If you want your incentive programs to appeal to independent agents, think younger than in the past. The demographics of individuals leading independent insurance agencies are changing, says the 2002 Agency Universe study. The study, released in October, was conducted by Future One, a collaboration of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and 19 independent agency companies.

Slightly less than one-third of all agency principals surveyed were younger than 45 years old. Interestingly, nearly three-quarters of principals in agencies that experienced a change of ownership in the past two years were younger than 45. About one-quarter of the new agency principals were women.

Not surprisingly, the main attitudinal difference between younger and older agents is about technology. Respondents under 35 years of age gave technology greater importance than older agents, citing its ability to enhance education, research, and service. No doubt they would be more responsive to online training and incentive program Web sites.

For more information, go to www.independentagent.com.

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