I just got back from a conference were I presented a paper with my coauthor Robert Klein on the “The Economic Consequences of Voluntary Quality Certification Programs”. It is available here.
The gist: Accounting for self-selection into a quality certification program, we found those member companies performed better than non-member companies. We used the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) (www.imsaethics.org) as the certifying program. IMSA has a number of important quality guidelines and independent assessments of compliance. We find that these guidelines as a whole are related to better levels of performance. For example, members are more efficient (in an economic sense), have higher ROEs, have lower complaints, lower regulatory discipline rates, lower policy lapse ratios, higher A.M. Best ratings and the like.
Thanks also to AM Best (no link) who mentioned the study the morning I presented it. I think it is the first time I ever had a press announcement of a paper. Also thanks to Bill Tennant who noted the paper at his Specialty Insurance Blog.