Survey: Consolidation in insurance is top trend

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44229165 - flames of fire as the background. vector illustrationAre you feeling the heat? According to the WSIA’s 2018 Heat Map, managing general agents and others in the wholesale, specialty, and surplus lines business believe increasing consolidation is the biggest — and most severe — trend affecting the industry. Two years ago, the survey found consolidations were the No. 2 biggest trend.

Increasing cyber exposure continues to move up the list of top trends, rising from No. 4 to No. 2 on the Heat Map. The No. 3 trend in 2018 wasn’t even on the 2016 Heat Map: Excess and surplus lines marketplace responding to new coverage/speed to market. The top five trends are rounded out by increased capacity (No. 4, down from No. 1 in 2016) and increasing challenge in workforce dynamics (No. 5, down from No. 3).

Because those in the industry see workforce challenges as a bit less severe may be a signal that efforts to recruit Millennials are beginning to pay off. Replacing the tens of thousands of retiring baby boomers continues to be a daunting task for the industry, of course.

WSIA (Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association) surveyed 370 members to ask which trends they see having the biggest effect on the industry short-term and long-term. WSIA was formed last year with the merger of American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO).

The organization says it will use the results to help guide research and reporting. Besides MGAs, other survey respondents ranged from program administrators to Lloyd’s syndicates and from captive insurers to surplus lines associations.