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The Quality of Insurance Intermediary Services-Empirical Evidence for Germany

  • Martina Eckardt
  • Solvig Räthke-Döppner

Competing insurance intermediaries provide heterogeneous services that are difficult for incompletely informed consumers to assess. Transaction cost economics, search theory, and principal-agent theory provide arguments on product quality differences between exclusive agents and independent intermediaries. This article uses a sample of 927 insurance intermediaries in Germany. By performing OLS estimations, we test the impact of the different distribution channels and other factors on intermediaries' service quality. Depending on the proxies used for service quality, we find mixed evidence for the product quality hypothesis. Service quality depends to a large extent on the information-gathering and processing activities of the individual intermediaries, independent of the respective distribution channel. Copyright (c) The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2010.

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Article provided by The American Risk and Insurance Association in its journal Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 667-701

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:77:y:2010:i:3:p:667-701
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