What? Is there a strategy? Do you mean we don’t just wing it and rewrite EVERY customer that calls complaining?
Wait, we don’t apologize?
You DO NOT WING IT, AND YOU DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
WAIT, don’t go. Let me explain.
I was there. I was at an agency that winged it, rewrote, or offered a rewrite to every customer that called about the price. Why? Because our answer was it is easier to re-quote it and rewrite it than it is to explain why it went up.
But then our primary agent started to give us handouts on price increases and why things were increasing. They weren’t scripts. They were just reasons for increases. That helped educate us (the agents), so we could educate our clients.
Some agencies call this rewriting, and sometimes it is necessary, but is your agency
GOING THROUGH ALL THE STEPS BEFORE CHOOSING TO REMARKET/REWRITE?
“All things are difficult before they are easy.” -Thomas Fuller
There will always be rate increases in our industry. We cannot control those, they are controlled by the carriers and the Department of Insurance, but we can be proactive and smart in handling them.
Your Insurance Remarketing Strategy MUST be a strategic or proactive plan. When it is a reactive plan, you can bet on losing clients.
One solution is outbound renewal review calls and being proactive.
Proactive Insurance Remarketing Plan
Step 1: Pull a RENEWAL LIST
Step 2: Determine how far out in advance you will contact your clients (and yes, we mean ALL of your clients).
Step 3: Determine how you will distribute the calls per agent and how many outbound renewal calls they need to do a day.
Step 4: Make a script (examples at the bottom of this blog post). APP has a checklist*
(determine actions and conversations, have all the staff do them the same)
*HINT: APP has a great checklist that can be edited to your agency’s standards.
Step 5: Start Calls.
Step 6: Meet with staff to discuss how they are going, wins and lessons and what they can do better, and how your agency can improve the process.
When to Remarket and Not Rewrite?
This is the big question. You, as an agency, need to determine when you will allow remarkets/rewrites. Is it at a certain % increase, or do they need to have two lines of business with your agency before you even consider a remarket? Ask yourself and your agency these questions.
- What should be the requirements for a remarket?
- How much time is spent on remarkets?
- How many did you do these last two weeks?
- How many of them moved carriers?
- How much premium did we reduce?
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -Wayne W. Dyer
Here are some answers to rate questions and possible solutions to your customer’s complaints. Everything is going up in price these days, and insurance costs are no different.
As agency research, your department of insurance increases and have those handy for your staff to be knowledgeable when talking to clients about increases. Costs of vehicles, vehicle repairs, parts, not to mention building materials for homes.
What Impacts Rates?
- Rate Impacts
- Increase in car crashes
- Distracted driving
- Natural disasters
- Client Activity
- Recent changes
- Youthful Drivers
- Revenue/Payroll Increase
- Insurance Score
What did exclusive agents do before? How did anyone handle price increases before remarketing was a thing? What was their solution?
They dealt with it by:
- Reviewing current policies for accuracy
- Usage (Work, school, pleasure)
- Home updates (Plumbing, heating, electrical, and roof)
- Looking for discounts
- Students with good grades
- Safety Courses
- Bundle Policies
- Use the review as an opportunity to earn more of their business, ask about other policies
- We don’t know what other policies they need unless we ask (build rapport)
Just because you feel the insurance is too high doesn’t always mean the customer feels that way. Get out of your head, do not assume. It is not your wallet. Provide options.
We don’t need to be people pleasers. We need to educate about insurance. You may not be the agency owner, but when you remarket and reduce the policy by $500 a year, the agency feels these decreases.
Imagine if we remarketed 200 policies in one year, reducing each policy by just $200 a year. That is a reduction of $40,000. Those add up quickly.
Imagine if every time you rewrote a policy, it reduced your paycheck by that amount. That would hurt and change your mind about rewriting all the policies.
Insurance Remarketing Downsides
It has more negative effects than positive ones. These are some of the things we do wrong with remarketing.
- We think with our wallet, not theirs.
- The client tells us their tale.
- We know too much and become problem solvers, not option providers.
- We become people pleasers.
- We think about what we want, not the agency’s revenue.
- ASSUMING WHAT PEOPLE CAN AFFORD
You did not make the rate, don’t apologize for it, but have empathy and provide education.
Rewriting a policy should not be a new business, and no one should get a commission on a remarket/rewrite!
It’s About Relationships, Not Rates!
Go into problem-solving mode, do not get off the phone without resolving the issue just because the conversation is uncomfortable. Because if you do, they may get off the phone and call someone else.
Stay on the phone and resolve it, BUT LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, and make sure you allow the client to talk. They need to feel heard, and you need to walk them through the education of insurance, their policies, and what they NEED.
You are their trusted advisor, make sure you act like it and inform them of what they need, and do your best to upsell that if necessary. A review is not ALWAYS ONLY to reduce costs. It is to ensure the client has adequate coverage. Most often, these reviews cause cross-sells and upsell rather than a client going “shopping” for their insurance, which is exactly what we want.
