Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

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pageltd
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:05 pm

Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

Post by pageltd » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:42 am

There are many ways that agencies operate, many differing opinions, plenty of ways that companies want to spend your money on marketing / advertising.

Is the independent insurance agency channel / model healthy?
Are we understood, in general, by the end consumer?
Are we doing enough to stimulate the consumer to buy from, and stay with us?
Are companies doing enough to warrant that feeling from consumers?

What are your thoughts?
George Page
www.pageins.com

bvstewart
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:04 pm

Re: Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

Post by bvstewart » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:47 pm

I was hoping someone would reply. This would be an interesting discussion.

pageltd
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

Post by pageltd » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:20 am

bvstewart wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:47 pm
I was hoping someone would reply. This would be an interesting discussion.
I agree. I think people are scared to reply.
George Page
www.pageins.com

gregcw
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:29 pm
Location: Newport Oregon

Re: Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

Post by gregcw » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:36 am

I think that part of the answer is in educating our customers on some of our benefits and some or the changes that have taken place on premiums i.e. Credit Scoring. I recently lost a policy holder I've known since before I became an agent 37 years ago. Several years ago I replaced his Farmers policy with one of my companies which withdrew from the state and was able to replace it with another carrier I represent for a comparable premium. He recently went back to Farmers without first talking to me. When I reviewed his policy, I learned that his Credit Score had improved to the point that I could have saved him premium, with the same company, and even more premium with another company I represent.

I hadn't reviewed his policy because the carrier he was with kept coming in in the top three in all of my quotes for other prospects so I "assumed" that his premium would have been in that same range.

I did re-quote the risk with a significant drop in premium. Any suggestions out there on how to educate customers to check with their agents to see if their credit has improved to see if it would reduce their premium?
Gregcw

pageltd
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Is the independent insurance agency channel healthy?

Post by pageltd » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:48 am

gregcw wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:36 am
I think that part of the answer is in educating our customers on some of our benefits and some or the changes that have taken place on premiums i.e. Credit Scoring. I recently lost a policy holder I've known since before I became an agent 37 years ago. Several years ago I replaced his Farmers policy with one of my companies which withdrew from the state and was able to replace it with another carrier I represent for a comparable premium. He recently went back to Farmers without first talking to me. When I reviewed his policy, I learned that his Credit Score had improved to the point that I could have saved him premium, with the same company, and even more premium with another company I represent.

I hadn't reviewed his policy because the carrier he was with kept coming in in the top three in all of my quotes for other prospects so I "assumed" that his premium would have been in that same range.

I did re-quote the risk with a significant drop in premium. Any suggestions out there on how to educate customers to check with their agents to see if their credit has improved to see if it would reduce their premium?
First of all, something you already know...never assume. Sorry, I know that's probably salt in your wound. In our agency, we have gotten in the habit of re-quoting EVERYTHING. It's a giant pain the ass and time sink, but totally worth it. It not only allows us to review coverage and uncover exposures that we did not know existed, but it gets us in touch with our clients. I enjoy talking with our clients, and being their go-to guy. It feels good and I enjoy helping people. A simple phone call to say "Hey Mr Smith, how's it going? I just wanted to let you know that we're looking at your renewal to see if we can do anyt better. It looks like your rate increased. We'll see if we can get a better rate for you" They love it and it gives you instant credibility. Build on that credibility. Those are mt recommendations? Be out there in front of them always. Be out there in the community always. Be available with your expertise. Be generous with your time. Call, email, blog, post, visit...be the agent they want to call. Be the agent they love and will feel bad leaving without saying goodbye.

My final words...RE-QUOTE EVERYTHING! I like to think about it as a chance to review coverage, refresh / update our rating system and be a genuine service.
George Page
www.pageins.com

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