Selling insurance to customers offers perks
September 17, 2012
Filed under Features
Dealers can benefit from relationships built
Jeff Bair knows a thing or two about selling insurance. Now the head of Independent Agent Marketing at Foremost Insurance Company, Bair originally started as a field sales rep who would meet agents in their offices. Thirty-four years later, he continues to use his experience to guide the company into locales such as dealerships.
He recently answered a few questions from Powersports Business about the benefits of selling insurance — in addition to other F&I products — to customers. Foremost actually started its business on the powersports side, and has since moved into selling auto insurance as well. That’s an approach that most insurance companies can’t claim, so we decided to reach out to Bair.
PSB: What’s one thing that F&I managers in powersports dealerships should know about Foremost?
JB: Insuring the products that dealerships sell isn’t just a sideline for us. We specialize in powersports coverage and have a long history of expertise in this area.
PSB: How have you seen the F&I business at the powersports dealership level evolve over the past 30 years?
JB: The “Insurance” part of F&I has gone from a standard part of the revenue stream to an optional or occasional part. Demand by consumers for lower unit prices and a broader availability of coverage via the web are two impacting factors.
PSB: What has your experience been in dealing with the F&I department at powersports dealerships, in terms of being open to new products.
JB: Departments that have an insurance sales person on staff are very receptive to new coverage packages.
PSB: What benefits can a dealership obtain from having someone on staff who can facilitate consumer insurance sales?
JB: There’s a clear revenue stream associated with insurance sales, and not just for new business, but for when policies are renewed as well. Also, providing the insurance at the point of sale reinforces the relationship the buyer has with the dealership and keeps the communication lines open, which may lead to future retail sales.
PSB: What are some of the traits that make an F&I manager effective at the powersports dealership level?
JB: Insurance sales are, at a base level, about satisfaction selling. Personnel who are skilled in listening, and probing for specifics are the ones who usually excel in this area.
PSB: Foremost got its start in powersports and has moved into selling auto insurance. How important is that for dealers to know when they’re considering whether or not to add Foremost to their offerings?
JB: Typically dealer agents are only focused on the core lines affiliated with their business, but there is an inter-relationship between our products that creates discounts across the board for customers who purchase more than one policy with Foremost.