Shouldn’t Loyalty be a Two-Way Street?

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A message from DEBE CAMPOS-FLEENOR, NAPAA President, Active Allstate Agent

DEBE CAMPOS-FLEENOR, NAPAA President, Active Allstate Agent

I recently received a phone call from a very good friend who lives in California and works for Select Quote. To my surprise, he told me that he was flying to the Midwest to get training on selling Allstate Insurance.

I then asked him if it was Allstate proper, Esurance or Encompass, and, with joy in his voice, he responded, “No Debe, I am actually selling Allstate Insurance!” I did not know what to say, except for wow! So
much for agent exclusivity.

It appears the only thing about exclusivity in the world of Allstate is that exclusive agency owners are excluded from selling a plethora of products. At the same time, Allstate offers these products through different channels with higher commissions for sellers. Shouldn’t loyalty be a two-way street? Most agents I know, including myself, are extremely loyal to Allstate.

Sometimes, I wonder if Allstate is loyal to us. The above is just one of the many challenges agents face within their agencies. During September’s NAPAA conference, we highlighted not only the new Integrated Service Solution but many other challenges that have plagued our agencies throughout the years. Most challenges are dealt with by coming up with creative solutions.

This particular issue, a requirement that new agencies under $1.5 million use Integrated Services, could be a detriment to reselling small-to-medium-size businesses from a cash flow basis. Allstate is requiring the new buyers to open their offices with three or more LSPs and to use Integrated Services, which is not cheap. At the current rate of 2 percent of written premiums, this would cost a $1.5 million-size agency $2,500 a month.

This number will probably change so agencies join, but nothing would stop Allstate from increasing the cost at a later time.
I would venture to say that even if Allstate were offering Integrated Services at no cost, it would still possibly be a bad deal.
There are many reasons to hesitate, but here are just a few concerns: poor to bad customer service experience (based on past attempts), inability to cross-sell, and our personal relationship losses.

We all have CIC horror stories. A lot of our new business comes from cross-selling, and how many times do we talk to Betty or Jane about their children graduating, getting married or having a baby. Aren’t these the cues we use to talk about life insurance?

On the horizon, we see Advisor Pro lurking its malfunctioning head across our desks, causing hours of agony while writing one little ole renters’ policy, UGH! When will the chains of technology torture ever end? On Aug. 24, 2019, agents and Allstate had tremendous losses of revenue when technology outages prevented our offices from writing any quotes in either Alliance or Advisor Pro. We will never know how many potential clients went to another company to get a quote.

Surely, Allstate could not have been happy about this problem. No one was making money with this outage. It affects customer service as well. We were not able to complete any endorsements; they were not taking phone calls and the chat line was down.

Maybe the Company should fix existing problems before starting a new program. Just a thought!
If there was ever a time to come together and lock arms, it is now. NAPAA is here to join forces with agents across the nation to open dialogue to share ideas and solutions that not only will be productive for agents but win/win solutions for agents and Allstate.

We have weathered many storms, including IPS, ABO, losing line 19, and requirements of LSP count.
Can we talk?

Join NAPAA and let us work together and help Allstate help us.

Debe Campos-Fleenor began her affiliation with Allstate in 2004 as an LSP, opening her own “scratch” agency in 2006. Debe joined
NAPAA shortly thereafter and has served as both Executive Vice President and Treasurer. She is active in many groups and organizations, including the Allstate Foundation programs for domestic violence and teen safe driving. Debe has been awarded the Allstate
Helping Hands Award several times and has made significant contributions to the Allstate Giving Hands campaign. She was nominated for Woman of Influence in 2008. Debe is a regular contributor to the Exclusivefocus magazine. An expert at locating marketing items available from the company, her presentations at NAPAA live events are always a big hit.