Insurance agent value not always recognized by consumers, says Nationwide study

Insurance agent value - Man observing charts on iPad
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The insurer’s research shows that customers’ and agents’ perspectives don’t always align.

A new Nationwide Insurance report has indicated that when it comes to the insurance agent value provided, these pros don’t necessarily see things the same way as their customers.

The research points to a number of critical gaps between the thoughts of the two sides.

The insurance agent value has always been built on a foundation of providing customers with everything they want; from the information and resources they need to the support and assistance they require. However, the Nationwide Insurance report showed that while agents feel they are devotedly serving their customers, those consumers don’t necessarily feel they are receiving everything they should be from the relationship.

Agents are facing substantial challenges in assisting their customers, said the report. This goes far beyond efforts for effectively and safely sanitizing an office space during the pandemic crisis. These are issues that have existed and have been evolving over several years. The report indicates that while these professionals may be facing existing and fresh obstacles on the way, they always have a “compelling opportunity to serve as a knowledgeable resource for current and prospective customers to strengthen and grow their portfolio or business.”

The insurer identified four primary themes affecting insurance agent value in its research report.

The four themes in the Nationwide Insurance report were:

  1. A perception gap – The agents and the customers have a gap in the perception of the service levels that have been provided and received.
  2. A support gap – Customers pointed to a desire to receive more support from agents than only property and casualty (P&C).
  3. A coverage education gap – There is a discrepancy in ensuring that policy coverage and price are understood across all audiences.
  4. A guidance gap – Customers expect their agents to provide them with guidance with regards to their concerns regarding the economy, but don’t feel those needs are being met.

“Our latest research shows some emerging opportunities in the agent-customer relationship particularly when navigating this current environment and economy,” said Nationwide senior vice president of Property and Casualty Sales, Jeff Rommel regarding the insurance agent value study results. “But while the data pinpointed gaps, agile agents Insurance agent value - Man observing charts on iPadwill see ways to address their clients’ concerns, enhance retention and grow their business.”

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