YOUR REACTION TO
Partnerships impact how your insureds are
nurtured and serviced when they most need it
With change comes the opportunity to expand our knowledge
and engage in new possibilities. Be eager to learn … .
By Alyssa Rivera
How has insurance made a difference in your community? What about the difference it has made in the lives of your insureds?
As insurance professionals, we are a metaphoric safety net for the insured. When insureds endure an unexpected loss, it helps if they have a strong relationship with their retail agent, who can support and guide them through the claims process. Of course, agents bring value other than just after a loss. The insureds’ sense of security is solidified once their policy is assumed to have been placed with a reputable carrier by their trusted retail agent.
With the insurance market constantly changing, retail agents are given an ultimatum to grow with these changes. The partners you choose through times of change can affect your growth. How will you react to these changes?
Stand on the shoulders of giants
Change strikes the marketplace as soon as we think we have a handle on the insurance market and the appetite of the carriers your agency can access. Retail agents find themselves on a quest for new carrier appointments that can meet the needs of their customers. The fact is that some of these markets are not easy to access directly, especially for retail agencies.
Some agents prefer accessing markets through an MGA or broker because of their relationships with carriers. It can be an extensive process to gain access to admitted markets. Many carriers seek specific qualifications from retail agencies that become valuable only with time, such as credibility and proof of consistent productivity. It is okay that your agency cannot immediately access their desired markets, or at least not alone.
This concept is commonly known as standing on the shoulders of giants. To overcome hurdles, you may have to access brokers to attain the growth and success on the other side of these obstacles. Accepting that you may need a giant to stand on can get you and your agency to support your overall growth and offer the insured a range of essential coverages that suit their needs.
Pivot your mindset
Whether the market hardens or softens, carrier appetites are constantly changing, and your insureds’ needs change; change is your opportunity for growth. The presence of change should not be viewed as a potential threat, but as an opportunity to flourish in ways you have never accomplished before.
Pivoting your mindset can be a challenge; however, it is necessary for you to guide your insureds through risk management strategies and to offer suitable coverages unique to the insured. Every insured is different, which calls for comprehensive solutions. Choosing a partner who can offer advice from their experiences will help steer you toward success.
Strategically choose your partners
An agency’s core competencies must be satisfied in its partnership decisions. The relationships and partners you choose will determine how efficiently you maintain these connections. These relationships impact how your insureds are nurtured and serviced when they most need our support. For instance, some agencies may hit a roadblock when attempting to access admitted markets; therefore, it is critical to choose a partner that can sustain relationships with carriers so you can concentrate on building rapport with the insureds.
A well-known Greek philosopher said, “The only constant in life is change.” Build, maintain and nurture your client relations and partnerships. A few solid and consistent relationships will do more to drive the growth of retail agencies than attempting to maintain many relationships that do not meet your insureds’ needs.
Avoid spreading your agency too thin by having too many partners to please; this can lead to losing relationships, eventually diminishing your efficiency and productivity.
Growth is continuous
There will always be a challenge associated with change. Changes are inevitable, and independent insurance agents are forced to confront them while navigating the marketplace. Many of us can find ourselves at eye-level with the insured. In some instances, we are the insured in our own lives.
If our reaction is to stay adaptable to any forces that the insurance market- place throws our way, we will be able to achieve growth. With change comes the opportunity to expand our knowledge and engage in new possibilities. Be eager to learn amid the countless modifications that you will face throughout the insurance industry.
Your reaction to change ultimately drives your growth.
Alyssa Rivera is the marketing assistant at Halcyon Underwriters, a wholesale insurance broker that offers retail agencies access to some of the top admitted carriers in the insurance marketplace. Alyssa has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Central Florida and joined Halcyon in late 2019. Alyssa has written over 20 articles posted on the Halcyon website and their exclusive newsletter, The Intelligent Broker Newsletter.