What’s Up with Salaries at Insurance Agencies?

By | March 9, 2017

Salaries for insurance agency management, owners, principals and producers were up in 2016.

Total compensation for support staff also increased, although not by as much as it did the year before.

That’s according to Insurance Journal’s 2017 Agency Salary Survey, which revealed that salaries for agency owners, principals and management went up 4.4 percent in 2016, compared to a 3.8 percent jump in 2015.

Producers/sales reported average increases in salary of 4.5 percent in 2016, compared to 2.1 percent in 2015.

While salaries for agency support staff went up 2.9 percent on average in 2016, that was less than the 3.5 percent raise they got in 2015.

This year’s Agency Salary Survey, based on responses from more than 1,300 respondents nationwide, also revealed bumps in total income, which includes profit sharing, bonuses and other income:

  • Agency owners, principals and management reported a rise in total income for 2016, which revealed an increase of 5.5 percent in total income; in 2015 total income increased 5.7 percent.
  • Producers/sales total income went up 6.6 percent for 2016, compared to an increase of 4.7 percent in 2015.
  • Agency support staff total income rose 3.1 percent for 2016, compared to 3.0 percent in 2015.

Satisfaction over agency compensation appears to be holding steady, or slightly improving:

  • Management/agency owners/agency principals reported a compensation satisfaction score of 3.61 in the 2017 survey, down from 3.63 in the 2016 survey, based on a scale of 1-to-5 where
  • “5” equaled “most satisfied.”
  • Producers/sales reported satisfaction of 3.02 in the 2017 survey, up from 2.97 in the 2016 survey.
  • And support staff/CSR/account executives reported a satisfaction score of 2.97 in the 2017 survey, up from 2.84 in the 2016 survey.

Overall compensation satisfaction scored higher when agencies offered employee benefits, both hard benefits such as group health, dental coverage and stock options, and soft benefits such as car reimbursement, trips and contests.

Employee benefit satisfaction ranked highest in the survey when agencies offered profit sharing (3.69) and IRAs (3.59) and lowest for when agencies offered flexible savings accounts (3.35). Even so, when benefits were offered employees showed more satisfaction.

More agency management/owners/principals reported that they plan to increase benefits (10.7 percent) in 2017 compared to 2016 when only 5.9 percent said they were going to up benefits.

More than half of agency management (55.1 percent) also revealed plans to increase hiring in their agency in 2017, which was up from 49.3 percent the prior year.

While management may have plans to increase benefits in 2017, they also have plans to shift health plan costs to employees. Some 8.8 percent reported planning to do so this year, compared to only 7.7 percent in last year’s survey. Even so, three-quarters of agencies responding to the survey (75.4 percent) continue to offer group health insurance to their employees.

Insurance Journal’s 2017 Agency Salary Survey also shows that insurance agencies that stress “soft” benefits have the upper hand in recruiting workers in today’s competitive job market. Employees are increasingly seeking out “soft” benefits in addition to traditional “hard” benefits from their employers.

Insurance Journal’s 2017 Agency Salary Survey collected more than 1,300 responses from independent insurance agencies and brokerages nationwide via an online survey in January 2017. Demotech Inc., Insurance Journal’s official research partner, assisted with analysis of this year’s survey results. The full report is available from Insurance Journal’s Research and Trends division.


About Andrea Wells

Andrea Wells is a veteran insurance editor and Editor-in-Chief of Insurance Journal Magazine. More from Andrea Wells

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