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 (all based in the US), as well as Aon, Lloyd's of London, and Willis Group (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 only hold 25 percent of the total market.
Major insurance products sold by agents and brokers include property and casualty (P/C), health and medical, and life. About 60 percent of industry revenue comes from commissions on property and casualty insurance, split between commercial (30 percent) and personal (30 percent) lines. Commissions on medical insurance accounts for about 15 percent of industry revenue, and life and accident insurance accounts for another 10 percent. Other types of insurance sold by agents and brokers can include annuity and title insurance.