Blog 41 - Weathering a Hard Personal Lines Market Through Insurance Diversification

Weathering a Hard Personal Lines Market Through Insurance Diversification


By Matt Horton, VP of Distribution

In the current insurance landscape, personal lines insurance professionals face a pivotal moment due to a hard market characterized by high-loss ratios, low profitability, and escalating costs. This challenging environment has led to a spike in premiums and a reduction in policy renewals, with some carriers exiting the personal lines market.

However, a silver lining emerges for insurance professionals willing to adapt and diversify into the commercial insurance sector.

"Many [personal lines] carriers continue to pursue rate adequacy in response to rising loss cost severity, but their ability to stay ahead of current trends has been challenged..."

– Chris Draghi, Associate Dir. of AM Best; AM Best's Market Segment Report

Understanding the Need for Insurance Diversification

The necessity for insurance diversification has never been more critical. A hard insurance market, marked by high demand and low supply, results in increased premiums and restricted coverage. This has placed significant pressure on personal lines carriers, prompting the need for a strategic shift. Key factors contributing to this pressure include:

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • High loss rates
  • Inflation
  • Cybercrime
  • Climate change-induced weather losses
  • Regulatory changes
  • Rising repair costs

These challenges underscore the urgency for diversification to ensure sustainability and profitability.

"Personal lines insurance professionals [...] will find diversifying into commercial lines a veritable treasure trove of product, service and earning possibilities — especially in today’s hard market."

– Philip Massaro, VP of General Liability at BTIS

The Benefits of Insurance Diversification

Diversifying into commercial insurance offers numerous benefits, including enhanced customer satisfaction, resilience against market fluctuations, and increased income opportunities. For personal lines agents, expanding into commercial insurance broadens their market reach and opens avenues for cross-selling and upselling, thus increasing their revenue potential.

Moreover, specializing in commercial insurance allows agents to cater to various industries, from small businesses requiring basic coverage to large corporations with complex insurance needs. Emerging sectors such as cannabis, technology, and renewable energy present new opportunities for agents to establish themselves as industry experts and meet unique insurance needs.

Getting Started with a Specialized Commercial Lines Managing General Agency

To facilitate this diversification, partnering with a managing general agency (MGA) can offer access to specialized underwriters and expanded market access, especially in niche sectors. This collaboration enables personal lines agents to navigate the transition smoothly, leveraging the MGA's resources to reach new customer segments and diversify their product offerings.

"The more you work with people in an industry, the more you and your agency will become synonymous with a specific sector. This positions you as an expert and can open up opportunities to grow."

– Edmund Dabrowski, Senior VP of Workers’ Comp at BTIS


In conclusion, as the personal lines insurance market continues to face unprecedented challenges, diversification into commercial insurance emerges as a vital strategy for growth and resilience. By embracing this shift, insurance professionals can navigate the hard market, meet the evolving needs of their clients, and unlock new opportunities for success.

Matt Horton is VP of Distribution of Builders & Tradesmen's Insurance Services, Inc., an Amynta Group Company.

Builders & Tradesmen’s Insurance Services Inc.

For more information about BTIS's surety offerings and to learn more about our commitment to serving the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, please visit our website.

Part of the Amynta Group, BTIS is a nationwide insurance intermediary with a small business attitude that believes in building and fostering solid relationships through communication and genuine concern for their customers. 

For additional information, visit or call (877) 649-6682

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