The full year results for 2009 are in, and they reflect the continued decrease in top line for both property/casualty and life & annuity insurers. In P&C, net written premiums dropped 3.7%, and life premiums and annuity considerations were reduced by slightly less than 5% over 2008 levels (excluding outlier results from two companies).

This underscores the importance of distribution management. The last Celent report on the topic, "Distribution Management Systems Review: A Bigger Piece of a Smaller Pie,” November, 2009, noted a convergence in vendor offerings between commission systems and recruiting/training/licensing solutions. The next step in this evolution should be to apply the considerable expertise and process built for customer relationship management (CRM) to producers in an integrated approach—producer relationship management (PRM).   

For example, some insurers currently track and manage the “once and done” call resolution rate for policyholders. That is, how many times can the company’s service operation leverage process and automation to resolve a customer’s issue at the time of first contact? Why not apply this principle to producers who seek help from field or home office support? Keeping the production resources productive and satisfied will be increasingly important in the next months of lean growth. PRM is a lever that is just waiting to be used.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent. Mike Fitzgerald is a senior analyst in Celent's insurance practice, and can be reached at mfitzgerald@celent.com.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Mike using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

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