Deloitte Consulting has released a new study of auto and home insurance policyholders and the results are significant for independent agents.
The online study of 1,080 each auto and home policyholders, titled “The Voice of the Personal Lines Consumer/Buyers in the driver’s seat”, reaches several relevant conclusions:
“there is a sizable group of consumers who still prefer the human touch in personal lines, choosing to establish a trusted relationship with an insurance professional who can help them shop for a policy (sometimes for more than one type of coverage) as well as show them how to navigate the claims process and be their advocate in case of a loss”
“fewer companies are dedicated to distributing through any one channel. Many are looking to reach prospects and more regularly communicate with policy- holders over multiple platforms, both to take business away from competitors as well as improve retention of their own customers”
“there are demographic factors at work that make some prospects more viable than others in terms of taking them away from the competition”
“while some respondents are committed to buying with an intermediary and others without, there is a significant percentage of “independents” that are more open to switching from agents to a direct purchase (or vice versa) given the right circumstances and enticements”
“overcoming suspicions about the integrity of insurers and agents can play a major role in drawing prospects away from rival carriers and channels”
“Price remains the biggest single element respondents consider when purchasing personal lines insurance. However… price is far from the sole decision point when a prospect is determining whether to become (or remain) a policyholder”
If you think your agency is “destined” to lose clients to direct sales, never to retrieve them again – that is definitely not true, especially if you offer homeowners insurance products. 39% of homeowners currently buying direct said their top preference the next time they buy a new policy is to work with an agent. The same was true with 30% of direct auto policy holders.
Homeowners Clients are Better
55% of homeowners who responded to the survey had been with their insurance agent for at least 6 years. Only 49% of auto insurance customers said the same.
Home policy owners are:
- Less likely to think buying direct would save them money (59% for homeowners vs. 67% for auto customers)
- Less likely to strongly agree that buying direct would be more convenient (29% vs. 33%)
- Less likely to consider price extremely influential in their decision (45% vs. 54%)
- Less likely to switch agencies (only 20% had been with their agency two years or less and many of those were younger consumers who had been purchasing homeowners coverage for a shorter period of time)
With all those great characteristics, it’s clear agencies need to attract homeowners policyholders as much as possible.
What’s the most important step in doing that, according to the survey?
Get Homeowners Policyholders as Young as Possible
Nearly half (45%) of homeowners said they had never switched carriers. So being there first made a huge difference to their agent and/or carrier.
iMGA products let you bring in homeowners clients that are buying their first home or mobilehome. Even before that you can offer your clients a renter’s policy through iMGA. Later if they purchase a rental dwelling or vacant dwelling, we can help you protect that for them also. Together we can help you build a book of quality homeowners clients that will make your agency more successful in the long run.
Higher retention, less price sensitivity, more appreciation for the value agents bring. Who wouldn’t want that? iMGA – and a focus on providing quality homeowners protection to your clients – can make that a reality in your agency.