Companies in this industry act as agents to sell insurance policies and annuities underwritten by insurance carriers. Major companies include Arthur J Gallagher, Brown & Brown, and Marsh & McLennan (all based in the US), as well as Aon, Lloyd's of London, and Willis Towers Watson (all based in the UK), and CNinsure (China).
Demand is related to consumer income and commercial activity. When the economy grows, so does the demand for personal and business insurance. When the economy contracts, as it did in the late 2000s, demand for insurance falls. Despite the prominence of large companies in the commercial segment, the US industry remains highly fragmented: the largest 50 firms account for about 25% of revenue.
Major insurance products sold by agents and brokers include property and casualty (P/C), health and medical, and life. About 60% of industry revenue comes from commissions on property and casualty insurance, evenly split between commercial and personal lines. Commissions on medical insurance account for about 15% of industry revenue, and life and accident insurance commissions account for another 10%. Other types of insurance sold by agents and brokers can include annuities and title insurance.