Showing posts from May, 2012

Direct Writers want Independents

Nationwide buys Harleysville and grows Allied. Allstate is recruiting for independent agents. Progressive and Geico have appointed numerous independent agents across the country. Whats happening?  It is clear, direct writers are edging their way into the independent agent marketplace. They see a lot of new business potential, but can they thrive?  Independent agencies work completely different from direct writers. In the independent world agents move business around within their office to make sure their cleints have the best covrage and price. Direct writer companies are not use to having a work force that has that kind of autonomy. They will have to give up some control in order to get business from independent agents. I am sure of one thing, these large direct writer companies will figure it out and probably become invaluable to independents. Time will tell. Until next time be careful out there and know your risks. K

Harleysville, the end of an era

For those agents who have been a little long in the tooth around the Northeast, Harleysville insurance company has been a featured company in many offices. I started working with Harleysville in the late 1980's where they wrote small commercial and personal lines for our agency. They quickly developed into one of our top companies writing complex middle market commercial risks. They were run with a small family like appeal and we grew significantly with them. Today they officially merged with Nationwide a direct writer company that is moving into the independent world. Boy, things do change. I think companies like Harleysville that grew into a top regional will continue to be aquired by bigger companies. It is the evolution of a maturing industry called insurance. As the insurance product continues to commoditize the price of the product will continue to drop. Only the big companies with scale can survive this trend. Look at grocery chains and store chains, does anyone remember Wo…