Ways Agents Can Compete Against Direct Carriers

Direct carriers have dominated the insurance industry for a long time, creating constant competition for independent insurance agents. And it can be very hard for independent agents to compete against them: direct carriers use tactics like continually slashing prices, and they spend billions of dollars every year on advertising to lure in as many customers as possible. They’re even trying to muscle in on the one area where independent agents often do better – customer service – by getting feedback from surveys so they can improve client experience and increase brand loyalty. All of this means it’s much tougher for independent insurance agents to win clients, which is not ideal for your commissions, or for growing your insurance agency/business. But what if we told you there were ways that you could compete with direct carriers and get more sales?

Create Loyal Customers

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Create loyal customers by checking in on them from time to time, not just during renewal time.

You know what direct carriers’ sales teams have? Disgruntled customers. Oftentimes customers are unhappy with their carrier’s representative. You can take advantage of this and compete against these direct carriers by creating  loyal customers; the best way to do this is to keep up with their life and know what their needs are, as they might change throughout the year. Try to build meaningful relationships with your customers by remembering to add the little personal touches that make going to your business more appealing than using a big carrier. For example: 

  • Keep in touch with your customers by asking them to fill out a survey 
  • Handwrite welcome cards to new customers
  • Take the time to call your customers before their plan is going to renew to review their insurance needs. 

These things might seem small, but it will mean a lot to your customers if you are thoughtful, provide them with the information they need, and help them to the best of your abilities when they need it.

Work With Multiple Carriers & Take Advantage Of Their Resources

If you work with direct carriers, you are less likely to have to compete against them, especially because you’re selling plans for them, while earning a commission at the same time. And if you’re working with direct carriers, make sure you take advantage of their resources; you don’t need to try to fix every problem on your own. Direct carriers have service centers, which can help you improve your efficiency and customer satisfaction, so take advantage of those! Statistics show that agents who utilize these service centers report 46% more business. 

Market Yourselfsocial media outlets

As stated, direct carriers are constantly trying to improve their customer service and market themselves to attract new customers. The best way to combat this and grab more leads/clients is to market yourself, and your agency! Create a website, and post on different social media platforms about yourself and your business, as well as info about what’s going on in the insurance industry, and make it clear what you can offer people. The more people hear about you, read testimonials about your business, and see how knowledgeable you are, the more likely they will be to reach out to you for help. And don’t forget, the differentiator between you and direct carriers is the relationships you develop with your customers. 

But What If You’re Struggling To Find Customers?

You have options! If you are looking for more ready-to-buy leads, come to Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

What To Do When A Client Wants To Cancel A Policy

As an insurance agent, you will most likely be faced at some point with a client who wants to cancel the policy that you sold them. Even if that does happen, though, it doesn’t mean that it’s all over: you still have the opportunity to keep that client by speaking with them and helping them to understand certain things about their policy. To keep your clients’ business, or to prevent them from canceling a policy in the first place, you will need to take the following steps so you can continue to grow your business.

Understand Why They Are Leaving

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Reach out to your customers to understand why they want to cancel, and to see how you can help.

Clients don’t just wake up one day and decide that they no longer want an insurance plan; they usually spend time thinking it over, and they might have multiple reasons for wanting to cancel. They might be unhappy with your customer service or with the cost of the plan, or they could be going through a major life change, which means that the plan they have will no longer fit their needs. Take the time to talk with your customers and figure out the reason they have decided to cancel the plan you found for them. 

Create Loyal Customers

Studies show that 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer experience; on the other hand, a customer who is not happy will generally not think twice about canceling their plan and will not come to you to find other options. This means that working to create loyal customers is hands-down the best way to avoid losing business: when someone is happy with your service, they will want to continue to work with you, and instead of immediately canceling their policy, they will be more willing to talk to you about finding a different plan. 

Another great way to keep your customers happy is to check in with them on a regular basis with calls, text, or emails. This will show them that you care about them and their needs, and will make them feel more comfortable about reaching out to you with any issues they have, including doubts about their policy. After all, 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to companies that respond to and quickly resolve their complaints. 

Addressing Common Reasons For Cancellation

Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing that you can do when a customer wants to cancel a policy. It happens, so don’t take it personally, but knowing the common reasons clients cancel can help you better address these issues. The main reasons include:illustration of a man in a suit holding a for sale sign in front of a building

  • Change in assets– A business owner or an individual might want to cancel a policy because they are closing their business, downsizing, or selling their property. Notify your clients that you can make changes to their current insurance policy to better fit their needs and budget; you can offer to reduce their coverage, or even add new coverages if need be. 
  • Prices went up- This happens all too often: an insurance company raises their prices, and your clients want to cancel their policy and find a cheaper one. Remind them that you can  help them find a better plan when you compare quotes and policies, and reassure them that you will do your best to find a plan that matches their needs, and is in the same price range as their original plan. 

Notify Them Of The Risks

Many clients are probably unaware that they will be harming themselves by cancelling a policy and not having a new one ready. There are risks that come with cancellations, not least of which is that stopping and starting coverage is a red flag for many insurance companies, meaning your client could end up paying more for a new plan. Not only that, but if  they are cancelling a commercial insurance policy, they could risk losing their business licenses and permits, and will also be fully financially responsible for any damages or theft that could occur while they are uninsured.

Inform your clients about any and all risks they might face – not to scare them, but to show concern for them, and to make clear the repercussions they could face for going uninsured. But in the event that they still choose to go, how you handle it can make a friend or foe: if you handle the situation with grace, you can stay on good terms and keep an open line of communication with the client. In that case, you will be able to ask them about their experience with you, and what you can do to improve your customer service. Knowing how you can change or what you can do to help can make all the difference to your business – and remember,  a client wanting to cancel their policy is not the end of the world, so take a deep breath, and proceed with turning a cancellation into an opportunity.

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