Do you have a niche that you are not leveraging to get new business?

If you are looking for a way to differentiate your agency, look at your book of business. It is likely you have experience in niche markets - whether it is the ten restaurant accounts you have or the eight accounting firms.

That means you already know what carriers are best for these businesses and their risk management issues. You can leverage that experience to get more similar accounts.

Most new business comes from taking away business from an incumbent. To overcome a generalist you have to “outniche” them. Show the prospect what the generalist has missed – because they are not the niche experts you are. Go beyond price, so the incumbent doesn’t just match what you offered. Use your expertise to make a case for how your risk management can help them avoid claims and subsequent premium increases.

A starting point for marketing is to create a sell sheet and a dedicated webpage about your niche. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to post an article such as “3 Ways This Niche (fill in the blank) Can Reduce Its Insurance Costs.” Send that article out via email to your niche prospects. Ask your current clients in your niche for testimonials.

Over time as you build your book in your niche, you will develop a reputation as a sought after go-to insurance expert.


ANE Featured in Insurance Business Magazine

ANE was featured in the Insurance Business Magazine article “Agencies band together to clear path through industry disruption.”

Why are agencies banding together? Because networks leverage strong relationships between agents and carriers to drive business and yield positive results across the board.

“Networks like ANE are dealing with agencies who want to remain independent, and want to continue to move forward, grow and perpetuate, whether with family or existing management groups. That’s what has fueled our rapid growth in the past few years,” says ANE CEO John Tiene.

Read the article


ANE Selected as Five Star Network by BIA

ANE is proud to have been selected as a Five Star Network by Business Insurance America magazine in all of these categories:

* Commissions and Profit Sharing
* Access to Insurance Companies and Products
* Access to Niche and Nontraditional Markets
* Ability to Network with Member Agencies
* Overall Business Consulting
* Training and Education
* Technology
* Marketing
* Administrative Support
* Claims Support

Click here to read the article from Insurance Business America


What technology should your agency focus on?

Agencies that are trying to stay competitive are often faced with having to make decisions about how to use technology to give their agencies an edge. A recent article in “Business Insurance America” talked about the importance of automation and analytics.

That’s one reason why ANE offers its agents Vertafore at a discounted price along with hands-on support services. Automation for back office management improves customer service – the key to retention. The analytics provided via Vertafore enables agencies to make informed decisions about growing their business.

Take a moment to read the article to learn how to, “Use data and analytics to better understand, influence and ultimately get a consumer to purchase insurance.”


What do agents say? 2018 NU/PIA Independent Agent Study results

In 2017 the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) conducted its inaugural Independent Agent Study — a research project designed to annually take the pulse of independent Property & Casualty insurance agents throughout the U.S.

Here are three of the insights from the study – and ANE’s response for its members

The exodus of talent on the agency side remains concerning. Forty-five percent of our independent-agent study respondents, most of them principals or owners, said they planned to retire in the next nine years.

ANE works with our members to develop new producers by providing training and ongoing support.  We also help owners prepare for succession if that’s what they want.

Only about 1 in 4 (24%) of PIA members who responded said their insurance carrier relationships were improving; 19% said their relationships had declined.

ANE prides itself on providing members better access to more carriers. Our network’s buying power and our close working relationships with our carriers means when agencies need support to close a deal or solve a problem, they get it.

Despite 56% being armed with agency smartphones, only 41% of respondents said they can provide quotes to prospects while out in the field.

Our members access Vertafore at a discounted cost and with hands-on support enabling agencies to “go mobile” and much more.

If you are facing any of these issues, ANE is here to help.

 


The 2018 Independent Agent Study: Agents speak out on carrier relationships, challenges and their future plans

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has released a study to take the pulse of independent Property & Casualty insurance agents throughout the U.S. The study provides insight into the demographics, books of business, challenges and carrier ratings.

Some key finding include to compare to your agency:
45% of respondents, most of them principals or owners, said they planned to retire in the next nine years. Is a talent gap a concern for your agency?

About 24% said their insurance carrier relationships were improving; 19% said their relationships had declined. Are you happy with your carrier relationships?

Although 56% have smartphones, only 41% said they can provide quotes to prospects while out in the field. Can your agents quote remotely?

More study results will be released soon. Check out the video for an overview of the results.


ANE – THE YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s been a productive and profitable year for ANE and its member agencies. As we get ready to perform even better in 2018, here’s a quick look at some highlights from 2017.

