The insurance market continues to firm as Property & Casualty rates increase across all industry sectors and classifications, due (in part) to mounting losses. Insurers, in addition to making price increases, are also capping limits, adjusting sublimits, reducing capacity and, in some cases, retracting from catastrophe-prone areas. To help manage client expectations, agents and brokers should be communicating with insureds well before their renewals, including face to face, over the phone and in communication literature. For example, consider implementing a content-marketing strategy that leverages blogging to highlight your thought leadership, expertise and the need for specialization during a challenging and changing insurance market.
Keeping Clients In the Know with Your Blog Articles
Of course, the first step to take with your commercial clients is to set up a call or face-to-face meeting to discuss the changes occurring in the insurance market and how these changes will impact their insurance rates. Depending on the coverage lines, the industry sector, and the account’s individual loss experience and risk profile, rates will vary. Be sure to keep in constant communication with your clients so there are no surprises upon renewal, as the market is fluid with rates continually changing.
Equally important is to stress your industry expertise, specialization, and longevity in protecting the niche markets you serve as well as your strong insurer market relationships in order to help your clients navigate the firming market. You can do this on an ongoing basis through blog posts on your website.
In these posts, explain the cyclical nature of the insurance market; i.e., soft vs. hard markets. Detail the reasons for the tightening market today. For example, insurers over the last several years have experienced tremendous property losses as a result of extreme weather events such as massive flooding and wildfires, causing carriers to assess capacity, rates, and coverage. In the Casualty arena, there has been a spike in the frequency and severity of losses exacerbated by “social inflation,” in which corporations are being held accountable for social ills, with juries awarding nuclear verdicts, sometimes in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Focus on Risk Management in Your Blogs
Provide guidance in your blog posts on helping insureds manage their risks – and ultimately mitigate their exposures and potential for losses. In our own blog, Distinguished provides a broad range of risk management and loss control information that we encourage you to “borrow” and share with your customers. If, for example, you focus on insuring community associations, one of your blogs can feature an article on premises safety and security.
Get Your Blogs Read
Promote your blogs with an e-newsletter. Each month, send a digital newsletter to your clients with some of your most recent blog posts. Include a paragraph on each of the blog articles in the e-newsletter with the ability to click on a link to read more about the topic on your website.
Alternatively or in addition to doing a e-newsletter, use email blasts to drive traffic to your blog on a particular topic of interest to your clients. Email marketing is still one of the most effective methods of directly communicating with your customers. In creating your email blast, be sure to include a strong subject line. Create a sense of urgency to entice clients to open your email and keep the subject line short and to the point. To get a click-through to your blog post, make your email content real, and strike a tone of dialogue that resonates with your clients.
You should also include a link to your blog articles in all your social media profiles like LinkedIn for your business clients.
Additional Benefits of Blogging
Blogging can support your efforts in communicating your expertise. It can also do more for your agency, including:
- Helping you gain further exposure by giving new, relevant audiences an opportunity to find you. Google loves fresh, original content, which in turn helps you with search and driving traffic to your site.
- Building authority and recognition in the niche markets in which you specialize – again enabling you to broaden and expand your digital footprint.
- Cementing trust with both existing and prospective clients. Educating is far more powerful and trustworthy to clients than pure selling.
Blogging allows you to write about trends in our industry. As you analyze those trends and provide your perspective, you will establish yourself as a thought leader among your colleagues and clients. You will also cement your expertise and insurance specialization during a time when your clients need you most.