#Irene #Insurance

I had intended to write about the importance of staying true to yourself when creating an online presence. But as I write this post, Hurricane Irene is barreling down on North Carolina and then heading toward New York City. So, instead I decided to write about how our industry has been using social networking to communicate valuable disaster-related information to their customers.

Often, I hear agents who are not yet actively participating in social networking question its value and/or its return on investment (ROI).Clearly, the use of social networking by our industry during the past couple of weeks has demonstrated that “social” is not just about ROI. During the earthquake and now the hurricane many East Coast agents, carriers and associations effectively used social networking to connect with their followers and communicate valuable information.  Some examples include:

Other examples of agents effectively using Facebook include:

Several carriers including Travelers and Harleysville also did a great job posting storm-related risk management information on their websites and Facebook pages. Marsh USA, @Marsh_inc did a particularly nice job using Twitter. IIABA, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina and IIABNY all used social networking to communicate relevant information.

I also found our industry actively involved in Twitter conversations and followed them using the hashtags #irene, #hurricaneirene and #insurance.

Our industry shines in times like this. In contrast to popular media stories about increased premiums and uncovered losses, this is our chance to demonstrate the value of the Independent Agency System. I congratulate all of you who worked to make sure your customers had access to the information they needed to properly prepare and recover from Irene.

(The agencies, carriers, and associations listed above are only a small sampling of the many who took advantage of social networking during Irene. Please let us know how you used the social space to communicate and stay connected during this disaster.)

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About Rick Morgan
Sr.Vice President Aartrijk. Rick has worked on advancing the success of the Independent Agency System for over 35 years. Rick owned his own insurance agency in Boulder, Colorado, was co-founder, and served as publisher and editor of the TAAR (The Automated Agency Report). He was the originator of "Transactional Filing", co-developer of Silver Plume, served as Sr. Vice President of Marketing for Applied Systems and interim CEO of ASCNet.

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2 Responses to #Irene #Insurance

  1. Lisa Parry Becker August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Rick: Thanks for this mention. We’ve been through flooding before in our area, but I have to agree that having the social media tools to communicate what was happening was a dramatic improvement this time around. We are still without power at home in New Jersey, but we are not complaining. The Delaware River finally crested yesterday. Even without power, we were able to use our mobile devices and update Facebook to communicate with our employees and clients. We began calling claims into the carriers on Sunday, August 28 as we received them from our clients. Some clients used their mobile devices to text us with photos of damages. Yes, Harleysville was well prepared for Hurricane Irene. Harleysville had claims adjusters responding to the calls over the weekend. Other carriers sent us to their after hours call service. Preparation before the storm can help make things easier afterwards. Lisa

  2. Dave August 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Here in New England, Downey Insurance was updating its Facebook page, Twitter feed and blogs, even as agency principal Charlie Downey was wading knee-deep in water–in his own agency office, trying to figure out where to set up shop for the next month or two.

    Lots of good useful info from a clearly empathetic agent.

    In their case, social media is handled by someone not physically located in any of the agency’s three offices.

    Blog: http://greatinsurancepeople.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/downeyinsurancegroup
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/DowneyInsurance/

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