Insurers that use independent agents know that high production is correlated with strong relationships. But the world of the independent agent is going through seismographic shifts. Changing customer expectations are creating a need for new business models. An aging workforce signals a potentially abrupt shift in the availability and skill sets of staff and is resulting in massive increases in M&A as perpetuation plans are executed. And the looming impact of potential disintermediation from direct-to-consumer and digital distribution drives a need to increase the role of technology.
On the insurer side of the balance sheet, companies continue to face a hypercompetitive market and a growing need to strengthen agency relations to drive more production. Beyond encouraging a strong personal relationship with an underwriter, what can an insurer do to systematically build a stronger connection with an agent and grow their book? Celent surveyed a group of agents to understand those areas most likely to make an insurer the agents’ top choice. Some of the key findings include: