ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

Is Innovation Impossible in The Insurance Business?

"GOOD IDEAS ARE A DIME A DOZEN. BUT THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO IMPLEMENT THEM ARE PRICELESS."

Packard, DeSoto, Studebaker, DeLorean, Tucker -- these are just a few of the 297 U.S.automakers who became defunct, leaving GM, Ford and Chrysler as the only remaining U.S. based companies in the industry. Why? Didn't they all make a necessary item, the car? There were over fifty competitors when Henry Ford STARTED his company. Why didn't he simply say that there was too much competition and go into another line?

The answers to each of these questions are innovation and flexibility.

Why have we lost so many insurance agencies in the last 10 years? Don't we all sell a necessary product? The answer is LACK of innovation and flexibility.

Most insurance agencies simply survive. They are still "mom and pop" shops created to earn a living for one significant family. There's nothing wrong with that. Many of the 300 auto manufacturers had the same idea. But in both cases if we don't adapt and change with the industry, we are committing the business equivalent of suicide. Eventually the auto manufacturers and the insurance agents who tried to maintain business as usual with their heads in the proverbial sand had to sell, merge, or simply close up shop.

During the rest of 1996, 1997 and 1998, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. is generating seminars in every state in the country to teach Agency Survival Strategies to the independent agents of the United States. There aren't a lot of choices -- Learn to sell more insurance, Change the way your organization operates, or Sell your agency. But at least there are choices available.

In every state we are asking the Agents Association to sponsor these seminars. Because we must do this on such a prolonged schedule, many agents are calling us to accelerate the schedule in their areas, sponsoring the seminars themselves. Where neither the Association nor other agents groups are sponsoring the seminars, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. is promoting them independently.

You see, the survival of the independent agency system is our Mission. It is vital for the agents to have the choice to become proactive about their futures. Imbedded in this seminar is the introduction of and familiarization to the Virtual Insurance Agency (VIA). The VIA is the first innovation in insurance agency organization since clustering and is, in fact, the next generation after the cluster concept. It has gained substantial approval from the carriers and has received enthusiastic response from every group to which we have brought the concept. But covering the United States is a long process. We need your help. Send this article to your association and to your carriers. Their call to us will give them an information package about the VIA (although every association President and Executive Director at both state and national level is already acquainted with the concept and many companies are familiar with it, as well). Our goal is to disseminate the information about the VIA to everyone as quickly as possible. The concept is not for everyone. But it should be one of the choices available to agents to keep owners in ownership position, provide them with full management of their own agencies and provide them both more annual income and higher asset value to their efforts.

If you haven't received our VIA package, please call our office at 1-800-779-2430 and we'll send one out to you immediately.