Months of planning, preparation, and hard work went into the 3rd annual World Conference, which took place at the Bridgewater NJ Marriott at the end of October. The conference featured 46 speakers throughout five interactive panel discussions and 18 targeted presentations. The more than 140 participants included World Insurance leaders and producers, key strategic alliances, and sponsors. The conference was split into three days to allow for learning and networking: a pre-conference dinner on the night of Monday, October 21st, the conference itself all day on Tuesday, October 22nd, and golf on the morning of Wednesday, October 23rd.
While much was gained at the conference, five key takeaways stand out.
#1 – Office Location Doesn’t Matter
World Insurance Associates has offices in 10 states and the ability to write insurance nationwide. The conference showed that what office you work out of doesn’t matter. We can share knowledge and resources across the organization. With the support of technology, you can connect face-to-face with producers from other states and stay up-to-date on the latest programs and resources with monthly meetings. The use of technology during the conference also allowed the first hour to be live-streamed to the entire organization.
"We have countrywide ability. Our surety professionals may be housed in the tri-state area, but we can go anyplace across the country, including international (Canada, Mexico) depending upon licensing. But we are licensed in all those states so if there is a bond need for your client in California, we can take care of that."Jeff Deldin - Surety
Our connectivity across office locations also allows us to serve our clients better. Agents and producers can reach out quickly if their customers have properties or businesses in other states to obtain the best possible coverage by experts in that region.
#2 – When Placing Business, Check World First
With so many programs and departments under the World Insurance umbrella, it’s essential to check within the organization first when placing business. In almost all cases, we will be able to write the policy without having to go to an outside broker or wholesaler. As an added benefit, we likely have an exclusive program and specific expertise on that business.
"Basically, we're another tool in your toolbox. We can all make ourselves available to help guide you through that client or be there with that client meeting. You don't need to go outside for your surety needs anymore, we have it right in-house here and we can help you."Jeff Deldin - Surety
The conference provided attendees with the tools to connect with these experts and a quick-reference guide on our top programs and departments.
#3 – Offering Value Is What Sets Us Apart
At World Insurance Associates, we are not only insurance agents, but we are risk managers and client advisors. Almost every presentation at the conference included the additional services and resources that we provide to offer value.
“If you take a sincere interest in somebody, it comes shining through.” Frank Costa - Closing Remarks
Our Nonprofit and Education Practice offers many resources to nonprofits, including partnerships with The Nonprofit Trust, ACCSES, UC Advantage, and goodLinc.com. These resources not only provide additional support to nonprofits, but the benefits of these programs help to offset the costs of the insurance.
Members of the Programs Panel explained how they created the various programs they specialize in, including automotive services, pavement maintenance companies, pool maintenance and sports programs, and orthotics and prosthetics. All of these programs involved an element of additional benefits for the program or association members.
"We help our clients grow. When you're taking that burden off of them and you're presenting yourself as that value-added advisor, you're not just another bond broker, you're not just a person producing a product, you're actually providing a service." Jeff Deldin - Surety
In the Employee Benefits department, we have unique offerings for mid to large markets that can provide annual savings of up to $1,000,000 per 1,000 employees. Small groups also receive added value with end-to-end account management, guidance and support for Benefit Managers, employee communications, and ACA compliance.
"It is no longer good enough to just be really good at what you do for a living, you need to become assets. The way you become an asset to your clients is you look outside of what you do, dig into the business of that client, and understand the areas that you might be able to plug in a solution that makes sense." Steven Tessler - New World Colleagues
#4 – There Are Many Opportunities for Growth
The World Conference showed attendees all the different areas of expertise within our organization. This knowledge will not only help attendees know where to go to place a risk, but also opens up new avenues of revenue to explore. Many of the presenters included substantial growth opportunities as part of the market outlook in their presentations. Some of these opportunities include self storage, houses of worship, medical malpractice, and nonprofits and educational organizations.
“Everybody here knows what they don’t know. What you’ve heard today, is all the stuff that everybody else knows, so now you know where to go to get what you need.”Frank Costa - Closing Remarks
#5 – Round Out Your Accounts (If You’re Not Asking, Another Agent Is!)
Now that you “know what you don’t know,” you can provide better service and risk management to your clients by asking for other business opportunities.
“The majority of producers only discuss lines of coverage in which they are most knowledgeable – this is a major exposure to your existing book of business as a competing broker is asking for all opportunities. Stepping outside your comfort zone will secure your income by keeping other brokers and consultants from engaging with your client on additional lines of business.”Jennifer Fiorito - Group Benefits
Our organization has extensive expertise in a variety of industries and demographics, and the World Conference provided the tools and resources to take full advantage of all we have to offer.