Best Independent Agencies to Work For

By | September 30, 2010

The results are in from the 2010 Best Independent Insurance Agency to Work For survey by Insurance Journal.

The owners of the Best Agencies to Work For in 2010 accent different programs or benefits depending upon their employee needs, their community, agency history, resources, even their own personalities and styles. However, it is clear that it’s not all about benefits and programs; it’s also about people and relationships. Employees of the winning agencies cite high personal job satisfaction, rate their relationships with their immediate boss or supervisor as positive, and express a high opinion of their agency’s owner or principals.

This year, many employees are grateful their bosses have managed their agencies well through the recession and dealt with them and their fellow employees fairly and openly in these tough economic times. A few agencies have actually managed to continue to grow and this achievement has not gone unnoticed by employees. But for those that have had to implement layoffs or freeze salaries, the best agencies did it fairly and communicated what was going on to employees at all times.

The best agencies also provide ways to help their employees grow — by giving them the tools and technology they need, and supporting them with education, training and, in some cases, mentors. The survey results clearly show employees value this support.

As expected, the winning agencies score high for overall employee benefits including wellness programs and for working conditions including flex-time and the ability to work from home when necessary. These agencies also believe in community involvement. Even as business slowed they continued to give back and to provide avenues for employees to participate in community service. Employees take pride in working for agencies that are respected in their communities.

The survey results are employee-driven, evaluations are based on employee feedback, and the comments are also from employees. The winners are representative of hundreds, if not thousands, of agencies across the country that are great places to work. Their examples may provide encouragement for other agency managers to think about ways to foster the employee loyalty and satisfaction enjoyed by the Best Agencies to Work For.

THE WINNERS

Overall: Barney & Barney, San Diego, California

East: KMRD Partners, Warrington, Pennsylvania

South Central: Bryan Insurance Agency, Graham, Texas

Southeast: Seitlin Group, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Midwest: Wine Sergi & Co., St. Charles, Illinois

West: Chapman & Associates, Pasadena, California

OTHER FINALISTS

  • Brightway Insurance, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Clark-Mortenson Agency, Keene, New Hampshire
  • Hester, Heitel & Associates, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Holmes Murphy & Associates, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Johnson Kendall & Johnson, Newtown, Pennsylvania
  • Premier Insurance, Twin Falls, Idaho
  • Rogers & Gray Insurance Agency, South Dennis, Mass.
  • Thompson Flanagan, Chicago, Illinois

About The Survey

The results of the Insurance Journal 2010 Best Independent Insurance Agencies to Work For survey are from research that began with an online survey on www.insurancejournal.com in July. Employees were asked to nominate property/casualty independent insurance agencies; respondents were limited to current employees of the agency being nominated. A minimum of three to seven agency employee nominations, depending upon agency size, was required for an agency to be nominated. Employees had to complete a survey with 20 multiple part, in-depth questions on their working environment, employee benefits, work satisfaction and evaluations of owners and immediate bosses. Employees were asked for agencies that failed to qualify, 58 independent insurance agencies of all sizes and from all regions were in the competition.

Each question was assigned to one of five categories and assigned a numerical weight. The responses were scored according to various factors that included the importance to employees of the category and employees’ degree of satisfaction with their agency, boss and owner in that category. The responses were further analyzed in light of additional information that included specific workplace examples, relevant supporting comments and the size of the agency along with the number of employees participating. The process produced the agency with the highest overall score, as well as the top performers for each of five regions served by Insurance Journal.

Contributors to the survey design and results analysis include Wells Publishing Vice President of Content Andrew Simpson; Insurance Journal Editor-in-Chief Andrea Wells; Wells Publishing Vice President of New Business Development Adam Dunford and Christopher J. Boggs, director of education for the Insurance Journal Academy of Insurance. Insurance Journal also wishes to acknowledge Pamela Simpson, a management consultant based in South Hadley, Mass., for her contributions to the design and analysis. The winners’ profiles were written by Insurance Journal editors.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.