Check out our latest Employee Spotlight!
Karen Dillard, Human Resources and Accounting Manager
If you’ve ever called us regarding your AccuAgency account, you may have had the pleasure of speaking with Karen. And if you ever meet Karen in person, you’ll find she’s probably got a smile on her face that could soon be followed up with her bubbly, contagious laugh.
I asked Karen the usual questions and here’s what she told us.
How long have you worked at AccuAgency?
I’ve worked at AccuAgency for 18 years.
What do you love about your job?
My job has given me so many opportunities over the years and I get to talk to a lot of interesting people.
What is something about you that would surprise people?
I went to school to be an interpreter for the deaf.
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
What is something you would like to learn to do?
Play the guitar.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got?
To focus on the positive and not the negative in life.
After the Equifax data breach which put 145.5 million people at risk for identity theft people were struggling to get their credit reports frozen at Equifax as well as TransUnion and Experian. If you were able to freeze all of your reports, you know it was a big hassle.
Now if you want to buy a house or car or apply for a credit card, you will need to contact the credit reporting agencies to have them turn your credit report back on so they can pull your credit and get a credit score. If you have to do this, I suggest you find out which credit reporting agency they use so you can temporarily unfreeze just the one. Speak with the credit reporting agency to find out how long it will take to temporarily unfreeze your report so you can give the financial loan company lead time before they pull your credit.
But what about insurance credit scoring? In states where carriers are able to use credit scoring for rating, does the rate reflect a no hit for everyone who has put a freeze on their credit reports?
I posed this question on LinkedIn:
Question for my insurance industry friends:
With the Equifax data breach and everyone freezing their credit reports, how are insurance carriers quoting potential and current customers? Are people getting dinged for a no-hit on their credit report? If yes, how is this getting addressed with the agent and insured?
Sadly, no one on LinkedIn responded to my questions. So I checked with our Business Development Project Coordinator who works closely with our carrier partners and asked her to reach out to a few carriers.
Several responded to our inquiry. One response came from a large carrier who reached out to their insurance score department to ask about frozen credit files. In the states where they are able to use credit scoring, if a credit file is frozen, the rating system treats it the same as a No Hit score which does generally result in a higher rate. They suggest customers with a frozen credit file will need to contact Equifax to have the freeze lifted, call their insurance score department to pull the file while the customer is still on the phone and re-rate the policy. Then the customer can contact Equifax to turn the credit freeze back on.
Are you noticing higher rates since the Equifax data breach and mass credit freezes? Are you asking your clients if they have put a freeze on their credit? Are your clients receiving notifications from the carrier that their credit was returned as a no hit?
Facebook Advertising - Audience Insights
Facebook Audience Insights is a tool used in selecting your Facebook advertising target audience. Using the tool you can find people who, for example, like motorcycles. Target the select audience and advertise motorcycle insurance.
Once you have identified your target group, you can advertise your agency’s insurance products on Facebook’s Desktop and Mobile feed, Facebook right Column, Instagram and more. Or as Facebook puts it, “Get to know the people who matter to your business, so you can understand what matters to them. Learn about their locations, interests and behaviors, so you can create messages that will help your business grow.”
Facebook Audience Insights Steps:
One step that deserves a lot of attention, selecting interests. As an exercise I created an audience who likes motorcycles. It would be easy to select only “motorcycles” under interests but think about what you follow and like on Facebook. Is it a broad like? If you own and love your Ford F150, you don’t just like cars or trucks on Facebook. You like Ford Motor Company.
There are many different makes of motorcycles. My new audience generated 1500 - 2000 monthly active Facebook users. Here’s what I selected.
Location: Norcross, GA
Interests - Hobbies and Activities - Vehicles - Motorcycles
Interests - Additional Interests:
Expand the audience by adding additional motorcycle makes. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t allow you to directly target your ad to people who are connected to Pages that you do not admin. (I would love to be able to target fans of Harley-Davidson's dealerships in the area if you could.)
I saved and named my audience and can now access it in Facebook’s Power Editor where you create the ad. From here you can tinker with the audience. I see my estimated audience is too specific and the reach is low. Since Norcross is just north of Atlanta and near other well-populated cities I’m going to expand my demographic audience and add some more locations.
Audience is too specific and narrow:
By adding more cities I find my reach is still too low. The motorcycle brands list is too narrow. Once I add more makes of motorcycles my potential reach is now in line with my reach goal. My audience is defined to give me a potential reach of 580,000 people. My estimated daily results show a reach of 1,900 - 5,000 and 27-100 clicks per day.
So now that I have my audience, I’m ready to create my ad and ad content.
Facebook advertising is very affordable. It’s a great web marketing tool for your independent insurance agency.
Remember! Your Facebook ad and landing page should be well designed. Your goal is to get clicks as well as conversions.
Vikki Thomas has been working in the insurance industry since 1995. Vikki has worked for several carriers in customer service, quality assurance, underwriting, product management and marketing. Vikki has worked at AccuAgency since 2008.