Nationwide Agent Authority: Construction Research Fact Sheet

Nationwide’s Agent Authority research uncovered three key themes for construction business owners and the commercial agents who serve them:

  1. COVID-19 delivered unexpected blows to construction owners and exacerbated existing issues;
  2. Pragmatic business owners expect continued challenges, but are overall optimistic about the upcoming peak season; and
  3. Agents can increase their value to business owners now and position themselves for long-term growth.


  • 70% of construction owners were negatively impacted by the pandemic, led by declines in:
    • Total Revenue (52%)
    • Ability to bid on new projects (45%)
    • Workforce or employee headcount (37%)
  • 79% are concerned about meeting 2021 revenue targets, 76% worry about lower customer demand
  • 1-in-5 construction business owners didn’t have proper planning to keep their company on the right course
    • 27% didn’t have plans in place to navigate jobsite shutdowns/re-openings
    • 24% didn’t have a business plan in place to account for a potential recession
    • 23% didn’t have enough employees or subcontractors to meet project demand
    • 18% weren’t able to access the necessary resources, like materials and parts, to meet project demand


  • Owners have been forced to adapt and re-evaluate areas of their business to become more efficient.
    • Nearly 90% have adopted new strategies or changed operations for continuity/efficiency
    • As a result of COVID-19, 85% changed at least one of their insurance policies
    • Most businesses invested in technology in past 12 months to meet clients’ changing needs (92%), increase efficiency (87%), keep their business going (83%) or keep up with labor demand (77%)


  • 84% of business owners are optimistic about the strength of the upcoming 2021 peak season
    • 6-month view – near-term uncertainty remains
    • 48% believe the economy will be somewhat or much better
    • 67% believe their company’s revenue will be somewhat or much better
  • 12-month view – outlook increasingly approves as owners look further out
    • 60% believe the economy will be somewhat or much better
    • 75% believe their company’s revenue will be somewhat or much better


  • Half of business owners engaged their agents over the last 12 months to:
    • Discuss or review their coverage;
    • Create a business plan to address economic impacts of COVID;
    • Improve loss control and safety; or
    • Gain a better understanding of their coverage.
  • 89% trust an insurance agent’s guidance and feel they can build a relationship with their agent over time
  • 87% say their agent regularly checks in to make sure their policy is adequate for their needs
  • About 9-in-10 owners say agents keep up with important industry trends/emerging risks, and can educate them with the info needed to make coverage and protection decisions


  • 92% of owners reported investing in technology within the past year to meet clients needs, and 87% said it was to increase the efficiency of operations
  • 4 in 10 owners reported that their business uses cloud computing, IoT, BIM systems, and vehicle telematics.
    • 48% use cloud computing
    • 43% use Internet of Things (IoT)
    • 42% Building Information Management systems
    • 41% vehicle telematics


  • 41% of construction business owners reported using telematics
  • 80% of those owners believe telematics plays a critical role in their business’ operations.


  • Among the construction owners that use vehicle telematics, their company uses telematics for:
    • 70% track the overall vehicle runtime or mileage
    • 67% evaluate employee driving behavior
    • 64% use telematics data to save on fuel costs


Nationwide commissioned Edelman Data & Intelligence to conduct a 20-minute quantitative online survey among a sample of 200 mid-market construction business owners between January 5 –14 2021. For the purposes of this survey, middle market business owner was defined as anyone who self-reported as being a sole or part owner of a company with either 25-500 employees or $10M-$500M in revenue or 20+ fleet vehicles. As a member of CASRO in good standing, Edelman Data & Intelligence conducts all research in accordance with Market Research Standards and Guidelines.