"Rising claim costs have led to rate increases around the country," says independent agent Kyle Fox. "This is due to both the increased cost of manufacturing complex parts and the technical specialization needed to service and repair them."
Director of Operations
The Horton Group
How did you get started at your agency?
I had worked on the carrier side for most of my career in sales, service and underwriting roles, so when I got the chance to lead a team on the agency side, it seemed like a great opportunity to share what I learned there while rounding out my exposure to another side of the business.
Why personal auto insurance?
As a state-mandated coverage, every driver on the road is legally required to carry it. However, nearly all state minimum limits are woefully inadequate. Every time we talk to a client, we educate them on the best options to protect themselves and their families in the event of what could be a devastating loss.
Changes in the personal auto insurance market?
Rising claim costs have led to rate increases around the country. This is due to both the increased cost of manufacturing complex parts and the technical specialization needed to service and repair them. Additionally, rising medical costs have led to higher bodily injury settlements. With these costs being passed on to consumers, we often find ourselves needing to justify higher premiums and counseling clients not to cut corners.
Like many people, I've been really excited by the prospect of self-driving cars for a long time, but they are taking longer to come to market than expected. It will be many more years before we see widespread adoption. From an insurance perspective, this will be a hugely disruptive event, but it will also bring about a lot of social good.
Advice for a fellow personal auto agent?
Remember to keep your client at the center of everything you do. We are lucky to be able to help people protect the things that are most important to them, and it can be easy to lose sight of that in the day-to-day routine. But it's a privilege and responsibility we should never take for granted.
Favorite success story?
Early in my career, a personal auto client accidentally clipped a cyclist, causing extensive injuries. This cyclist also happened to be a surgeon and was unable to work during their recovery. The auto liability limits were quickly depleted by the medical procedures and rehabilitation. Thankfully, our client carried an umbrella policy that was able to cover all the expenses for which they were liable. While this was a traumatic event for everyone involved, our client was adequately covered and was able to avoid what could have been an overwhelming monetary judgment.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.