Over the past few years, the idea of finding insurance on exchanges – be they private or government-run – has become more prevalent in the U.S. with the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandated health coverage marketplaces. And, given how much attention has likewise been paid to auto insurance costs during that time, it stands to reason that it was only a matter of time before consumers were given similar options when it comes to covering their vehicles. When new options for finding the most affordable coverage possible become available, it only makes sense that insurance agents should notify their clients about the things and explain everything the ins and outs of how this might end up affecting them going forward.
Now, it seems that independent insurance companies in the state of Massachusetts might have a similar kind of site that will allow residents to shop for the best possible auto insurance agents, thanks to a new effort from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, according to a report from the Boston Globe. The hope is that this will cause more people to start looking into insurance costs and what they can do to keep theirs as low as possible, to improve satisfaction with coverage.
“It’s a realization that business is changing and we have to move with it,” Frank Mancini, president of the MAIA, told the newspaper. “It’s another avenue to get to the consumer.”
Why is this happening?
The rise in popularity of online insurers has made agents less prevalent in the system, the report said. In 2008, 77 percent of auto insurance policies were through independent agents, but today, that number has slumped to 67 percent.
Insurance agents who can explain to consumers the best possible ways to find the most affordable coverage, whether it’s through this type of exchange or simply by qualifying for discounts on their current coverage they might not have even known about, are likely to be those who have the best relationships with their clients. This kind of extra effort on the part of agents who can go the extra mile will likely be highly valued, as Americans generally say they prefer good customer service to simply being able to save some money every month. Striking the right balance between these two issues might therefore go a long way toward buoying customer retention and recommendations.