Lucas Parris, CFA, ASA, was featured in the “Ask the Experts” section of the March 2016 Business Valuation Update newsletter published by Business Valuation Resources. This section highlights Lucas’ insurance expertise in conjunction with his recent webinar: “Valuing Insurance Agencies,” sponsored by Business Valuation Resources.
Excerpted from the “Ask the Experts” section:
How has the ability to buy insurance online without the need for an agent affected local insurance agencies?
“For certain commodity-type products, such as term life and auto insurance, there has been a significant impact on local agencies,” says Lucas M. Parris, CFA, ASA, a vice president at Mercer Capital who leads the firm’s insurance industry team. “An individual can compare prices, apply online, and purchase a policy directly from the carrier without talking to an agent. This is an ease-of-use issue, and I don’t see this trend reversing. And to the extent that this model extends to other types of insurance, such as home and other personal lines, it will be a negative.” However, agencies that focus on commercial insurance will not be as affected. “An owner of a business or commercial property is not going to feel as confident about price and policy terms when using an online form, as compared to discussing his particular situation with a real person.” He says, “The ability to sit down face-to-face with the agent will always have some appeal to the business owner, and the underwriters are likely to be able to better price the risk.”
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Mercer Capital’s Insurance Coverage
Quarterly Newsletter – Value Focus: Insurance Industry
Lucas leads the Mercer Capital Insurance Industry Team and is active in the valuation of insurance agencies, brokerages, and underwriters for corporate valuation and compliance matters. He is responsible for publishing the quarterly newsletter Value Focus: Insurance, which illustrates trends affecting firms in the insurance industry.
Whitepaper – How to Value Your Insurance Brokerage
Soft market or hard market, it is important for insurance brokerage owners to have an idea of what their business is worth. A lack of knowledge regarding the value of your business could be costly. Opportunities for successful liquidity events may be missed or estate planning could be incorrectly implemented based on misunderstandings about value. In addition, understanding how insurance agencies and brokerages are actually valued may help you understand how to grow the value of your business and maximize your return when it comes time to sell. The purpose of this whitepaper is to provide an informative overview regarding the valuation of insurance brokerages and agencies.