6 Things for Independent Agents to Worry About in 2013

By Alan L. Shulman | December 28, 2012

  • December 28, 2012 at 8:55 am
    wvagt says:
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    All valid reasons for concern, but the author left out the big one; higher taxes. Most independent agencies fall into the “small business” category that’s about to get slammed by higher tax rates.

    • December 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm
      Agent says:
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      You are so right Wvagt. We, as Independent Agents have a lot to worry about with the state of the economy, higher taxes for us and our customers, Obamacare and its unintended consequences which also include a raft of new taxes. We also see the impact of rate taking by carriers in a bad economy. We have to do a lot of re-marketing to try to keep customers. Having said all these things, we still have an advantage over the captive agents who have no place else to go when their company takes rate or does other things to run business off. Many of those guys would like to be Independent in this market.

  • December 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    FabIns says:
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    wvagt makes a very good point. I cannot understand why people are clicking the dislike button. It’s a matter of fact, not politics. The tax man cometh, which means someone on the staff might have to goeth. It’s as simple as that. It’s a matter of economics. Maybe we pricipals can fire ourselves, go on a 99 week vacation, come back and work for someone else and get paid on a W-2 and file on an EZ Form, then maybe we can also click on the “dislike” button.

    • December 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm
      lkk says:
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      You are so right. I hit the dislike button by accident!

  • December 31, 2012 at 9:31 am
    Longtime agent says:
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    Articles like this are so out of touch it tells me the Journal is just lazy with its editorial policies — looking for no cost content. You get what you pay for. Sorry if its harsh, but I would love an insurance publication that’s relevant for agents. the IJ articles always fall far short on substance and relevance. How about these concerns for 2013: phones don’t ring…local advertising no longer works……Agent must be 100% aggressive in searching for customers. Retention is slipping as more consumers shop. Agencies must have a more robust Internet presence and capabilities….not just a boilerplate website. Using new media to keep in touch with clients — email, YouTube and Facebook to name a few. Finding sub producers willing to work long term. Being able to compensate subs without going broke. Carrier relationships — Progressive makes fun of agents in their ads and their direct business now exceeds agency business. The list goes on and on. Sorry Alan, but you have ceased being relevant. Visit a couple dozen agencies in 2013, retool your understanding of the business and you’ll enrich all of us.

    • December 31, 2012 at 10:55 am
      Agent says:
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      Hey Longtime, You know what they say about CPCU’s don’t you? The designation means Can’t produce, can’t underwrite. These eggheads who get their doctorate in insurance don’t know how it is out on the street so they like to lecture agents on what it takes to succeed in this business. Most couldn’t sell their way out of a paper bag.

      • January 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm
        Mr.Blues says:
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        Hi Agent,

        Why are you slamming CPCUs? You must have the CPTE designation (Can’t Pass The Exams).

        • January 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm
          Blondie2 says:
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          The author of the article, Alan Shulman, is a CPCU.

        • January 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm
          Agent says:
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          Mr. Blues, Are you a CPCU? The ones I have known are like professional students who keep getting degrees and never make it in the real world. There is another saying that – If you can’t do it, teach. CPCU’s typically can’t do it, so they spend their time teaching and really don’t know what markets are doing, how difficult underwriting is to deal with and have had little or no contact with real customers.

  • December 31, 2012 at 9:33 am
    Longtime agent says:
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    Hope you read my comments



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