67 episodes

Insurance conversations about what it is like to work in the industry. We talk with professionals who work in all aspects of the industry from direct writers to excess and surplus lines brokers and everyone in-between. If you want to learn more about the insurance industry, The Business of Insurance is the place to start.

Business of Insurance Podcast Debbie DeChambeau

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

Insurance conversations about what it is like to work in the industry. We talk with professionals who work in all aspects of the industry from direct writers to excess and surplus lines brokers and everyone in-between. If you want to learn more about the insurance industry, The Business of Insurance is the place to start.

    Understanding The Business Owner Mindset

    Understanding The Business Owner Mindset

    Today’s episode is one of several episodes about how to get started in the insurance business. I’m not talking about becoming an agent, I’m talking to those of you that are thinking about starting an agency, an insurance company, or an an insuretech business. There’s a lot more to hanging a shingle that says you are open. As part of the planning process for starting a business there are some concepts to consider, these are about yourself.
    As exciting as it is to start a business, there’s a lot to consider. It’s not all glamor and glory!
    Most business owners would agree it’s a lot of hard work, a lot more than they expected. It’s long days, weekends and holidays. Many business owners lose their marriages over their business. As I mentioned in the last business, 90% of business fail in the first year. 
    The circumstances around why they fail vary, but often it’s with the concepts I’m discussing today.
     
    In the last episode we talked about why business fail:
     
    Lack of a marketing plan  Missed market shifts  Ignoring the customer Lack of financial understanding Poor management Location  Motivation  Life’s distractions  Lack of planning 


    INTRO FOR PART 2 - RECAP THE ABOVE AND THINKING BIGGER AND W HY YOU WANT TO START A BUSINESS



    The first thing I want to talk about is 
     
    Thinking Bigger
    As you are thinking about starting a business, don’t think about something small to just pay your bills or starting something as a hobby while you raise your family. Think in terms of building something that you can be proud of, that you can expand, most importantly, that you can sell! Think in terms of how you will build a team, how you’ll grow so that it isn’t just you doing all the work all the time. There are a lot of companies that encourage you to grow your business by recruiting - that’s not what I’m talking about. Build a business where you own the business and the people on your team are your employees. While the network marketing concept works, I personally don’t think that is a good business model at all. You don’t have much control and it’s not a model that you can scale and sell! One day I’ll really talk about how I feel about network marketing and recruiting, but for this purpose, I want you to think about a team that supports you, that helps you to be more successful, that you can delegate to and have them expand your brand. Women who start businesses often have a smaller vision. Don’t get mad at me for saying that but after teaching this presentation for over 5 years, it’s something that I’ve witnessed firsthand. Women who start businesses often think about a business that is close to home and around their family and not something that is  scalable. I can’t tell you how many women want to start a baking or food business or a party business for kids. I’m not saying that’s a bad idea but after many of them have done their market research they realized that it wasn’t a business that they could really make a profit or build to sell.  Insurance is a little different. Since COVID, a lot of people have realized that they can run this type of a business virtually, but I’m not sure if that is sustainable long term. Good market research will help to prove that. There are so many different type of insurance businesses that you can start: i.e. an agency, a brokerage, an FMO, an insurance company, a captive, a direct writer. You can focus on life, health, personal lines, commercial, yachts, tech or international. Under the umbrella of insurance, you have a lot of choices! This is why you need a plan. I talk about having a plan all the time but remember fail to plan, plan to fail.  ADVERTISEMENT
    This episode of the business of  insurance podcast is brought to you by insurancemailbox power. Part of being a business owner is implementing systems and processes that can be automated as much as possible. 
    As you are planning your new business, you need

    • 10 min
    How To Start A Business Without Failing

    How To Start A Business Without Failing

    WHY DO BUSINESSES FAIL?
    EP 66 - In this episode, we are talking about the top 10 reaosns businesses fail and what you can do to keep your business from failing.
    This episode is one of several episodes about how to get started in the insurance business. I’m not talking about becoming an agent, I’m talking to those of you that are thinking about starting an agency, an insurance company, or an an insuretech business.
    These are real issues to consider. It’s geared for those of you who are thinking about getting started or those that have started and are looking for ideas to build a better business.
    Every business has similar issues. It doesn’t matter if you are an insurance agency, a contractor or a tech company. If you are running a business you will have similar challenges. So before you open your doors, before you invest in the expansion, give some thought to these concepts and work through them before you take the next plunge! 
     
