VP of Carrier Operations, Nicole Farley, shares her insights on embracing innovation, maximizing resources, and overcoming current market challenges
Nicole Farley, VP of Carrier Operations
1. As technology continues to evolve in the insurance industry, how do you envision carriers adapting to leverage innovative solutions and improving overall efficiency?
The technology landscape in small commercial insurance has exploded in the last 10 years. Carriers have had to adapt and grow with that change. What we are seeing now is carriers are moving faster to keep up with the demand for efficiency from agents and consumers by leveraging innovative solutions entering the marketplace or creating innovative solutions themselves. This includes ways to use third party data to shorten the application, creating new ways to manage servicing and claims that gives agents a great experience, or streamlining renewals for low to no touch by agents. Carriers have had to quickly adapt and be at the forefront of the evolution.
2. In your role, you interact with various carriers and have insights into their offerings. Are there any specific carrier resources or tools that you believe independent agents should take advantage of to enhance their operational capabilities and drive growth?
Carriers invest heavily into the growth and development of their agencies. You can get resources on anything from marketing to continuing education (CE) credits. My recommendation to independent agents would be to spend a few hours each quarter and lay out what your focus is for the next quarter. Once you have that, you can reach out to your carrier reps to find what aligns with your goals. Easy ones to get started with are CE credits or look into CPCU, CIC and AINS certifications, how to bring in new prospects, or how to add additional lines. I also recommend doing occasional refreshers on carriers’ selling points/advantages. When you are wading into new products, like cyber insurance, there are some great tools to help clients understand coverages and pricing.
3. Agents are facing challenges in a hardening market, where it becomes increasingly difficult to find coverage due to carriers pulling out of certain markets or offering limited products. How do you see the current trend of a hardening market impacting carrier partners and agents, and what solutions can Bold Penguin offer to help agents navigate this challenging landscape?
This is one of the biggest challenges facing independent agents in 2023. Carriers are adjusting their appetite more frequently than we have seen in the past. Unfortunately, I think this trend is going to continue into 2024. What this means is agencies need to find alternative market options to fill these gaps. This could mean going deeper with current carriers, adding new admitted carriers, or expanding into the non-admitted space. Bold Penguin can help agencies navigate through this challenge in a few ways:
And if you exhaust all your market options, you can sell the prospect through the Exchange and still monetize the prospect you worked so hard to get through the door.
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