What Are Clients Looking For In An Agent?

meetingA recent study by a leading insurance research firm showed something we have been saying for years. That is, when it comes to insurance buying most people are not just looking at price. There are many factors that will lead a person or business to select their agent.

Here are some of the factors clients consider when shopping for insurance:

  1. Clients want to be educated about risks they face.
  2. Clients want their agent to ask questions about their family and business.
  3. Clients want to connect with, and be cared for by, their agent.
  4. Clients want a partnership, not a salesperson.
  5. Clients want assurance their coverage needs are met, not just “sold” a product.
  6. Clients want to understand how their insurance works.
  7. Clients want good communication with their agents.

Price is part of the process, but less than 20%, according to Yana Glezina the director of brand and communications at Rocket Referrals, a leading insurance communications platform based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Here are ways to improve communication with your clients:

  • Return calls the same day.
  • Educate—do not sell.
  • Text clients who are not into email or phone calls.
  • Send your clients thank you notes and birthday cards.
  • Be available when clients reach out randomly with a question.
  • Reach out to your clients with meaningful and timely content.
  • Respond to good and bad reviews.

If you are doing these things, then you are on your way to developing a true partnership with your clients.

Here Is Our Secret to Getting Our Clients The Best Possible Combination of Coverage, Price and Service.

light bulbThere is nothing wrong with wanting competitively priced insurance for your home or business. The issues seem to arise when an insurance consumer takes the low-cost insurance without regard to coverage, their risk, or services offered. We have found a way to help our clients get the best of both worlds; we call it CPS (coverage, price, and service).

Coverage– your policy needs to be designed to give you the insurance you need.

Price– We will work with our insurers to get you a policy you can afford with the coverage you need. We believe in value, not just low prices. We make sure you get all the credits you deserve. We will re-run your credit score as needed.

Service– Insurance is evaluated in the service you receive during the year and after a claim has been reported.

Here are the keys to getting the best possible combination of coverage price and service.

Relationships matter. Relationships still matter and always will. For all its regulations, calculations, and machinations, insurance still requires a personal touch. An agent must have a good relationship with the insurers it represents to get the best level of service, which is passed on to the customer. The agent’s relationship with the customer is important in order for the customer to receive the service they desire.

Communication. We listen to our clients, allowing us to better understand their needs and design an insurance program that meets their needs. We take the time to educate our clients on the different types of insurance, eliminating insurance that is not needed, and saving money.

Be an Invaluable Resource.  We help you understand risks you may not have known about and create insurance solutions that will cover a potentially un-insured claim.

Authenticity. By maintaining an open and honest relationship with our clients allows us to show our value and the importance of building trust. We are able to speak freely about the coverage you need and the coverage you may not need.

You are buying a process of how we work with you to provide the coverage you need.

What Is Insurance?

stressMany people think insurance is a product like a car, home, or boat. It is easy to think of insurance as a product, but it is not. You can use and touch a boat or car every day. You spend money; then you get to use it, see it feel it. It’s not so with insurance. You can hold the policy and look at a bunch of words on the policy explaining coverages, risks, and exposures. Yet it just isn’t the same as a test drive. When you select an insurance program, you may never see it or use it until you have a claim. Then you will fully understand what we are saying.

Good insurance will give you a peace of mind that will allow you to live your life with confidence.  You have the confidence that your agent and insurer will be there for you in your time of need.

Insurance is designed to protect you from unknown and unexpected accidents and losses. That is why it is so important to understand what you are buying before you do. If you are not sure what kind of insurance you have, do you really have peace of mind?

Insurance becomes tangible only when you have a claim; then, it becomes very real. At this time, you hope the policy delivers as promised.

Here is why we educate rather than sell.

  • Educated buyers make better decisions.
  • Insurance policies are not all created equal. Insurance is not like a commodity; insurance companies offer many different kinds of policies; these offer coverage you may need or may not need. Why pay for insurance you don’t need? Or worse, you paid for coverage you thought you had but didn’t.
  • Many insurance policies are filled with coverage gaps. These are areas where you need certain coverage, but the policy may not provide it. A coverage gap may also be having policy limits or deductibles not designed for your needs. An agent acting as your advisor can help you identify these gaps and offer solutions.

