Independent insurance brokers recorded a median organic growth of 5.9% for the second quarter of 2015, continuing a growth trend that’s been steady for the past few years, new research found.

“Industry organic growth has now been in a relatively tight band of 5% to 7% for 14 consecutive quarters,” says Kevin Stipe, president of Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, which released its organic growth and profitability quarterly survey Monday. “Times are good for insurance brokers.”

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Brokers are anticipating a 6.7% organic growth for the year and a 20% earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin.

Group benefits, which increased 6.8%, outgrew commercial lines (5.4%) in the second quarter, marking the first time that has happened in four years, the study found.

“Softening pricing in commercial lines affected that line for the second straight year,” according to Reagan, which expects “more and potentially deeper softening” in commercial property and casualty pricing. “If this happens, commercial lines growth will likely decelerate further and pull agency-wide organic growth down,” Stipe says.

Personal lines grew 1.8%, down from 2.2% in the second quarter of 2014, the study found.

The first two quarters of 2015 saw a lot of merger and acquisition activity — more than 200 deals were announced, and five of the top 100 brokerages were acquired in that time, Reagan found.

Median revenue of the firms who participated in the survey is $17 million, according to Reagan, which used confidential submissions from 130 mid-size and large brokerages and agencies. About half of the top 100 largest firms participated in the survey. 

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