Before the rise of digital marketing, insurance agents could only sell to the people in their town or a potential client they met with in person. Most agents have opted for being a generalist who provides the most commonly offered policies most individuals are seeking. But those who have operated or chosen to move toward specialization are no longer bound by geographical restrictions, making it easier to dominate a market -- which can be lucrative.
Digital sales channels, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media allow agents to sell any type of insurance to anyone, anywhere. Many successful agents are finding a new opportunity by selling policies to clients in a niche industry across the country. The geographic limitations that once existed for specialty practices are removed in this digital era. Agents who build reputations as experts in underserved, overlooked markets with unique insurance needs are finding increased customer retention, a less competitive field with more policies sold per customer and stronger new-client acquisition rates.
Specializing can be a more lucrative option
According to a recent report, the global specialty insurance market is expected to grow rapidly over the next six years, with revenues reaching nearly $244 billion. Specifically, the non-life insurance sub-segment is expected to be the fastest-growing in the global market and register revenue of $43.49 billion. This shift to prioritizing specialty insurance showcases the importance that these underserved businesses put on protecting against unplanned loss.
Take the pandemic. Some industries have experienced unforeseen financial, property and revenue loss that traditional plans may not have taken into account. By becoming engrossed in the ins and outs of a specific industry, an insurance agent is able to include, upsell or cross-sell policies that better protect clients.
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Finding a niche builds expertise and reputation
There is a huge range of opportunities that are still untapped, just waiting for creative, research-driven, passionate agents to capitalize on. How do you determine what to specialize in?
Agents should start by researching businesses typically overlooked in industries they find interesting – laundromats, trucking, scaffold companies and day cares are just a few that might not be top of mind but that have specific needs that require additional protection that generalists often do not provide. Additionally, by reviewing your current book of business, you might find that you already have a strong client base in one business category. If the book matches the areas in which you enjoy spending your time, it might be time to consider pivoting your entire book to focus on growing your niche client base.
Clients looking for general policies have endless options when looking for an insurance agent. But, for those with specific risks affecting their operations, agents who have unique industry insights can guide and inform them of coverage options they hadn’t even thought of. This creates an advantage for agents looking to win new business. Because they are hyper-focused on niche policies, they build in-depth knowledge within an industry that informs expertise to clients. This is a winning combination that will grow your business through referrals and upselling.
Using digital marketing tools to maximize your niche operation
Technology provides the means for niche agents to both identify clients who need specialty insurance, and build a strong digital brand to attract them. So how can insurance agents who are shifting their focus to create and foster expertise in a specific industry also leverage the growing need to embrace technology?
Digital marketing tools take off some of the pressure from the high-touch-point communication clients need. Technology partners can provide SEO, social media, custom web pages and blog content that highlights your expertise. This kind of tailored marketing becomes more critical after you’ve established your clientele and are looking to continue to showcase your expertise. These tactics are the most effective way to create strong SEO that leads back to your company, strengthen your brand and build trust within your current client base and with potential clients. By offsetting these digital marketing tools, you can focus on critical tasks.
Niche insurance offers important liability protection for companies in unusual industries, not often covered by ordinary insurance policies. Insurance agents who develop their own specialized approach will have massive growth opportunities and less competition.
If you restrict your view of your potential niche to the borders of your city or state, you limit your potential. There may only be a handful of any given specific businesses in your area, but, if you expand your search, you’ll find that a niche you didn’t think was big enough has an extreme opportunity for growth.