    So to recap reasons why businesses fail:
    Lack of a marketing plan - Before you open your doors, have a marketing plan - if you take nothing else from this episode, it should be plan, particularly having a marketing plan. Missed market shifts - are you entering an area that is shifting? Is this the time to be a flood expert? Is this the time to sell long term care? Is this the time to be a virtual office or to have a brick and mortar location?  What is your plan to provide great customer service? If you are a solo preneurer, can you handle 20 calls a day, do your accounting, quoting and marketing? While your clients must come first, it’s essential to have a plan to manage this Are you overexpanding before you are ready? How much more successful can you be if you just have one location? What do you know about your accounting?   What is your management style? Poor management is the fastest way to have high turnover and lose business. Are you a control freak? Are you meak and mild? If so, take a look at your management style. If you don’t have the skillset, takes some classes on how to effectively manage or hire a good manager as soon as you can. Location - Can you prospects find you? Does your office feel inviting? Do you need a location? Motivation - why do you really want to open your own business? Makesure you are doing it for the right reasons. Life’s distractions - do you have support if life gets in your way? What does that look like? Lack of planning - I mentioned that you need a marketing plan but you also need a business plan. It doesn’t need to be a 50 page document but you do need a plan. Something to track and measure your success. Would you take a trip without a map? It’s not different with your business.  Remember, FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL.   
    Remember, these are all just different reasons why businesses fail. Some of them you can’t predict and some of them with some adjustments you can easily course correct. Having a realistic plan will really help you to see great results. 
    I don’t want you to fail, I want you to succeed. But if you don’t have experience running a business, these are concepts you need to think about to increase your chances for success!
     UNTIL NEXT TIME
    KEEP CREATING OPPORTUNITIES
    CHECK OUT OUR SPONSOR: insurancemailboxpower.com
    This is a mailing service I’ve been using for over a year now and I love them. 
    I send all of my birthday cards, thank you cards and marketing post cards from this platform. 
    My birthday cards are automated. I set it and forget it. The only thing I have to do when I add someone new is to put them into the automation series and the rest is done for me!
    I have marketing mailings scheduled for several months. I blocked out two days to set everything up and now I just watch the phone ring!
    Check out Insurancemailboxpower.com and see how you can stay top of mind with your clients and referral partners. Tell them Debbie DeChambeau sent you!
    ABOUT THE HOST
    This episode of the Business of Ins

