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Business owners more trusting of insurers than financial services

Nov 20, 2011 Walt Wojoiechowski

How much have banks' actions affected small business trust? This is a diffcult question to answer without a firm understanding of how financial institutions have modified their credit decisions and lending practices in recent years. For some organizations, the credit markets have indeed dried up and constrained their ability to hire or invest in capital. For others, the market has been bountiful. Understanding this discrepancy is a challenge and a leading problem facing economists searching for signs of recovery. However, a new survey by Hanover Insurance Group suggests small firms hold greater faith in their insurance providers than banks. Specifically, the study found small business owners trust independent insurance agents and commercial carriers much more than other financial services firms. In the wake of the recession, consumers and business owners alike are reluctant to provide business to organizations that are exposed to excessive risk or untrustworthy, underscoring the need for organizations to invest what capital they do have in consumer credit risk management and PR initiatives. "In a time of considerable economic uncertainty, small business owners want to know they are working with an agent and a carrier they can count on," said Michael Keane, a president at Hanover Group.