As the year draws to a close, it’s time to plan and strategize for 2020. Here are some practical ideas to take your agency to the next level.
2020 promises to be an exciting year for independent insurance agents. The insurance marketplace is undergoing big shifts. New risks are emerging. Insurance technology is rapidly advancing.
Agent for the Future, a Liberty Mutual and Safeco program, provides data and insights to help independent insurance agencies win today and in the future. We want to help all agents become agents for the future—ones who are evolving to take advantage of opportunities and innovating to meet the changing demands of customers and employees.
Here are a few ways you can be an Agent for the Future in 2020 and beyond:
1) Invest in innovation. The status quo won’t fly for much longer. Independent agents are going to have to take risks to thrive in the future.
Innovation starts with the culture within your agency. Does your agency encourage employees to think outside of the box? Read this expert insight on some steps you can take to make your agency more innovative.
Take this quiz to learn which type of innovator you are.
2) Create strategies to reach millennials. Millennials are now the largest generation of adults in the U.S, according to Pew Research Center, and independent insurance agents must learn how to more effectively attract and retain millennial clients.
Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance recently surveyed 1,600 millennials to learn how they make decisions about purchasing insurance and choosing an agent. This infographic illustrates the findings and what they mean for your agency.
3) Revamp your digital efforts. Consumers now expect streamlined digital experiences. From the first time they encounter a business, all the way through to service interactions.
Does your agency have a strong online presence? How do you use digital channels to communicate with customers? The latest Agent for the Future research infographic provides six practical ways to elevate your agency’s digital engagement.
4) Find your niche. Customers with specialty exposures have higher retention rates, more written premium per account and are more likely to value coverage over price, according to Liberty Mutual consumer and product research.
Focusing on a specialty product—or finding your unique niche—can help your agency grow. For example, focusing on homebuyers helped G&N Insurance grow by 30-45% each year.
“Being a specialist rather than a generalist can set independent agents apart,” says G&N co-founder Matt Naimoli, “because the big, direct-to-consumer insurance companies are generalists, and they’ve got billions of dollars to compete with [independent agents]. In the long term, it’s really hard to scale profitably if you’re not a specialist somewhere.”
5) Share your expertise. “Winning [independent agents] approach their work with a tremendous spirit of generosity,” says Tyler Asher, president of Independent Agent Distribution for Liberty Mutual Business Lines and Safeco Insurance. “In local communities and professional networks, they willingly share time and expertise to lift others up.”
A great example of this is Chris Paradiso, owner of Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, which won the 2019 national Agent for the Future award. Through his Paradiso Presents platform, Chris teaches agents and other business owners about digital marketing and branding.
What are you doing to be an Agent for the Future? Join the conversation at Agent for the Future online.