Rows of dumb bell weights on a shelf

More thoughts and insights with Kathy Corbacio

March 24, 2021 / Sarah Manley

Kathy CorbacioMy discussion continues with Kathy Corbacio, AVP of Business Development, about what the past year has meant for Brokers, and how CAA Insurance has been there to support them during challenging times. We also talked about how her team had to pivot their interactions with Brokers, and what that may mean for the future.

Q: How has CAA Insurance been there to support Brokers during the past year?

KC: We have talked at great lengths about the various efforts we have implemented to help customers, which included rate reductions and other relief benefits. But at every turn we have looked for ways to continue to support Brokers. Most recently, we recognized that a challenge Brokers may be facing is customer retention and growth. We have responded to this with a new campaign designed to further compensate profitable growth by providing additional commission dollars. We have also increased commission on our CAA MyPaceTM program for new business.

Throughout everything, we continue to offer Brokers dedicated marketing support. With our 2020 Marketing Camp having to be cancelled, we shifted gears to offer virtual, live sessions on topics such as living your brand, and finding and engaging with your audience. These sessions were a great success, and conversations have continued with some Brokers who have looked to us for guidance with their marketing efforts. We do hope to be able to hold another in-person event eventually, but in the meantime we’re continuing to expand our online learning offerings through the Broker Marketing Academy.

At the end of it all, we recognize that people need a little boost these days – a warm gesture to put a smile on their face. Last year we sent every Broker a $10 Tim Horton’s e-giftcard to thank them for the extra effort they had to put in to service their customers. Most recently we sent all brokers a 2021 Gratitude Calendar, which offers great tips and resources to help people feel just a little bit better as the tough times continue.

Bottom line – we’re there for our Brokers, to support them and their success.

Q: How do you feel the pandemic has shed new light on the value of a Broker?

KC: I believe the past year has truly highlighted the immense value that only a Broker can offer consumers who are looking for insurance advice. As situations changed, there was a flurry of people shopping for insurance, conducting research and obtaining online quotes. But when it came down to it, people needed reassurance, peace of mind, and advice about how to ensure their insurance coverage met their needs. Brokers worked tirelessly with consumers to update their policies and provide options for their customers to save money.

The past year has also identified the need for ease of doing business, both for Brokers and their insurance partners. CAA Insurance is ready and committed to offering support and the product choices needed to make the Broker’s job easier.

Q: What evolution, if any, do you anticipate in how your Business Development team interacts with Brokers going forward?

KC: Over the course of the past year, when most face-to-face interactions were not possible, my team leveraged technology and conducted meetings over Zoom. This actually worked to our collective advantage; we were able to conduct more meetings than usual thanks to the elimination of travel time. Don’t get me wrong – in-person meetings are still most ideal, as nothing can replace the personal nature to help bolster relationships. But holding remote meetings comes with many advantages: improved time management, a reduction of carbon foot print, work/life balance benefits, and overall mitigation of costs. Plus, in addition to increased frequency of meetings, my team has the opportunity to meet more members of their brokerages, further improving Broker partnerships. This was not only advantageous for our normal quarterly Broker meetings, but it made regular meetings and training sessions easy to plan and facilitate.

Going forward, when things return to some kind of ‘normal’, I see us using a hybrid approach for Broker visits and meetings. Really, it’s the best of both worlds. We can still strengthen our partnerships through in-person connections, but because of technology, we can further support our Brokers through more frequent connections.