Give me a call and let talk about how we are different and can help you understand your insurance purchase with clarity. I want to earn your trust.

 

Ask Perk Reichley

perkOver the years, I have been asked about many different kinds of insurance questions. I thought it might be interesting to start sharing these questions and my responses. Remember, there is no bad or wrong question. If you have a question, send it to me, I will be happy to answer it for you.

Are there unique kinds of insurance I might need?

It is our hope and desire that you never need to make a claim, but if you do, you want the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service. Here are some added coverages you might want to consider.

  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Higher limits on jewelry
  • Identity theft
  • Coverage for collections, art, guns, and coins
  • Personal umbrella liability
  • Coverage for back-up of sewers caused outside the home

How often should I review my personal insurance program?

We recommend an annual review of all your personal insurance needs. This might be a call or face-to-face meeting, depending on your needs.

If you have made some life changes, we always recommend a review at that time. Some life changes that will affect your personal insurance include:

  • Change in marital status
  • Birth of a child
  • Purchase of a new car or any other major purchase
  • Planning international travel
  • Children heading off to college
  • Working form home
  • Retirement
  • Job change

Should I ever consider increasing my deductibles?

Changing your deductibles on your auto or home insurance depends on your risk appetite. It is true that increasing deductibles will save you money, but there are other factors that you might also consider.

  • How much increase is desired?
  • Do you have a history of losses?
  • Do you have the financial resources to handle it?
  • Is the cost-benefit worth the risk?

House prices have been skyrocketing in my neighborhood lately. Should I increase my limits?

A hot real estate market doesn’t actually impact your home rebuild cost or replacement cost. That number is based on the raw materials and labor it would take to rebuild it with like kind and quality.

 

What Keeps You Up AT Night?

Every one of us has certain things that keep you up once in a while. It might be your job, the kids, illness, or other life’s problems. Our goal to make sure that protecting your family with the right insurance does not keep you up.

Here is how we help you sleep at night

  1. We never sell you a policy. We ask questions and educate you so that the coverage you but the right fit for you.
  2. Insurance is a complex transaction, so we work hard to make sure you understand how insurance works before you make a decision.
  3. Our team is licensed and have years of experience that help us better educate you.
  4. We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your insurance decisions.

According to an Insurance Journal article, here are the top issues that keep people up.

  • Flood and other natural disasters
  • Identity theft
  • End of life issues
  • Eldercare

We can provide valuable information regarding each of these so that you can make the right decision for you and your family. We hope you noticed that we don’t just offer a quick insurance product. That is because we will only offer you an insurance solution after we fully understand your needs.

Connect with us and let us show you how we do it

Over the last sixty years, we have established a reputation for honesty, high morals, integrity and friendly, professional customer service – pillars of a successful insurance agency. Based upon this foundation, the staff of Reichley Insurance Agency commits to the following mission.

Why We Stopped Selling Insurance and Started Educating our Clients

Many years ago, our agency changed the way we operate. We saw that insurance could be viewed as a commodity like a car or home. But we know otherwise. There were two reasons for our change.

  1. If people saw insurance as a commodity, then the lowest price wins. And with insurance, low price usually means one size fits all coverage and low or no education or service that values the customer over the insurance carrier’s efficient transaction model.
  2. When we can educate and explain why you need or don’t need certain insurance coverage, the process becomes less about cost and more about purchasing the right coverage at the right prices, hence creating value.

Here is what we like to do before we even say the word insurance. We ask questions to understand your needs better. We share our knowledge about your risks, and we help identify the individual risks you face and start the process of putting together a plan to protect you with a combination of insurance, risk transfer and avoidance techniques.

Our clients routinely tell us that “this is the first time someone took the time to explain this to them”.  They feel empowered to control and have ownership of their insurance program.

Building a business populated by satisfied, repeat customers is our goal.  This benefits both parties and offers us the opportunity to invest our knowledge and expertise while sharing the relationships we have with community vendors and insurance carriers to benefit our customers.  This feels more successful that hitting a sales goal each year.

