David Wilson, Vice President, Sales and Distribution, Smart Choice®
From the Front Line
A little over two years ago, I had the pleasure of joining the Smart Choice team and was charged with the task of expanding and enhancing the Express Markets program. Smart Choice made an intentional investment in this program to position it as a growth engine for our agents by providing access to markets for excess, surplus and specialty lines. I started the process with the mind-set of: How can we help Smart Choice® agents expand their businesses? The answers were to provide the agents the resources and market partners to develop different streams of revenue, to offer new solutions to round-out existing accounts, and to provide the tools necessary for Smart Choice agents to combat what, at the time, were the pending headwinds in the insurance marketplace. All of this could be achieved through a more robust Express Markets program.
The first step was to add additional carriers and markets. Expanding our specialty, niche, and wholesale offerings would be the key to supporting the agents - we added 15 Express Market partners in 15 months!
Next, tapping into my experience as a former agent, I focused on what I knew to be the hard-to-place risks agents often face. As a result, we added partners and products who write non-standard auto, coastal property, flood, commercial auto, earthquake, artisan contractors and transportation, just to name a few. Express Markets premium more than doubled over the last two years - from $140 million to $280 million! Express Markets has become an integral piece of the Smart Choice business model and means of growth for our agency partners.
Lastly, we improved our communication with our agents regarding the expanded access. We toured the country attending 20 plus state meetings, speaking to thousands of agents. We developed and deployed multiple marketing emails and created a library of resource documents, all of which led to the eventual launching of a dedicated website – www.Expressmarkets.com. This site is the culmination of everything we have been building over the last several years. It is an excellent resource for our agents and field associates. Take a look today and discover what is in available in your state.
Remember, Express Markets provides direct access, 100% commission and no fees with all of our partners. We hope you find this a valuable addition to your agency in our ongoing mission to ensure your success!
- From the Front Line
The Role of Excess, Surplus, and Specialty Markets in Insurance Agencies
There's a common misconception that excess & surplus (E&S) and specialty lines coverage is only for business that has been historically rated high-risk or for those one-off, hard-to-place risks that cross your desk a few times a year. But as carriers tighten their requirements for writing standard business, having relationships with E&S carriers can help you provide essential coverage for homeowners and business owners who don't qualify for standard policies. Check out the 2020 Issue 2 of Smart Choice Magazine for more.