Salaries Roar but Satisfaction with Compensation Wanes

By | February 21, 2022

Insurance agency personnel on average made more money in 2021 but satisfaction with compensation overall declined despite higher salaries and total compensation.

Satisfaction with compensation dropped slightly across the board, according to the 2022 Agency Salary Survey, published annually by Insurance Journal. While last year’s annual Agency Compensation Satisfaction Index reported the highest overall scores in more than five years, the 2022 Agency Compensation Satisfaction Index showed overall decreased satisfaction levels even though salaries were up.

Changes in overall salary and total income rose in all categories this year. Producers/sales saw a large increase in total income change, while management and support staff saw steady total income changes.

Satisfaction with compensation dropped to 3.41 overall in 2021 from 3.53 overall in 2020, based on a scale of 1-to-5 where “5” equaled “most satisfied.”

  • Management/agency owners/agency principals reported a compensation satisfaction score of 3.80 in the 2022 survey down slightly from 3.88 in the 2021 survey.
  • Producers/sales reported satisfaction of 3.31 in the 2022 survey, down from 3.47 in the 2021 survey.
  • Support staff/CSR/account executives reported a satisfaction score of just 3.13 in the 2022 survey, down from 3.25 in the 2021 survey.

The score for overall satisfaction was higher when agencies offered employee benefits, both hard benefits (such has group health, life/disability, dental, profit sharing, 401(k) plans, IRAs and flexible savings accounts) and soft benefits (such as childcare/day care, education reimbursement and paid family leave).

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

As noted, the survey revealed an upward trend in total compensation for all agency positions. Producers reported the highest increases, in total compensation, according to this year’s survey results.

  • Agency owners, principals and management reported an increase in total income for 2021 — a 7.5% increase in total income, compared to a 5.0% increase in total income for 2020.
  • Producers/sales total income increased the most with a 17.9% increase for 2021, compared to an 8.4% increase in 2020.
  • Agency support staff total income showed 3.9% increase for 2021, compared to a 2.3% increase for 2020.

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

  • Salaries for agency owners, principals and management rose 4.6% in 2021 compared to 3.1% in 2020.
  • Producers/sales reported average increases in salary of 6.1% in 2021 compared to 3.3% in 2020.
  • Salaries for agency support staff rose 4.4% in 2021 compared to 2.1% in 2020.

Insurance Journal’s Agency Salary Survey collected nearly 700 responses from agency owners and employees nationwide via an online survey in January and early February 2022. Demotech Inc., Insurance Journal’s official research partner, assisted with analysis of this year’s survey results. For more information, contact Andrea Wells at:

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