Let’s talk for just a minute about how COVID-19 is affecting the commercial insurance business. It's November 4 - yesterday, November 3 was election day in the United States. All we know is the future is uncertain, and it's not just because of politics - it's also uncertain because COVID is still with us, and we don't know when it's going to be over.
We don't know what it's going to do to the economy. With liability claims and other claims growing, insurance companies are starting to harden the market, so insurance operations take a whole new level of difficulty. And yet with the new threats and dangers brought by COVID there are also many opportunities and silver linings for independent insurance agencies to take advantage of.
We know for sure that all of this uncertainty makes business owners nervous, and it makes them turn with increasing attention to the expense side of their profit and loss statement. And one of the things that jumps out at them is the huge cost of insurance: workers’ compensation, general liability, commercial auto, health insurance, life insurance - they are all going up.
And while those expenses are going up, their sales may not be, due to business interruptions and the many financial impacts of the pandemic and the shutdown measures. This means directors and officers are more attuned to their lines of insurance, and more willing to talk to you than they have been in many years. COVID politics combined with the economic uncertainty give agents an opportunity that is really unprecedented, and one you should think seriously about taking advantage of.
Another huge opportunity that COVID brings is the chance to tighten up the niches in which you focus. The most successful agencies in the insurance industry these days use targeted marketing, to align their expertise and their carriers expertise with the people who can make best use of that.
With COVID, we've seen a gigantic increase in virtual communication to support working from home and social distancing. Zoom and similar technologies are allowing people to communicate face to face and eyeball to eyeball regardless of where they're located. So this gives agents a new opportunity to actually narrow their focuses and narrow their target markets, while expanding their marketing in terms of geography - thanks to remote working you can offer insurance services to clients regardless of where you (or they) are located.
The watchword is “narrower focus, broader market”: another real opportunity that COVID is bringing to aggressive and smart independent insurance agencies.
There are lots of other opportunities in times such as these, and a book I recently published is available to explore these ideas in more detail. Or if you'd like to have a personal conversation, please feel free to reach out to me directly.