Articles by Tom Wetzel

Wetzel is CEO of Thomas H. Wetzel & Associates, an insurance marketing firm for independent agents whose services include a partnership with LivePerson to bring HIPAA-certified messaging and IBM Watson to the insurance industry, the Wetzel Digital Roadmap, website design and maintenance, and content creation. Website: www.wetzelandassociates.com. Email: twetzel@wetzelandassociates.com.

Successful Recruiting Requires a Different Story

The industry has long warned of the growing agent shortage and has prescribed more aggressive promotion of career opportunities especially in technology to attract the next generation. As the shortages grow more acute, agencies and insurers have taken a fresh …

Insurance Agencies Get No Break When It Comes to Cyber Liability

As this trying year drags on, insurance agents might be tempted to take a quick breather. From a cyber liability perspective, however, the pressure on agents is ramping up over the rest of the year. Here’s why. In past columns, …

What Does the Future of the Agency System Look Like?

The demise of the independent agent has been predicted ad nauseam, however arguably the most hotly debated version came from a 2013 McKinsey report with a section entitled “The End of an Era for the Local Insurance Agent.” When Bryan …

Collateral Damage: How Cyber Security Affects Agencies

As we reach the midpoint of a trying year, it might be time to take a quick breather. From a cyber liability perspective, however, the pressure on agents will ramp up considerably in the second half of the year. Here’s …

Time to Refocus on Cybersecurity

The country and economy are reopening, albeit slowly and cautiously. However, hackers and other digital bad actors have been busy coming up with new schemes that agencies must confront. Not only that, agencies must now rethink how they protect themselves. …

Pandemic Stress: A Challenge for Agents

One challenge that agents face during this pandemic has been ignored: high stress levels, not just from housebound, income-challenged clients but also from agency staff working from home. I have heard many stories from agents: quiet neighbors suddenly given to …

Time Is Now for Agents to Address Privacy of Customer Data

New regulations, insurer pressure and growing consumer alarm about online security will force agents to act this year to protect their data from unfettered use by third-party vendors. The NAIC Insurance Data Security Model Law has already been adopted in …

The Battle Over Agency Data

New regulations, insurer pressure and growing consumer alarm about online security will force agents to act this year to protect their data from unfettered use by third-party vendors. The NAIC Insurance Data Security Model Law has already been adopted in …

Agent Silos: It’s Not Just a Problem for Carriers

Among carriers, the silo model in which departments operate independently and do not easily collaborate on common goals is well-documented. Among agents, however, no matter the size, silos can create problems and unintended consequences. “I’m not big on silos, except …

Going Digital and Building Relationships

Every agent I’ve met in the past decade understands the need to adapt in some way to the digital marketplace — a better-looking website, a more effective email marketing program or adding a mobile app. When the discussion turns to …