The reality of how our business has evolved to a predominantly digital one was accelerated by COVID-19. But regardless of what prompted this shift, it’s certainly here to stay.
Although meeting with prospects over dinner, at their office or at the golf course still happens occasionally, those face-to-face interactions have been significantly reduced. And agents – both veterans and newcomers, alike – have been forced to adapt quickly.
These changes have left some agents in the dark, particularly those who were more accustomed to the “old” way of the insurance business. When agents don't use or have access to digital tools, it can be a major deterrent for consumers.
And yet, if we know anything about insurance professionals, we know that our gravitas and grit run deep. There are several ways in which an agent can be successful in today’s world, and we’ve highlighted a few key elements that every insurance professional can tap into to maintain a thriving business stream for years to come.
Clients are now opting for simplified issue insurance, which has made it so that people who are generally healthy can answer a handful of questions to fit the insurance carriers’ underwriting guidelines. Further, instant decision life insurance allows people to bypass a medical exam to enroll in coverage. Decisions on whether a carrier will cover someone can now be made in a matter of minutes. But an agent must be able to understand this process, and manage it for the clients so they can more efficiently and effectively sell them this coverage.
As the number of applications using instant decision and simplified issue insurance increased, so did the demand for better technology to facilitate these new underwriting options. New platforms allows agents to provide multiple policy and quote options and process applications in a matter of minutes – an offering that just wasn’t possible for agents previously. It’s more palatable for the consumer (no one enjoys receiving a slew of broker calls weeks after searching for a life quote), and incredibly easy for the agent to provide the most competitive pricing and policies available.
Expanding Your Product Offering
We’re seeing more life agents joining the industry – including those whose main focus is in another line of insurance such property/casualty, health, and auto – starting to cross-sell more life insurance policies as the demand grows (and will very likely continue to). The industry has seen a huge uptick in new business as the current climate has prompted huge numbers of people to seek out life and permanent insurance protections. And this surging consumer demand requires more agents to service them and offer coverage.
Efficiency And Optimization
Simplifying processes on both the agent and client side is crucial in our fast-paced world, and decreasing the amount of work it takes to quote and process applications is essential in expanding your business. Having a digital forum to run this business allows agents to spend less time on busy administrative work and spend more time on driving traffic and focusing on revenue-generating activities, such as educating clients on permanent life insurance and how attainable and cost effective it is to secure their families’ future.
The world is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, and with it come major shifts in technology, markets and consumer demands. This is where adaptability becomes essential to our industry, and the professionals who keep it running. Without the ability to adapt to new ways of doing business, our industry will continue in the dark ages; without adaptability, entrepreneurship and innovation wouldn’t exist.
Great ideas – and great business – stems from a professional’s ability to re-conceptualize products or services, identify market gaps, and devise solutions. In the wake of COVID-19, people across the globe have been confronted with a new reality that vastly altered the course of their daily lives. Many struggled deeply with this change – and our hope is that through the adoption of new ways of thinking, and new technologies, that we can more easily move into the new era of the life insurance industry that better serves agents, carriers, and consumers, alike.
Mark Tattersall is CEO of Quote & Apply and principal of BackNine Insurance. He may be contacted at [email protected].
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