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Navigating the Hard Market: Expert Advice from Trusted Choice® Panel Discussion

The Trusted Choice® Board of Directors annual meeting featured a panel of industry experts who shared insights on the current hard market.
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navigating the hard market: expert advice from trusted choice® panel discussion

Recently, the Trusted Choice® Board of Directors hosted its annual meeting with carriers in Alexandria, Virginia. During this meeting, Trusted Choice highlighted initiatives it implemented to support Big "I" members in 2023 and 2024.

The meeting featured a panel of industry experts who shared their invaluable insights to help independent insurance agents navigate the current hard market.

The panelists included Jeff Ogard, vice president, agency relations, Liberty Mutual, Safeco and State Auto Insurance; Craig Welsh, head of traditional and non-traditional distribution, Westfield Insurance; Matt Simon, president, CoverLink Insurance; George Daly, division president, The Horton Group; and Nathan Riedel, Big “I" senior vice president of federal government affairs.

Rather than retreating in the face of the hard market, panelists urged agents to proactively seek out opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations with clients. “We've talked about the need to be proactive rather than reactive and how we think about risk mitigation," Welsh said. “The human mind can't process the potential for future risk but we're at a time when we have to."

Proactive engagement that provides valuable insights to clients who may be unaware of the current market conditions is key at this time, the panelists said. By taking a proactive approach, agents can identify and capitalize on potential growth areas, rather than waiting for opportunities to come to them. Agents who are willing to embrace this challenging market can seize valuable chances to strengthen relationships with clients. The panelists stressed the significance of having meaningful conversations with clients, enabling agents to understand their needs, address concerns, and provide tailored solutions.

“Now is that opportunity for us to really have those conversations with our clients where we can actually help them where they are," Simon said. “So many of our clients we reach out to have no idea what is going on in the industry."

Furthermore, the panelists touched on the importance of leveraging technology to enhance agent and client interactions. By implementing efficient technologies, agents can streamline their processes and free up valuable time to be more readily available for clients. This strategic use of technology not only improves efficiency but also allows agents to provide a personalized touch and build stronger connections with their clients. Agents can focus on what truly matters: delivering exceptional service and fostering meaningful relationships that endure even during challenging market conditions.

“The good news is this hard market is going to end," Ogard said. “There is always going to be an equilibrium, and we're going to come out of this stronger."

The panel of experts also emphasized the importance of open communication—and even overcommunication—between carriers and agents.

By embracing these strategies that were discussed in the panel, agents can strengthen their relationships with clients, successfully navigate the hard market, and position themselves for future growth.

During the meeting, the Trusted Choice Hard Market Toolkit was also highlighted. This resource was designed as part of Trusted Choice's ongoing commitment to equipping members with essential tools to enhance communication, address challenging questions and retain clients during this hard market.

Trusted Choice's annual meeting and the hard market panel exemplify the unwavering commitment to supporting Big "I" members. By equipping agents with valuable resources, fostering collaboration, and providing a platform for knowledge sharing, Trusted Choice continues to ensure that agents are well prepared to face and conquer the challenges of the hard market.

Mia McGowan is marketing coordinator for Trusted Choice

Friday, January 19, 2024
Agency Operations & Best Practices