Agency Employee Satisfaction Rises Despite Pay Decreases

February 22, 2021

Insurance agency personnel on average made a little less money in 2020 but they were more satisfied with their compensation in what was a stressful year.

Satisfaction with compensation rose across the board, according to the 2021 Agency Salary Survey, published annually by Insurance Journal. In fact, the annual Agency Compensation Satisfaction Index was the highest overall score in more than five years.

Changes in overall salary and total income dipped for all categories except one. Producers/sales saw an increase in total income change, the only category where income increased.

Satisfaction over compensation rose to 3.53 overall in 2020 from 3.35 overall in 2019, based on a scale of 1-to-5 where “5” equaled “most satisfied.” (See Agency Compensation Satisfaction Index chart.)

  • Management/agency owners/agency principals reported a compensation satisfaction score of 3.88 in the 2021 survey, up slightly from 3.63 in the 2020 survey.
  • Producers/sales reported satisfaction of 3.47 in the 2021 survey, up from 3.24 in the 2020 survey.
  • And support staff/CSR/account executives reported a satisfaction score of 3.25 in the 2021 survey, up from 3.02 in the 2020 survey.

In keeping with survey results of previous years, the score for overall satisfaction was higher when agencies offered employee benefits, both hard benefits (such has group health, dental, etc.) and soft benefits. (See Employee Benefit Satisfaction Index chart.)

Employee benefit satisfaction ranked highest in the survey when agencies offered added benefits such as an education reimbursement (3.81), profit sharing (3.95), Employee Stock Ownership Plans (3.88), and childcare/daycare (4.15). The 2021 survey found that in all employee benefit categories queried, employees showed more satisfaction with overall compensation when those benefits were offered.

As noted, the survey revealed a slight downward trend in total compensation for most agency positions. Producers were the only category to show raises in total compensation in 2021.

According to the 2021 Agency Salary Survey, based on nearly 800 responses nationwide, total income changes, which includes salary plus additional compensation such as profit sharing, bonuses and other income, were:

  • Agency owners, principals and management reported a small decrease in total income for 2020, which revealed a 5.0% increase in total income, compared to a 6.0% increase in total income for 2019.
  • Producers/sales total income revealed a 8.4% increase for 2020, compared to a 5.9% increase in 2019.
  • Agency support staff total income dropped the most in average to a 2.3% increase for 2020, compared to 3.6% percent increase in 2019.

Salaries only (excluding bonus and incentive income), rose again in 2021 but at a slower rate than the previous year, according to this year’s survey results:

  • Salaries for agency owners, principals and management rose 3.1% in 2021 compared to 3.8% in both 2019 and 2018.
  • Producers/sales reported average increases in salary of 3.3% in 2020 compared to 4.5% in 2019 and 4.2% in 2018.
  • Salaries for agency support staff went up just 2.1% in 2020 compared to a 3.0% on average increase in 2019, which was slightly lower than the 3.1% raise in 2018.

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