10 best ideas for increasing retention

Discussion in 'Auto Insurance Forum' started by theinsurancelady, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. theinsurancelady
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    theinsurancelady Expert

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    Hey veterans out there. I've been working on my numbers lately and notice that our retention rate for our non-standard P/C book is around 73%.

    What are your best ideas for increasing that number? We are currently doing nothing formal, so all ideas are welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kassidi

    :yes:
     
  2. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Send birthday letters you have created. Birthday cards, especially those provided by the companies suck, IMHO. Letters are much more personal.

    Send anniversary letters, real letters not e-mail, four to six weeks prior to the renewal date. The anniversary of the policy not their marriage anniversary. "Congratulations, you are about to celebrate the first anniversary as a member of our (enter name of company) family. We promise to continue to provide you with quality insurance and excellent service..." You get the idea.

    Include in the anniversary letter a statement saying you are going to contact them to schedule a policy review to make sure their current coverage is still what they need.

    A news letter is always a good idea but only when you have something worth while to say. If you send them too often with junk in them they will stop reading them.

    Sending the news letter by e-mail is probably okay but so few of my clients have computers and or use them on a regular basis that I send them snail mail. Again, like the birthday letters I think a "real letter" is more personal. More work? Yes, keeping the insurance one sells is an on going process.
     
  3. theinsurancelady
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    theinsurancelady Expert

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    It's funny because I find myself trying to come up with new ways to get new clients and then not focusing on keeping them....

    I thought of doing annual reviews, but really like your idea of the birthday letter.

    I too have a customer base that would do what Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson did with their computer in ZOOLANDER!

    If you haven't seen the movie then it won't mean anything too you, but thats basically where my current base resides.

    I think they would find a birthday letter very personal and welcomed.

    I myself rarely read newsletters, even ones that I subscribe to. At best I scan them.

    Thanks for the ideas Frank!
     
  4. Frank Stastny
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    Send me your e-mail address and I will send you a copy of the letter I am currently using. Send it to [email protected] . Feel free to use it if you like it.
     
  5. Frank Stastny
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    That's why I said to send them only if you have something worth while to say. I only send one or two a year. Just enough to let them know that I am still alive and their insurance agent. My "title" when I sign letters is "Your Insurance Agent".
     
  6. theinsurancelady
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    "Your Insurance Agent"

    I LOVE IT!

    Mind if I borrow that?

    I guess mine might rightly say

    "Your Insurance Lady"

    Maybe I'll try out both and see what response I get
     
  7. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    I like "Your Insurance Lady", however, if "Your Insurance Agent" works better for you by all means use it. You might also consider "The Insurance Lady".

    I think it is important that people know that I am an insurance agent. My business card also says "Your Insurance Agent".
     
  8. theinsurancelady
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    How presumptuous of you! I like that. I think people like an agent with a sense of humor and character. If I don't get a client to laugh or at least smile when they're in my office I feel inadequate. It's very important for me to make a personal connection with my clients and this would go right along with that.

    I know there are a lot of people who feel you need to be stuffy and suited to be a professional agent. I'm just not one of them.
     
  9. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Non-standard P&C is tough to have much retention. My experience is this is the one market where you don't want to spend much money, they'll think you are overcharging the premium.

    My suggestion (especially for non-standard auto) is to offer to sit down with them every 6 months to see if you can improve the rates. Chances are, you won't be able to, unless something is dropping, but they will appreciate knowing that you are looking into it. I would do this with a phone call, or a letter offering to do a 'review' if they call you.

    73% non-standard isn't terrible. It could be better, but it also depends if you convert any to standard.

    Dan
     
  10. theinsurancelady
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    We have tried converting those that typically should be with a preferred carrier. It all goes along great until, well until they do not pay their bill.

    It happens over and over again.

    You end up putting an other wise standard risk with a nonstandard company due to the fact that they do not have 6 months without a lapse in coverage.

    When I first started moving people pver I thought it was great. Then eventually you have to ask yourself if you are serving your preferred carriers less than ideal risk.

    I think a lot of local agencies really kill clients with "broker fees" including endorsement fees ie: adding a driver, adding a vehicle, address changes, even charging for accepting payments in office.

    Their viewpoint is they can make more money on broker fees in a typical year with a customer who cancels a lot, then they would on a typical preferred auto policy.

    According to most mumblings, broker fees are on their way out. At least here in California.

    I don't think it's a good business model or for future sale of the book. Really there is no value in broker fees.

    I'm trying to get away from price shoppers but thats the name of the game with non-standards.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Kassidi
     

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