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It’s Time to Reclaim Personal Lines

Author: Rick Morgan, CEO, ASCnet

morgan rick It’s Time to Reclaim Personal LinesOnce upon a time – what now seems like a long time ago, I was an insurance agent. Interestingly enough, I can still remember my first customer and the first policies I sold. I remember going out on an evening call and sitting in a living room explaining auto and home policies and coverages. I got the business and what a great feeling that was.

Over the years, like many agents I migrated to writing larger commercial lines accounts and let my staff take care of most of the personal lines business. But personal lines always remained my real love. I liked the more personal nature of personal lines – it felt good being able to help friends and family – like the time I got a call from a close friend who had just had his house destroyed by high winds. I was able to be there to provide not only assurance that his insurance would cover the loss but also to offer my support and friendship. This was back in the 70’s and I know I was not alone in delivering this level of “personal” service. It was a time when service and relationship mattered. My first customer was still a customer when I sold the agency many years later.

Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. As independent agents we let the “price rules over service and relationship” message of the direct writers dominate. Some consultants told us we couldn’t afford to compete in the personal lines space. Carriers cut commissions and the whole “personal lines as a commodity” debate raged. Many gave up and we lost market share.

It is time to take personal lines back and we have a whole set of new tools to help. With technologies like Real Time and the opportunities offered by the social web it is possible to build and strengthen relationships and write profitable business grounded in quality service.

The Personal Lines Growth Alliance was formed to provide information, resources, and education to agencies and brokers interested tapping into the opportunity presented by reclaiming personal lines.

Are you with us?  Please comment.

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