How the Heck Do You Grow Personal Lines Departments Today?

By: Kelly Donahue-Piro

President: Agency Performance Partners

Co-Founder: Agency Appeal


Is your personal insurance department stagnant or shrinking? Seems like an awful lot of work and frustration to not be growing, right? Often times simple switches can bring big results to help grow your personal insurance book of business. Many agencies spend the bulk of their time and effort on building the commercial book (which is excellent), but all too often personal lines starts to become second priority. The great news is all teams can win and grow with the right plan.

So what are top growing personal insurance teams up to these days? Well if you are feeling resistance and frustration in personal lines, find comfort in the fact that it’s a difficult time. Rates are going up, commissions are getting cut and most personal lines team members seem less than enthusiastic. It’s easier to stay focused on other departments. However, the team that needs you the most is personal lines.

Whenever teams have no direction, goals, tracking or plan, it’s easy for them to become apathetic. Your first step is to look in the mirror to see if you have been an awesome leader. If not, that’s ok because your future is still bright! Let’s get working on a plan to maximize and grow your personal insurance department.

It all starts with getting good at tracking 2 key sets of figures. First, you need to track your new business by person, policy and premium. Next, you need to identify your retention rate. To lead the troops you need to understand the math between what’s leaving and what’s coming in.

Now we can build goals. They should be obtainable but a stretch. Remember that by tracking those above figures you’ll be able to get a bump in the numbers. Your goals should be launched in a way that shares a plan on exactly how the goals will be hit. Launching your plan needs to be fun and exciting. Oh, and it needs to include incentives.

Every growing personal lines team has incentives. They should be ones that matter to the actual team members. We have been shocked at what some team members want – It can be as simple as jean day, pizza or Dunkin gift cards. Sometimes we fall into the trap of creating incentives based on what we think is best when really the team should dictate it.

Now you should have routine meetings to check in on the goals and work through challenges. This takes commitment. You have to meet with the team at least every 2 weeks. It’s critical that you make the commitment.  If you fail to meet, don’t expect the results to be outstanding.

During the meetings share successes, challenges and the numbers. Celebrate wins and work through losses. You should always have at least 1 team training component in a meeting. Maybe a script, a best practices or a video.

Personal lines is easy to grow but you have to manage the team and lead the troops. Make it your purpose and the rest will follow through!

About Kelly Donahue-Piro

As a dynamic public speaker and consultant I have spent the last decade focusing on how small business owners can capitalize on opportunities within their reach. With over 5 years experience in the local insurance agent sector I can bring training, marketing and technology to your agency that helps you effective and efficiently grow your agency. My specialties include consulting and coaching on upselling, account rounding, agency culture change, sales scripting, executive level coaching and benchmarking as well as agency retention skills. Contact me today to learn more about how I can help your agency grow!

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