Independent agents, insurance carriers and alliances face a myriad of challenges today, the biggest among them may be evolving to meet the needs of current and future clients. Members of three alliances recently discussed the challenges facing the industry at the 119th annual convention of the New Hampshire Association of Insurance Agents.

When asked by moderator April Weismann of HPM Insurance to name the biggest challenges independent agents face today, the panelists focused their answers on staffing challenges. For Matt Masiello, president/CEO of the SAN Group and executive vice president and COO of the Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance, agencies need to pay attention to what staff will be doing in the future, particularly given that some consumers are looking for more self-service capabilities. Most agencies are staffed for service, so what are they going to do?

“We need to make sure that we’re moving our staff toward being focused on business development, cross selling, business selection and being able to fulfill service needs when the insured needs and advocate on the claims side or self-service,” said Masiello.

In addition, Masiello believes agents need to embrace Insurtech. “As agents we need to acknowledge that if done right, technology will make our lives easier and make consumer interaction better. We need to be prepared for that. Most agencies only use about 20% of their management system, and we’ve got to get much, much more technologically savvy about that.”

Read the full article, published October 12, 2018 in The Standard.

Reprinted with permission from The Standard, Copyright 2018, Standard Publishing Corporation, Boston, MA. All rights reserved.