The linchpin of the brokerage distribution channel is the wholesale brokerage agency that serves as an intermediary between insurers and producers who sell their products. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of producers have written business through a wholesale insurance brokerage agency in the past year. Although the majority of producers across all categories are more likely than not to work with a brokerage agency, female producers and producers under the age of 50 are somewhat less likely to work with a brokerage agency than their respective counterparts.
On average, producers wrote business through 2.72 brokerage agencies in the past year. That number tends to increase with producer earning levels, so that producers earning at least $100,000 in income have worked with an average of three brokerage agencies in the past 12 months.
The average amount of time that producers have been working with their primary brokerage agency is seven years. In the study, we defined “primary brokerage agency” as the agency with which respondents wrote the most business.
In terms of the perceived value of working with a brokerage agency, producers cite access to products clients need, high-quality sales and service support and administrative support as the most important attributes of the brokerage relationship (Figure 10; click to enlarge). Access to leads ranks below other factors in terms of importance, though lead offers figure prominently when producers were asked what factors would influence them to work with a new brokerage agency.