Insurance General Agents Outlook in 2012 – Looking at the Future

A lot has changed over the last decade, in nearly every avenue of our lives.  Even insurance general agents have felt the sting of technology as many companies and individuals have turned to the internet to buy their insurance coverage instead of doing so through insurance general agents.  But there is still a need for insurance, be it worker's compensation, health insurance, or life insurance.  And insurance general agents will continue to sell that insurance for the foreseeable future.  Still, it's worth taking a closer look at the outlook of the industry for 2012 to understand just what kind of trends and market expectations are on the horizon.  The fact is that the future really depends on where you look and what you're looking at.

  • First of all, the good news.  Recently released reports from Fitch state that revenue and earnings growth for insurance general agents in 2012 should match that of 2011 fairly closely.  Global economic recovery seems to be continuing, and it appears that insurance general agents will experience the benefits of that as more companies and individuals continue to buy insurance in various forms.
  • However, some areas of the commercial insurance market aren't expected to fare as well.  The main reason for this is a decreased number of large acquisition targets – most major players already have their insurance in order and until the economy truly improves additional big money leads in the commercial sector won't be as strong for insurance general agents.
  • Also, while insurance sales made by insurance general agents are expected to climb somewhat over 2012, it's estimated that actual employment of insurance general agents isn't expected to climb along with it.  In other words, current insurance general agents may be in luck but newer ones will be facing an uphill battle.
  • The internet has played a major role in the shifting face of what insurance general agents provide, mainly due to the fact that shopping for insurance can be completed totally over the internet.  Still, the friendly faces of insurance general agents and their reliable answers helps improve their overall job security.
  • In the case of worker's compensation, pay as you go plans from payroll services have greatly ate into the sales of insurance general agents.  That's expected to continue to some degree in 2012, but there will still be plenty of sales made in the traditional manner.

In summation, it's easy to see that insurance general agents aren't headed for extinction any time soon.  However, there's a very real possibility that they'll need to work on shifting their focuses and broadening their overall range of services in order to stay competitive in the long term.  But at least for 2012 and the short term future, it's still a fine time to be one of the many insurance general agents helping companies and individuals find the coverage that they need.

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