In Vertafore’s recently released 2022 insurance workforce survey, the company examined employment, diversity, and technology trends. While the survey examined such issues as the Great Resignation, employee compensation, gender diversity and technology, Vertafore pulled other insights from the data that didn’t make it into the final report.
Here are five insights not included in the survey that offers a look at what is happening in independent insurance agencies across the US.
Insurance agents want more casual meetings with clients
“A surprising number of agents who answered the question, ‘If time wasn’t an issue, what is one thing you wish you could do with your clients on a regular basis?’ specified a desire to have coffee or tea with their clients,” Vertafore said.
Here are some agent responses to that question:
- “I would meet for coffee more often to learn about the client’s needs.”
- “I want to invite my clients to have a cup of coffee to keep up to date with what is happening in their lives.”
- “My clients and I could have a cup of coffee together once a week to help keep track of what’s going on with them.”
“It’s not surprising that agencies want to spend more time with clients. Strong community and client relationships make independent agencies special in the insurance ecosystem,” Vertafore said. “But it’s apparent that hot, caffeinated beverages have a larger impact on maintaining these relationships than we would have guessed.”
Insurance agencies are increasingly using social media
For the first time, the survey asked agencies about their social media use. More than one in four said they were active on a social media platform. The survey also found that agencies are using social media to communicate more often than video conferencing (22%), agency portals/apps (21%), and carrier portals/apps (21%).
“Agencies on social media are using it to educate their followers, keep in touch with clients, attract new business, and more – and some are even taking to the more advanced platforms like TikTok,” Vertafore said.
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Some agencies are still overwhelmed with paperwork
“In an average week, agencies spend more time communicating with clients than they do on other tasks, but just barely,” Vertafore said.
When asked about the amount of time spent on tasks in an average week, 29% said “communicating with clients” took the lion’s share of their time – but “creating proposals” was a close second at 26%, the survey found.
“Paperwork may not be how most agents want to spend their time, but, according to our numbers, it is claiming a significant amount of their week,” Vertafore said.
Appreciation for new talent is growing
According to the survey, one in seven respondents said they believe onboarding and training new talent was the most important factor in agency growth.
“Proper onboarding and training can make the difference between attracting and keeping employees or constantly searching to fill a role,” Vertafore said.
Agencies want tech to be easy
Effortless adoption of new insurtech is a top concern for agencies looking to expand their technology, the survey found. Fifty-eight percent of agencies said technology that is “easy to use” is a top priority when they evaluate new products. For products that require extra time to learn, 50% said they prioritize customer support.
“There are ways of easing the burden of new tech adoption and, once tech is humming, there should be more time for those coffees,” Vertafore said.