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The relationship between corporate risk managers and their insurance brokers is, historically, one of trust, dependence and confidence. But that is not the case currently, according to the "2010 Large Corporate Insurance Study" conducted by Greenwich Associates. The survey finds there is a growing disconnect between corporate risk managers and their insurance brokers-a situation with alarming potential consequences.

The risk managers surveyed expressed low satisfaction with the service they are receiving from virtually all U.S. insurance providers. Only two firms out of the 10 largest U.S. corporate insurance brokers received an "excellent" rating from more than 30% of their corporate clients. Those two firms (Beecher Carlson Insurance and BB&T) are relatively small, spelling bad news for the major insurance brokers.

"The fact that companies see little distinction between major brokers and carriers will come as unwelcome news to insurance providers, many of which make large investments of time, effort and money in trying to develop strong brands," said Brett McNeice, client broker with Greenwich Associates. It seems that recent declines in revenue, stemming from a stalwart economy, have forced brokers to put their focus on their bottom lines instead of their crucial client relationships. 
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.