Ways to Limit Personal Lines Insurance Remarketing
Do you want your team spending time remarketing accounts to all too often reduce your commissions? For many agency team members, they have never had formal training on how to handle rate issues with clients. When under pressure and stressed, they default to remarketing and we keep feeding the price monster. While we passionately believe that re-shopping clients has a time and place at Agency Performance Partners, we also see an egregious overuse of a very time-consuming tool in your tool chest.
The Truth About Rate
The truth about insurance rate is that we all do not even like paying for our own insurance policies. When we deal with rate reactively, we only give clients the ability to judge us on rate. The bottom line is that clients take rate increases personally. They feel as though the CEO of the carrier personally reviewed their policy and literally everyone in the world is paying less than them.
There are two types of rate clients – those who cannot and those who do not want to pay for insurance. Most people fall into the “don’t want to” category. Let us be honest, for many agency team members they are price sensitive and their personal financial experience comes into showing extreme empathy for these clients. If we look at our role to insureds, it is to protect their lifestyles, not get them a rate they like.
Our job is to provide clients with options and allow them to make the decision that is best for their family. We take this to another level by clearly stating – no one ever said that in insurance we would only ever be able to deliver good news. In fact, oftentimes protecting someone’s lifestyle requires that we have difficult conversations. Many years ago, a mentor of mine told me to imagine everyone on the phone had a manicure, $8 latte, and designer jeans on. My job was to present them options, not chase a rate. It is also comical to imagine your grandma in designer jeans.
If you want to end the rate drama all together you will research our renewal review programs. Getting proactive flips the conversation from rate to coverage. It allows for us to be prepared to address rate increases and share a game plan – which rarely is remarketing. Many agents believe that by getting proactive reshops will rise. I can prove with metrics that this is not the case in fact being proactive gives you the benefit of not having to reshop clients.
Steps to Dealing with Rate
The first step to dealing with rate is to completely divorce yourself from emotion on the situation. You cannot think clearly when you are freaking out about rate. It is also not always 100% your problem. Late payments, claims, new risks can all impact the clients’ underwriting qualifications. Keep your cool. There are always options. Start by reviewing the activity. Then move to review every single last discount they have and do not have. Every agency needs a discount list that they can go to. When is the last time you recommended usage-based apps? It is not a matter of if you like them or not. It is an option for the client!
Next, before we go to an automatic reshop let us see if they should be reshopped. We like to check the following:
- Property Type
- Activities in the Home
- Age of Driver
- Driving History
Now here is where we always go a bit deeper:
- Open claims?
- What is the minimum premium we should reshop? If the policy is small, reshopping them will not save much!
- Are they monoline? If they have a policy in the agency, then we MUST look at the other line.
- What is the rate change?
- Do we want to keep them – we don’t have to reshop everyone because they ask. We should look at if this is a great opportunity to invite them to look elsewhere?
Tips for Warding Off the Remarket
This is the easiest way to avoid a remarket. Repeat the new rate as a monthly increase. $200 increase is $16ish dollars per month. Then review with them the missing discounts. People react differently to monthly numbers if you can believe it’s as simple as that! It will reduce the remarketing significantly!
Next, find out the average rate increase in your state and check to see if they are above or below it. If rates are going up 8% and the person has as 6% increase, then it is their lucky day! Many customers just need the opportunity to help frame the rate. In addition, you also need to distance yourself from the carrier. You are their agent. For many clients if you do not explain the difference in everyone’s roles, people jump to the conclusion that you are one of them.
Here is the final step. Ask them how much they would want to save to change markets and lay on thick the home inspection. When people think it is easy to save money on insurance it will become your job to remarket people, but it is not that simple! Make sure they know all the time and risk they incur by changing insurance carriers.
Remarketing has a place, but it should be something that as insurance professionals we recommend not something that clients demand without understanding all the options they may have.
Kelly Piro-Donahue is a game changer in the insurance industry. As the Founder and President of Agency Performance Partners and Co-Founder of the sister marketing company, Agency Appeal, she’s an in-demand speaker at regional and national insurance conferences and a social media and digital marketing trailblazer. In her years of consulting, marketing, training, and public speaking, she’s worked with more than 1,000 insurance agencies of all sizes, as well as with noted industry organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada, earning accolades like “insurance visionary,” “a total rock star” and “the real deal.”
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