The property/casualty insurance industry is meeting its hiring needs, but still struggling to attract younger employees and overcome its stodgy reputation, A.M. Best determined in a new survey.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that they have been able to meet their hiring targets over the last 18 months, according to the A.M. Best Spring 2015 Insurance Survey.

At the same time, new hires ages 44-55 years of age reflects the main age for existing agents, A.M. Best said. Consider also that less than 20 percent are under 44 years of age, showing what the ratings entity said was a “lack of bench strength.”

Why does a shortage of younger employees continue? The survey results give one clue. According to A.M. Best, just over 40 percent of respondents said insurance industry is seen by prospective job candidates “as not being entrepreneurial enough,” or “too boring.”

“There is a potential talent drain as the industry is having a challenging time attracting younger agents,” A.M. Best said in its survey promotion.

The A.M. Best survey touched on a number of other areas, including:

  • M&A activity. Thirty percent of respondents said the main factor behind M&A movement is the strategic use of excess capital. About 26 percent said meeting growth targets was behind the trend.
  • Slow premium growth. Just under 44 percent of respondents said that the risk of losing underwriting discipline was the biggest drawback to addressing slow premium growth. Other obstacles/concerns that came out of the survey: the cost of acquiring additional distribution, being unable to further reduce pricing and a perceived lack of innovation for existing product offerings.

Even with slow growth concerns, 43 percent of respondents haven’t made significant changes to existing product offering, A.M. Best said.

Source: A.M. Best