By the time you’re reading this, we will quite likely have snow on the ground and we will have succumbed to the fact that winter is upon us. Like it or not, it is a part of where we choose to live. Many will complain about the cold, many will wish the snow would go away, and many will not do anything to change their situation that they do not like. I will admit that I am as guilty as the next person of not initially adapting and accepting the reality of winter as the weather changes every fall. I do, however slowly adapt, put the warmer clothes on and transition from summer and fall activities like mountain biking and lawn mowing to skiing and snow shoveling. Once I arm myself with the proper clothing and tools for the season, I actually quite like winter!
Where am I going with this? Read on!
Brokers choose to be brokers, and I can’t argue with that decision as it is a great career option and the insurance industry is a tremendous one, with so many great people and so much opportunity. And like humans, brokers will buck change and often avoid the realities of the environment in which they choose to be part of. Why? Things are changing all around the industry and with consumer demand and habits. That is the environment in which brokers work today, and it won’t change back…it will only continue to evolve. Online options, consumer self-serve solutions, longer hours, and many other ‘outside the box’ changes are the winter jackets and snow shovels that brokers need to put on today! Accept the change and move on. Brokers have done an amazing job of continuing to be relevant and adapting to change until now…2020 will continue to present opportunities…use 2020 vision to see them and take advantage of them.
I challenge each and every brokerage to capitalize on the young brokers who have many years left in this great industry to help you make change happen. Let them be the ones to wrap their heads around what will keep them relevant for years to come. The YBN executive hosted their annual Meet the Underwriter Night back in November, which has become one of our most popular events of the year and is always well received. I believe a big reason for this is that the YBN aged brokers in our industry are craving change and see events like this as an opportunity to discuss what needs to happen with the people they interact with daily. This year, we felt a relevant addition to the Meet the Underwriter event would be an afternoon seminar on how to deal with aggressive and angry clients. We felt that this would be a relevant seminar topic as the broker wade through the challenges that come with a hard market, such that we are currently experiencing. It can be challenging to face customer's concerns when they see significant increases in their premiums; however, brokers need to look at this as an opportunity to help educate consumers and show the value that a broker brings.
As I wind this article down, so is the year 2019. As I reflect on the past 12 months, I recall a very busy and productive 100th anniversary year. IBANB has continued to strive to be relevant to its members and to continue to play an important role in the continuation of the strength of the broker distribution channel in New Brunswick and Canada. I encourage each and every broker, industry partner, and elected official reading this to take some time to reflect on what IBANB can do to assist you in your roles and please let us know. Together we will ensure the longevity of the broker channel!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope you enjoy some time with family and friends over the holiday season. 2020 is sure to be another great year…let’s look into it with a clear 2020 vision of how strong the broker channel is and where it is going.
Thanks for reading!