It’s no secret that we are in a “hard market” for insurance. This insurance landscape is one of the biggest challenges facing independent agents this year and will likely continue into 2024.
According to the Risk Management Institute, a “hard market is the upswing in the insurance market cycle, when premiums increase, coverage terms are restricted, and capacity for most types of insurance decreases.” It becomes increasingly difficult to find coverage due to carriers frequently pulling out of certain markets or offering limited products. For your small commercial customers, it’s likely that insurance might be more expensive and harder to obtain in some markets.
A hard market will create more work for your agency. You are your customers’ trusted advisor, so it will require more resources to remarket and provide confidence that their investments will be protected. Below, you’ll find guidance on how you can actually come through these market conditions stronger.
Take advantage of this hard market by becoming an advocate and a resource for customers.
A great first step is to take some time to understand your clients and their businesses, with the goal of being proactive in addressing these new market conditions. The more you can dissect and analyze your book of business proactively, the better prepared you will be as renewals roll around and carrier offerings evolve.
Secondly, during a hard market, focus on what you are good at, and become an expert at it. Once you have a better view of your clients’ current and potential needs, you may find common threads in the type of coverage they need or in certain regions. Becoming an expert in these niche(s) will strengthen your position as a trusted advisor, with the ability to offer them the best available products and options for their coverage needs.
Bold Penguin can help ASNOA members navigate this changing landscape.
During hard markets, Bold Penguin’s technology can be leveraged to create efficiency and bolster backend processes. Remarketing is never quite as overwhelming when you keep your workflows straightforward and simple. This will free up time to focus on how to individualize client support and advise them on the right coverage.
Here are a few ways the integrated Bold Penguin product suite can help you in a hard market:
The Bold Penguin Terminal is the leading small commercial quoting platform that brings carriers and agents together, making the quote and bind process quicker and more profitable for agents.
Not only does the Terminal help you quote new business more efficiently, it will also save you time when requoting your existing customers in today’s hard market. In just a few minutes, you can provide accurate, up-to-date information to prove that, despite the 20% increase on the renewal, you are still pursuing the best option.
Agents consistently bind more premium, have higher quote yields, and see profit margins increase.
With the Terminal, you can go deeper with current carriers, add new admitted carriers, or expand into the non-admitted space.
What the Terminal does, simply, is identify and solve for appetite gaps. Obtain real time quotes from multiple carriers, and if your typical carrier is now out of appetite, you have a new quote ready to go. With Bold Penguin’s diverse carrier panel, you can find alternative market options to fill these gaps during a hard market.
The Terminal also has E&S built into the existing workflow. The Terminal has the ability to pre-fill ACORD forms so if all admitted markets are declined, you have completed paperwork to send off to the E&S market, bringing immediate solutions to what used-to-be dead ends.
Lastly, the data you can extract with enhanced Reports within the Terminal will help you analyze and strengthen your understanding of your clients and their needs. Readily available data will help you make better business decisions regarding the “how” (and the “why”) your resources are spent.
Your customers are now used to a digital experience for everything, including shopping for insurance. During this hard market, the SMBs you serve will likely be shopping for insurance and agents online. Storefront Pro allows you to build a digital online storefront quickly and easily, without expensive tech and development personnel. Storefront Pro is a low-cost way to capture web traffic and online customers in this difficult market.
If you have used all of the resources detailed above and still can’t address your prospect’s needs, the Exchange can help you still monetize the prospect.
The Bold Penguin Exchange is the nation’s largest small commercial marketplace to grow business and unlock new revenue opportunities from out-of-appetite risks. You can sell the prospect through the Exchange and still monetize the prospect you worked so hard to get through the door. And your customers will still have the opportunity to protect their investments.
A hard market can be overwhelming. But as a member of ASNOA, you can lean on the resources and tools available to you to weather the storm and come out even stronger than before.