State of the Agency – 2021 report
This is the major trend revealed in our survey of more than 500 independent agency owners across the country, taken over the summer of 2021. The responses we received paint a picture of the industry's future, with agencies expected to offer additional employee flexibility, engage more with customers, and embrace technology to enhance customer and employee experiences.
Our survey found that the pandemic presented agents with an opportunity to reimagine their workplaces.
2 in 3
agencies expect to keep the remote/hybrid model for their workplace
of agencies are open to visitors
have enacted safety measures - e.g. requiring masks, health screenings
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our report found that:
of independent agencies reported increased customer retention
reported agency growth
– Dick Lavey, President, Hanover Agency Markets
Read Independent Agent article
Additional recent trends, reported by agents like you:
Increased use - and approval - of digital interfacing, especially DocuSign
A decrease in cash payments
Increased preference for transacting business by phone, email or text
Improved agency efficiency due to fewer in-person visits
uicker to adapt to new technology
ways to communicate with customers
Commitment to remaining up to date on developing technologies
Remote work options
teady or improved productivity
Aids in attracting and retaining employees
Increased focus on communication needed to keep engagement and motivation high
Agency growth and retention checklist
As you seek to set your agency apart from your competition, you can expect to continue to face challenging market conditions as many agencies try to re-imagine the future of their businesses. This checklist is based on conversations conducted with our survey that revealed trends, developments and evolving agency best practices, to help you retain momentum in the marketplace.
Stay ahead of trends – Independent agents who understand emerging risks, such as extreme weather, cyber concerns, and workplace safety, will earn customer trust.
Embrace technology – Online, web- and mobile-based service tools keep today’s modern customer engaged, and agencies efficient.
Offer complete coverage – Independent agents have an opportunity to grow their business by writing the total account for customers. This practice can foster customer loyalty and help an agency grow its business.
Communicate with customers – Increased communication builds customer relationships that last. Encourage customers to provide multiple points of contact, and establish regular touchpoints throughout their policy period.
Work directly with underwriters – Partnering with carriers who offer a direct, local underwriting model can help you with more complicated and complex accounts. This enables you to offer the greatest flexibility and choice to tailor accounts for each customer.
Retain talent – Employees expect the continued flexibility they experienced as a result of the pandemic. Agencies that offer remote working options will experience higher volumes of employee retention.
We're dedicated to the success – and the future –
of the independent agency channel
Talk to your Hanover representative to see how The Hanover offers the service and innovations you need to continue meeting the evolving expectations of your customers – and build the agency of the future.