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Best Places to Work in Insurance is an annual feature presented by Business Insurance and Best Companies Group that ranks the agents, brokers, insurers and other providers with the highest levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.
The 2023 report features 100 companies of various sizes, from 25 employees to over 10,000. What these honorees have in common is a commitment to attracting, developing and retaining great talent through a combination of culture, benefits and other programs that their employees value.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group identifies the leading employers in the insurance industry by conducting a free two-part assessment of each company. Through an employer questionnaire on policies, practices and demographics and a confidential employee survey, Best Companies Group assembles the data points and analyzes them according to eight core focus areas:
The program divides employers into the categories of small, or those with 25-249 employees; medium, for organizations with 250-999 employees; and large, those with 1,000 or more employees. The 2023 overall winners, by employer size, are:
SMALL EMPLOYER CATEGORY (25-249 U.S. Employees):
• Coastal Wealth
MEDIUM EMPLOYER CATEGORY (250-999 U.S. Employees):
• Captive Resources
LARGE EMPLOYER CATEGORY (1,000+ U.S. Employees):
• Lockton Companies
The following report highlights what makes these and other companies in the insurance industry among the best places to work.
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One of Best Places to Work in Insurance’s perennial honorees, Lockton Companies earned the top spot among large employers in 2023. Founded more than 50 years ago, Lockton is today the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance broker and consulting company. Lockton is committed to excellent service to clients, associates and communities. Its nearly 6,500 U.S. associates highly value Lockton’s entrepreneurial culture and support. Lockton strives to “make sure our people feel welcomed and valued and provide opportunities for them to grow personally and professionally.”
Runner-up in the large employer category is IMA Financial Group Inc., a Denver-based
Integrated financial services company including a retail insurance brokerage, wholesale brokerage, program management and wealth management. IMA’s more than 2,000 U.S. employees value the firm’s flexibility, fun work environment and opportunity to act not only as employees but also owners.
Higginbotham, a Fort Worth, Texas-based independent insurance brokerage, placed third in the large employer category. Founded in 1948, Higginbotham today is Texas’ largest broker, with more than 2,400 employees serving clients and communities across the nation. Its employees value the firm’s people-first focus, employee ownership, and support for charities.
Among medium size employers, Captive Resources LLC earned first place in Best Places to Work in Insurance for the third consecutive year. The Itasca, Illinois-based company was founded more than four decades ago and specializes in advising member-owned group captives. Captive Resources has grown to become an organization that today has more than 340 employees. The company’s employees especially value its work-from-home options and flexible start times, opportunities for all to share ideas and participate in key projects, and generous medical benefits.
Runner-up in the medium size category was Houchens Insurance Group, a retail agency in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with 350 employees. The company was founded over a century ago as a small agency in 1921, growing to serve clients nationwide with complex property/casualty insurance and risk management services. HIG’s employees especially value its 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan, the agency’s Enhanced Employee Experience program of flexible, work/life offerings, and its family-focused atmosphere.
Third place in this category was Tokio Marine North America Services LLC, a shared-services company that supports the insurance company subsidiaries of Tokio Marine North America, including Philadelphia Insurance Companies, First Insurance Company of Hawaii and Tokio Marine America. TMNA Services LLC was established in 2012 in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Its more than 500 employees value the company’s Coffee Pairs program to encourage team members to get to know each other, and in-person events for employees and family members.
Top honors in the small-employer category of Best Places to Work in Insurance went to Coastal Wealth (see profile below).
In second place among small employers was Employee Benefit Services of Maryland, a Baltimore-based benefit broker with 34 employees. Placing third was Stumm Insurance LLC, a Rosemont, Illinois-based benefit broker with 53 employees.
The top insurance company in the 2023 Best Places to Work in Insurance is Ascot Group, a global specialty insurer whose U.S. operations are based in Stamford, Connecticut. Its more than 450 U.S. employees value the way Ascot empowers, supports and includes them with recognition for contributions. A key part of the company’s employee experience is “The Ascot Way,” which guides “a collaborative and entrepreneurial culture steeped in excellence and integrity.” Other elements of Ascot’s culture that support employees include generous paid time off, unlimited sick leave and charity matching. Ascot says “our employees are our oxygen — and their diverse opinions and perspectives allow us to thrive.”
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based insurance agency Coastal Wealth is the top agent/broker in the 2023 Best Places to Work in Insurance. The agency, which provide risk management, insurance and group benefits, was founded in 2016. Coastal Wealth emphasizes a culture of collaboration, support and employee well-being. Its 25 employees especially appreciate the agency’s unlimited paid time off, quarterly bonuses and Pathway to Leadership professional development program. Coastal Wealth offers mentorship programs, training sessions, tuition reimbursement and clear paths for career progression. In addition to a commitment to support its employees with work and family balance, Coastal Wealth takes pride in giving back to its community in which “we live, work and play.”
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What does it take to join the list of the Best Places to Work in Insurance? A number of attributes set apart the companies on the 2023 list. One frequently cited quality is flexibility, which honorees increased offering during the pandemic and have kept going. While many of the Best Places to Work in Insurance have had flexible work policies for years, others have extended or made such policies permanent, recognizing the importance of remote working options for employees.
Employees appreciate perks and amenities, though a longer-lasting component of satisfaction stems from honorees’ focus on cultures of employee engagement and career development.
Best Companies Group analyzes the responses to confidential employee surveys in eight core areas. These areas show significant differences between the best employers and those that did not make this year’s list:
Leadership and planning. This area includes understanding of the company’s strategy, confidence in leadership, adequate planning and follow-through and care about employees’ well-being. For all companies on the 2023 list, the number of positive responses in this area averaged 93%, vs. 84% for companies that failed to make the list.
Corporate culture and communications. Components of this area include clear and frequent communication, trust, a spirit of cooperation, a feeling that employees are valued and a culture of diversity. Positive responses averaged 91% for companies on the list, and 82% for other companies.
Role satisfaction. This area looks at how employees like the work they do, their ability to balance work and life, and whether they feel valued and part of a team. Positive responses averaged 92% for the top employers, vs. 87% for others.
Work environment. Positive responses about physical working conditions, comfort and safety averaged 95% for the top employers and 93% for others.
Relationship with supervisor. Fairness, respect, trust and feedback are elements of this area. For the Best Places to Work, positive responses averaged 94%, vs. 91% for other employers.
Training, development and resources. Initial and ongoing training, adequate and dependable equipment, room to advance and promotions and rewards for good work are among the components of this area. Positive responses for the top employers averaged 90%, vs. 82% for others.
Pay and benefits. Fair compensation and satisfaction with benefits such as paid vacation, health care, dental and retirement plans are among the components of this area. For the Best Places to Work in Insurance, positive responses averaged 88%, and 81% for other employers.
Overall engagement. This area includes employees’ overall satisfaction with the employer, a sense of pride in working there, willingness to give extra effort, willingness to recommend the employer’s products or services, and recommend working there to others. Positive responses here averaged 93% for the Best Places to Work in Insurance, and 87% for employers not on the list.
To participate in the Best Places to Work program, an organization must:
Eligible insurance organizations are: retail agents/brokers, wholesale brokers/managing general agents, reinsurance intermediaries, claims services companies, benefit brokers and consultants, property/casualty insurers, group life/health insurers, and reinsurers. Non-profit insurance associations or service organizations aligned with the commercial insurance industry also are eligible.