Be Proactive About Anticipating Client Needs
In some respects, you know more than your clients’ lives than they do. They know they want to get married, buy a house and have children. You know that means they’ll likely qualify for a multi-car discount, will need to be sure their home deductible is set at an affordable level, and may someday balk when they see how much it can cost to insure a teen driver.
They’re in the day-to-day trenches of their lives. You have the eagle-eye view. As a proactive agent, you can help smooth the way for them to have more positive life transitions by checking in with them regularly.
How you do so matters. You’ll need to find out about their future plans. But first explain why, so it doesn’t feel like you’re prying. “I’d like to ask you a few questions so I can give you good insurance recommendations to make sure you’re properly protected. Would you be okay with that? If there’s anything you don’t want to answer, we can just skip it.” It’s short and sweet, and you’ve given them a reason and an out.
If they say yes, here are some of the life events that you can ask about—if they are planned and when they might happen. Take notes on their responses so you can set reminders to check in at the right times.
Is your client planning to get married? Joining two lives can also mean joining two auto insurance policies. Because weddings are stressful and expensive, see if you can get the information you need about the future spouse’s vehicle before the big day in order to quote a multi-car discount. Make it easy to sign up, and earn their gratitude by showing how they could save money under one policy.
Children and Pets
Does your client have, or are they planning to have, children or pets at home? Kids and animals are great…and also pretty unpredictable. Make sure you suggest the appropriate homeowners liability limits. You never know when your client will find a plastic toy in an overflowing toilet or a fence mangled by an overeager squirrel hunter.
How old are your client’s children? Keep track and contact your client a year before their child is likely to start driver’s education. They may not know that discounts are available for teens that take special driver’s ed courses and/or have good grades in school. Give your client a heads-up about teen pricing in your area so the sticker shock is not as great when the time comes to add youth to their policy.
Buying or Selling a Home
Veteran homeowners know the drill, but first-time homebuyers can feel overwhelmed and need special attention. Some may not even realize that their mortgage company will require homeowners insurance. Give them a preview of what to expect and a timeline for when to involve you in the process before they begin home shopping.
With all of the chaos that comes with remodeling, insurance is probably the last thing on your client’s mind. Check in occasionally to see if they’ve made any upgrades or installed new features or high-end upgrades. You can make sure they receive the right credits for updated systems like plumbing or electrical, as well as ensuring that custom finishes are insured at the proper amounts.
If a client is climbing the job ladder, you can help them consider their changing liability needs as they do so. Successful individuals need more liability coverage to replace lost income in the event of a car accident, lawsuit or other unforeseen event. Think about suggesting an umbrella policy to help fill in gaps.
A Final Thought
Being a proactive agent is a win-win approach that can help you create customers for life. A relatively modest time investment can pay dividends for years in the future.