Nationwide says the process of transitioning the company to operate as an independent insurance agency carrier is complete, effective July 1.
For the past 18 months, the Columbus, Ohio-based insurer has been working on the transition. The company says more than 99% of the company’s about 2,000 formerly captive agents have committed to joining Nationwide’s independent agency channel and continuing their relationship with the company.
Nationwide announced in 2018 that it would transition to a fully independent model. Since then, new written premium driven by independent agents has increased 35%, the company says.
Nationwide has worked with independent agents since 1929. It now has relationships with more than 11,000 U.S. independent agents selling personal lines, commercial lines, agribusiness, excess and surplus and financial services solutions, the company says.
“Despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve made tremendous progress in transforming our business to meet the needs of independent agents and set our former exclusive agents up for success within the independent agent model,” Mark Berven, president and COO, Nationwide Property and Casualty, said in a prepared statement.
In 2018, the company said under the independent model, agents will maintain access to Nationwide’s breadth of products, while receiving more flexibility to use other carriers, they will be better able to attract and retain commercial lines business and they can access investment capital in their agencies over the long-term.
Nationwide also said agents will have control over succession planning, and a choice of what to do with policies at a future date, while diversifying their revenue streams and offering their clients access to industry expertise through multiple carriers.
The company has invested in technology to help agents build their business, creating tools like Nationwide Express and the Commercial Digital Storefront (with an agent-focused portal rolling out soon). It also has expanded its suite of telematics, or usage-based insurance products, including SmartRide and SmartMiles, as well as commercial lines telematics solutions.
- Nationwide Offers Independent Agents a Commercial Insurance Digital Storefront
- Nationwide Switching to Independent Agency Distribution Model by 2020
- Nationwide ‘Express’ Portal Promises Agents Multiple Product Quotes in 2 Minutes
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