Posted by: jmwilsonmga | February 28, 2012

Selling Coverage and Creating Value : How to Build Relationships while Selling Insurance Coverage

With the current state of the economy, a market that’s just starting to see some rate changes, and insureds grasping to hold on to every dollar they have, it can be difficult for an agent to sell an increase in premium, let alone more coverage.  Educating the insured and making sure they are aware of the coverage they have (and what’s available) is crucial.  Creating value, generating solutions to problems, and listening to the insured can separate you from the agent down the street.

In my most recent CE class, we discussed how to bring value to your insured using a risk management approach rather than being more of an agent that simply “reacts”.

In the January 2012 National Underwriter Property & Casualty magazine, Leonard C. Brevik, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, shared information on a recent 18-month nationwide study by the PIA Partnership showing that insurance customers are looking for excellent relationship-based customer service. In my opinion, what consumer of any product isn’t?  But isn’t insurance more of a service than a “product”?  Sure, you can hold an insurance policy in your hand, you can touch it, read it, but it really doesn’t bring you much satisfaction.  What it represents is the relationship and value that an insurance agent brings to the table all year long, not just at renewal time.

How do you help your insured understand what coverage they need, round out their employment practices policy, and try to get a 10% increase on their BOP?  What tools and strategies are you adapting to accomplish this?

Here are a few highlights that were discussed in my class:

  1. Sell from the left side of the menu – not the right!  Concentrate first on educating your insured on what the coverage actually IS before associating a premium with it.  Listen to what their concerns are and match an endorsement or policy that could help alleviate this pain for them.
  2. Be “all ears” – when meeting with your insured, do one thing – nothing!!  All you have to do is listen.  Patiently, quietly, and hear what they are saying.
  3. Don’t wait for the renewal.  Conduct a mid-term audit with the insured to go over any changes they’ve had throughout the year.  Renewal time can be stressful for both parties – and is the hardest time to round out an account.
  4. Say thanks!  Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Let your insured know you appreciate them and their loyalty to your agency.  That the relationship you have with them is one you take seriously and one you value.

Remember, you are responsible for providing peace of mind to your insureds.  You are helping them by protecting their most valued possessions – whether it’s their business, their cars, their belongings, or their families.  It’s important to them so it’s important to you.  By providing them with personalized attention and great products, you and your insured can rest peacefully each night.

About the Author : Erin Herson, Underwriting & Agency Relations Manager

Erin Herson joined J.M. Wilson in 2009.  She is responsible for underwriting, teaching Continual Education courses, as well as establishing and developing new agency relationships.  She loves the people that she works with and finding creative solutions to their needs.  Outside of the office, Erin enjoys working out, spending time with her children, golfing, cooking, and of course, shopping.

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2012 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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