In-Dealership Insurance Agency Installation/Operations Manual
Atlas Dealer Services is licensed as a Managing General Agent – A specialized type of insurance agent/broker that, unlike traditional agents/brokers, is vested with underwriting authority from multiple carriers (insurers). Accordingly, MGAs perform certain functions ordinarily handled only by insurers, such as binding coverage, underwriting and pricing, appointing retail agents, and settling claims.
Atlas Dealer Services provides an additional recurring and compounding revenue source to automotive dealerships through the sale of various personal and commercial lines of insurance to the dealerships’ existing customers. Atlas will provide a turn key solution to auto dealerships so that they can quickly create a profitable and high producing independent insurance agency inside of each auto dealership.
Typically, MGAs are involved with professional liability and surplus lines of insurance, in which specialized expertise is required to underwrite the policies. MGAs also write personal lines business, especially in geographically isolated areas where insurers do not want to set up a branch office.
One “differentiator” giving Atlas the clear advantage is that we are made up of Automotive retail experts with 86 years of combined experience working with dealerships across the nation (including Alaska and Hawaii) providing in-dealership consulting, recruiting, needs assessments, and process implementation for well over 4,700 Automotive/RV/Marine/Motorsports retail operations. One primary area of strength in automotive has been assisting dealerships with lead conversion rates and BDC best practices that has proven to increase sales sometimes doubling and tripling the dealership’s sales volume without increasing dealership advertising expense. Our executive management team has expertise with in-dealership insurance agencies, from initial inception to operational training, best practices, coaching, monitoring, and recruiting. The Atlas Team has installed and assisted in the installation of over 100 in-dealership agencies.
MGAs benefit insurers because the expertise and carrier access they possess is not usually available within the insurer’s home or regional offices and would be more expensive to develop on an in-house basis making that level of access otherwise cost prohibitive. Atlas provides the tools necessary to get each dealership licensed as an insurance agency and provides its’ dealership agency owners with access to carriers, agency management systems, comparative raters, agency operational best practices, recruitment consulting services, errors and omission insurance, and insurance business consulting services.
Atlas will utilize its’ management team to ensure a successful launch of dealership agency business operations. While most insurance startups would struggle to find carrier appointments and/or clients, the blend of the management with strong relationships in both industries will ensure a strong launch.
Atlas will partner with both national and regional carriers to ensure that each dealership agency has access to every available competitive carrier to ensure a high conversion rate for each of the dealer agency’s prospective customers.
How It Works
After consummating the sale of a new or used car, or confirming the customers’ arrival for a service department appointment, the customer will be directed to an insurance agent within the showroom to quote and offer auto insurance coverage (among other products). This point-of-sale arrangement provides numerous benefits to dealerships, its customers, and the independent insurance carriers they represent:
Benefit to Customers
- Receive a quote with little or no additional effort while the customer waits to finish purchase of vehicle
- Obtain the necessary coverage to drive the car off the lot for immediate gratification
- Provide an opportunity for customer to shop their insurance while they wait to finalize the purchase of their new vehicle
- Avoid having to make an additional and lengthy call or visit to a retail agent
Benefit to Dealerships
New Revenue Center: Competitive pressure, OEM vehicle pricing policies, Internet vehicle comparison shopping, vendors pushing the latest sales tool technologies, dealer’s continuous attempt to automate the sales process, not to mention the ongoing challenge of converting their advertising dollars into customer appointments that show up at the dealership after being exposed to an advertisement. These things combined with other ROI diminishing issues have made things challenging for dealers and have exacerbated shrinking margins.
This new and otherwise unrealized revenue center in the dealership, provides a higher level of service to customers, expands the depth of benefits for employees, and generates new source of revenues by conjoining two of the most important things at the perfect time: A “top of mind” customer issue (insurance) while in the shopping phase at a dealership and a “top of mind” dealership issue (capturing and creating a reoccurring revenue opportunity) while the customer is fully engaged with the dealership personnel and physically on the property at the dealership. An in-dealership agency will provide the following:
- Create an umbilical cord to the customer through insurance offering and services
- Create a dealer owned book of business that could potentially be worth more than the dealership itself within just a few short years.
- Obtain access to an additional revenue stream (commissions on new and renewal policies) that can add 10-15% in net profit just from its existing customer base
- Give a reason to follow up with the customer every 6 or 12 months to renew/adjust a policy in addition to offering additional purchase opportunities for a new car, or other products
- Create better customer loyalty and customer service ratings for solving another customer’s problem
- Better utilize staff and reduce employee turnover by creating additional revenue streams for in dealership employees
- Ensure that no car sales are lost because the customer was unable to secure proper insurance
- Give the customer a convenient, familiar and friendly environment where they can pay premiums on policies they hold by visiting the dealership’s on site agency.
- Give the customer peace of mind should the need arise for them to file a claim simply by calling the dealership and asking to speak to their insurance specialist.
- Create a new sale opportunity in the even that a customer calls in to file a claim, because the dealership can provide the towing for the damaged or immobile vehicle and provide new purchase options with familiar dealership personnel and on site inventory. This will also expedite the claims process and reduce potential litigation issues due to the speed and efficiency in which the customer is presented with a settlement offer while simultaneously being allocated a replacement vehicle.
By providing access to independent insurance companies, insurance and automotive sales experts, and cutting-edge technology, Atlas will ensure that each dealership agency achieves a high conversion ratio, high cross-sell percentage, and high retention ratio.
Dealers expressed concerns that they lacked the ability to recruit and train top talent for their dealerships in their existing sales and service departments, and that adding an additional revenue center
would not help them unless they were able to recruit and train the top talent they would need to be successful.
Atlas has in intact solution that will provide each dealership with the necessary recruiting and training services to ensure a successful launch to the in-dealership agency. With our automotive and insurance experience, we will provide each dealership the recruiting, training, policies, and (best practices) procedures to ensure that each customer seamlessly obtains insurance proposals and the dealership closes the sale. We will also provide the technology and processes to ensure that the dealership follows up with customers 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial sale to cross-sell other lines of insurance. The cross-sell component is an essential part of the process, as we understand that propping up our carriers’ profitability with ancillary products is essential for the long term health and profitability of our mutually beneficial relationship.
Personal Lines Insurance
Atlas will provide each in-dealership agency access to the top independent insurance carriers and companies for all types of personal lines insurance. The focus on the personal lines side will be home, auto, flood, earthquake (where applicable) and umbrella insurance.
Life and Health
Life and health insurance can be complicated for a new agency to handle. With that in mind, Atlas and its partners will follow a similar approach to commercial insurance and provide a turn key solution to quote and sell the policy on behalf of the dealerships’ agency.
Atlas will work with partnering carriers and dealerships (who offer their own ancillary insurance and warranty products) to procure third-party capacity to offer these additional products should the dealership wish to diversify its’ ancillary book of business.
To deliver on this, Atlas has developed a full-service program to procure, underwrite, and service customers. The operations plan is broken into three sections:
1. Dealership On-boarding;
2. In-Dealership Agency Optimization;
3. Dealership Retention;
To ensure that the dealerships are successful in establishing the dealership-agencies, Atlas will on-board dealerships to walk them through the necessary processes so that they begin to solicit business and issue policies. The Atlas team is well experienced with this process and has developed a training program to facilitate this process. Below is a summary of the steps involved in the on-boarding process: