Nowhere to Go But Up

September 28, 2016

While the overriding theme of the DCC report was the fact that the latest survey results generally corroborate a collection of mediocre scores for carrier technology from agents and just slightly better views on relationships, in the area that reflected the worst scores two years running, there were some noticeable pockets of improvement.

With just about nowhere to go but up, the absolute lowest scores from the prior survey for claims technology each improved:

Commercial Lines Scores Advance

Commercial lines agencies also accounted for one of the biggest upward movements in scores recorded in the survey—not for technology but instead for the help they get from day-to-day interactions with carrier personnel on claims matters. Their average relationship “helpfulness” score advanced from 5.6 in the prior survey to 6.1 in the latest one.

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“Helpfulness” scores for commercial lines carriers showed the most year-over-year improvement from agents grading the value of carrier technology and relationships when responding to customers with claims. In fact, scores from agents specializing in commercial lines stayed the same or improved for all activities the DCC survey asked about.

The 0.2-point increase in the average score related to claims technology and the 0.5-point increase on relationships appear to be part of a general trend upward in the year-over-year changes in scores from commercial lines agents, with three of the four technology scores and three out of four relationship scores all higher than those recorded by DCC for the prior year’s survey. (The two scores that didn’t advance—related to technology for writing policies and relationship guidance in servicing policies—remained unchanged for commercial lines agents.)

The commercial lines group, in fact, was the only cut of the data—by line of business segment, by size, by age group or agency role—for which more than four scores out of the eight total technology and relationship scores went up in the latest survey and no score declined.

While the under-40 age group also showed some strong upward movement in three scores (the average technology score for claims help rose to 0.7 points from 4.5 to 5.2, and the relationship scores for servicing and claims moved at least 0.5 points or more to 6.2), a drop of 0.4 points in the young agents’ score for technology to help with prospecting brought that average down from 5.3 in the prior survey to under 5.0 in the latest (4.9).