Archives for independent agent

Home and AutoDeloitte 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.

Labor Day can be bittersweet. On the bitter side it marks the traditional end of summer. In most of Texas kids are back in school and the vacation season is over. On the sweet side, it’s the first weekend of dove hunting season.

We’d like to take a moment, though, and recognize Labor Day for what it once was, and should be – a chance to thank those whose productive efforts have made our economy and country the success it is.

Of course our national economy is going through a tough patch right now. But at iMGA we have the privilege and pleasure to work with smart, talented, hard-working people every day, and it’s you that makes the difference.

The independent insurance agent is a critical part of the small business universe, and the independent agencies we work with are the best. iMGA’s mission is to bring you new products, streamlined processes and world-class systems to make your life as EASY as possible – because we truly appreciate you and the work you do.

So, as we take an extra day off Monday (and we hope you are able to as well), we will be thinking of you and the incredible result of the labor of so many productive and talented people.

Thank You – and Happy Labor Day!

This Dilbert cartoon does a good job of showing the type of crazy choices some companies seem to make.

We’re obsessed with making things EASY for our agents, though, so you won’t see us making this kind of choice any time soon.

Plus,  we have a fantastic system provided by the great team at Dragonflyware, so we would never have to make this kind of choice.

If you are a Texas independent insurance agent that sells personal property insurance and haven’t already used our system (where the average time to complete a quote is less than 2 minutes) complete the form for more information on becoming an iMGA agent and we’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other.

At iMGA we understand that independent agencies have many companies they can use, and that each of those companies has multiple products with unique underwriting requirements. With us alone you have MobileHome, Dwelling Fire (TDP1 & TDP3), Travel Trailer, Vacant Dwelling, Remodeler Coverage, HOA/HOA+ (both admitted and non-admitted) and HOB options.

How do you keep all that straight? How do you avoid killing time quoting something that doesn’t qualify for a product?
How do you make sure you offer the insured the best coverage for which they qualify, and in the least amount of time?

Other markets require a time consuming trial and error approach. We like it simple. So, we developed an easy method. If you have ANY Texas Personal Property coverage need, simply login at, select Online Quoting, and choose StartAllQuotesHere as the Line of Business.

We’ll run you through a very short set of questions to verify which lines of business that specific risk qualifies for, and show you exactly those lines. Then, with the push of a button the information you’ve already entered is transferred over for quoting. With just a few more questions, we’ve looked up the protection class, tax records, and calculated dwelling value for you online, and you have a confirmed quote, with no wasted effort.

Respecting your time and understanding that you have alternatives – just one of the many ways that we’re working to be the easiest personal property market Texas independent agencies have. If you are a Texas independent insurance agent who would like to represent us, please click on “Become an Agent” at the top of the page and complete the form so that we can start to get to know each other better.

Insurance Journal is looking for the top independent property and casualty insurance agencies in the U.S. in the categories of Top Overall, Top Commercial Lines, and Top Personal Lines.

This survey is for privately-owned, retail, property/casualty independent insurance agencies. However, publicly-owned and bank-owned insurance agencies are invited to submit data for other listings in Insurance Journal.

We already know that the fantastic insurance agencies we work with are tops. If you’re interested, complete the application to Insurance Journal and prove it to the world and your staff. It could be a real morale booster!

Finding business personal property and liability coverage for home-based businesses can be difficult. These days, though, more barbers, music teachers, real estate agents and web designers are finding it convenient or necessary to work at home.

Fortunately we have the solution for you! Our new NAH (Non-Admitted Homeowners) program offers business personal property coverage up to $50,000 and liability coverage up to $300,000 and medical payments coverage up to $5,000 for dozens of different types of home-based businesses.

Just some of the acceptable classes include:

Appraisal Service Art Gallery/Art Studio Auctioneer
Barber/Beautician Bookkeeper/Accountant Caterer
Cleaning Service Clock/Watch Repair Clown/Magician/Entertainer
Computer Consultant/Repair Dog Trainer Embroiderer
Furniture Refinisher Graphic Artist/Designer Pet Groomer
Home Inspector House-Sitting Service Insurance/Travel Agent/Realtor
Interior Decorator Locksmith Music Teacher/Musician
Musical Instrument Sales/Rep. Pet Sitter/Dog Walker Photographer
Publisher Shoe Repair Tailor
Tax Preparer Taxidermist Web Designer

So if you have any insureds who work at home, be sure to log in and check out the full list under the Home-Based Business liability coverage option in our NAH program – you’ll be surprised at how many different businesses we can cover and how easy it is to quote.

If you’re a Texas independent agent who doesn’t yet represent iMGA, apply to become an agent.

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