The small business market for insurance is likely to see significant change leading to consolidation in coming years, according to a new study by Hartford, CT-based Conning.

"The small business insurance market is still very fragmented, but has been shifting to large insurers over the past five years," said Clint Harris, author and consultant to Conning. "The need for scale and technology are drivers of this shift of market share to larger firms, as the industry responds to client expectations. Small businesses are evolving rapidly as a customer base, and their service and price expectations are becoming much more sophisticated. "

The Conning study, "The Small Business Sector for Property-Casualty Insurance: Market Shift Coming" reviews the small commercial insurance marketplace, including carrier market share, drivers, and projections. The study also analyzes distribution issues and strategic directions for the market. "In our interviews with carriers leading into this study, the theme of significant market shifts in the future came through loud and clear," said Steve Webersen, director of research at Conning. "The changes over the past five years have added eight percent of share to larger insurers. However, with the continued restructuring and consolidation of distribution, along with the insurer investment in more powerful technology support, the industry leaders will be positioned to accelerate their market share gains in this critical market in coming years."

"The Small Business Sector for Property-Casualty Insurance: Market Shift Coming" is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company's web site at www.conningresearch.com.