Fall is here! That means it's time to consider all of your clients whose business insurance policies are coming up for renewal at the end of the year. It's important to reach out now and help your clients not only renew their policies, but ensure that they have the right coverage, taking into account any changes that have occurred to their business over the past year.
Rule #1: Don't take any renewals for granted
Just because you sold a policy to a business client, there's no assurance they'll automatically renew. More than ever, businesses are looking for quality and service - and this time of year, your clients are being pitched by other agents promising better quality and service than you can provide. (You know this is true, because you're probably making the same pitch to other agents' clients right now.)
The good news? You have the advantage with your clients because they already know you and trusted you enough to purchase a policy. Being proactive now will help you maintain (or expand) your business with existing clients, as well as assure them that you are looking after their changing insurance needs.
And remember: No matter how much effort it takes to reach out to your existing clients, it's always easier (and cheaper) to keep a client than to find a new one!
Rule #2: Help your business clients analyze their coverage needs
Prepare a year-end checklist to help you and your clients review any changes to their businesses and how those changes affect their insurance needs. Changes to discuss with your clients include:
Revenue: If a client has experienced revenue growth in the last year, offer your congratulations - but remind him or her that the company's level of insurance may need to be revised to protect their revenue stream.
Equipment and inventory: Yearly variations in the amount of equipment a business owns and uses - as well as the amount of inventory it maintains - are crucial in determining the proper level of business insurance coverage. Increases generally require more coverage to fully protect a company's assets, while decreases can allow a business to reduce coverage and redirect cash flow to other business needs.
Employees and payroll: Changes in payroll have a significant effect not only on business and general liability coverage, but workers' compensation coverage as well.
Government regulations: Make it a point to stay informed about regulations that affect your clients and their insurance needs.
Always keep in mind that, when appropriate, helping clients save money on insurance is a great way to build trust over the "long haul" - which can lead to many more renewals.
Rule #3: Help your clients understand new trends in business coverage
Are there areas of risk that, due to changing technology and other factors, your clients need to consider? For example, "data breaches" where confidential information is compromised are a threat to just about any company, large or small. This could happen if a laptop is stolen or confidential papers aren't properly shredded. Data breach coverage is one emerging area of business insurance that many of your clients should be considering.
Rule #4: Think long term!
For most agencies, long-term, loyal clients are the backbone of their businesses. Treat them as such, and you'll have a successful renewal season - not only this year, but for years to come.