|Targeted News Service|
Members of the
PIA agents and officials recently shared their views on the McKinsey report in a series of interviews for forthcoming articles in both industry and association publications. The verdict: The report is a flawed premise wrapped in a faulty analysis. It contends that the marketplace is marching away from independent agents and toward commoditization of more lines, but then notes with frustration that, "Surprisingly [this] has not yet led to a change in the local insurance agent landscape." But then in a contradictory statement, under a headline, "The End of an Era for the Local Insurance Agent," McKinsey asserts that "the economics of the traditional agent model are beginning to unravel."
"The McKinsey report is just somebody's opinion. In reality, I just don't think it's true," said PIA National President
"Far from being the 'End of an Era,' this is the dawning of a bright, new age for the independent insurance agent," Lee said.
"Every decade or so, consulting firms will predict the demise of the independent agency distribution system, for their own competitive priorities," said PIA National Senior Vice President
"The report by McKinsey is not a research report, as no true unbiased research seems to have been conducted for it," said Borowski, during a break at a conference held by the
Agents Take Issue
"We have been in business since 1864 and continue to be a hometown agency in the eyes of our clients," Dean said. "Many people prefer to deal locally and keep their dollars in their local communities. Our employees volunteer their time to support charitable initiatives and we also contribute financially to our communities. We will continue to be more then just a price market and have made the choice to not be a seller of commodity insurance. We certainly have a web presence, but it is mainly to drive prospects and clients to talk to us, either on the phone or in person."
The McKinsey report observes that carriers are expanding investments in digital technology but concludes that such investments will marginalize rather than help the agent. PIA agents have found that not to be the case. Cutting-edge agents are using digital technology, especially social media, to attract new clients and build ever stronger relationships with existing clients of their independent agencies.