In 1979, I was asked to predict what would happen to Metropolitan Life insurance agents in the next three to five years. I predicted that every district office would have a computer and within that 5 years. What’s more, I expected every insurance agent would have one as well. My boss and associates laughed at me at the time. I left the company, eventually becoming an independent insurance agent and buying my own computer, an Osborne before the IBM PC was invented.
Today, we are at war with the internet direct providers rather than just State Farm, Allstate, Farmers and other direct writer agents. We have lost ground but have not lost the war. I strongly believe that we can win this war. We will be different than we are today just as we were different when we did not have computers to help us.
Using computers in our office was a major innovation. I would go so far as to say that online competition remains the equivalent of an earthquake and demonstrates our industry’s slow and almost entirely lacking vision to remodel itself to seize real opportunities for growth through change. The current insurance war is a battle to see who can best use technology to deliver insurance products to consumer and business sectors. The bots from Silicon Valley and insurance companies such as Geico and some of our own carriers have shown tremendous intuitive and had financial advantages.
I truly believe that we are just about to open up our talents to technologies, even new doors, not just to hold our own market share but to also increase our market share again. To do so, we must have shared ideas, tools AND truly realize our inter-dependence with the goals and opportunities we have in common. This may sound like a very confusing statement but I aim to give you great clarity and show you the fantastic opportunity before us. You can really make this business technologically different from your parent’s generation and help it remain a person-to-person relationship industry. Ultimately, insurance has always been about relationships from the start of Lloyd’s of London through the many tomorrows.
How can you take your HUG membership to the next level? YOU AND YOUR AGENCY NEED TO BECOME ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS! Your question, suggestion, clarification or sharing could change the way we all do business! This helps us all succeed.
There are things you use right now in your rating system, everywhere in the country, that came about because I suggested them. Because I was proactive and pushed for these enhancements, everyone benefits, not just me. You too have smart and innovative ideas that are well worth sharing! I am asking, even begging, for you to be active and to participate in HUG. It will lead to success for you, for me and for all HawkSoft users.
The HUG organization will be creating a Template Library. This will be a repository of correspondence templates (form letters, emails, text messages and perhaps more) created by you and other HawkSoft users. Once we have accumulated enough templates, we will make this library available to the very people who created it…you and all HUG members at no cost. This is a way to give to our HUG community and will benefit us all.
Please look through your templates and share some of them with HUG. With over 700 HUG agency members, we can develop quite a library if everyone contributes. We want a wide range of correspondence – request for information, correspondence to insureds, carriers, vendors, cross-selling letters, and anything else you can think of (see a sample below). Your template will be reviewed by a committee of your peers. Instructions for sending templates are located here.
Finally, we are all in this together and are trying to build something greater than those before us could even dream of.
John A Morton Insurance Agency
San Francisco, CA