Spotlight on Specialty
Today’s agents and brokers are finding themselves with a significant number of markets, but at what expense? Salvatore talks with Leader’s Edge about how carriers can help solve fragmentation trends in the specialty industry.
Agents and brokers have been creating specialized practices at increasing rates, both by industry, like construction, financial services and technology, and by product line, like D&O. Regardless of how their practices are structured, agents are serving clients with multiple coverage needs. An agent can either solve those needs with many different carriers or do it with one or two. It’s the question of, ‘When do I use a niche carrier and when do I lean in on my partner carriers?’ And then we, the partner carrier, must make it easy for them to do that.
Carriers need a comprehensive set of specialized capabilities that agents find relevant. Furthermore, carriers must work to improve and simplify their internal interactions between their specialized product and support areas. There are things we put a good deal of emphasis on at The Hanover, for example, coordination between our businesses, greater product capability within our customer service center, delivering a single bill for multiple lines, etc. And we’re seeing really good outcomes with our agents and brokers as a result.
The most impactful change is when carriers can align their practices to be more coordinated in solving for a range of clients’ needs. At The Hanover, we establish really strong communication between our businesses and take a coordinated approach to underwriting and quoting accounts and customer service.
When dealing with small businesses, low touch or no touch account placement capabilities are key. Thinking about agent portals, the key is to link them to multiple lines of business in one location. Take our TAP Sales platform. It includes traditional and specialty lines coverages so that when our agents are looking for solutions for their small business clients, it’s not just a business owners policy. Carriers also offer client service centers and other online self-service capabilities to create a high touch feel for clients without impacting the agent’s resources or productivity.