Today there are serious challenges facing insurance agents. They must work hard to ensure they comply with a variety of regulations, especially those that pertain to the PPACA. These challenges are further complicated by the emergence of new technologies, the complexity of developing new products, and the competition with other agents. The first step of solving these problems comes in identifying them. Here are seven of biggest issues insurance agents face today.
The Complications of PPACA
There seems to be no end to problems for insurance agents when it comes to PPACA. From technological glitches to the role for agents being both fluid and relatively unclear, the issues seem to continue. The enrollment process is far from simple, and there’s no question that PPACA has been the biggest headache for agents. The agent who’s capable of educating and servicing clients on PPACA may just be considered a superhero.
Dealing with the Pressure to Produce
Insurance agents need to make money, which is why there’s always pressure to make the highest sale possible. However, agents also know that long-term relationships with clients are based on trust, and making sales involves focusing on services and products—not sales. Savvy agents know that when they sell based on price, they’re setting themselves up for failure.
Markets Suffer from a Lack of Demand
Business development is a crucial part of any insurance agent’s work, yet a lack of demand can make it difficult. With healthcare prices on the rise, people have less to spend on what may be considered “luxury” insurance products, like life insurance and disability insurance. It’s true that insurance markets are growing rapidly, but economic strains and lack of experience leaves many believing that they can skip these non-essential insurance services.
Not Being Involved in the Sales Process
Today, finding a person who doesn’t use the internet is like finding a needle in a haystack. Companies of all sizes are looking into ways they can make it easier to buy insurance by selling it online. The major drawback of offering insurance online is that it can exclude independent agents from getting sales. As consumers gain access to more and more information, they may begin to believe that they have all the information they need to purchase insurance on their own.
Stereotypes Are Alive and Well
Insurance agents are often the victims of stereotypes, and this can be challenging to overcome. Agents need to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack so they leave a lasting impression on potential clients. As with any sales professional, they have to show potential clients that they’re not just in it to make a quick buck. They need to show they have expertise that the client needs.
Markets Are Becoming More Commodified
Although there are always changes in the insurance industry, and insurance products are extremely adaptable, the market has still become more commoditized. When potential clients begin to believe that all products have the same value, they are wary of paying more for one policy over another. It’s difficult for them to differentiate between products in a market that’s so crowded and has so many players. In short, the benefits that a product offers begin to take a back seat to the price.
Getting to Potential Clients Can Be a Challenge
There are more ways than ever before to get your message out easily. The number of communication options and marketing channels has dramatically increased, but now large carriers can use paid advertising and search engine optimization tricks to their advantage. Most agents who are tech-savvy combat these challenges by embracing social media, newsletters, and additional forms of creative copy to increase their business efforts.
So What’s the Answer?
Now that you understand the seven main issues facing insurance agents in today’s climate, you’re wondering: What do I do about it? There are many avenues you could take, but one part of your plan moving forward is likely to be a document management system (DMS). Embracing technology has never been so easy—or so worth it. The many benefits of DMS include:
- Mobile access to every single document you save. This makes it easy to pull up a client’s information no matter where you are. This is especially important in today’s world of 24/7 access.
- Searchable text. As you’re looking for a client’s data, you may find the need to search for other files that utilize a particular carrier, or files of people in their zip code. DMS indexes your files to make it simple to find exactly what you need in seconds.
- Total security. You want easy access to your documents, but at the same time, you don’t want to risk security to get it. DMS utilizes encryption techniques that go above and beyond to keep your information secure.
Moving toward a paperless office is one of the most efficient ways to cut costs, compete in the digital age, and provide an exceptional customer experience that truly sets you apart from the rest. eFileCabinet has been helping insurance companies for years overcome their industry-specific challenges with a powerful document management solution. Without focusing on all the paperwork, eFileCabinet helps insurance agents set themselves apart by freeing up their time so they can provide superior service to their clients.