Insights from J.D Power’s Independent Insurance Agent Satisfaction Study

Now in it’s second year, J.D. Power surveyed 1,466 property & casualty (P&C) independent agents about the state of the industry, satisfaction and policies. Property and Casualty policies include auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters and condo insurance. The term “personal” is used to describe retail/consumer policies while “commercial” targets businesses.

The use of independent agents is steady from 2016 – 2018 with little change overall. Independent insurance agents wrote 35.5% of all personal policies and 83% of all commercial premiums in 2018.

Carrier & Agent Relationships

How many insurance carriers do independent agents work with? On average, agents surveyed by J.D Power work with 8 carriers for personal lines and 11 for commercial lines.

For comparison, out of 21 independent agents in Lubbock, 7.7 was the average # of auto insurance carriers. Four agencies worked with 10 or more carriers for auto insurance!

For property insurance in Lubbock, the average was higher at 10 unique carriers. Nine independent agents worked with 10 or more carriers for homeowners, condo and renters policies!

What’s the benefit of multiple carriers? Independent agents can provide more choice. With more choice, policies are better and prices are more affordable. Looking for a custom policy? An independent agent that works with 10+ companies for car insurance is more likely to provide it.

In a typical month, an independent agent writes car insurance policies for the following people:

  • A high school student with no credit history or driving record
  • A 50 year old with a DWI on his record
  • A Texas Tech student with a need for speed! 3 speeding tickets in the last 3 years.
  • An unlucky driver that is accident prone and has been involved in 4 no-fault accidents in the past 5 years.
  • A family of four that is buying a bigger house and is shopping for home and auto with the same carrier.
  • A mid-life crisis purchase of a new Chevy Corvette that requires comprehensive coverage.

How can one insurance carrier meet all of these scenarios? The short answer is it can’t, but an independent agent working with multiple insurance companies is able to comparison shop for customers.

A final benefit of working with independent agencies? Bundled policies are more common and according to J.D. Power, 44% of all auto and home policies are bundled. Bundling saves serious money and simplifies premiums and claims.


Auto-Owners Insurance ranks highest among personal lines for the second straight year, with an overall satisfaction score of 800. Progressive (762) ranks second while Safeco and Travelers rank third in a tie with 737.

Liberty Mutual performs highest among commercial lines for the second straight year, with an overall satisfaction score of 749. Chubb and The Hartford rank second in a tie with 720.


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