As we continue to monitor the safety needs of our staff and clients, our agency will continue to operate as we have since the start of the COVID-19 Quarantines and work electronically in service to our clients. Walk-in traffic from clients and prospects will continue to be suspended. We will remain open and all aspects of our agency operations are available including a drop box at the office for payments and documents.

Communicate with our staff via electronic methods; Telephone, email, text are still available (PDF) and our technology to conduct business transactions electronically has been expanded to include video meetings as an option to face to face. While this lacks the personal touch we are known for as well as the communication style we prefer, these changes are necessary during this time of protecting one another for the near future. We appreciate your understanding and loyalty to our agency.

 

What Does Your Agent Talk To You About?

When you meet or talk to your agent, what are the topics of conversation? Are you talking just about your bill, or how you got an endorsement and didn’t understand it? Do you get way too much communication on how to reduce your premium by buying less coverage? Many companies will tell you, and you don’t need to talk to your agent.

We are here to provide a different approach. We recommend talking to your agent at least once a year and even more if needed. Communication is the key to all good relationships. We will reach out to you and talk to you about the following.

  1. How is your claim being processed? Can we help you?
  2. Did you get your policy, and do you have any questions?
  3. Have you made any major purchases; a new car, boat, or other high-end items?
  4. I know you have a wine collection, did you but any new bottles that need to be insured?
  5. Your son Travis is heading off to college; we might want to review your coverage.
  6. How is your new job going? Do they offer life insurance, or would you like to look at some options?
  7. Have you thought more about identity theft coverage? Or do you have any questions?
  8. We have found many people are driving for a ride-sharing company, is there anyone in your house doing this?

These are just some examples of what our conversations might look like. Of course, we also start with a good day it is great to connect, and end with thank you for your business, we value our relationship and love serving you.

 

The New Normal for Insurance Buyers

Beyond Insurance… Risk Strategies

Businessman surrounded by sharks in stormy sea. Competitive business concept. Paper waves clouds boat and

Someone once said, “The only thing you can count on is change.”  When it comes to insurance buying, that is unmistakably true.  Today, people have more ways than ever to secure insurance coverage.  However, are they getting the coverage they need?  Another true statement is, “The more you have, the more significant risks you have.”

The combination of change and risk leads us to the understanding that people should be seeking an insurance partner who understands their changing needs in a risky world, rather than being able to secure a low-cost insurance program.  People who have a higher net worth should be primarily focused on protecting assets.

If a lawsuit threatens the lifestyle you have created, you want a partner to stand beside you.  You need personal liability insurance options to safeguard your family and assets in the event of personal claims against you at limits that exceed the liability protections provided by standard policies.

Many individuals have unique risks which can include:

  • A second home
  • Farm or rental income
  • In-home business
  • High valued homes
  • Watercraft
  • Foreign travel
  • Domestic employees
  • Identity theft

You need an insurance partner who can help develop a risk and insurance plan that will manage your risk at a competitive cost.   It’s not business as usual any longer.

When Searching for an Insurance Partner, Ask These Questions:

  • Does your agent educate you about your risk before trying to sell you a product?
  • Is their staff experienced and qualified to manage your needs?
  • Is your agent more interested in a relationship as a trusted partner rather than as another insurance client?
  • Is your agent committed to work for you rather than for the insurance company?
  • Does your agent design a program based on your individual needs and then give you options?
  • Does your agent advocate for you through customized analysis of your risk and needs?
  • Is your agent committed to leading the claims process to a satisfactory outcome?
  • Does your agent have access to sophisticated personal insurance carriers that offer specialty products and personal risk solutions?

Protecting your lifestyle goes way beyond insuring your car or home.  Proper insurance has to do with understanding the risks associated with your life and creating a plan to safeguard you and your family’s future. Our society’s way of managing COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work, play, travel, gather information and gather supplies for our daily lives.  Many of these changes are just new ways of doing things, however many can create new risks that your current policies do not address completely.  Do any of these sound like your new normal?

  1. More time buying products and services online from home.
  2. Increase use of home networks for business use.
  3. Using business owned office equipment at home for your work.
  4. Work meetings at personal residences or on-line.
  5. Connecting to open networks for work purposes at restaurants or other places.
  6. Use of personal vehicles to and from client’s offices.
  7. Use of personal vehicles for delivery jobs.
  8. The storage and use of paper documents for work at your home residence.

