Thursday, May 2, 2013

5 WAYS TO GROW AGENCY PROFITABILITY

The market has changed significantly in the first quarter of 2013. It's not just in commercial lines or personal lines. It's not just in coastal areas or wind-prone regions. It's not just in the hail belt or in Tornado Alley. For the first time in recent memory, we are witnessing an industry-wide, concerted effort to tighten belts and boost the bottom line. The culprit of it all is profit, or lack thereof.

Carriers have stepped up and demanded that agencies must be profitable and that the market:

* Eliminate inactive agencies that aren't producing a tolerable (defined differently by each carrier) amount of new business

* Eliminate stand-alone books of unsupported personal lines business and/or insist it be cross sold with other lines (i.e., homeowners and auto)

* Make a profit by agency relationship or terminate the relationship

* Increase rates at all opportunities and in all lines when possible, and not gradually, but now in 2013

* Reduce agency overhead by reevaluating the profit-sharing formula and commission structure.