Renewal reviews represent a continued opportunity for the agent to not only discuss the upcoming renewal but to show the value of his or her insurance advice while also containing costs. The agent is also given the opportunity to discuss any new coverage the client may benefit from and reaffirm service and contact expectations. This approach can separate the insurance advisor type agency from the commodity seller who simply seeks a lower renewal price for the prior year’s coverages.
For an agency’s largest accounts, these reviews should be face to face. For smaller accounts, telephone interviews can serve the same purpose. When handled appropriately, these reviews can be positive experiences for the customer. They can also help the agency build deeper relationships with the customer and possibly lead to increased sales.
Every agency should consider creating a comprehensive coverage checklist that is consistently used as part of the renewal reviews. Such tools can reduce the risk of leaving a client with uncovered exposures and promote additional sales.
Asking Why People Leave
When customers advise that they want to cancel their policies, your staff should be trained to contact them and find out why. If they can help the customers reconsider, that’s great. But, even if they can’t, they can collect useful information to help agency management decide what they should do differently in the future.
Sharing the Same Internal View
Management should affirm their fundamental views with all employees:
· We are insurance advisors not commodity sales people;
· We provide customized solutions based on clients’ unique needs and wants;
· We frequently communicate with our clients to provide them with up to date advice;
· We establish and meet clients’ service expectations; and
· We measure our account retention because it tells us how clients feel we are meeting their needs.
When the whole team is pulling in the same direction on these fundamentals, improved retention can follow.
Mike Policastro, Senior Vice President, Business Management Group, Inc. (BMG), has been assisting agencies with strategic planning, operations improvement, sales, mergers, acquisitions, valuations and perpetuation planning for over 20 years. BMG is a full-service consulting firm for insurance agencies and brokerages and a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. Policastro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in these materials is provided for informational purposes only. Readers seeking resolution of specific business issues or concerns regarding this topic should consult their attorney or business advisors.
BMG does not warrant that the implementation of any view or recommendation contained herein will (i) be an appropriate legal or business practice; or (ii) result in compliance with any local, state, or federal ordinance, regulation, statute or law. BMG assumes no responsibility for the legal compliance with respect to your business practices, and the views and recommendations contained herein shall not constitute our undertaking, on your behalf or for the benefit of others, to determine or warrant that your business practices are in compliance with any law, rule or regulation.