Impact of a Hard Insurance Market on Retail Agents

October 21, 2023

In the insurance industry, a "Hard Market" is when insurance rates are increasing, and insurance companies' capacity for or appetite to cover risks is decreasing. Many current industry veterans say they have never seen a hard market like we are currently experiencing. So, what are the implications for agents in this marketplace? How can you find more opportunities for your clients and their coverage placements? Let's look at the measures agents can take in a hard market.

Understand Carrier Appetite Changes

Some carriers have made significant changes to their appetite, while others are avoiding specific markets or geographic areas. Understanding these changes and the current goals of your carriers can be critical, as it may mean your agency needs to look for additional markets. Talk with your underwriters and request appetite guides and/or any other updated information.

Be Proactive in Renewing Coverages

If you have seen non-renewals increase for your insureds due to market changes, it is likely time to begin proactively shopping similar coverages ahead of renewals. This can give you a significant advantage in cases where a non-renewal occurs. Having the conversation, "The carrier is no longer writing this, but we have an option for you…" is much better than the alternative.

Build a Larger Base of Wholesale Partners

With all these carrier changes, the need for the wholesale market continues to rise. In recent years, many agencies have relied on a handful of brokers for their "non-standard" business. However, with the current market conditions, consolidation in the broker space, and the potential need for more options, having multiple wholesale partnerships in place is a smart move.

Be a Friend Before You Need a Friend

If you have contracted markets or wholesale partners that you currently aren't utilizing, this is a good time to renew those relationships. We all need friends in this marketplace, and you may not realize you already have an option in your back pocket for risks that weren't previously challenging to place.

At QuoteWell, we're a friend to independent agents regardless of their size. We've been working to create a responsive and transparent experience for wholesale business, and we'd love to share it with you!

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