Survey: Claims Handling is the Key to Winning over Agents

April 15, 2009

Quality claims handling is the most important factor to independent agents in evaluating an insurer, according to a recent survey of 450 agents conducted by the Professional Insurance Agents Associations (PIA) of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York State.

Agents rated “adjust claims fairly” and “pays claims promptly” as the two top factors when evaluating an insurer, according to PIA. Rounding out the top 10, in decreasing order of importance were: communicates clearly, honestly; resolves issues quickly;underwriter knowledge, experience; listens, responds to agents;easy, intuitive technology; stable markets; consistent underwriting; and competitive pricing.

Surprisingly, compensation was not named among the top-10 considerations.

“Quality of service clearly overrides the ‘profit-only’ motive that agents are falsely accused of being driven by,” said Jim Pittz, business issues director for the four state associations. “A smooth claims process allows independent insurance agents to help their clients quickly.”

PIA says the results of this survey will help shape its 2009 Company Performance Survey, which it plans to launch in May
Source: Professional Insurance Agents Associations of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

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