Insurance agents who want to grow their businesses should look at creating an efficient renewal process for their clients. While the first thought may be to look for ways to find new leads so they can sign more customers up for policies (and it’s definitely an important component for growth), there’s often lower-hanging fruit available with renewals.
For one, by getting customers to continually come back year after year with policy renewals, you can maintain a stable revenue base. And you can also deepen these relationships to the point where existing customers add additional lines of coverage, thereby helping you grow revenue. Keeping customers around long-term can also lead to more referrals from these clients, which then makes your lead generation process much easier and effective.
Finding this success through renewals, however, requires a strong renewal process. In this article, we’ll explore how insurance agents can more consistently get customers to renew insurance policies, as well as how insurance agents can improve their operational processes, so they have more time to focus on other areas of customer experience and marketing, rather than getting caught up in paperwork.
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Getting Renewal Agreements
If you want to streamline your renewal process, start before clients have actually agreed to renew their policies. Doing so can help you capitalize on more renewal opportunities, and you’ll have more time than if you tried to talk to clients about renewals on an ad-hoc basis. So, to start, focus on creating efficiencies in the following areas:
One area that’s ripe for more efficiency is the notification process regarding client renewals. If you’re manually letting clients know their policies are set to renew, that can be a lot for you to keep track of. It’s easy then for mistakes to happen, like forgetting to notify a client enough in advance, leaving them with little time to digest their renewal options. Even if they do stick around, rushing the renewal process could cause them to avoid exploring other options that could benefit you both, like adding additional lines of coverage.
So, insurance agents should aim to automate more of the notification process. At a basic level, you could set reminders for yourself in a calendar or project management app so that you don’t forget to notify clients and don’t have to always be keeping track of renewal dates manually.
You can also use email marketing tools to automate more of the notification process. For example, you could set up an automated campaign, such as where clients get a series of reminder notices leading up to their renewal deadlines. Keep in mind though that you may want to customize your automation triggers and ease into it so that you minimize situations like sending reminders to those who already renewed their policies by directly visiting your website, even if they didn’t open your email. See what’s possible within your email marketing platform and what works for your insurance business.
Discussing Renewal Options
After systematically notifying clients about upcoming renewals, aim to have a more efficient process for discussing their renewal options. For example, you might offer to meet with clients to discuss their policy options, or you might want to start by sending them some marketing materials on different policies that could be a good fit. Whatever approach you choose, aim for consistency so that you can create a more repeatable process instead of starting from scratch each time.
Here too, you also may be able to introduce some automation. For example, you can use a scheduling tool like Calendly to book client meetings, where clients can simply choose a time from your calendar, which then automatically gets updated as your days fill up, helping you avoid double bookings.
Once you’ve introduced more automation and overall efficiency into getting clients to renew their insurance policies — and ideally add lines of coverage too — your work is far from over. Many insurance agents spend a large chunk of their time simply processing client renewals, which takes away from other business development activities. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to drown in paperwork when handling the processing of policy renewals.
Instead, insurance agents can turn to InsurTech like Wheelhouse, which can significantly streamline renewal processing. From there, you can turn your attention toward making client relationship development more efficient by having systematic processes, similar to how you would go about streamlining renewal option discussions.
Wheelhouse not only helps with getting clients to initially sign up for policies. We also make the renewal process far easier. Wheelhouse has a bulk import tool that allows agents to simply upload a list of that month’s renewals, assuming that they can include the key information about the clients and their policies. Or, you can send an ACORD form for each renewal. Either way, we’ll take that information and process the renewals for you. Within 48 hours, those renewals will be available in your Wheelhouse portal.
In addition to this very direct way to streamline renewal processing, Wheelhouse also helps in other phases of the renewal process. For example, insurance agents can use the platform to easily create targeted landing pages, which they can incorporate into renewal campaigns, either when initially getting clients to consider renewals or when providing more of a “thank you / next steps” follow-up.
Continuing to Build Relationships
After you get clients to agree to renew their policies and you streamline the actual renewal process, your work isn’t over yet. Ideally, you can put systematic processes in place to keep clients coming back year after year, which can also then streamline other areas of your business development, like getting more referrals and client reviews.
So, after you process renewals through a tool like Wheelhouse, focus on how you can continue to build relationships in a more efficient way. One idea would be to create a post-renewal checklist that you go through for each renewal, helping you stay organized while maintaining relationships with clients. For example, you could put steps on that list like making sure you’re connected with that client on a social media platform like LinkedIn (assuming you think the client would be receptive to that).
You could also offer to meet with clients after they renew their policies, especially if they decided to add lines of coverage. That way, you give them a chance to confirm they’re comfortable with managing their policies and understand what the policies include.
In addition, you could make the relationship-building process more efficient by using email marketing automation here too. For example, if you’re using Wheelhouse to create a “thank you” type of landing page, you could set up an email campaign that goes out to renew customers and directs them to this landing page. Or, you could schedule social media posts through a tool like Buffer that shares this landing page.
Whatever specific approaches you decide to take, the bottom line is that there are many ways for insurance agents to make the renewal process more automated and efficient. In general, the more you can streamline this area, the better your chances of building up your business through customer retention, while also having more time to market to new leads.