January
ANE authored article on technology featured in Insurance Business America magazine

February
ANE Announces Seven Agencies Added in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

March
ANE CEO John K. Tiene honored at the 35th New Jersey Brain Injury Alliance Gala

April
ANE Annual Conference attended by more than 160 independent agents and other insurance professionals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

June
2017 ANE Carrier Appreciation Beach Party draws largest crowd ever!
ANE is a sponsor of the annual conference of the Professional Insurance Agents of NJ/NY

July
ANE supports the annual Big I Trusted Choice Charity Golf Outing
ANE Profile Featured in Insurance Agents & Brokers Pennsylvania (IA&B) magazine

August
ANE VP of Operations Jocelyn Rineer Named One of 2017 “Insurance Business America Elite Women in Insurance”

October
ANE produces new brochure refocusing our strategy and message
ANE is out in force today supporting Special Olympics and the PIANJ Golf Classic

November
ANE Selected as a Finalist for Network of the Year in the 2017 Insurance Business Awards

ANE Announces Eight New Member Agencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

December
ANE is the Event Sponsor for the New Jersey Young Insurance Professionals Gala Awards
ANE CEO John Tiene named to the IBA Hot 100 List


ANE Selected as a Finalist for Network of the Year in the 2017 Insurance Business Awards

Agency Network Exchange, ANE has been selected as a Finalist for Network/Alliance of the Year – Membership 100 Agencies or Fewer in the inaugural Insurance Business Awards America. Insurance Business America is the leading insurance-focused magazine with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across the globe. IBA readers voted in their thousands to select finalists in 23 categories, including stand-out services, employee focus and corporate social responsibility.

“We are excited to be recognized by our peers across the industry for our leadership and vision,” said John Tiene, CEO, ANE. “ANE’s success demonstrates that our business model is working for independent agencies that want to stay competitive and grow.”

Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts and announced on November 29, 2017 during a stellar black-tie awards ceremony at Chicago’s Navy Pier hosted by TV superstar Alfonso Ribeiro.

“The finalists are the best of the best,” said Tim Duce, CEO, Insurance Business Magazine. “They demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Success stories like theirs are the lifeblood of the Insurance industry.”

The inaugural Insurance Business Awards America is one of a series of international insurance events. The first US event will be held in Chicago and will bring together industry leaders to celebrate excellence in the Insurance industry and is designed to recognize individuals, teams and companies for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the field.

For the full list of finalists and information about the event, visit Insurance Business Awards America.

 

 


Are Millennial Insurance Buyers More Likely to Listen to Millennial Insurance Agents?

When you are young, who are you more likely to listen to – one of your peers or someone older than you telling you what you should do?

Studies show millennials depend on their peers’ opinions when it comes to making purchases from reading each other’s social media posts to online product reviews on Amazon. Why would buying insurance be any different? This is a follow-up to our post How to Hire Millennials – and Make Them Successful.

If you are hiring millennial producers for your agency, one approach to their sales efforts is to educate their peers about misconceptions they have about insurance. Here are just a few.

  • 48 percent of millennial respondents said driving a red car increases your premium (it doesn’t)
  • 35 percent said one’s home ZIP code does not affect the cost of auto insurance (it does).
  • Millennials are less than eager to educate themselves about health insurance because, they don’t think they need it. (they do.)

Read more in this interesting article “Millennial Meltdown: How Insurance Ignorance Puts an Entire Generation at Risk.” And, share this article with your millennial producers.


How to Hire Millennials – and Make Them Successful

In a recent issue of Independent Agent Magazine, ANE CEO John K. Tiene discussed how to win the talent battle agencies like yours are facing. ANE, Agency Network Exchange, helps independent agents grow and stay independent.

Most insurance agencies are staffed primarily by baby boomers. How is your agency going to manage when your experienced producers and personnel who keep your clients happy retire?

The answer is millennials.

You might think millennials are job hoppers. Many millennials think the insurance industry isn’t for them. Here are some insights to help bridge the divide - millennials:

  • Value job enjoyment above compensation, followed by job security and flexibility
  • Are the most connected generation in history
  • Want to understand how their work impacts clients, their employers and the world in general

Unfortunately, 80 percent of them have limited knowledge and understanding of the employment opportunities available in insurance. But, once they join the industry, 90% say their insurance careers provide job satisfaction, financial stability, and most plan to remain in the industry.

That’s one reason why we work with GAMMA IOTA SIGMA - the national fraternity for insurance, risk management and actuary science students. ANE can connect member agencies with interested students and graduates for internships and jobs.

If you are facing the millennial hiring challenge, learn more in our article (download). Then give us a call. We can discuss hiring - and help you solve any other issues your agency may face.