The main value independent insurance agents offer their customers is advice, expertise, and coverage options.

The ability to take complicated concepts and distill them down to understandable choices for your clients in order to recommend solutions is the basis for building a relationship-based book of business for your agency. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

As inflation continues to be an issue and costs continue to rise, most insurance agents can expect calls from their clients. They will be seeking guidance and a way to control rising premiums. This is an opportunity.

These conversations may be the first time your client has reached out to you since purchasing his or her policy. First, realize what this is – a cost-savings-driven conversation. Agents should be prepared to offer sensible options, including bundling and discounts as well as providing insight into what is driving the rise in premiums.

Get your team prepared: Before clients start calling, agents need to arm customer service staff with educational resources, training and talking points that address clients’ questions from the outset.

Education and client outreach: Set up informational meetings, and provide links to educational resources on your website or through social media. Preparing clients in advance can soften the blow when you have the unavoidable conversation about a rise in premiums.

Conduct coverage reviews: Taking the time to analyze a specific policy shows clients that an agent is providing tailored service which increases the chance of long-term retention. Your analysis should include a realistic discussion about repair and replacement costs ahead of any potential policy changes. Your clients are concerned about rising premiums so consider options like higher deductibles to offset premium costs.

Being proactive and offering support before it is needed is the key to navigating rising premiums. Insurance agents can not control the fluctuations in premium rates. But if a client believes their agent is both informed and empathetic, agents can further establish trust. Clients may not like the process or the current market, but an effective insurance agent can ease their mind with efficiency, expertise, and a little patience.