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My Mission… To help Independent Insurance Agents Understand their Value

I have been working on my business planning and I realize that my primary mission is to help Independent Insurance Agents understand the tremendous value they add to the insurance industry. It has been my experience that Independent Insurance Agents are very valuable.  The way our industry is structured, through independent distribution, we are unable to see our value due to the power if insurers. Insurance is an emotionally oriented sale rather than a functionally oriented sale. The “risk bearing” side of your industry (insurance companies) are constantly under pressure to cut expenses from many sources ( A M Best reinsurers, investors…). The insurance companies do not understand the value of agents. As a strategy, they are attempting to cut expenses by attempting to eliminate agency distribution.

They have been unsuccessful in doing so, although certain insurers are successful at attracting “uninformed” clients who do not understand that an insurance company is not an “altruistic” entity dedicated to “looking out for clients” Insurance companies are “profit oriented entities” who make their profits through “bearing risk”.

So… the insurance company’s  goal is NOT to hold the clients hand…  It is their goal to be profitable. It is the AGENTS job to be the facilitator of each and every contact an Insured has with the insurer.  View the insurance relationship as a long term series of events, participate in each of those events (even claims)  add value and become a valued asset to your clients and to your insurer’s clients.

The automobile industry has struggled with the same criticism of distribution and as David Lamarre pointed out in response to one of my last posts, “Case in point, when the auto industry needed the bailout, it wasn’t the dealer body that was falling  into insolvency; the manufacturer’s have long perceived their dealers as “point of sale distribution network”…In the end, the strength of their dealer network had every bit as much to do with their survival as did the bailout. The parallel in our industry glaring.”

We need to get above this paradigm, as agents, and realize, appreciate, showcase and execute added value for our clients. If Insurers could have gotten rid of agents they would have done so years ago.

Howard Candage, CPCU, CIC, CRM