No one likes it when insurance rates increase. Your clients are worried about how the higher rates will fit into their budgets. Meanwhile, you are concerned that they will look for another insurance agency that offers lower rates.
But with the right strategies, you can combat rate increases and retain your clients.
Why Are the Rates Increasing?
Before you can deal with rising insurance rates, you need to understand why they are increasing. After all, you will have to explain the reason to your clients.
Inflation is the biggest factor. As the price of everything increases, so does the price of insurance. Whether you sell auto insurance, home insurance, or any other type of insurance, the payouts for claims have increased. It simply costs more to repair a car or home. Insurance companies need to increase their prices to remain profitable.
Depending on the type of insurance you sell, other factors may also be at play. For example, auto insurance carriers are noticing an increase in accidents, which boosts the volume of claims. Or if you sell auto or home insurance, frequent severe weather can lead to an increase in claims.
With these reasons in mind, learn how to combat rate increases.
Learn the Specific Reason for the Rate Increase
When a client’s rate increases, the first thing you want to figure out is why. Is it because of rate increases from the carrier? Or is it because of endorsements, their own activity, a recent claim, or something else?
This knowledge will help you explain or justify the increase to the client. It will also help you figure out what alternatives to offer to keep their rates down.
Be Proactive About Every Renewal
It can be tempting to only reach out to clients about renewals if their rates increase or they contact you. But you will actually see better results if you proactively reach out to them for renewals every single year. By being proactive, you can achieve the following:
- Increase your retention rate
- Have more coverage increases
- Have more cross-sells
- Reduce remarketing costs
- Improve your contact ratio
After a few months of being proactive with renewals, your insurance agency team is unlikely to want to go back to the old way.
Remember that if you only call your clients when rates increase, you are only bringing them bad news, and you make the conversation about the rate. If you wait for them to contact you, then they are likely doing so because they are unhappy – it may be too late, or your options will be limited.
Be Empathetic During the Conversation
At some point, you will have to talk to your clients about the rate increase. When you do, be sure to show empathy. Tell them you understand their concerns with prices for everything going up, from electricity to food. Let them know that you are calling to help them and find a solution that delivers the best value.
Use Numbers to Educate Your Client
As you discuss the rate increases, use numbers to your advantage. Look up their figures in your Jenesis software. Compare the rate increase for the client with the state average. This will help put the rate increase in perspective and convince the client that you are working hard to get them the best possible rates.
Control the Call
Ideally, your discussion of rate increases is part of a planned conversation during the renewal process. But even if the client calls you with their concerns, you should do your best to take control of the call.
Don’t interrupt your clients, especially if they seem upset. Pay attention to their concerns. Take notes and repeat the key points to make sure you understand their concerns. From there, you can try to regain control of the call by confirming their contact information is up-to-date.
One of the most important things to do as an insurance agent is to offer options. This will prevent your clients from feeling trapped and help them feel that they have some control over the situation. Some good ways to offer options include looking at deductibles, discounts, payment strategies, and the RCE.
If you choose to remarket, let the client know all of their options, even the bad ones. This will help put the most expensive options in perspective and show that you are offering them good value.
Be Confident During the Conversation
You may not realize it, but being confident in your ability to help clients will improve the rate conversation. Remember that they are upset with the rate increase, not with you. You have the tools to assist them through this tough situation.
Increasing insurance rates are a fact of life for insurance agents and their clients. With the right strategies, they will just be another step in your renewal or remarketing process, not a major challenge to overcome.