Good news: It looks like 2022 could be a great year for many agents and brokers.
An Aon survey of more than 500 agents and brokers that was published late last year found that "about 70% of agents expect their business growth to be on track in the new year, while nearly 20% expect that growth to be 'off the charts.'"
The thinking seems to be that agents not only survived the pandemic but have used the time profitably, to fine tune their businesses in ways that will appeal to customers and increase business.
Product expansion will be a leading strategy for growth, with the top three specialty lines that might be added being: 1. catastrophe (commercial and personal/private coverage); 2. healthcare (beyond allied health); and 3. nonprofits.
With Zoom fatigue pushing agents to rely less on webinars and virtual events, 40% of agents expect social media to give them the biggest marketing boost in 2022. Email blasts were in second place, at 22%. 42% said they want to explore video marketing more this year.
I'll add an observation of my own: After years in which everyone talked about how insurers would disintermediate agents and brokers, carriers seem to be increasingly to be committed to working with agents and brokers rather than trying to go around them and get to customers directly.
Now, disintermediation hasn't gone away, and every part of the industry will remain under pressure to cut costs, but carriers are trying to find ways to work with agents and brokers to create a smoother experience for customers. Agents and brokers who lean into that new interest figure to prosper.
If you're interested in exploring that topic, I highly recommend two recent articles: "Insurers Must Bond With Agents," by Denise Garth at Insurance Thought Leadership, and "Customer Experience: Insurance Brokers as Customers," by Ralph Mucerino at the International Insurance Society.
Here's to a prosperous New Year!
Editor-in-Chief, Insurance Thought Leadership