As an independent property-casualty agency, you consistently manage risk for your commercial and personal lines clients. But the biggest financial risk facing any business or family is the death of a partner or spouse, and life insurance is the only protection available for this risk.
Your ability to provide this solution adds significant value to your relationship with your clients, while also improving your client retention and adding revenue per account for your agency. Here are three ways to best meet that need for your clients as a p-c agency:
1) Refer the business to a third party. While you may be fortunate enough to develop a dependable referral partner, you will need to ask yourself a number of questions before sending life insurance business down the street.
Does the third party have access to a wide range of carriers and products? Are they knowledgeable enough to use them correctly? Are they truly working in your client’s best interest? When you give up control and ownership of the life insurance relationship, you put the trust you have worked so hard to build in someone else’s hands.
2) Bring the solution in-house. Hiring an addition to your team may be an option, allowing you to introduce a life insurance specialist to your clients.
This may be a good long-term option as it gives you more control and increases revenue. However, it presents economic challenges in the form of up-front costs and your producer will still require market access, support and training.
3) Partner with a life insurance specialist. An entire business community of local brokerage general agencies is dedicated to providing product access, underwriting support and expertise to help p-c agents learn and navigate the life insurance landscape. Some may even provide onsite case support with you and your clients.
The challenge with this option is determining what is most important to you in a partner—Is it resources to develop a specialty niche? Advanced underwriting support? Something else?
Regardless of how you choose to solve these risk management challenges for your clients, make it part of the fabric of your agency that your clients can count on—and enhance your retention and revenue in the process.
William Shelow is president & CEO of LifeMark Partners, Inc., an independent insurance marketing organization that leverages partner, carrier and industry resources and expertise to enhance and expand life insurance distribution for the benefit of all stakeholders.