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PIA Partnership Announces 2014 Project: Voice of the Customer: Commercial Lines

WASHINGTON — The PIA Partnership, the company relations council of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), has announced its annual project for 2014...
September 30, 2013

WASHINGTONThe PIA Partnership, the company relations council of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), has announced its annual project for 2014. Agency Touch Points – The Voice of the Customer: Commercial Lines will conduct a nationwide survey of commercial lines customers to determine their buying preferences.

“Recent studies backed by direct writers and captive carriers have contended that some buyers of coverages such as small and midsize business owners protection (BOP) have asserted that a majority want to purchase such coverages online,” said PIA National President Andrew C. Harris. “We believe that such studies lack credibility, and that a more objective picture of buyer preferences is required.” Commercial insurance customers have been relying on the advice and council of their Professional Insurance Agent, just as they have with their CPA and Legal Counselor.

Agency Touch Points – The Voice of the Customer: Commercial Lines will be the follow-up to the PIA Partnership’s groundbreaking 2012 study, Agency Touch Points – Voice of the Customer: Personal Lines.

The 2012 survey on personal lines found that customers value what agents can do for them more than they value having a choice of products and policy coverages, and they are eager for producers to take a more active role in delivering those services. It found customers are looking for expert advice and counseling, personalized attention and interaction, the ability to offer comprehensive protection to meet individual needs and excellent “relationship-based” customer service. The survey also found that customers care about coverage and that price is not the primary determining factor.
“We are pleased that The PIA Partnership will embark on a research project that will provide objective findings about what commercial lines customers really want,” said Douglas P. McCormack, assistant vice president of National Client Practices at The Hartford and Chair of The PIA Partnership. “Focusing our research in 2014 on the commercial lines marketplace, which is served well by Professional Insurance Agents, is a natural follow-up to our previous research on personal lines, and it will likely provide additional valuable insights for our industry.”

About the PIA Partnership
Founded in 1996 with start-up funding from PIA National, The PIA Partnership identifies areas of opportunity in the agency-company partnership, facilitates dialogue between company executives and PIA leaders and conducts solution-oriented research designed to enable both agents and companies to profit from these opportunities. Recent projects of The PIA Partnership have included Reaching Gen Y and Making the Internet Work for You; A Practical Guide to Successful Planning; Perpetuation Central; Agency Touch Points – The Voice of the Customer: Personal Lines; and Closing the Gap – Growth & Profit.”

Current PIA Partnership companies include: Encompass Insurance; Erie Insurance; Harleysville Insurance; Liberty Mutual Insurance; MetLife Auto & Home; Progressive Insurance; Selective Insurance Group; State Auto Group; The Central Insurance Companies; The Hanover Insurance Group; The Hartford; The Motorists Insurance Group; and Travelers.

About PIA
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM. PIA’s Web address is www.pianet.com.

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