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Coverage Targeted to Customer Needs
Centered on customers’ needs; built on strong relationships; successful at leveraging specialized expertise; powered by talented associates; these are the attributes Regions Insurance shares with our banking business. It is a formula that delivers growth. Today, Regions Insurance is ranked among the top 30 insurance brokers in the United States, and is the nation’s third-largest bank-affiliated insurance agency. In 2014, this business delivered 8% growth in revenues. Currently, with more than 600 employees in 28 offices across 10 states, Regions Insurance is on target to continue to grow, expanding both organically and through strategic acquisitions.
Why an insurance brokerage subsidiary for Regions? It’s an additional opportunity to fulfill additional customer needs through Regions360™ while providing a more complete set of financial solutions to customers. Our insurance offerings include a full line of commercial property and casualty, employee benefits and personal lines. It is also an important source of non-interest revenue, delivering a stable earnings stream and consistent profitability.
As in banking, strong relationships and an emphasis on superior customer service are differentiators that win in the insurance brokerage business. Curren Coco, CEO of Regions Insurance Group, notes that, “We represent just about every major carrier in the world, but as a brokerage, we don’t control price, product or feature – those are consistent, whoever serves as broker. What we do control is service and product knowledge, and how well we treat you as a customer. The reason you come to us and stay with us is because we provide better service, more expertise and create a better relationship experience.”
Metrics indicate that Regions Insurance is delivering against its objective of superior customer service. The average duration of a client relationship is well above industry norms. All 45,000 Regions Insurance customers are surveyed each year and asked whether they would refer peers to Regions Insurance. Approximately 93% say yes – a superior measure within the industry. This high level of performance has helped earn Regions Insurance recognition as an Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) Best Practices Agency every year since 2010.
"The complexity and difficulty of the insurance placement, the associated risks, the nature of the timelines – it all requires us to have an intimate understanding of our client’s operations and business."
Effectively serving diverse businesses requires a high level of understanding of specialized needs and requirements. The insurance needs of an oil and gas exploration company are far different from those of a hospital or a trucking concern. Notes Coco, “Our people become industry experts in our clients’ businesses. For example, we insure one of the largest privately owned contractors that builds petrochemical plants. The complexity and difficulty of the insurance placement, the associated risks, the nature of the timelines — it all requires us to have an intimate understanding of our client’s operations and business.”
Regions Insurance is also a leader in applying advanced technology to help customers prepare for and, when possible, avoid damage from severe weather events. The Regions Insurance Severe Weather Alert System combines NOAA real-time weather data with geocoding of customer assets to proactively notify clients when tornados, hailstorms, floods, wildfires or other severe events occur. This unique capability is just another way that we can better serve our customers and differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.
Regions Insurance associates work collaboratively with their bank counterparts to implement Regions360™ to offer a wide range of solutions centered on customer needs. “Regions is a great brand and a large stable bank, and we’ve leveraged the stability of that within the insurance team – customers know their broker won’t be disappearing overnight,” says Coco. “The other key piece is ethics and culture. Those two things contribute to a compelling value proposition that our clients appreciate.”
A Growth-Focused Team
Mike Breedlove, Head of Regions Insurance in Georgia and South Carolina, has been in the insurance industry for decades, but he’s never had more fun than in his current role. The Roswell, Georgia-based operation is expanding rapidly, and he attributes that growth to a team that’s highly motivated, engaged and excited about coming to work every day.
“One of the things we try to do is to have fun. We have an environment with open communication, and the fact that as a company we solicit their ideas fosters further engagement. We have open, frank conversations – and that builds trust.”
Mike’s objective is to make Atlanta and the Carolinas the largest part of Regions Insurance, but he’s focused on doing it the right way. Last year the group grew 26% organically. As Mike looks to add new professionals with new books of business, the right cultural fit is key. "They must have the same shared values, and we’re looking for people who put customers first.”
Recently the group added expertise in captive solutions to address the needs of large, multinational clients. Notes Mike, “It was a game changer and now we can do that as well or better than any insurance broker in the country.”
As the Georgia-South Carolina team pursues continued growth, Regions360™ will play a big role in executing the strategy. “Regions 360 gives us much more opportunity. But being a bank customer doesn’t mean that they will automatically choose us as their insurance provider – we have to earn their trust. We’re not product pushers – we succeed through our holistic approach. We handle clients from a small restaurant down the street to a multibillion-dollar publicly-traded company. Their needs are different, so we work to find what fits them best to mitigate their unique financial risks.”