Many customers who are lured away from independent agents by direct insurers promising lower prices will ultimately return to an independent agent.
According to a recent study commissioned by The Hanover Insurance Group, nearly 60 percent of consumers who had purchased insurance through a direct channel 10 or more years ago reported switching back to an independent agent because they wanted more value.
This study was conducted for Hanover, an independent agency company, by research firm InsightExpress of 1,000 consumers who purchased insurance through direct channels 10 or more years ago.
Most consumers who switched back to independent agents cited expertise and convenience for their decision. According to the survey, the motivators for consumers who switched to work with independent agents also included the benefits of having one point of contact to handle insurance needs and questions and having the guidance of an experienced personal insurance professional.
“This research demonstrates that consumers really value the advice provided by independent agents and the personal relationships they build with their customers,” said Mark R. Desrochers, president, personal lines insurance at The Hanover. “The majority of respondents said their number one reason for switching from a direct insurance provider was to have someone to guide them through their insurance buying decisions. Clearly trust and expertise are important to consumers.”
“The study shows that consumers realize the value that independent agents bring. That’s why we deliver our products exclusively through agents who are ‘the value creating channel,'” said Dick Lavey, president of field operations and chief marketing officer at The Hanover.
The Hanover Insurance Group Inc. is based in Worcester, Mass.