Learn five tips to dive into this profitable market and reel in more business from existing home and auto accounts.
Specialty vehicle owners make excellent customers because they care about protecting their lifelong passions—their boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and so on. With complex insurance needs, they're naturally coverage focused and value an independent agent's guidance.
In fact, Safeco and Liberty Mutual research indicates these customers offer nearly twice the average written premium per household, with higher retention and a better loss ratio compared to home and auto customers. Even better, you don't need to be a gearhead or avid angler to build relationships among this coveted demographic.
Where to Start
Your current home and auto customers make a great starting point for specialty leads. There's a good chance many of them own one or more specialty vehicles that could benefit from tailored protection. You see, many specialty vehicle owners end up with policies through 1-800-number carriers—if their vehicles are insured at all.
Once you take care of a customer's immediate need for a home or auto quote, don't stop there. Ask also about what other exposures they might have. As their trusted advisor, you're doing them a service to dig deeper and ensure their prized possessions are protected.
Use these five tips to uncover their needs, guide them toward the right coverage and deepen your relationship.
1) “Tell me about all the motorized vehicles you own." Do they have any motorcycles, boats, RVs, campers, classic cars, ATVs, utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), golf carts or micro-mobility devices, such as e-bikes or scooters? Find out what coverage they have, if any—they may not even have considered insuring their specialty vehicles. Explain the benefits of additional coverage, like liability protection while they're using their vehicle, or coverage for custom parts and gear.
2) Every time you insure a truck or SUV, ask, “Does it have a trailer hitch?" If it does, they're likely hauling something you can insure. Again, find out what it is and explain the benefits of protecting their treasured toys. Remember that asking about their hobbies or how they spend their weekends provides an opportunity to protect something they really love. They'll appreciate you're looking out for them and educating them on coverage options.
3) Explain the benefits of bundling with a single carrier. While sometimes you might want to split the account if there are substantial savings, generally speaking, bundling with a single carrier is beneficial to the customer. Make sure they're aware that bundling can minimize risk, thanks to complementary coverages. Explain how they can potentially reduce their overall insurance costs in the long run through discounts and other benefits, like Safeco's single-loss deductible. Let them know bundling also simplifies their insurance—fewer forms and bills to deal with and a single point of contact for claims.
4) It's OK to quote a specialty vehicle as part of a package, even if they didn't ask. Most customers won't object to you quoting a package along with their immediate need for auto, home or what have you. It shows you're looking to build a relationship with them and you're taking a holistic look at their coverage needs. Even if they don't choose to buy specialty coverage right away, they'll likely value the extra insight and advice.
5) Remember that cross-selling specialty is often a process, not a one-time event. If you offer to cover their specialty vehicle and they say no, don't push; take notes and follow up at renewal or whenever makes sense for your business. After all, a no today doesn't mean no forever. No just means “not right now." The more often you offer specialty vehicle coverage, the better your close rate will get.
Strengthen Your Book With Specialty Insurance
The expertise, coverage and discounts you offer as a trusted advisor go a long way toward building a lasting relationship. Learn to meet the needs of specialty vehicle owners and you can build a solid book of loyal clients.
Want to go deeper with specialty? Become an expert in specialty insurance programs and you'll better recognize opportunities to cross-sell and improve your retention.