Add Value for Clients amid Economic Challenges
For agents and brokers serving today’s middle-market businesses, it’s a complex world.
The space is highly specialized and competitive, and it’s critical that they not only give clients confidence in their ability to protect their business but also find ways to add value and differentiate themselves.
This is particularly important as COVID-19’s impacts continue. Nationwide’s new “Agent Authority” survey showed that 80% of middle-market business owners are concerned about making it through the economic downturn, and 77% say they already have or will be reassessing their insurance needs due to the economy.
Agents and brokers should look to carriers who can help them improve retention and foster new business development with value-add services, like loss control and risk management, which help to identify and mitigate current risks, reduce insureds’ risk profiles, and analyze implications of operational changes. We know that businesses are seeking this advice, as about half of the middle-market business owners we surveyed said they want guidance from their agents on safety and risk management, including disaster and business continuity planning.
Loss control and risk management experts can help your clients across the country, in person or virtually, by reviewing operations, procedures and programs and helping them manage risks to keep their business running smoothly. Recently, Nationwide helped an insured by conducting an in-person infrared thermography survey on a newly acquired two million square foot distribution facility. At the same time, we were also able to conduct a virtual survey for a street and road contractor in West Texas.
Virtual consultations also offer peace of mind for insureds when they need quick, technical advice on pressing questions across a variety of topics, like fleet safety, subcontractors’ risk transfer, fire protection and manual material handling.
Digital safety resources help you package and share that advice for your clients. Guidelines for reopening after a business closure, mitigating COVID-19 risks on construction sites, and preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in senior living and human services facilities are a few examples of much needed resources.
Nationwide’s efforts are making a real difference for the insureds we serve. In specialty care, our staff of nursing home administrators, registered nurses and attorneys focus on our clients’ liability exposures while our fire protection engineers provide life safety and property protection consultations.
Another way carriers can support agents is sharing technical expertise that’s timely, concise and industry-specific to help you elevate your knowledge and success with clients. Staying up to date on clients’ unique needs as well as industry and middle-market trends, like telematics, cyber security and emerging risks, will help you demonstrate that you’re more than just an insurance expert.
And finally, working with strong carriers allows you to deliver technology and flexibility for your clients. Telematics solutions enable you to protect commercial fleets and provide operational insights that translate to their bottom line. Carrier footprint and breadth of solutions allow you to expand your reach to offer customer-focused protection to more business owners.
Despite economic challenges, agents and brokers continue to make a difference for customers by understanding their unique needs and working together to develop solutions. We’re confident that, when you partner with carriers who offer deep industry expertise and risk management capabilities, together with your relationship-building and consultative skills, your customers will know they’re well protected, regardless of what comes next.
Peter McMurtrie is president of Nationwide P&C Commercial Lines.