We can thank Benjamin Franklin for the business adage, “Time is Money.” But if the American founding father were around today he likely would have said, “Data is Money.” In today’s insurance world, data really is money. Data analytics have long been a pillar of good insurance underwriting, but the data wave is now knocking on the door of the independent agent’s office.
What is Data Analytics?
Simply, data analytics is the practice of inspecting, translating and modeling data with the goal of extracting useful information to draw conclusions and help with planning and decision making.
So, in the independent agent’s world, data analytics is the practice of using data to grow your agency. You can think of it as a sort of alchemy. You mine your agency’s customer data and turn it into more policyholders and premium dollars.
If you aren’t taking advantage of all that data analytics has to offer, don’t worry. There are some simple and effective ways to get started.
1. Personal Service: Insuring the Customer, not Only the Risk
Insurance agents hold a venerable space in the insurance market. They are the trusted advisors, the consumer advocates and the troops on the ground when claim time comes.
Independent agents know the value in multi-policy customers – not only is it the right thing for the customer, it also makes good business sense. Studies show consumers are less likely to move their insurance from an agency when they have multiple lines of insurance with that agent.
Data analytics makes it easier for agents to see where they may be of more service to their customers. Agents can use analytics to alert them to missing lines of coverage in a customer’s portfolio account.
For example, when the agent accesses a customer’s file they receive a notification that the customer may need an Umbrella policy.
The data analytics have worked behind the scenes studying the customer’s information and current policies to determine they are a good candidate for an Umbrella policy.
This type of data-driven notification makes it easy for agents to know where cross-selling opportunities exist.
2. Streamline Your Marketing with Data-Driven Insights
Data analytics can also help refine your marketing efforts. Insurance agents gather a lot of information about their clients to get them the best underwriting. That information can also be used for specific marketing programs.
Let’s look at an example. Say you land a great contract with a private flood insurance carrier. They are offering a high commission and are eager to write flood insurance in your area. How do you make sure you are taking advantage of this opportunity for your agency and your clients? You use analytics to identify the customers in your area that don’t have flood insurance. You then market the new flood coverage to them specifically.
This type of data-driven insight ensures you don’t waste time contacting policyholders who already have flood insurance or to customers who don’t own a home.
In general, using data analytics to support a marketing campaign makes your marketing budget more effective and efficient.
3. Self Service for Customers: Automated Policy Management
Today’s insurance consumers demand self-service solutions. Many are tech savvy and want digital options to manage their insurance.
Major insurance companies not only offer but also encourage customers to make changes, view policy documents and even file claims through self-service portals.
Offering insurance and service through digital channels is a must for today’s independent agent. Agents who combine online options and person to person contact have the best results. According to a 2016 study by J.D. Power:
This study highlights the fact that agents who use data analytics when dispensing their expertise and advice are the winners of today’s insurance consumers.
Related: Want more clients? Go Digital!
4. Get started with the Data You Have
Independent agents collect a wealth of data from customers on insurance applications and in rating software. A lot of useful information can be teased out of this data and translated into cross-sell opportunities.
Here are just a few pieces of information that most agents have on hand:
- Does the client own their home or rent?
- Does the customer have children?
- Do they own recreational vehicles such as boats or motorcycles?
- How old is the policyholder? Are they nearing retirement? Getting ready to send a child to college?
- What is their marital status?
This type of data can be extracted from your book of business to give you a better picture of your customer and their insurance needs. Using this data to create targeted marketing campaigns, touchpoints and full-service risk management will help grow your agency.
Independent insurance agents use Agentero to boost their revenue, save time, and deliver a superior customer experience. We integrate with your current technology to modernize your operations and position you for growth. Check out our website to learn more.