P&C Carriers can Improve Combined Ratio 3-5 Points with an Effective Agency Management Practice, says Ward Group

Dec 05, 2012, 09:00 ET from Aon plc from ,Ward Group

CINCINNATI, Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ward Group, a McLagan/Aon Hewitt company and the leading provider of benchmarking and best practices studies for insurance companies, recently presented a discussion paper and held a webinar regarding challenges facing property-casualty insurance carriers in managing their independent agency distribution system and the benefits of implementing an effective agency management and tiering program. 

Many independent agencies have been drastically affected by market conditions and catastrophe losses over the past several years. Commissions are lower for many agencies requiring them to work harder for less. Consequently, insurance companies distributing through independent agencies have felt the effects of declining agency performance on their bottom line.  

According to Ward Group, although many insurance companies have a method for tiering their agencies, not all of them take a true statistical approach to measure their agency force.  The subjectivity in managing a company's agency force should be minimized to more effectively evaluate and communicate an agency's value and contribution to company performance.  An objective and statistical approach is needed to provide credibility to the management process, consistency for evaluating agency performance and, thus, establish trust in the process across all company departments.  It is also important for carriers to work collaboratively with agencies, more effectively communicate the company's goals and risk appetite and learn directly from the agency's experiences and opportunities.

"Carriers benefit from a distribution management practice that effectively measures agency performance, filters out the low performers and identifies the right agencies to help meet future growth and profitability goals", said Jeff Rieder, head of Ward Group.  "Our experience has shown that when an agency management program is performed correctly an insurance company can lower the combined ratio three points to five points and drive sustainable long-term value for both the company and their agencies.

To learn more about Ward Group distribution management and benchmarking programs for insurance carriers, contact Doug Terrill at doug.terrill@wardinc.com

Go to www.wardinc.com for a copy of the discussion paper. 

Additional Ward Group Resources

About Ward Group

Ward Group, a McLagan/Aon Hewitt company, is the leading provider of benchmarking and best practices studies for insurance companies.  The firm analyzes staff levels, business practices and expenses for all areas of insurance company operations and helps companies to measure results, optimize performance and improve profitability. For more information about Ward Group and the Ward Research Center, visit www.wardinc.com.

About Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions.  The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance.  Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies.  With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees.  For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.

Ward Group Media Contact:

Betty Cornelius
Ward Group

SOURCE Aon plc; Ward Group