Insurance Agents And Job Security: ‘Nothing To Fear’
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once told America that it had “nothing to fear but fear itself.” This quote has endured for close to a century because there’s a lot of truth in it. Most of the things that we worry most about never happen. Over the last several years, I’ve heard many (often disgruntled) insurance agents talk about how the Internet would make them obsolete. (It hasn’t happened.) Recently, Google Insurance had many of the same naysayer types looking over their shoulders, in spite of the fact that Google is in no way to capitalize where a local agent can.
Do you know what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has to say to these people? I’ll tell you in two words:
The BLS projects a 10 percent growth in insurance agents over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2022. Three years into this projection, and it’s proving to be true. It’s not a “flash in the pan” thing either. The knowledge is already there to shop for insurance online, but consumers haven’t budged since 2010 in spite of a big surge in accessible technologies. Why? Because they still prefer to trust their insurance needs to the people who understand it the most — namely, you the agent.
Just like Americans (mostly) want a President, who is smarter than they are — seriously, I can barely run my own life, much less the lives of 316 million people — insurance customers want people who can explain their policies to them as well as point out gaps in coverage that could be leaving themselves, their families, and their possessions vulnerable. This simple fact creates some great opportunities for those of you currently in the profession. Let’s look at a few.
1. You have the opportunity to build loyalty in the customer-agent relationship.
This is huge. While some customers may stick around past policy renewal, a good portion of them fly the coop hoping for a cheaper price. It’s not that paying less is what motivates them; it’s that other agents haven’t delivered the kind of value that they are looking for. Be the agent that helps the customer see past price tags, and you’ve got a customer for life. And customers for life tend to refer others with similar needs and values.
2. You have the chance to come in to your own at the same time as emerging technologies.
Why is this important? Because you’re in a position to see how technology will affect the insurance agent job as it is currently defined. That means being able to pivot in a way that embraces tech instead of hiding from it. By embracing tech, it can actually be a tool of exponential return instead of the thing that ends up putting you out of a job.
3. You have a chance to have a career in a world full of employees.
While working for yourself or independently isn’t any easier, it can be a lot more rewarding. Being able to write your own ticket, to not be held back by forces beyond your control, and to help others in the process — that’s the job at its best.
While you may have to change some of how you do things in the coming years, one thing you won’t have to change is your career. Not if you stick with it and adapt rather than give up. By adopting the right outlook and just looking at the statistics, you should have the confidence to go along with your pride in what you do.