Be the Change
ACN Updates | Christine Horne, Bankers Insurance LLC | Sep 24 2019
To be honest, advocating for our industry and profession really geeks me out. My dad was an insurance agent, mostly life and health, but because of him, from a very young age, I realized that what we do matters to people. I'm not a natural salesperson. I'm not going to be the person who goes out and sells a product to somebody or helps them find the coverage they need; however, I'm super motivated by what I need to do on the backend to keep this industry that I've known almost my entire life going. How do I make sure we're doing the things that keep us ahead of the curve? How do I keep us providing a high level of service and coverage to people who need us? Part of that is advocacy.
Insurance is not glamorous. It's often not exciting. But, it's something a majority of us do because we're genuinely moved to help people.
Industry advocacy is more than just Applied Client Network (ACN) but this organization is a piece in the puzzle. Our industry's been around for hundreds of years, and there's a distinction between what we think we do — or thought we did — and where the industry is going. Client expectations are changing and evolving constantly. In part, advocacy in insurance is being aware of those changes and being part of the evolution instead of ignoring it or pretending it’s not happening.
To give an example of why we agents are so critical: Just this week at my agency, we had a claim situation involving a vehicle in which the insured client was at fault and had caused damage to the other party’s vehicle. As we dealt with the claim, there were some issues with getting it handled because of issues with the other party’s carrier. Our claims manager found out about this and intervened. In this particular situation, we assisted not only our client but also the other party in order to get the process handled quickly and efficiently. This other party did not have anyone to advocate for them, so we stepped in.
That’s the kind of drive to help people that has brought a lot of us into insurance and why we must all be part of the transformation of insurance. Insurance is not glamorous. It's often not exciting. But, it's something a majority of us do because we're genuinely moved to help people. It doesn't matter where a client falls on the spectrum of a loss, we’re the people who make sure they are made whole again. Because of this, every one of us has an obligation to make sure our industry continues to move forward.
What’s getting in our way?
You’ve heard it all before. It’s third-party disruptors like Lemonade or Hippo who somehow think they've cracked the “magic code” and can turn insurance into Uber. But insurance isn’t a commodity, it’s people and it’s a tool to help someone recover from a loss. In short, it’s protecting the people we’re meant — and employed — to protect. And, sometimes what’s getting in our way is us.
There are constantly laws and other barriers that are being tossed around and considered that could adversely affect our industry. As agents and professionals within the industry, we need to be aware of that. We need to understand what is affecting our industry and we need to be involved at whatever level we have capacity.
Types of advocacy
We have to stop being so mired in tradition. Our industry is not immune to being affected by outside perceptions. Those of us dedicated to the perpetuation of the industry understand that and are looking for ways that we can improve, advance and enhance what we do. That's what advocacy means to me.
If you’re looking to get involved, from my perspective, there's room for whatever level of advocacy you’re interested in. And that’s amazing.
Big “I” or Governmental, Lawmaking Action
Friend of insurance agents everywhere, Ed Higgins is someone I think of as an industry advocate working to affect the highest level of the advocacy hierarchy. Learn more about his initiative to “save the insurance consumer.”
Applied Client Network offers members exclusive volunteer opportunities to voice product feedback and requests directly to Applied Systems. Learn more.
In addition to hosting our own events, Applied Client Network partners with a number of leading organizations to continue to shape the future of insurance — and you can join their efforts, too! An action as small as attending an event and sharing your thoughts on advocacy can go such a long way. ACN partners include the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), the Associations & User Groups Information Exchange (AUGIE), and the Association of Cooperative Operations Research & Development (ACORD). View upcoming industry events.
I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the future of our profession and hope to see you shaping it alongside me.
Christine Horne is vice president of system support at Bankers Insurance, LLC and the current Vice Chair of Applied Client Network’s Board of Directors.
Tags: ACN Updates , Applied Net , Membership , volunteering , Advocacy