5 Myths about independent insurance agencies debunked

When you graduate college or consider a career change, careers in insurance may not jump off the page. Jobs are typically boring, with little variety or advancement opportunity. Right?

Your perception may be outdated if you think so. Insurance careers vary widely and offer potential for serious innovation, collaboration and problem-solving. If you believe in one of the myths below, it may be time to look again.

5 Myths That Are Holding Your Agency Back

These myths can restrain you. They can prevent you from making the necessary changes to compete on the market today.

myths about independent insurance agencies

Source: parkinsonsdisease.net

1. Insurtech will replace the independent agent. 

This industry is undergoing change. Consumers demand an experience that is transparent and easy. And, insurtech startups are lining up to fill the existing gap.So, are we going to see insurtech replacing independent agents? No, we’re not. But that doesn’t mean that these startups won’t affect the industry.But, it’s not just insurtech that is affecting us. The on-demand economy is expanding into insurance. Always connected consumers used to Netflix and Uber want the same ease of use from us, as well.

Insurance agencies are not like travel agencies. Insurance is a more complicated purchase than booking a flight or hotel. Will every consumer want to use an app to buy insurance? No. That is why insurtech is not going to replace independent agents. But, this is the impact

that insurtech will have on the industry and other technology companies.

2. There’s no need to change.

Planning to retire or sell your agency in the next year or so? You probably don’t need to worry about changing your strategy or operations.But, if you want to not only be around but also grow, you need to take a hard look at your agency.

Are you making it easy for consumers to buy from you? What holes in your processes, technology, operations do you need to fix?

We can order just about anything through our smartphones we want or need without any trouble. It is possible to solve our customer service needs via chat, email or social media. We don’t need to call and talk to a person anymore.

If you don’t adapt to what consumers want, you will lose clients. Now is not the time for ‘But that’s the way we’ve always done it.’

3. Millennials are not a profitable market segment

When you talk about a generation, remember that you’re talking about a large age range of the population. Millennials range from 23 to 37. So they are not all fresh out of college, living at home and just starting out in their careers. Some have been working for 10 or more years. Today, the US is home to over 87.5 million Millennials so you’re missing out on a large chunk of population by not catering to them.

In order for this elusive generation to be successfully targeted, we as an industry need to look at the value we add to the lives of insurance consumers as the primary driver of any decision we make regarding traditional and social media marketing. And while traditional marketing still works wonders in some contexts, the biggest promise and opportunity in today’s economy is provided by social media.

Even the younger Millennials can still make great customers for your agency. Selling an auto-only policy to a Millennial is a great way to get your foot in the door if your agency offers different business lines. At first, that Millennial might not have much to insure. But in the future, you will have a chance to complete the account.

Moreover, Millennials are not the only ones who are price conscious.  The promise of saving 15%  or more can sway all segments of consumers. Wanting to save money is not limited to Millenials.

4. Marketing is a waste of money if you regularly get referrals

Independent insurance agents often admit to being inferior marketers. Many lack marketing understanding and even question its value. Of course, we hate spending money on marketing.

Don’t get me wrong. Referrals are a great source of leads. Referred leads trust you because the referrer trusts you. Therefore, they’re more likely to close and become a client.

Asking for and working referrals is smart business. But, relying on referrals as the only source of your agency’s leads is a mistake.

What do you do when referrals slow down? Or, worse, you go a few months without any referrals?

You need to have a range of lead sources. So, when one slows down your sales pipeline stays full because you’ve got other sources.

This is when an agency marketing plan can help. Using a mix of offline and online marketing can help you diversify your lead sources.

5. CE is the only ongoing training needed. 

Just because you have received your license doesn’t mean your education is complete. CE is the box you have to check to maintain your license, but learning doesn’t stop there.

If you’re not continuing to seek opportunities to learn and improve, you will miss out on critical knowledge and opportunities for agency growth and success. If you’re not looking forward, you’re going to get left behind.

It can be hard to take time off for conferences but it will undoubtedly be one of the best investments you can make for the future of your agency. There are Agent conferences all over the country dedicated to bringing you information on topics you won’t find in a CE course but are important to your future. Topics like insurtech, marketing, sales and operations.

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