Insurance Agents, Is Your Job Still Necessary?
With online quote tools and constant bombardment of television commercials, it probably seems to consumers like the cheapest insurance is the one that deserves their business and having an agent is a small detail to consider. Buying insurance directly online is often cheaper than going with an agent.
We may not like it, but in the digital age we live, people are becoming more and more introverted and are less comfortable meeting and conversing with anyone. Buying online allows consumers to avoid human contact.
The swing in purchasing behavior leads to the questions:
Are insurance agents just glorified customer service reps for insurance companies? If you’re an insurance agent, is your job still necessary? The answer is, yes, of course insurance agents are still necessary. But consumers often fail to look past their monthly premiums to see the real value you can provide them. Frankly, if customers understood what they were getting into when purchasing insurance, they would quickly change their mind about whether an agent is necessary. It only makes sense to purchase insurance without an agent if you believe 3 assumptions:
- Assumption 1: The insureds understand insurance products well enough to know what coverage they will need in any given circumstance.
- Assumption 2: The insureds will recognize when they’ve experienced a life change that requires an update of their policies and take proactive steps to update said policies.
- Assumption 3: It will be easy to contact someone at the insurance company to update policies without an insurance agent.
Why Insurance Agents are Still Necessary
The fact is that rarely, if ever, are all 3 of these assumptions true. The purpose of an insurance agent is to be a trusted advisor about not only insurance, but life goals and finances. The insurance agent has ideas and experiences that should point the clients in the right direction and ensure they are sufficiently covered from risks.
The insurance agent provides confidence and comfort about policies by providing a direct contact for clients. Clients know exactly who they should contact when they have questions and know exactly how to get ahold of their agent.
A successful insurance agent proactively reviews their clients’ policies to make sure there are no gaps or risks left uncovered. A successful agent takes the steps necessary to gather information about their clients’ stages of life to be able to service their policies effectively.
But these are all things you already know as an insurance agent.
How to Portray Your Value to Your Insurance Clients
So if you know that your job is still necessary, how do you make your clients and potential clients understand the value you bring to the table during this paradigm shift of the commoditization of insurance?
Do the things mentioned above very well.
Meet with each client in your book of business each year to review their policies and their circumstances. Take note of any goals and upcoming changes. Maybe your client’s daughter is 15. Take note to follow up around her next birthday to include her on auto policies.
Maybe your client has a goal to buy a home within the next 5 years. Make a note to send educational information about mortgages and home owners insurance, then check in on them each year or so.
The best way to stay on top of these opportunities is to consistently and systematically meet with all your clients. Make a goal for the number of policy review meetings you would like to have each week, then set out to hit that goal.
The Agency Thrive program is based around this concept. It explains why customer insurance reviews are so important for insurance agents, how to prepare for meetings, how to conduct the meeting, and how to identify and sell new opportunities and provides the tools you need to be successful.
As long as insurance agents know how to provide real value to their clients, their job will always be necessary.