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Contingent Commissions, Insurance Intermediaries, and Insurer Performance


  • Yu-Luen Ma,

  • Nat Pope,

  • Xiaoying Xie

  • This article was subject to double-blind peer review.


This research investigates the relationship shared by contingent commission usage and insurer performance. We assess performance using both frontier efficiency and financial performance measures. Our findings reveal that the relationship is complex and varies across differing insurer business models. We find that nonusers of contingent commissions are more cost and revenue efficient than are users of contingents. However, among insurers that use contingents, relatively higher levels of use are associated with more efficient operations and also better financial performance. Additionally, these findings are conditioned on the type of distribution system the insurer employs.