The Unattainable Expectations of Insurance Agents

Updated: May 11, 2020

An insurance agent is defined as a person employed to sell insurance policies to clients. That's just a broad overview of the job, and it does not disclose specific tasks or details of what an insurance agent does on a day-to-day basis. Let us first take a deeper dive into a typical insurance agent’s job description. Insurance agents sell and negotiate life, health, property, or other types of insurance to match the needs of their clients. An insurance agent may work for an insurance company, refer clients to independent brokers, or work as an independent broker.

Marketing plays a large part in the day-to-day activities of an insurance agent as this is crucial to bringing new customers. Successful insurance agents implement marketing strategies to build a pipeline of prospects through channels such as referrals, cold calling, email, social media and attending networking events, just to name a few. This allows them to develop a base to promote new and current insurance policies. In addition to finding new clients, an insurance agent must maintain relationships with existing clients. Their reputation depends on being a reliable first point of contact when clients need to file a claim or increase their coverage due to major life events. Insurance agents therefore have to constantly evaluate the needs of their clients by helping to determine the extent of present coverage, investments, and build towards long-term goals.

Beyond all that, here are 7 more responsibilities of insurance agents:

  1. Ensure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including completion of the appropriate forms.

  2. Attend meetings, seminars, and programs to learn about new products and services.

  3. Report the progress of initiatives to stakeholders.

  4. Maintain bookkeeping systems, databases, and records.

  5. Continuously educate yourself on the industry and learn about new products and services.

  6. Help clients settle and monitor any claims on their insurance.

  7. Meet customers’ expectation.

Gaps between Expectations and Reality

Let us not forget that roles and responsibilities aside, they are also mainly self-employed where they have to rely on themselves in order to sustain in the industry. You must be thinking that being an agent is such a daunting career already. But we have yet to factor in the added pressure from managers, constant rejections and scrutiny from friends and families.

1) Over-promised career prospects & Under-delivered training

As we know, there is not much hand-holding in the insurance business. We know managers and recruiters promise endless support and world-class training, but that often never happens. This also causes a gap between the new agent’s expectations and reality.

2) Maximum Efforts Minimum Results

It spells even more trouble when agents are taught to believe sales platforms such as roadshows, door knocking or spam telemarketing are the paths to MDRT. Still some may be able to achieve MDRT with such platforms, but the reality is, these methods yield maximum efforts with minimum results. Customers don’t want to be pestered by insurance agents while passing by train stations and shopping at malls, or receive repeated reminders to renew their policies. This further creates a stigma which stales the insurance industry.

3) Strawberry Generation Without A Strong External Drive

There’s a reason why those who are born in the 90s are called “the strawberry generation”. Facing constant rejections and patronizing comments are one of those things that every agent struggle with. Most agents will tell you that rejection is the toughest part of this career. Hence, without a strong internal drive, their chances of success will be marginal at best. Everything one can get out of life is the result of what they put into it. This means the most important thing they can work on is themselves by investing in the right resources that will help them grow the most. So yes, we understand that insurance agents have a lot on their plate and at times in order to manage their bottom line they may not be well equipped enough to deliver well on customer satisfaction. Which is why we have developed Insuree, as an advocate to insurance agents, we help them to alleviate their admin pain points in order for them to focus their attention on where it matters most, their clients - us the consumers. With Insuree, agents can now deliver high touch with high tech to serve the needs of their clients. Some people have asked us, why not use technology to remove the need for an insurance agent entirely. We already know that the insurance industry has started diving into the online space. You’ve got online insurance quotes, chatbots, and you can even purchase your insurance policy without ever speaking to a human being. So why would a consumer need an agent, when everything they need is right there on the web? After all, agents are driving up the cost of insurance due to their commissions, right?

The fact of the matter is that if agents are eliminated, consumers will face an array of issues such as: Who do they talk to about insurance questions? How do they know they have the right kind of insurance? Who do they talk with to make sure they have enough coverage? Who advocates for the consumer when an insurance company denies a claim? Well, you can go online and get a quote, chat with a robot, and make a purchase, but an agent is so much more than that. We prefer to perceive that an agent is a consumer’s partner instead of just a sales rep. An agent makes sure the consumer has the right coverage, the right policy terms, and the right price. The agent takes the time to understand what the consumer needs and matches them with the right insurance company. We definitely do not see insurance agents going anywhere anytime soon. Agents remain relevant to both insurance companies and to consumers.

Let us recap some of their responsibilities listed earlier that are to our benefit:

  • Agents help clients choose the plans that fit their needs.

  • Agents have a deeper understanding of more products than consumers are.

  • Agents can assess and assist with consumer risk management.

  • Insurance agents can look at unique situations and come up with the appropriate coverage options.

  • Agents help with customer service and claims.

  • Agents are able to identify trends and upcoming rate increases.

  • Agents offer a range of products so as consumer needs change, their insurance can change with them.

So in conclusion, let us look past the negativity and rally together so that we are able to bring together a better future for the insurance industry. Where agents are able to deliver a higher level of customer experience in order for consumers to better appreciate the value of insurance.

#insuranceagentroles #insurancecustomerexpectations #agentadvocates