather than hiring and general development efforts. This new focus helped agents take advantage of a rebounding economy in 2010. Smaller agencies reported modest growth, while larger, commercial agencies experienced more promising growth in 2010.
The study notes that the overall growth in the industry is not astronomical, but that it may be a sign of a brighter future. As agencies recover from the economic recession, the lesson learned at the height of the financial crisis are likely to fortify agents and brokers against future economic turmoil. With financial issues bringing changes to the insurance industry as a whole, the adaptability shown by independent agencies will help them overcome what challenges may lie ahead.