How the consumer shift can benefit independent agents

February 11, 2018 /

Written By: Becca Parks, Product Marketing Manager

Let’s face it: technology is more mobile-based and commerce is more real-time than ever before. This trend isn’t going away; consumers prefer businesses that can keep up with their expectations. From music and clothing to groceries and airline tickets, customers are increasingly accustomed to researching prices and making purchases online—and more often than ever before—doing so via their mobile devices.  

Shopping for insurance is no different, and independent agents have to be prepared to either keep up with their customers’ demands or risk losing business. Further adding to the challenge is competition from direct writers, who are now investing in the latest technologies and are spending millions of dollars on advertisements to promote their brands. To provide exceptional customer service and remain competitive with direct writers, it’s essential for independent agents to be able to provide real-time quotes.

But if you’re like many independent agents, dealing with multiple carriers to offer quick and affordable quotes to your customers is one of your top challenges. Luckily, tools do exist to overcome this challenge. 86% of independent insurance agencies use a comparative rater to tap into multiple carriers’ pricing without entering duplicate information into different systems. A comparative rater gives you the same power to quote as the big-budget direct writers, while allowing you to differentiate your business through superior industry knowledge and personalized customer service.

So how do you grow your book of business in a world where customers are accustomed to shopping online and receiving instant price comparisons? The key is having a comparative rater in place, which allows you to respond to consumer demands quickly while also establishing your expertise and becoming a trusted advisor to your customers and prospects.

The good news for independent agents is that while mega-carriers and direct writers promise low prices, they don’t provide the personalized service and deep level of expertise that an independent agent offers. And while most consumers do research insurance products online, the majority still end up choosing an independent agent – proving that having a trusted advisor remains critical[1].

Today, independent agents who have tools that enable them to provide instant quotes will be able to win more business, establish their expertise, and provide an exceptional customer experience – ultimately enabling them to grow their book of business.  

Are you in the 86% with the tools in place to offer instant, competitive quotes, provide exceptional customer service, and grow your book?

 

[1] Source: McKinsey & Co. Agents of the Future: The Evolution of Property & Casualty Insurance Distribution
 

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