Weekly Rant - Life or Death: Independent Agencies, Week 2

Weekly Rant - Independent Agency System, Part 2

Created by Chet Gladkowski at 01 Apr 2013 @ 11:47

Part 2 of "Life or Death" - the independent agency distribution system


Watch and add your thoughts and comments on how best to strengthen and expand the independent agency system.

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Alex - like this: http://youtu.be/bPmVhyHBRAM
Chet you are so right about the "Frankenstein phenomenon"!
Geoff and Melinda - another thought, larger carriers also feel compelled to build what I call "all knowing" solutions. What I mean by this is that they must handle 100% of all requirements automatically. The solution almost comes alive (a.k.a. Frankenstein.) While smaller/regional carriers allow for a solution that automatically handles the vast majority of the problem automatically but allows for human intervention/exception processing for those rare occasions that something really goes bad and needs fixing (OSE's, billing mistakes, etc.)
Re: Melinda's comment (and Chet's follow on) - smaller carriers who feel competitive pressures will more quickly adopt solutions that don't require big investments of time or money - even if entrenched. Large carriers have the money but don't seem to have the agility to decide and move quickly.
Neil - the "younger" management can start with a clean slate and not have the baggage and scars of wars long ago fought. While I'm all about the leadership having insurance experience (wait for next weeks rant) there certainly are appropriate places for non-insurance executives to step in. An analogy is Ford which brought in Alan Mulally from Boeing - while he didn't exactly have automotive experience, his leadership and engineering helped turn Ford around.
Thanks Melinda - I agree that smaller carriers should be in the best position, but it seems to be larger companies that can afford to try more new things (and not just technology stuff.) Also, I've seen smaller carriers that are so entrenched with their "traditions" that it's almost a "evil" to suggest something new. In either case, it's leadership driven.
I think Chet is on to something with respect to "younger" management at the both the carrier and agency senior levels. As we see a changing of the guard we should see more openness to addressing the lack of agility and innovation.
Smaller carriers are better positioned to take Chet's advice. My experience has been that the larger carriers can't even get out of their own way. The"silo mentality" is the rule, not the exception.
Arthur - all parties that participate in the independent agency system need to be agile. Yes, some companies have refused to move even when faced with overwhelming data/evidence. But my hope is that; 1. increased competition from other "systems" plus 2. new, younger management will push companies into greater agility, knocking down the silo's.
I think you hit the problems right on the nose, but insurance companies are notorious for building "silos" and they are absolutely about as "un-agile" as you can be. So I think this is an uphill battle.
Title Weekly Rant - Life or Death: Independent Agencies, Week 2
Creator Chet Gladkowski
ML ID 10311
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Created 01 Apr 2013
Updated 01 Sep 2014