Dempsey Insurance Agency is a third-generation business – how has your agency evolved in the past five to 10 years, and how do you see it continuing to adapt?
The technological advancements seen in the last five to 10 years have had major impacts on our day-to-day operations. This can range from being able to produce a home quote with certain carriers in a matter of seconds, to being able to having a customer e-sign an application or registry form. We try to stay up to date on new technologies, and while we don’t strive to be on the cutting edge, we don’t want to miss out on emerging tools that are here to stay. I have my eye on telematics in both personal and commercial auto as a technology that will really change those lines when it takes hold.
Your agency is located in the center of town. In an age where so many customers expect a digital experience, does the in-person, high-touch aspect of client service remain relevant?
Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think in-person service will go out of style. I recognize that more consumers will switch to the online model of purchasing and servicing, but many folks will still want to sit down and talk face to face about a product they are looking to purchase or already have purchased, especially one they may not fully understand. Agents willing to offer that service and go the extra mile will be offering something that a lot of big-market direct writers simply will never be able to replicate.
What’s the composition of your agency’s book of business (in terms of personal versus commercial lines), and how might you look to alter that ratio going forward?
Currently we are at about 80/20 personal to commercial. We are looking to shift that and grow commercial, and that’s part of the reason Renaissance Alliance was appealing to us as an agency. Renaissance helped us with some carrier appointments we had been wanting to add. We no longer have to get to those markets via brokers, which has been a huge boost to our commercial abilities as well as our bottom line. Portico and the commercial placement team have also been very helpful to land accounts that otherwise would have taken a lot of trial-and-error effort. I look to keep building on these advantages Renaissance has delivered to us and increase our commercial numbers.
Which of Renaissance’s technology tools does your agency use?
Portico has been helpful in organizing our commercial placements through Renaissance, and I look to do more with it. The reports provided through Member Central have become instrumental to our office. We now run weekly renewal reports, making us much more proactive with our customers – whereas previously we would have been reactive, waiting for them to contact us. Recently we have also worked with Maestro, and I really love the possibilities of this tool and the fact Renaissance agents can get it for free is a huge win. We have been sending a welcome e-mail to new clients as well as a claims-related e-mail to new customers a few months later, and look to start doing some cross-selling e-mails soon.
What are some of the key details you examine ahead of renewals, and how do you stay on top of that?
A premium increase is something customers have become ultra-sensitive toward – and that is one of our triggers to running a renewal comparison against other carriers. We use the reports in Member Central to generate lists of any policy with a greater than 5% premium increase. We also have calls about twice a month with [Business Transfer Advocate] Dan Bernblum from Renaissance to identify possible renewals to move from various brokered, excess or assigned risk markets.