The insurance industry is rapidly changing. It’s often said that we’ll see more change in the insurance industry in the next five years than we saw in the last 25.
Still, Safeco believes independent agents will win in the marketplace. We created the Agent for the Future™ website as a resource to help all independent agents succeed. At Agent for the Future, we share best practices from innovative agencies and talk to industry experts about what agents can do now to prepare for the future.
In order for independent agents to grow their agencies and remain competitive, things can no longer be business as usual. As we kick off 2019, here are four questions every independent agent should ask themselves:
1) What steps will you take this year to plan for the future of your agency? It’s never too early to start planning for agency perpetuation. Perpetuation planning isn’t just about how you’ll hand off your agency in the future—it’s also about growing your agency and setting up efficient processes now.
In our recent perpetuation report, we highlight 10 things you can do to set your agency up for success.
2) How will you give back to your community this year? Independent agents have a long history of supporting nonprofits and events in their communities. Community involvement can help you amplify causes you care about and make your agency more visible in your community.
Sharing your community involvement with your customers can also help you grow your business. Studies have found that consumers are more likely to buy from companies that support their local communities.
To learn more about how to share your agency’s community involvement, watch an interview with Alexis Holzer, program manager of Agent Giving at Safeco.
3) How will your agency adapt to the changing needs of your customers this year?In Safeco’s Agent for the Future survey, 60% of agents said the increasing consumer need for online and mobile will have a major effect on their agency by 2020.
Customers now expect instant access and streamlined digital service. More independent insurance agents are adopting things like digital self-service to meet customer demand.
Going into 2019, do an audit of your agency’s technology and digital offerings to find out what you can do to better reach customers through multiple channels.
4) How will you disrupt your agency this year? The insurance industry is starting to see the impacts of trends like smart home technology, the sharing economy and cyber threats. As trusted advisers, independent agents need to be aware of upcoming trends in order to help clients make wise decisions.
Innovation is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Innovation will look different depending on your agency. Disrupting your agency may mean revamping your technology and processes, implementing new marketing tactics, rethinking your hiring and training practices, or more.
At Safeco, we want to help agents succeed now and in the future. To learn more, visit the Agent for the Future homepage and join our mailing list to keep up to date on the latest insights and resources.