Three Ways Insurance Companies Need To Rethink The Role Of Agents

Founder and CEO of SmartFinancial.com: on a mission to make the insurance buying process more efficient.

It used to be that if you asked someone who they’re insured with, they’d give you their insurance agent’s name. Billions of dollars in advertising later, people now name their carrier and barely remember the agent that signed them on. Meanwhile, the brick and mortar agencies are waning in importance, and companies like Nationwide are moving to a virtual workforce model. In my role as a CEO overseeing an insurance-technology platform, I’ve observed one thing that remains the same despite all the confusing shifts over the past few decades: Insurance agents are still the primary sales channel for insurers.

Even though carriers can communicate directly with consumers at a lower cost, insurance agents who bring profitable business to carriers are a valued and integral part of the insurance distribution chain. Here’s how future

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Insurance Agents Think They Offer Value. But Some Customers Have a Different View.

Business owners and consumers are rethinking their finances and insurance needs due to the current economic uncertainty. However, new research suggests insurance customers and their agents are not always on the same page; there are gaps between what agents and their customers think and agents may not be giving customers everything they want.

Thus insurance agents face some challenges when helping customers, according to a report from Nationwide Insurance. At the same time as they face these new obstacles, agents have a “compelling opportunity to serve as a knowledgeable resource for current and prospective customers to strengthen and grow their portfolio or business,” the report says.

Nationwide identifies four themes in its study:

  • A perception gap: There are gaps between agents and customers when it comes to perception of service levels.
  • Customers want more than just property and casualty support from agents.
  • Understanding policy coverage and price are shared challenges
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