Regional Carriers Rank Best on Ease of Doing Business Performance

September 22, 2006

Regional insurance carriers again topped the list of best performers when it comes to ease of doing business, according to a new survey by Deep Customer Connections Inc. based in Acton, Mass.

West Bend Mutual, headquartered in Wisconsin, and Grange Mutual, based in Ohio came in as top rated carriers, each earning an Ease of Doing Business “Index” of more than 95. Another regional carrier, Maine Mutual, also rated above 95 based on a smaller number of ratings. Rounding out the “Top 10” performers in EDB are Acuity, Central Mutual, Safety, Peerless, Main Street America Group, and Frankenmuth. Accident Fund and Secura tied for 10th.

“In 2006 some 6,000 independent agents gave more than 22,000 ratings of property and casualty carriers across the country,” said Nort Salz, co-founder of DCC. “These ratings show an incremental gain in performance scores from last year’s EDB survey.”

More than 200 property casualty carriers were rated on 10 EDB Factors. Independent agents and brokers rated both the importance of each factor and the performance of several carriers of their choice against those factors. Overall the Ease of Doing Business Index, a composite measure of carriers’ EDB performance, rose from 83.8 in 2005 to 86.9 in 2006.

“Some of this improvement is because carriers are increasingly seeing and acting on the need to be easier to do business with,” explained Paul Croke, DCC co-founder. “Ironically, becoming easier to do business with is difficult because it includes transactional as well as relationship issues in the carrier-agent interface. Having a clear set of EDB metrics is quite useful in making progress that has the most impact.”

“There continues to be great variability in EDB performance ratings among the carriers,” added Beth Cliff, a DCC principal. “Some individual carriers made substantial gains while others actually lost ground,” she said. “At the same time, we see the same players at the top of the list — those who are focused on the idea that being easier to do business with translates into more and better business.”

Source: Deep Customer Connections

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