The insurance industry is an ever-evolving landscape within which anyone at the helm of an independent agency faces some unique challenges.It is not, however, just about keeping pace with those changes in the present; you need to think about planning for the future as well with those in mind.

To achieve this, you need to look at some key strategies to ensure that you are making the most of the opportunities available. By putting these in place, you could be safeguarding the future of your independent insurance agency for years to come.

Here is a guide on how an independent insurance agency can plan for the future.

1. Embrace advances in technology

The recent and ongoing changes on the internet have transformed customer expectations about the way insurance is sold. For that reason, agencies need to invest in the right technology to boost their online presence, automate and streamline mundane operations, and offer a wider range of solutions to a worldwide client base. 

This could involve moving to the cloud or investing in CRM and data analytics software, as well as considering outsourcing some staff training operations. 

2.Strengthen customer relationships

As with all larger insurance agencies, the core of any successful independent agency centers on its relationships with customers. The technological advances already discussed allow a personalized service with regular communication. This might be in the form of anewsletter, which could, for instance, provide tips on cutting energy bills rather than continually trying to sell people home insurance. 

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3. Perpetuation planning 

One of the most critical aspects of planning for the future (although often overlooked) is perpetuation planning. Many small independent agencies are run by a small number of key individuals, so a road map needs to be put in place for transferring ownership and leadership in the event of an unexpected retirement or death. As this can be a complicated business, perpetuation planning for an independent insurance agency should be put in the hands of experts rather than attempting to work this out in-house. 

4. Adapt to changes in regulations 

You will already know that the insurance industry is one of the most heavily regulated, so you need to have a process in place for staying informed about these changes and applying them quickly. The ability to do this might put you in front of your direct competitors, so there is much to be gained by doing this. You might need to give a member of staff responsibility for this, with you only getting involved to help facilitatethe necessary changes. 

5. Build local relationships

Although much business is done online these days, many people still like to do business with a local company. To be at the forefront of people’s thinking, you will need to build relationships within the local community by perhaps sponsoring local events or sports clubs. 

Final thoughts 

Planning for the future when you are in charge of an independent insurance agency can be fraught with difficulties. In an ever-changing marketplace, you might not know where to start, but by taking the right steps, you can put measures in place that will help you move forward. This might involve embracing technology to build better relationships with customers and planning what to do if one of the key players in your business were no longer around.

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