06/16/2023 - Premier State of the State - The Race to PL Profitability & The Tightening Market
Dear Premier Agency Owners,
I am happy to report that in spite of all of the Personal Lines headwinds in our business, together, Premier Agency Owners and Premier, are finding ways to succeed with intention! 96% of Premier Agency Owners YTD through May have Year Over Year increased commissions growth! That includes even exceedingly tight market states like California, Florida, & Gulf states.
Congratulations to you! That demonstrates incredible work, resiliency, and pivoting. But the headwinds are not over for 2023. First here’s what's working.
1. You are pivoting more to Commercial. We’ve had Record CL Growth in 2022 and ’23 YTD. This is helping to feed your top line numbers, for those of you who have adjusted.
2. You are soundly focusing on PL Retention via Customer Education about the market increased premium drivers. That, with the unparalleled relationship-based service you provide, including providing higher deductible options, and providing the best protection value for your policyholder’s insurance dollar, differentiates you in our Noble Profession of Protection.
3. You are Rounding Business, when you can, for discounts, Auto to Home, and Home to Auto.
4. Telematics is picking up, offering policyholders huge discounts. But we’ve still a long way to go on that.
5. Front line Underwriting by you, for both New Business and Inforce, is better than ever. Account reviews, updating exposures for the right rate, addressing outliers and premium leakage, and in some cases saying bye to customers who may not be a fit for your agency or your carriers.
6. Your intense focus on your Loss Ratios to earn profit sharing and to retain access is at an all-time high. We still have 1-2% of agencies driving the results disproportionally. Some will make it; some may not.
7. You are redefining staff roles in many cases, given the tighter New Business market to continue to run a sound bottom line margin.
To continue these Best Practices above, which get to “Agency Health,” our Premier Top Performers Trip in 2024 will be earned based on Your Agency Performance ranked against others, appropriately weighted, in the 1st 6 areas above, via a Top Performers Contest to run July 1 through December 31, 2023. Top Performer Winners, who achieve extraordinary results, will enjoy time together with Young, Shawn, and me, at an incredibly special destination in the 1st half of 2024. More to come on the 7/1 contest starting the week of June 26th via webinars and announcements.
In tandem with the above the week of 6/26 and into Q3 we will also unveil:
- Premier’s Commercial Fast Start Program led by Premier Vice President Matt Genova - enabling more of you to pivot to Commercial for New Business.
- Premier’s Enhanced Agency Acquisition Program – supporting you to buy agencies outside of Premier, as we expect some agencies simply will not have the fortitude, prowess, and discipline needed to pivot and to survive and thrive in this market.
- Premier’s Financial Support Loan Program – supporting some newer agencies who may be doing all the right things for profitable growth, but who as a matter of timing have been hit hard by the market.
- Premier’s Next Level Agency Development Program – this is a proactive endeavor to re-purpose roles for several of our talented staff to help you to be more Proactive vs Reactive in your Agency Health and further develop into business “muscle motion” the habits that drive a successful agency…
- Premier’s Technology Development - an Agency Dashboard focusing Proactively on PROFITABLE New Business and Inforce Business, to better your opportunity to participate in Carrier Profit Sharing when you have your own agency dedicated agency code. (House Codes are going away for PL…)
- Premier’s Enhanced Agency Forum – to share agency success stories with each other and in some cases having regional webinars to discuss strategies together for your unique locale…
- Premier’s Licensing Dept led by Premier Vice President Areli Perez, will have a new reporting frequency structure, updating you on carrier access status on a monthly basis, and taking a time out on Non-Resident license requests.
The last bullet gets to the State of the State for Carriers. “Carrier Health” is in part affected by “Agency Health” and vice versa. The market is extremely tight my friends for PL New Business. PL Carriers are not looking to write much new business right now as for the most part they lose money on it. Once RATE ADEQUACY is achieved, that will improve. In the meantime, capacity, by state, is reserved for resident agencies, as the market will be tight for Q3.
Throughout April and May I have traveled a lot. We’ve had Premier agency meetings in multiple states, and I’ve had the good fortune to meet with Carrier Leadership at the highest levels and gain insights. I have been so impressed with the grit and resolve of Premier Agency Owners AND Staff. And I must say, equally impressed with the Carriers’ confidence and fortitude to do what is necessary to sustain our partnership for the long term and their commitment to the Independent Agency channel. Some groups are losing access all together with some of their top carriers. Not Premier. It is Premier’s Innovation Driven Results AND Relationships that sustain us and propel us forward.
A bit more you should know with regard to our Carriers. They have had a perfect storm which they’ve had to manage through, along with you, but for them also impacting their Shareholders, Board of Directors, and our mutual policyholders, etc. Fortunately, many of our carriers are diversified in their business, be it PL and CL, or Financial Services as well in some cases. This diversification helps to give them a sound balance sheet, enabling them to better right the PL ship with a very focused and disciplined approach to overcome the likes of Inflation, Challenging Regulatory Environments, Social Inflation, increased capital costs, Increased Reinsurance costs, Tighter capacity in reinsurance, Increased Labor costs, Increased Costs for Surplus given rising premiums, Supply Chain Pressures, Increased Rental Car costs, Increased and Record Fatalities in PPA, Increased Lumber costs, Increased New and Used Car prices, Increased Repair costs with more small fender-bender parts requiring chips, Increased and Greater Unpredictability with Mother Nature, and so much more…
We are not out of the proverbial woods just yet, my friends. But Young, Shawn, and I are extremely confident that we are on the right path to Rate Adequacy and Prosperity for you. The more we work together and understand each other, we truly are Better Together.
We appreciate your feedback.
To Your Success!
Rex, Young, and Shawn
Rex Hickling, CPCU, AIM
President, PREMIER GROUP INSURANCE
8089 South Lincoln St. Suite 300, PREMIER PLAZA, Littleton, CO 80122
Cell Direct: 303-818-6218