Industry leaders from Westfield, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, CNA and Chubb Group gathered at the Young Agents Breakfast & Presidents' Panel with Big "I" Leadership at the Legislative Conference & Convention to discuss the future of technology in the insurance industry. InVEST and Facebook are two keys to future of the independent agency system according to the panel discussion hosted by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA).
The panel addressed some of the most pressing issues independent insurance agents and the industry face, and among those was the state of our national economy, economic challenges, the property/casualty insurance cycle, technology, the need for new talent in the industry and insurance regulatory reform.
The panel participants included: Jim Clay, president, Westfield Insurance; Scott Goodby, president of regional companies group, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets; John Hennessy, SVP of distribution management, CNA Insurance; Harold Morrison, EVP and chief global field officer, Chubb Group of Insurance Cos.; and C. Brett Nilsson, CIC, chairman, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Meghan McGarry, National Big “I” Young Agents committee member of Marshall & Sterling Upstate Inc., moderated the discussion.
The current state of the economy was at the top of the agenda. CNA’s Hennessey said he doesn’t envy the business environment young agents are navigating, and that “it won’t be as steep—it will be a shallower recovery.”
IIABA’s Nilsson discussed current challenges, and said that during tough economic times is when clients need independent agents the most.
“This is why people need us,” he said. “There are times when you work really hard to build a book of business, but you see a strain … to me, even though it’s a financial crisis … this is why they hire us.”
The panel discussed social networking and what benefits young agents could reap from it. Hennessy encouraged the young agents in attendance to put the Trusted Choice—the consumer brand for independent agents and brokers—logo on their Facebook pages as a “reflection” of their professional identity. Westfield’s Clay said Facebook is not just for young people and that “social media is here to stay.”
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