The latest installment of Vertafore’s annual insurance agency workforce whitepaper details findings from a survey of more than 1,000 independent insurance professionals in the U.S. This year’s survey was like no other. Our respondents were actively managing the changes and difficulties brought on by COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the industry was significant. However, many trends were in line with what we’ve found in previous years. Here are three pieces of good news from the 2021 report:
1. The industry remains centered on helping others.
This year, most survey-takers said their favorite part of working in insurance is the ability to work directly with their community. When given the opportunity to elaborate on why they stay in insurance, we found common threads:
- Interesting work
- Job security
This snapshot of how insurance professionals feel about the industry is encouraging. The industry continues to attract people who want to make a difference in the lives of others while also providing a stable and challenging career.
2. Most independent agencies are embracing technology to some degree.
Enthusiasm for InsurTech varies by agency and depends on many factors, as no two agencies are exactly alike. However, nearly all respondents—over 90%—reported using an agency management system and email for their everyday tasks. Over 60% of survey-takers reported using a real-time rating solution and 44% reported using texting in their processes in some way.
And there’s even more good news for agency owners and leaders: the vast majority of respondents believe their agency is doing a good or very good job of keeping up with technology advances, and 70% said InsurTech has helped increase overall efficiency.
3. If given more time, most agents would spend it connecting with customers.
Most respondents said they spend the majority of their time each week communicating with their clients, but the time they have isn’t enough. Agents want more communication with clients with more meaning. This isn’t surprising considering most agents strive to take on an advisory role with their clients as opposed to a transactional role.
When we asked what they would do with more time, most answered one-on-one activities such as in-depth policy reviews, wellness chats, educational outreach, and even a chat over coffee.
These more meaningful conversations not only help agents fulfill their goal of serving the community, they also help build the kinds of relationships that increase client retention and introduce more cross-selling opportunities: a win-win for agencies and their producers.