Why The Future Is Bright For The Insurance Agent
Recently I was on an insurance forum and someone asked the community what they thought about the future of the insurance agent. It’s a question I’ve heard a lot of in the last couple of years, especially among my friends and colleagues, who are agents themselves. While the Internet is certainly a disruptive technology in many ways, its effects on the insurance agent will do little to change the role of an insurance agent. In fact, the future is a pretty bright place. Here are a few reasons why.
One: A buyer must understand the intricacies of insurance to ‘go it alone.’
The first reason — and one of the most important — that insurance agents aren’t going anywhere is the fact that the buyer, in order to purchase adequate protections for their family and their things, must know the intricacies of insurance to “go it alone.” There can be lots of complexities with an insurance product, and the simple fact is, most people don’t want to put in the time to self-learn when they can simply work with a knowledgeable professional with training and certification. Any savings they might be able to get on their own is incidental, and their purchase may not come with the peace of mind they’re looking for.
Two: Insurance agents can help customers navigate different life events, better than they could do it on their own for the most part.
Even insurance customers, who are savvy enough to buy insurance on their own and save a few bucks upfront, fail to update their coverages and policies as they should. While some may decide to buy alone, they’ll likely come back to the agent the first time they experience a gap in coverage. Agents are able to look at the insurance needs of a customer not just in the present, but also 10, 20, 30 years down the road. Your typical online buyer isn’t thinking about that because they’re focused on price and questioning whether they’ve got the right amount of coverage.
Three: Most insurance applications are not completed online.
Yes, even though more people than ever before are shopping online, the number of people who finish their applications with qualified agents, is as high as ever. That’s because insurance customers have realized what a great tool the Internet can be when comparing prices, but they still want a trusted professional to guide them in finalizing the app because they want to make sure they’re protected.
Finally: There will always be ways of differentiating your business and adding value.
As with any profession, adaptation is essential. While some may intimidate themselves out of business, you can actually use the web as a tool for promoting your business and your expertise cheaply and effectively. By establishing an online presence, you can share useful tips and information with your potential clients and existing customers. You can make it easier for them to contact you with questions and concerns. You can, in a word, give them VALUE that goes well beyond their expectations without incurring any more costs. By using the web to differentiate yourself from competitors and establish a stronger connection with customers and shoppers, you can emerge from this time period in a better position to add customers.
Insurance agents are not going anywhere because direct contact is, and will always be, important to insurance leads & customers looking for the best coverage. While you may have to adapt some things about your business here and there, the future is a pretty bright place provided that you’re willing to do so. Best of luck as you find your way!