Nationwide has announced its plans to transition into an entirely independent agency distribution model in two years’ time.
In a release, the insurer said that it hopes to shift completely into an independent distribution system by July 01, 2020. Nationwide stressed that the decision to switch is “part of ongoing efforts to give agents the flexibility they need to grow and thrive.”
About 2,000 existing agents who have been operating under the Nationwide brand will have the opportunity to shift to an independent agency model between now and the target date, the insurer said.
Currently, Nationwide works with over 10,000 independent agents across the US.
Nationwide Property & Casualty president and chief operating officer Mark Berven offered assurances that the decision will not affect the way members conduct business. The insurer will continue to offer direct-to-consumer options for members who choose to do business online or over the phone.
“We don’t anticipate any changes for members. Agents will continue to serve members as they have in the past and still have access to Nationwide’s broad range of insurance and financial services products,” Berven explained. “Nationwide is committed to offering members a distribution point that works best for them, while providing long-term growth opportunities for our agents.”
Agents who exclusively work with Nationwide will have a number of options to transition into an independent contract. Once the transition is complete, agents “will be able to broaden their partnerships and the products they offer,” the company claimed in a release.
“We’re sharing our plans with agents now so they can have as much time as possible to review their options and plan for the transition,” Berven added. “Market dynamics, customer preferences and increased desire by exclusive agents for more flexibility make now the opportune time to move to a fully independent model. It will create a win-win for our distribution partners, and ultimately, our members.”