Person-to-person versus i-selling trends

By Ernest Falkner III

Zillion Dollar Thinking


In the LifeHealthPro.com article, "In-person selling headed for endangered list," the subject is the growing number of insurance transactions that are now non person-to-person (P2P).

While that may seem obviously efficient on the surface, there are several headwinds that need to be considered. One weighty ripple is the announcements from the majors about a recent commitment to exceptional new agent recruiting.

If the volume of P2P is giving way to i-selling, why would there be such an effort and expense for the unprecedented volume of new agent hiring?

If the old adage of “insurance is sold (by an agent) not bought,” is true, at some point, there will be a line or ceiling with the need for agent field underwriting to remain in the mix from beginning to the end. At some point, this dilemma (another ripple) could well alert the rating services of inadequate field risk assessment capacity.

If these agencies believe that growing volumes of new business are being transacted without proper agent field underwriting and due diligence, then that could represent a problematic target and put additional pressure on financial requirements.

For those who really want to understand the role of the agent as a field underwriter, please see this very comprehensive PDF report.

Here’s the deal: We have the growing convenience and volume that i-selling can produce, as opposed to the P2P agent who is being hotly recruited. Somewhere out there, they will meet an apex where profitability will grow on only one side or the other.

So, when we continue to see conflicting headlines in an industry where credibility, stability and financial responsibility are cornerstones, we have to wonder who is running some of these ships.

As always, you decide.