To prepare for these annual market share reviews with the first one issued in the mid 1990s the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America each year reviews property/casualty insurance premium data provided by A.M. Best Company. In comparing these numbers along with other data, research reports and anecdotal information gathered during the year we typically are impressed with the creative, aggressive actions of some independent agencies (IAs) and their carrier partners to retain and grow market share in one or more lines of business. And some IA carriers post impressive expense ratios relative to direct channels, debunking the myth that it must cost more to distribute through independent agents.
Property Casualty Insurance Market: Opportunities & Competitive Challenges For Independent Agents & Brokers - 2020 Report Available
Independent agents continue to hold a large piece of the commercial market at 84.5%, according to the 2020 Market Share Report. The 2020 report reflects analysis of data for select property-casualty premiums by line for the years 2017-2019, including personal auto, commercial auto, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, commercial group and workers compensation. Accident and health premiums were not included in the report.
2017 to 2019 saw a 4.7% overall increase in direct written premium (DWP) across all lines reviewed. Notably, commercial auto showed an increase of 11.4% in DWP, while worker's compensation reported a loss of 3% in DWP.
Over the last three study cycles (2016 to 2019) no notable gains or losses were indicated in any of the data by distribution channel. Independent agency companies wrote 35.7% of all personal lines in 2019, up 2.3% from 2017. Direct response carriers' share grew by nearly 4%, while captive carriers lost 4%.