A major trend in the insurance industry, and the worksite segment specifically, is the consolidation of carriers. Seemingly, the larger ones are gobbling up a host of smaller –and often very efficient — carriers. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that at least one carrier a broker deals with has been consumed.
Frequently, the acquiring carrier has little experience or understanding of the market segment they’ve just entered and dealing with the inevitable changes that occur with such mergers remain a challenge that we in the brokerage community need to tackle ourselves. Operating under the philosophy that we want to be true partners with our carriers, it’s imperative we as a community be clear and precise on what we need from a carrier to continue our relationship. Rather than allow the new carrier to dictate to us, their revenue source, the terms and conditions, we need to work with them to help them provide the systems, tools, and products we need to work together for our mutual success. This way we can provide our clients the best service and products possible to help them meet their needs.
That said, approaching the new carrier individually, while important, may not be as effective as approaching them in mass as one voice. A couple of million dollars of production here in there should be listened to, but tens of millions of production cannot be ignored.
This trend will probably continue, and how we handle this as brokers will help determine the landscape of our markets.