While the insurance industry has stepped up in many ways in the wake of the coronavirus – from providing billions in auto insurance credits for commercial and personal insureds to extending grace periods on policies, and making significant monetary contributions to numerous organizations to aid and assist individuals impacted by the pandemic – it’s also taking a major hit as businesses look to their Business Interruption (BI) policies for coverage, only to find out pandemics are not covered. Class-action lawsuits have been filed, states are calling for retroactive coverage, and the insurance industry along with business groups are asking Congress to establish a federal back-stop program to provide BI coverage. All of this is happening while the virus has infected hundreds of thousands of people, killed tens of thousands, shuttered businesses and wreaked havoc on certain industries throughout the U.S.
Thought Leadership: Share Your Expertise, Experience with Clients
You may think this is not the exactly the right time to be marketing your insurance agency products and services. But it’s precisely the time to do so, with tact and responsibility. Determine what content is most relevant and impactful. For example, right now your business clients need your expertise to clearly explain policy terms and conditions so they truly understand the intent of the insurance products they carry. This involves BI, Workers Compensation, Event Cancellation, D&O Liability, and other policies that may come into play with COVID-19 related claims. You’re already getting tons calls about some of these policies (particularly BI). According to a survey of independent agents by Channel Harvey Research, 74% of respondents said that BI coverage has been a top discussion topic for clients. Explain what is going on in terms of claims and how a policy is designed to work and why coverage may or may not be triggered by the pandemic.
In addition, talk about changes your insureds can make on their policies during the quarantine. For example, the significant number of furloughed workers has impacted Workers Comp policies. Commercial and Personal Auto premiums are affected as a result of fewer drivers on the road. An endorsement may be required to protect restaurants providing delivery services.
Extend your expertise on these and other subject matters on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube) and on your insurance agency website’s blog. Be consistent about blogging once a week and posting on social media platforms directing clients and prospects to your blog for additional information.
You may also choose to help businesses navigate these difficult times by offering best practices for remote work, and providing measures to mitigate cyber-related risks that come with working at home. Mix in positive messages as well to help businesses and their employees and your personal clients cope during this time of safer-at-home and social-distancing orders. Think about doing a weekly or bi-weekly e-newsletter that features some of these topics. The idea is to stay connected with your clients and further solidify your relationships. Show your clients you care, and make your agency available to them during this crisis and while things slowly go back to normal.
Plan Ahead Now
Work with your marketing team to determine future plans to help with your insurance agency’s growth and to make up for loss of income due to policy cancellations and reductions in premiums. This may mean strengthening your digital platforms; for example, expand your website to include additional self-service features including online rating abilities where possible; display your thought leadership front and center with fresh content year-round; and leverage email campaigns and social media on a consistent basis.
Think about what additional niche markets you can add to your wheelhouse. While the restaurant and hospitality industries have been hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, others have weathered the crisis much better. You may want to expand your footprint in different industries not only to diversify your own mix of business but to also leverage potential growth opportunities. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to round out personal lines accounts with Life and Disability Income insurance, and Cyber coverages to protect against risks such as personal identity theft and ransomware. Establish a business and marketing plan outlining opportunities available and what it will take in terms of expertise, resources (call center, email marketing, social media marketing, staff, third-party vendors), digital and print promotion, etc. to turn those opportunities into new business.
Insurance is all about protection. Elevate your position in the community, among your customers and future clients, by becoming their go-to resource to help weather these unprecedented and challenging times.
About Neilson Marketing Services
Since 1988, Neilson Marketing Services has been implementing innovative insurance agency marketing solutions and strategies for our clients in all areas of marketing. Contact us today at (866) 816-1849 to put our talent, expertise, and vast resources to work for you. Let’s make things happen, together!