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, Author: Craig Fuher

How to Create an Insurance Referral Program

Gaining new clients is rarely easy. But once you lay the groundwork of marketing your business and providing great customer service, you can gain momentum. That’s because you can establish an insurance referral program, where your current contacts introduce you to new ones. Doing so can be one of the best and simplest ways to grow your insurance business.

What does an insurance referral program entail? In short, an insurance referral program involves a systematic way for others to make referrals to you (e.g., through a form on your website) and often has clear rewards (e.g., a gift card for each referral). 

What does an insurance referral program entail? In short, an insurance referral program involves a systematic way for others to make referrals to you (e.g., through a form on your website) and often has clear rewards (e.g., a gift card for each referral). 

Think of how businesses in other industries offer referral programs. In the media, for instance, the e-newsletter Morning Brew offers a referral program where readers can earn rewards like bonus content and promotional swag for sharing the e-newsletter with others.

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Doing so has helped the Morning Brew grow to two million subscribers in five years, reports ReferralCandy, a referral software brand. The good news is that you have the flexibility to customize an insurance referral program, also known as a customer referral program, based on your preferences. This guide will show why and how you should create a referral program for your business to grow your client base.

The Power of an Insurance Referral Program

With an insurance referral program, your customers can recommend you to other business owners in their networks who might need your insurance offerings. Even non-customers of yours, such as professional acquaintances and friends, can use your insurance referral program to recommend potential customers to you.

Why are referrals so great? For one, you don’t have to start from scratch each time you try to reach new clients. Instead of placing an ad or attending a networking event where you have to do all the outreach, new clients can come to you through referrals. That can save you time and money. Even better, referred customers tend to be more profitable and loyal than other customers, find researchers from Goethe University and the University of Pennsylvania.

But waiting around in the hopes that you’ll get referrals isn’t the best strategy. Even though these leads can come to you on their own, you can go further by being proactive and establishing a more formal insurance referral program.

Identify How You Can Get Referrals

Before you get too far into setting up your insurance referral program, think about the different ways you can get referrals in the first place. After all, a customer referral program won’t work if you’re a new agent who hasn’t closed any deals yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a referral program for your business, because everyone from colleagues to your neighbors can provide referrals. 

Think about different groups that can refer customers, such as:


Just because you haven’t signed someone up as a client doesn’t mean they can’t refer you to others who need business insurance. If you have a wide prospect pool, such as if you’re very active on social media or have a large email list, you may be able to get these prospects to recommend you to others. The prospect might not be ready to buy insurance yet, but their referral might.


As the name implies, customers sit at the heart of a customer referral program. Since they know what it’s like to work with you firsthand, they may be willing to refer you to others who need insurance. That’s one of the reasons why delivering a great customer experience can be so valuable.

Other Insurance Agents:

Other insurance agents within your firm or at another agency might not have the capacity or expertise to take on certain clients. In that case, they may be able to refer potential clients to you, so it can pay off to build a referral program for insurance agents.

Business Associates:

Other business associates outside of the insurance industry can also participate in your insurance referral program. For example, you might have a large LinkedIn network full of former colleagues in other industries. Or maybe you’ve connected with marketers, lawyers, web developers, etc., who can refer you to other businesses in need of insurance.  


Don’t discount the help your personal connections can provide. If your friends and family have good connections, they may be able to refer you to new customers.

Seeing which of these groups you can rely on can then help you design an insurance referral program accordingly. For example, your friends and family might not need much motivation other than you asking for their help. Prospects, however, may need a financial incentive.

Make Referrals Easy 

Once you identify how you can get referrals, start to implement processes that make referrals easy and systematic. For example, you can use technology like Extole, ReferralCandy, and Revetize to solicit referrals and keep track of rewards in a streamlined, organized fashion.

However, keep in mind that certain businesses and geographies have regulations around referrals. For instance, a referral program for insurance agents should not turn into a situation where unlicensed agents effectively sell insurance policies on your behalf. Consider speaking with an attorney or searching online to review relevant laws specific to your situation. 

Still, you can generally establish a successful insurance referral program by:

Sending Out Referral Requests

Unsure whether someone can provide a referral for you? Ask! Instead of waiting to see who takes action, send out referral requests to the aforementioned groups and be clear about how they can help. For example, specify whether you want someone to share your contact information or whether you want to be connected directly via an introductory email or meeting. 

Be Active on Review Sites:

Customer reviews can be a powerful form of referrals, even if it’s not as direct as someone referring you to a specific contact. Make sure you claim your business page on sites like Yelp, if applicable. You can then respectfully respond to reviews, both positive and negative, to build a good impression for other prospects. You can also ask customers to leave you feedback to grow your presence on these sites.

Including Referral Information on Your Website:

If you have your own website, you can create a section that specifies what your customer referral program entails. This information can include who you want to be referred to, how referrals can connect with you, and what rewards referrers might get.

Adding a Referral Link to Your Email Signature:

Instead of manually sending out referral requests all the time, you can make the process more automatic by including a referral link in your email signature. This link can take refers to a simple landing page or a section on your website where they can learn the details about your insurance referral program. 

Establish Rewards for Your Insurance Referral Program

Making it easy for others to send referrals your way is one thing, but you also need to motivate people to make referrals. By offering rewards, you can incentivize others to take the time to participate in your insurance referral program. 

Here too, certain rules and regulations may apply to how you can reward referrers, so consider consulting an attorney or researching relevant laws. That said, some ways you can consider rewarding referrers include:

Gift Cards:

Even if the monetary value isn’t high, a gift card to a coffee shop, for instance, could be an exciting reward that encourages referrals.


T-shirts, stickers, mugs, and other promotional materials can also encourage others to share your business with others. It might not make much logical sense, but think of how popular the t-shirt cannon is at sporting events. People love free swag!

Gain New Customers With an Insurance Referral Program

Once you determine who you can ask for referrals from, how referrals can get in touch with you, and how you’ll reward referrers, you can start to grow your insurance business. As the referrals come in, you’ll want a simple way to turn these new leads into customers.

Wheelhouse, powered by Talage, makes it easy for agents to generate bindable quotes through a custom URL. You can leverage your own branding, so when you get referrals, you can maintain a consistent experience. With the efficiency of Wheelhouse, you can write profitable small business policies, getting you more mileage out of your insurance referral program.

Want to easily convert your referrals into clients? Wheelhouse, powered by Talage, helps make it easy and profitable to generate bindable quotes. See for yourself how it can help you grow your insurance business.

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