Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

Driving Growth in Controllable and Uncontrollable Conditions

Insurance brokers continually face challenges in both controllable and uncontrollable conditions. However, there are ways to navigate those challenges while driving sustainable growth and success.

There are several major issues currently affecting the insurance distribution industry creating a challenging landscape for brokers looking to sustain growth and create value for their firm. In 2023, the U.S. endured 28 catastrophic events that cost at least $1 billion each. The economic environment of high inflation, high interest rates, and tight labor market continued to push in on this industry. All of this has created a hard market, in which clients have endured significant and ongoing rate increases. As an insurance broker, you’ve also experienced shifts in carrier appetite and non-renewals as carrier partners work to level their profitability. These are all uncontrollable conditions which everyone must navigate.  

However, there are some factors that can be controlled which can lead to predictable growth, even in a tough environment.  

Take advantage of the controllable factors 

In challenging environments with uncontrollable circumstances, firms need to take a closer look at those things they can control, evaluate their current strategies, and be willing to shift course. Here are some ways insurance brokers can take advantage of those factors which are controllable: 

  • Be proactive, not reactive in client relationships. Call your clients and educate them on what’s happening in the markets, including how you plan to support them. Prepare them for price increases before they call you. Coach your staff on how to convey bad news and how to communicate and differentiate the value of your offer. Remember that as an independent agency, you’re a trusted advisor. Communicate like one.  
  • Positively impact client’s rates. Insurance costs can never be low enough for your clients and sometimes this factor is out of your hands. But there are things you can do to try and improve their price. Take a look at the carrier, specific policy or overall coverage to decide which area to tackle. If it turns out your client does have the best option for them, prove it. Show them you shopped around, and they are getting the best coverage for the value. 
  • Increase quote volume. Higher quote volume comes from increasing your market presence, but that’s often easier said than done. Identify carriers that have products most closely aligned to your customers’ needs. Carriers look at agencies that benefit them the most, so make sure you have data and reports demonstrating the health and growth opportunities of your business. Getting access to the right markets enhances the options you offer to clients, leading to better sales and ultimately growth for your business.  
  • Drive improvement in your culture. Communicate your firm’s vision and get buy-in from your staff, provide opportunities for development, and invite transparency. Most importantly, instill a growth-minded culture. In growth-minded cultures, teams embrace change, refuse to settle for good enough, and relentlessly pursue goals. Are you running an agency the next generation of talent would want to work? 
  • Use data to make decisions. Regular review of data can uncover trouble spots, identify at-issue trends, and create solutions quickly. Data, like carrier production reports, policy-in-force (PIF) count, sales velocity, and origin of organic growth can all be considered. More importantly, after gathering and reviewing all this great data, select focus areas and create targeted action plans from your findings. For example, are there niche markets or specialization opportunities to expand your business? 
  • Implement technology solutions. Competition for the independent insurance agency is fierce, but one way to get ahead is by investing in advantageous technology. The right tools can help optimize efficiencies, drive sustainable growth, and create business intelligence that enhances your agency’s evolution. 
  • Use an agency network. A network can support agencies wherever they are on their lifecycle journey and what they hope to achieve next. FirstChoice, a MarshBerry company, can help with growth and talent resources, coaching, and sales training, vetted technology, and relationship building tools.  

When you look at everything impacting your business, it may feel overwhelming. Remember, organic growth is a gradual, yet deliberate process. With the right mindset, goals, and support processes, you can overcome the hurdles, both controllable and uncontrollable. Do this effectively and you’ll have engaged employees and clients and strong performance. 

Is FirstChoice, a MarshBerry Company, right for you?  

FirstChoice has a proven track record for addressing challenges in both controllable and uncontrollable conditions. Solid educational programs are available to support you from creating your strategic plan and goal setting, to talent acquisition, to succession planning. We meet our agencies where they are from infancy to perpetuation or final sale. 

Contact Christine Marciano
If you have questions about Today's ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how MarshBerry can help your firm determine its path forward, please email or call Christine Marciano, Regional Vice President, at 440.586.7069.

MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own.