I’ve asked prospects who have become dissatisfied with their insurance broker relationships: “Is it possible that you’ve just outgrown your insurance broker?” The context of that question really means – does your insurance broker lack the technical expertise, resources, and staffing to properly handle your business. Often the answer is “yes” and the client is disappointed that the relationship needs to end because their insurance broker couldn’t grow with them.
But today the reverse seems to be happening to the small and medium-sized business owner. They haven’t outgrown their insurance broker, but instead, their insurance broker has outgrown them!
How does that happen?
Over the past four to five years we have seen some significant consolidation occur in the insurance brokerage community. Big agencies, private equity funded roll-ups, and national franchises have gobbled up thousands of agencies during this time frame. The local agent you have dealt with for many years may be part of a national conglomerate. The personal relationship you had with your account manager or account executive may not exist any longer, and the agent’s office may have even moved out of town.
We’ve heard this complaint from several prospects over the past year. They just don’t feel like the “big fish” they once were with their insurance agent. They’re not getting the personal attention they used to get and the agency owner who was their main point of contact is no longer with the firm.
Consolidation is pretty much a way of life not only in corporate America but also on Main Street America for a lot of industries, whether we like it or not. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it.
2020 may be the year that you’re looking to make a change and find that “right fit” insurance broker relationship.
Here are some ideas we think should be on your radar:
- Blasting your renewal policies out for quotes to multiple brokers really doesn’t work. Selecting the insurance broker, you want to work with first and allowing them to go out to the market is a better strategy.
- Interview brokers based on recommendations from your peers or other advisors such as your CPA, attorney or banker. Did a broker from a prior bidding cycle stand out? Give them a call as well.
- During the interview process ask broker candidates about their experience and expertise in your industry and in insurance in general. Ask them about their team and capabilities of account managers.
- Ask candidates if they have a specific process for understanding and identifying your insurance and risk needs and building a protection program around them?
- Do broker candidates provide risk management services to help you control risk within your organization. How is it deployed? Ask them to describe what they can do for you outside of procuring policies.
- Review the websites of the insurance brokers you’re interviewing. Are sites up to date? Is the content on the site congruent with the responses gleaned from the interviews? Do the brokers have recommendations or testimonials on their website or on LinkedIn? These are critical parts of business today and indicate the level of professionalism the broker has in today’s digital world.
Here’s the bottom line. The world is changing quickly and the insurance world is no different. If you’re not getting the attention you deserve or want, it may be time for a change. Want to discuss how The Coyle Group does business and our unique Strategic Risk Process? Give us a call or hit the Next Steps button below. Thanks!