How to Suggest Increasing Coverage and Other Lines When Rates are Rising

How to Suggest Increasing Coverage and Other Lines When Rates are Rising
By: Kelly Donahue-Piro
President: Agency Performance Partners
Co-Founder: Agency Appeal

Show of hands, who gets nervous recommending increased coverage and other lines of business when someone has experienced a rate increase? OK, it’s kinda awkward because you are probably in your office or cubicle reading this alone… but you are not alone in raising your hand.  This is a common concern throughout the insurance space and we are about to answer it once and for all here on the Insurance Nerds Blog.


It’s Totally Normal

In insurance, we all have a fear of price. This is the result of years of advertising that everything should be quick and inexpensive. In addition, we generally don’t enjoy paying our own insurance premiums so the average public loathes it even more. We get squeamish about price because we know it’s an indicator for the person to start shopping… and this is very bad if we haven’t done a great job of building rapport. The bottom line is it’s in our head and we need to get over it.


Addressing Spending More On Insurance

Just like going to the dentist no one wants to deal with insurance. But we have to and we all will. What we need to understand are the best ways to handle price and pivot into other lines.


Addressing the Rate Increase

Rates will continue to increase, it’s part of life. We recommend that you go right into the rate increase with a statement like: It looks like your rates went up X percent. The state average is Y percent.  This means that you are about at the state average. Now we do have a few options to consider. We can change your deductible, have you go paperless or put you on EFT if you want to maximize your discounts. Do any of these sound good to you?

Now if the rate is lower than the state average throw a parade. If it’s way higher, build in options. People love options because it makes them feel in control.


Account Review

While you have the client on the phone it’s a great time to review the account with them. Let’s make sure you have everything accurate. This includes vehicles, valuables, drivers, payroll, etc. Your goal is to be a detective to find their life changes. When there are changes it’s a great time to make recommendations on other coverages and/or products.

During your account review, you want to be thinking and write down, 1 recommendation for increased coverage and 1 other policy you want to discuss.

Make the Recommendations

Don’t think about making a big sales pitch.  Instead, make a recommendation that educates the client. We love the line “Because you have X we always recommend Y, what this means for you is…. For Z per month, wouldn’t you agree we should add it on?”

This allows you to:

  1. Be a teacher not a salesperson
  2. Explain the value
  3. Share that this is the agency’s standards
  4. Breaks down the payment monthly
  5. You aren’t asking for a sale, you are asking for agreement which happens to be the same thing!



You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take but this is bigger than a hockey match. You are dealing with people’s financial livelihood and protection. If we can’t get over a rate increase and still make a recommendation we should think about what value we are really bringing to our clients. They don’t know what they don’t know. It’s our responsibility to inform them.

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!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.