Ask good questions, do you rent or own your home? What are your hobbies (this could lead to inland marine policies, toy policies, etc.) Do you own a business? Do you have friends or family I can help with their insurance?
If you don’t ask, you will not know; if you do not ask, they can’t say no. Let them say no to all your great questions! But remember they are also saying no to discounts they could get!
“Good things take time.” -John Wooden
Is it your job to find the cheapest rate or best solution? As an educated insurance agent with a state license, you and I know the cheapest is not the best. Look at your insurance, where it is, what coverages you have, and how expensive it is.
What do you do when you know you have the best carrier but the rate is a little high? You look for discounts and different adjustments you can make to the police. You bundle it with your property policy; normally, most insurance agents have an umbrella policy because it is not that expensive.
We need to be recommending our clients do the same thing. We need to advise them of the best policies and protection for their needs, which does not always mean the cheapest!
- Educate the client on why the policy increased. Is there an accident or violation that may have caused the increase? Was there a claim? Did we make a change like a new car or a youthful driver?
- Review features on current policies and carriers. Discounts that they may qualify for on the current policy(ies).
Your attitude can dictate the outcome! Don’t forget that your mindset has much to do with your success! You have to believe in the process and your company. If you don’t believe it, how do you expect your client to? Make sure you put on your positive insurance agent hat!
Positivity has a lot to do with it. Smile when you call. Don’t do the calls that day if you are in a bad mood. Double up the next day. Make it part of your job. Here are the pros and cons. The pros of being proactive should help you be more positive about these calls, and you will be better prepared, rather than putting out fires when people call upset.
“If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”-Maya Angelou
- Discovery-Ask questions, verify coverages, vehicles, drivers, etc……
- EDUCATE, educate, and educate the client on their current policy REVIEW to add discounts and cross-sell for multi-policy discounts
- Start making OUTBOUND RENEWAL CALLS (Strategically)
- Use a checklist
- Build Rapport
- Make an appointment and keep them on the phone, if they are talking to you, they can’t be on the phone with other agents.
- Do your best to keep the current policy, BUT if you have to remarket it intelligently, don’t make it super cheap, but also make sure your agency has guidelines on what is OK to remarket/rewrite
|Customer did reach out to you, right?
|No communication with client
|Caught off guard by call and need to “wing it”
|Need to review account while talking to a client and could find surprises
|More chance of losing the business
|Client is upset
|Not rushing to renewal dates
|Alerting client to possible price changes/Renewal
|Getting to know your clients and building rapport
|You’re reviewed the account in preparation for the call
|Higher chance of retaining the business
|They’re not worked up and upset (good mood)
Scripts: Good afternoon (client) this is (my name) from (your agency name) your insurance agent. I was just calling today to see if I could review your insurance policies with you. It will only take about 10 minutes. I was hoping to find some more discounts for you. If now is not a good time, I would like to schedule a time with you. Our goal is to ensure your insurance keeps up with your lifestyle. So we would like to review the policies for accuracy and discounts.
Voicemail Script: Good afternoon (client), this is (Name) from (agency). I was just calling to check in about your insurance coverage (Mention policy type, so they know it is their agency and not a spam call). I had a couple of questions as I was looking for money-saving discounts. Could you please return my call at your earliest convenience? I can’t wait to hear from you, have an excellent rest of your day.
Insurance Remarketing Strategies are not simple. It takes planning. You must choose whether the clients you keep having to “remarket” are worth keeping. Are they costing you more than they are worth?
There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself and your staff for your agency’s success. But all the team also have to be on board because their tone and attitude towards your success in this process will make all the difference.
So when do you remarket? When you have absolutely NO other options! You cannot find any discounts. You cannot write them other policies to add deals to current guidelines. Remember, there are clients you want to fire. Don’t keep clients that want rewrites every year; that is 90% of your service work.
We want to educate our clients and ensure they have the insurance they need, not necessarily what they want and how much they want to pay. It is about coverage and quality; you need to think that way. So have a plan, have a strategy. Don’t wing it and don’t apologize but empathize with the customer, explain coverages, and educate.
You can get consulting hours with APP here. Or Book an Intro Meeting with Agency Performance Partner. Check out all of our programs at agencyperformancepartners.com. We are here to make your agency ridiculously amazing.
Does that sound overwhelming? The only way to find out is by checking us out. We can give you tons of agencies that have wrecked with us that have a huge success. We aren’t shy. You can ask us for reviews.
We can send you videos and contact information of happy customers. It is up to you and your agency to find the solutions that work best for your agency, but you won’t know until you try them, and we can help.
Follow us on social media or visit our website. At first, it may seem scary, and some staff won’t be on board, but that is OK. It is our job to convince them, and we can!