Bankers shopping for insurance agencies often focus on price when they should be assessing whether they have found a good match, experts at an industry conference said.

Many bankers also fail to grasp basic distinctions between business lines, said James Overholt, a senior consultant at Milliman & Robertson Inc. in Chicago. For instance, he said, it's not unusual for a bank chief executive officer to ask the principal of an acquired property and casualty agency, "How are you going to sell life insurance?"

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