Are independent agents at risk for losing their business to big corporate players entering the insurance space? Well, it depends on who you ask. According to IA Magazine, only 19% of independent agents believe that the big players like Google or Overstock are posting a significant impact in the industry.
Google Tried – and the Outcome Wasn’t as Expected
Google Compare launched with the goal of selling auto insurance through a carrier comparison tool. This was a threat to independent agents as Google has a massive brand and was well known. However, Google was trying to grow in a market that was already saturated with established players. They simply didn’t know the industry well enough or know how to match the right products with the right customers. The key to success is connecting with customers, and they were unable to do that.
Independent Agents Have an Advantage
Independent agents can connect with their customers to establish a relationship. When a customer has a question, or would like to modify their policy, they can call their insurance agent. Purchasing insurance through a major player like Google or Amazon would mean that you don’t have that one agent to handle all your concerns or requests.
Staying Ahead as an Independent Agent
Although Google Compare didn’t go as planned, that doesn’t mean the big players aren’t a threat anymore. The two biggest threats to independent agents are direct writers and major players. Independent agents can stay ahead by offering features customers want. Implementing an online portal is a great way to get customers to your site as well as let them have an area where they can pay online or download their documents.
Changes happen in the insurance industry, but you can never go wrong with good customer connections and resources for your clients.