The lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song The Times They are a-Changin’ were fairly profound in the 1960s. Today
they’re downright frightening. The times — indeed — are a changin’.
That’s a fact not missed by Nationwide who asked questions to 400 independent insurance agents. The company wanted to know how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them and their business.
Nationwide senior vice president Jeff Rommel said the coronavirus pandemic has made things very, very challenging for most.
“COVID-19 has dynamically changed the way industries across the globe operate,” Rommel said. “In addition to the challenges independent agents face in their new work environments, they’re adjusting to shifting customer needs, growing their businesses, and providing competent counsel amidst continued uncertainty.”
Here are the questions Nationwide asked and what the company found in its conversations with the agents.
1. Agents are facing new challenges and are concerned about the future:
69% agree that driving new business to the agency to keep it strong is going to be a challenge in the future
62% say maintaining their client portfolio due to the economic impact of COVID-19 is challenging
61% say they are challenged to maintain normal business operations in the WFH model
2. Results indicate that independent agents are more inclined to use larger carrier3s for their insurance needs because of their strength and stability:
72% say do so because of concerns about the financial stability of smaller carriers
3. Independent agents have been forced to change how they work in the new COVID-19 work environment:
80% had to change the way they sell and market to clients because of the pandemic
60% say they are facing challenges shifting their agency's marketing to a more digital-based approach
4. Even with the new way of working from home, many feel they are prepared for the challenge:
83% say they have the proper devices and technology needed to work from home and that they have the proper channels in place to effectively communicate with the carriers they use
82% say they have the ability to provide customers with online self-service tools and resources to manage their accounts
5. Due to the economic impact of the coronavirus, clients are coming to agents for guidance:
58% have had clients come to them and ask them about suspending a payment for their insurance because of the pandemic
58% of agents say clients have asked for advice on how they can cut their insurance costs
56% say their customers have asked for help on better understanding what their policies cover
Nationwide says it has resources to help agents meet changing customer and business needs:
Expanded digital marketing and social media support and training
Information on extending payment terms
Enabling agents to request commercial policy changes
Helping agents and businesses protect themselves from a cyberattack
Promoting Nationwide Express so agents can deliver quotes in as little as two minutes
Advocating for personal and commercial telematics products
Distributing loss control resources for agents to share with clients
Source link: Nationwide