Local and independent insurance agents are an important part of the insurance value chain. But sometimes competing with direct agents and the many other channels can feel challenging. The good news is that independent insurance agents have many strengths and advantages to maximize.
Independent agents are often much more than insurance producers. They become part of their local communities and often volunteer at town clean-up days and sponsor a T-ball league every spring. Insurance agencies and brokerages employ people in the community in addition to providing a valuable service everyone needs.
As an independent agent, you play a critical role in insurance and risk management — and your local community. Read on to learn how to play up your strengths to compete with direct agents and grow your agency.
Independent Insurance Agents Compete With Their Strengths
The insurance business can be highly competitive. The good news is that independent insurance agents have lots of strengths and advantages they can use to compete with direct agents and other marketing channels.
Focus on your relationships.
One thing independent agents and brokers do best is establish and nurture relationships with their clients. Many consumers prefer to use an agent they know when it comes to insurance purchases. You know your policyholders and their needs. And since you have a strong relationship, you can focus on how to best meet their needs.
For example, your customer who is getting married may need updates to their auto insurance or a homeowner’s policy for their new place. Your policyholder with young teens may soon need advice on how to add a teenaged driver to their car insurance. Someone nearing retirement age could need help with Medicare, annuities, or life insurance.
As an independent insurance agent, you are in the best position to predict these major events in your customers’ lives and to help them prepare for big changes.
Join affinity groups designed for independent agents.
You need someone in your corner who understands the diverse and specific needs of independent insurance agents. Professional networking opportunities and educational offerings — including CE credits — help you develop and maintain your skills.
The American Agents Alliance was formed in 1962 by a group of innovative insurance professionals pooled together. Our mission best describes us: The American Agents Alliance, a member-driven organization since 1962, empowers independent insurance agents and brokers to thrive through advocacy, education and networking.
Become a member and join other independent agents and brokers today to grow your agency and play to your strengths.
Develop your expertise.
Many independent insurance agents find success by focusing on a niche and becoming an expert in their area. Grow your reputation as the agency of choice in your field. Show customers how they can benefit by using your expertise to save money, reduce the frequency and severity of claims, or lower expenses.
You can develop your expertise by writing articles and blog posts directed to your niche. You can focus on interesting news, coverage deep dives, or exclusions and conditions. Write with authority and offer your perspective. Be sure to include a clear call to action in your writing so customers know what to do next.
You might also consider engaging with customers and potential clients on social media. Independent insurance agents use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Clubhouse, and more to communicate with customers. Share ideas and send interested people to your website for more information — once someone goes to your website you can capture their email address and add them to your marketing lists.
A recent McKinsey report found smaller, expertise-driven agencies may be the next wave of the future. Consumers are more educated and can find generalized information by Googling – but they need help interpreting more complex details. This is where an expertise-driven agent can help.
The American Agents Alliance Empowers Agents and Brokers to Thrive
Become a member of the American Agents Alliance today! Our goal is to empower independent agents and brokers just like you to thrive. Build a profitable and successful business with the help of our networking, educational, and business resources. Take advantage of our E&O insurance program and other benefits designed with your needs in mind.