All these issues and others create a need for a conversation with your agent.  Policies are changing to accommodate some needs on a temporary basis while other do not.  The best risk management program is a combination of a strong relationship with a well-educated agency that can place and maintain your coverage with excellent insurers at a competitive price.  It’s not just getting a few of the above items, it’s about achieving the right balance to get all parts working for you and your family.

“Insurance is not a product, it’s a promise and a trusted relationship”, Perk Reichley.

Why We Stopped Selling Insurance and Started Educating our Clients

Many years ago, our agency changed the way we operate. We saw that insurance could be viewed as a commodity like a car or home. But we know otherwise. There were two reasons for our change.

  1. If people saw insurance as a commodity, then the lowest price wins. And with insurance, low price usually means one size fits all coverage and low or no education or service that values the customer over the insurance carrier’s efficient transaction model.
  2. When we can educate and explain why you need or don’t need certain insurance coverage, the process becomes less about cost and more about purchasing the right coverage at the right prices, hence creating value.

Here is what we like to do before we even say the word insurance. We ask questions to understand your needs better. We share our knowledge about your risks, and we help identify the individual risks you face and start the process of putting together a plan to protect you with a combination of insurance, risk transfer and avoidance techniques.

Our clients routinely tell us that “this is the first time someone took the time to explain this to them”.  They feel empowered to control and have ownership of their insurance program.

Building a business populated by satisfied, repeat customers is our goal.  This benefits both parties and offers us the opportunity to invest our knowledge and expertise while sharing the relationships we have with community vendors and insurance carriers to benefit our customers.  This feels more successful that hitting a sales goal each year.

Insurance is not a product. It is a promise and a trusted relationship. Here at Reichley Insurance Agency, we are not going to sell you something you don’t need. We want to talk to you, determine your needs, and get you covered at the right price.

While the massive national agencies spend millions on television ads and offer barebones policies, they do not know you. When your needs change or your situation complicates, you don’t want an automated phone tree or cold cyber-agent. You want to talk to compassionate, honest insurance experts – that’s our team. You shouldn’t have to spend hours researching and comparing policies. Let the specialists at Reichley guide you through the complex insurance industry.

Call today to alleviate the worry and get covered – (937) 429-0655.

COVID-19 and the New Cyber Challenges

The CIOVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we do business in a very significant way. Many businesses are requiring people to work remotely.  Employers are finding that having employees work remotely may be the new normal.

COVID-19 has forced us to become more dependent on the internet, as desperate measures, like social distancing, disrupt economic activity and everyday life.

This new way of doing business could mean that employees are collecting client information from home or other places that may not have the same cyber security as an office network.  In some instances, employees who are working remotely are forced to use their home computers because they do not have a company laptop.

Top Work-from-Home Cyber Concerns

  • Unsecured video conferencing
  • Using unsecured networks
  • Spam and phishing campaigns exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maintaining security-critical operations, such as patch management
  • Supporting employees to ensure they have what they need to work from home without sacrificing security
  • Theft of client information from lap tops
  • Changes to regular security-critical processes
  • Using social media platforms from unsecured networks

What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Threat?

  • Do not open email from people you do not know.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Do not provide personal information to unknown websites or uninvestigated third-party messengers.
  • Do not share the virtual meeting URL’s on social media or other public channels.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.
  • Lock your screen if you work in a shared space.
  • Provide corporate computers/devices to staff while teleworking, where possible.
  • Use secure, password-protected emails when sending documents.
  • Ensure that adequate information technology resources are in place to support staff.
  • Provide secure video conferencing for corporate clients (both audio/video capabilities).

Over the last sixty years, we have established a reputation for honesty, high morals, integrity and friendly, professional customer service – pillars of a successful insurance agency. Based upon this foundation, the staff of Reichley Insurance Agency commits to the following mission:

  • To provide the clients with quality products and services through financially sound insurance companies committed to the American agency system.
  • To provide prompt and courteous service by handling each account as if it were our own and by treating each client the way we would want to be treated.