By Ayo Mseka
A Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) study finds that more than a quarter of producers consider the financial strength of an insurer one of the two most important factors in 2011.
The study, What Producers Value: From Companies and Independent Intermediaries in 2011, examined the types of service and support provided by insurers, which producers said they valued. Overall, training was the number one choice, with 32 percent of producers selecting an aspect of training as most important. Not surprisingly, more producers believed that product training was the most critical.
Technological support was second—with 20 percent of producers identifying a technology-based support service as most important, according to the survey. This category included things like online access to client records, new business-application status and commission reporting, as well as consolidated client-statement reporting and electronic submission of new applications. The good news is that 6 out of 10 producers believed that carriers provided very good or excellent support in these areas.
Other areas of importance to producers include point-of-sale support (17 percent), business-development support (16 percent) and operational support (15 percent). While these areas individually don’t represent a large portion of producers, collectively, an element in these categories is “most important” to half of all producers surveyed.
Another factor that plays an important role in producers’ decisions to do business with companies is the relationship they have with them. LIMRA’s decade-long research in this area consistently shows that in addition to satisfying producers’ business needs, companies must still work hard to attract and retain producers.
Ayo Mseka is the Editor of Advisor Today.