NOVEMBER 26, 2015
Best Practices for Insurance Agency Owners
The insurance industry is one marked by strong competition. Independent insurance producers and captive producers often compete within limited markets. Products evolve alongside regulations. However, in spite of tough competition, insurance agency owners can produce high revenues if they follow a few top practices.
Increase Carrier Access
For independent producers, accessing insurance carriers hasn’t always been easy. However, for insurance agencies wishing to experience heightened levels of success, having multiple carriers from which you can provide services can dramatically increase profits. Having multiple carriers can also increase the variety of insurance products your agency can provide. More products from more carriers means an increase in policy holders and reduces the likelihood that your agency will be dramatically hurt should a carrier reduce services.
Networking is more than just shaking hands, and letting companies and individuals know you exist. Networking means letting people see your passion, understand your agency’s mission, and why they need your business. Don’t simply hand out business cards at executive functions. Invite other experts to regular video chats, regularly participate in community events, and seek out other professionals who may compliment your business as affiliates.
Let Your Marketing Skills Evolve
Don’t limit your marketing efforts to direct mailers and email list acquisitions. Social media platforms, video content, blogging, fireside chats, and community involvement should all be a regularly integrated part of your marketing strategy. New opportunities for effective marketing continuously develop, and your marketing skills need to be able to evolve alongside up-and-coming trends.
Know Your Product
As regulations and demands change, so do insurance products. To make sure your producers aren’t unknowingly providing false information, always know your product. Even remaining aware of potential regulation changes that could affect policies can give you jump on selling better products to clients.
Keep on Technological Trends
Technology will affect your business. Whether social media shifts and impacts your marketing or mobile devices develop and change immediate claim capabilities, your agency needs to be well-versed in technology. Knowledge of new advancements in automobile, home security, and solar technologies can also help you cater your policy to fit clients’ new and future protection needs.
Maintain Regulatory Compliance
If your agency isn’t operating within compliance standards, you may not only lose licenses, but your agency could face heavy fines as well. Keep your insurance agency operating within regulatory compliance by always remaining educated and aware of compliance and by consulting with industry experts. Any easy way to maintain compliance is to make compliance a regular focus in your producers’ continuing education efforts.
Appropriately Time Expansion and Acquisitions
Nearly every business owner knows that expanding too quickly can lead to failure. However, few understand how to assess when expansion is right. High profitability is normally a good indicator that expansion or acquisition can be maintained. However, to ensure that expansions are timed appropriately, insurance agency owners should assess market trends, predicted forecasts, regulation changes, and their own agency’s profit margins and needs.
Keep Up on Licenses
This should be obvious, but to sell insurance in any state, you will be required to have a license. If you are the sole producer in your agency, your individual license will suffice. However, if you have producers working under you, your state may require you to license your agency. Always make sure that your licenses are accurate and up-to-date to avoid high fines and to be able to legally practice.
Invest in Your Producers
If you want producers who consistently secure new accounts, agency owners must regularly invest in them. Personalized and thorough training can lead to higher customer loyalty. Producer loyalty translates into producer retention which keeps a higher number of policies under your roof.
Offer Premiere Customer Service
Even if your agency can’t offer the lowest rates, it should always be striving to offer the best customer service possible. Potential clients are typically willing to pay a few extra dollars on their premium if it means receiving better customer service. Regularly contact current clients, send out thank you notes, and actively work in your clients’ best interest. Going the extra mile will result in client loyalty, great word-of-mouth advertising and referrals, and overall higher commissions.
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