Filed Under:Agent Broker, E&S/Specialty Business

Creative Thinking

Successful agencies find niches by leveraging knowledge in the E&S market

In today’s competitive insurance market and tough economy, it takes more than dedication to survive and succeed. Successful agencies blend tenacity, passion and ownership, as well as some practical techniques such as cross training employees, marketing the agency and regularly contacting clients.

And another key element is building niche markets by accessing the excess-surplus market to best serve clients.

Fessler offers everything including benefits, workers’ comp, personal lines, automobile, property and bonds. The agency is not unique in this approach; but at Fessler, staff work closely so each producer is able to service the client.

Fessler’s 18 employees are knowledgeable about all the services available to their clients and they feel comfortable talking about the coverages. Fessler agents adjust their opening conversation depending on the time of the year or the fluctuation in the market. If the healthcare market is very competitive but workers’ comp has recently gone down in price, an agent will mention the available opportunities in workers’ comp during the call, proactively marketing to their clients and educating them at the same time.

Finding the right people was not easy. Since RMI was founded 12 years ago, the owners have learned that distribution talents are scattered and variable. The agency learned in the first few years that there are too many variances in professionalism, product knowledge and the ability to deliver what is promised. Kincaid’s major problem was hiring producers that couldn’t produce, so RMI trains on the job.

At RMI, everyone takes ownership of the client. This hands-on personal service led to agency growth with the acquisitions of three other agencies. As a result, RMI’s premium volume has grown and the agency has been able to keep its expertise intact—the agents at RMI each have more than 10 years of experience.

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