Independent agents adopting a hybrid work environment

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WORCESTER, Mass., September 8, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The State of The Independent Insurance Agency report, developed by The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), indicates that independent agents are adopting a more progressive work environment in response to the pandemic and the changing market conditions. With agencies expected to provide additional flexibility to employees, engage more digitally with their clients, and improve client and employee experiences, the report highlights the current state of the industry and provides insight into the future of agencies at across the country.

“Faced with significant challenges and uncertainties, many independent agencies have been successful over the past 18 months, learning very valuable lessons that will help them better serve their clients and grow their businesses in the future,” said declared Richard W. Lavey, President, Hanover Agency Markets. “Our survey shows that clients have remained loyal to their independent agents. As agency owners look to the future, it’s more important than ever that agents maintain high retention, working with carriers who can support – and continue to improve – business models with increased flexibility to staff and increased accessibility and digital services to take customer and employee experiences to the next level. “

2021 State of the Independent Insurance Agency Report

  • Flexibility is here to stay – 66% of agency owners say they expect to continue working in a remote / hybrid model
  • Customers stay loyal – 72% of agency owners say they have experienced increased customer loyalty
  • Agencies optimistic about growth – 62% of agency owners report agency growth

“We have learned a lot about independent agents over the past 18 months and the report proves that the industry continues to pivot to meet customer expectations while providing great resilience,” said Angela Roman-Grimaldi, vice-president corporate distribution at The Hanover. “Supporting strategic partnerships with carriers with cutting edge technologies helps agencies thoughtfully overcome any hurdles customers may face. Additionally, the independent agent model continues to thrive and innovate in a modern working environment by being flexible with employees. “

As agents seek to differentiate their businesses from their competitors, and agencies are expected to continue to face challenging market conditions as they reimagine the future of their businesses, The Hanover has created an Independent Agent Customer Growth and Retention Checklist to help agents grow their businesses in the months to come. The checklist is based on conversations with its partner agencies and its own observations of market trends, developments and evolving agency best practices.

Self-employed agent customer growth and retention checklist

  • Stay ahead of the trends – COVID-19 was a reminder the world can change quickly. Clients continue to seek out trusted advisors who understand all the potential risks and can offer protection if the worst happens. Independent agents who understand emerging risks, such as extreme weather, cybersecurity issues, and workplace safety, will earn the trust of clients. Agents who regularly communicate on trends will find new opportunities to connect with clients while developing stronger relationships and uncovering potential business.
  • Leverage technology – Collaborate with operators who provide agency staff and their clients with omnichannel resources for an enhanced customer experience. Online, web and mobile service tools keep today’s modern customers engaged. Independent agents need access to tools and services that help them compete in a modern world while meeting customer expectations.
  • Provide comprehensive coverage – Today’s consumers need to protect more assets than ever. Independent agents have the opportunity to grow their business by writing the total account for clients. Many agents are increasingly having conversations with their clients to discuss life changes and assess changing needs. This practice can build customer loyalty and help an agency grow its business.
  • Create meaningful customer touchpoints – Consumers and businesses have found new digital ways to communicate and stay in touch during pandemic lockdowns, and many are looking for an increase in these digital interactions. We typically see ambitious agents encouraging clients to provide multiple points of contact as well as their preferred communication channel. Agents quickly realized that digital channels tend to be preferred and that securing customer email addresses is essential. This information allows knowledgeable agents to have regular customer touchpoints through the right channels and more often. These increased communications create strong and lasting customer relationships.
  • Find access to a direct subscription model – Whether agents are at home or in the office, they should have access to a direct subscription model that allows them to build their most profitable accounts. By partnering with carriers that offer a direct and local subscription model, agents can ensure they are meeting their customers’ needs efficiently and quickly. Underwriting helps with more complicated and complex accounts, allowing the most flexibility and choice to tailor the account to limit customer risk.
  • Retain talent – Agents of the future want options for their workplace. Employees are looking for the continued flexibility that has been offered in the wake of the pandemic, and agencies that offer a combination of office and remote work options will experience higher volumes of employee retention. Hybrid models are a tactic for attracting new talent to the industry, as potential employees realize that they can find success from virtually anywhere. Review your benefits to make sure they meet industry standards and meet employee expectations.

The Hanover interviewed more than 500 owners of independent insurance agencies as part of the report. The company’s goal was to understand the current state of operations of independent insurance agencies amid the pandemic. To find out more about The Hanover, please click here.

About Hanover
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is the holding company of several property and casualty insurance companies, which together constitute one of the largest insurance companies in United States. The company offers exceptional insurance solutions through a select group of independent agents and brokers. In collaboration with its agent partners, The Hanover offers standard and specialty insurance protection for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as homes, automobiles and other personal items. For more information, please visit hanover.com.

CONTACTS:


Emily P. Trevallion

Kyle Tildsley

[email protected]

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508-855-3263

508-855-3287

All products are underwritten by The Hanover Insurance Company or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates of insurance company (“The HanoverCoverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to the Company’s underwriting guidelines and the policy issued. This document is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage. the Hanover visit our website at www.hanover.com.

SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

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