Tips for Growing Your Agency’s Niches: Part 2

March 4, 2024

In part one of our series, we discussed how to identify niche opportunities through your markets, current book of business, and your own knowledge or experience. Here in part two, we’ll discuss some of the approaches you can take to build these specialties. Specifically, let’s look at some of the actionable steps you can take once you’ve identified niche opportunities.

Market Development

Where will you place the business for your new specialty vertical? Do you have appointed carriers that match the appetite? Is there potential for program business? Will you need a broker, specialty, or E&S partner for marketing the risks? Or is all of the above part of your strategy? Let’s review some thoughts on each approach.

Appointed Carrier Appetite Match: If you have an admitted carrier already interested in writing this business, it can certainly streamline your next steps. However, this also means that other appointed agents have access to this market and that may diminish your chances of sustained growth in the specialty.

Program Business: If you have an admitted or non-admitted carrier partner that has – or could have – interest in developing a program for this risk, you may be able to develop a more exclusive option. If they already have a program, discuss what they’re looking for, how many agents already access it, and their requirements for you to have access.

If they don’t but may be candidates for a program – bring them a business plan. Put together the potential coverages that could fit the program and give estimates on the potential for premium growth and loss ratios. The more data you can provide the better.

Broker/Specialty/E&S: Utilize partners that have expertise to help you place business can be a major win-win for you in this scenario. It can help you build your book in this niche, while also learning more about the placement needs, risks, and losses. In addition, it can help you spread your risks and segment loss ratios.

Building Your Prospect Base

Once you’ve identified your options for placement, consider how you will grow beyond your initial targets. What research will you do? How will you identify targets? How will you get in front of them to have conversations? Here are some approaches:

  • LinkedIn Research: Pinpoint main contacts within in the industry and compile lists.
  • Tradeshows/Trade Groups: Where does this industry gather? Who do they consult?
  • Thought Leadership: Develop and publish useful information on trends, risks, and financial factors within the vertical.
  • Showcase Your Specialty: Develop landing pages and other content that shows your specific targeting of this niche and your expertise in the field.
  • Request Referrals: As you build partnerships, ask for referrals to their counterparts.
  • Become a Resource: Add value before the ask. Offer to consult on their current risks and needs before you ask for the quote.

Develop your strategy, and if you need assistance along the way with market development and risk placement, the team at QuoteWell would be more than happy to partner with you for success.

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