    • 21 min
    Don't Be Fooled By Entity Structures

    Don't Be Fooled By Entity Structures

    SET UP YOUR BUSINESS PROPERLY EP 65 - Today’s episode is one of several episodes about how to get started in business.
    Some of you might be working for someone now and thinking about going off on your own and some of you might just be entering the industry and doing so as an independent. If you are in either of these two categories or if you are someone that works with agents that are working independently, this episode is for you. 
    I started in this industry on the property and casualty side and quickly moved into commercial insurance when I started. Working with my dad, his personal lines clients were all starting their own businesses and they came to him for advice. We basically learned as we went along what we needed to do to help them. Fast forward 30 plus years, I’ve had many years of educating business owners about getting started.
    When I first started in sales, I got involved in teaching insurance to a local SCORE chapter. If you aren’t familiar with SCORE, it’s called Service Corp of Retired Executives. It’s a division of SBA, the small business administration which is a wealth of information for business owners, new and experienced. If you aren’t familiar with them, go to sba.gov to learn more.
    In this particular SCORE chapter, they did a 3 hour program for new business owners. The first hour was on accounting with a local CPA, the second hour was was legal, taught by a business attorney and the third hour was insurance, taught by yours truly!  The legal was mostly entity structures and contracts.  Since I went last, I always heard the lawyer’s presentation which is how I learned so much!
    Fast forward 20 years, I started volunteering with the Maryland Women’s Business Center and taught a class called The ABC’s of Starting a Business. This class was 4 hours and went over why businesses fail, entity structures and then the next steps to get started in business. 
    I taught this program for over 5 years. It was my ‘give back’ to the business community. I believe I educated over 500 new business owners in this program. The Women’s Business Center is also a division of SBA, like SCORE, so we have to work within their guidelines.  
    Today I’m sharing a segment of that class, on entity structures. I see so many agents asking about them in the different groups I’m in and I want to clarify things about these entity structures that is essential to understand, especially if you are thinking about going the DIY route. I don’t recommend DIYing this important segment of starting your business, but some people just want to save a few dollars and don’t care about the rest. 
    Before getting started, my advice to people is to always talk to both your CPA and your attorney. 
    Why? - Your situation is different than mine as is your risk tolerance. I can’t tell you what is right for you because I don’t know your situation. So when you take advice from someone in a FB group or a stranger, you are creating potential problems for yourself! Your CPA can guide you better from a tax perspective. Understanding if it makes sense financially to set up one of these entities and getting guidance on how to do it properly from a tax perspective. Make sure your CPA has experience dealing with business owners as well. Some CPAs just do taxes or audits and aren’t up on all the issues relating to business owners. You attorney will guide you from a legal perspective. Understanding the risks involved and how to create the proper documents, how to sign your contracts, how to handle multi states. All of these are essential if you are going to be in business for yourself. Make sure your attorney is a business attorney, not a criminal, divorce or personal injury attorney. Just like with the CPA, you want an attorney that focuses on working with business owners because they are usually more on top of the current laws around business owners and doing things properly. When I started in the business back in th

    • 14 min
    Risk Management Basics

    Risk Management Basics

    SMALL THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
    EP 64 - Todays episode was inspired by a recent CE class on Ethics. There were many great ideas shared, in a boring ethics class, but the tips I'm sharing today were from the discussion. 
    There was actually a list of 50 risk management tips and I've taken 10 of them and offered my thoughts on them from my own experience in the industry.
    States didn't always require ethics, it's only been a requirement for about 20 years. When I first entered the busines we didn’t have to take ethics. It’s a good refresher but it can also be boring! 
    I’ve titled this episode Risk Management Basics because you might find these ideas fairly basic. The reality is, someone new might not even know these things and a few of them it might take a few years before someone figures them out.
    Personally, I think they are essential, so if you are new, figure out how to incorporate them into your business and if you aren’t doing these things as an experienced agent, now might be a good time to start!
    Maintain All Licenses Understand the value of professional development Don’t promise more than you can deliver Verify Fax Transmissions Use Coverage Checklists Use Standardized proposals Checkall policies and endorsement for accuracy Document coverage rejections Avoid giving recorded statements Fire Bad Clients CHECK OUT OUR SPONSOR: insurancemailboxpower.com
    This is a mailing service I’ve been using for over a year now and I love them. 
    I send all of my birthday cards, thank you cards and marketing post cards from this platform. 
    My birthday cards are automated. I set it and forget it. The only thing I have to do when I add someone new is to put them into the automation series and the rest is done for me!
    I have marketing mailings scheduled for several months. I blocked out two days to set everything up and now I just watch the phone ring!
    Check out Insurancemailboxpower.com and see how you can stay top of mind with your clients and referral partners. Tell them Debbie DeChambeau sent you!
    ABOUT THE HOST
    This episode of the Business of Insurance podcast is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA - an entrepreneur, business advisor, insurance professional  and content creator. Her goal is to inspire you to think differently and explore ideas that disrupt the status quo. 
    Debbie has an extensive business and marketing background with a focus of helping insurance professionals be more successful. 
    She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and produces two other podcasts, Divorce Exposed and Seniors We Love. 
     Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.  

    • 20 min
    Making An Impact

    Making An Impact

    THERE IS MORE TO THIS INDUSTRY THAN MAKING MONEY
    EP 63 - Like teachers, social workers and doctors and nurses, you have the power to make a difference.
    This episode provides three examples of how people have benefited from having a solid insurance policy and an agent that will works for them. It also talks about a few situations where agents need to do a little more to protect the people they serve.
    CHECK OUT OUR SPONSOR: insurancemailboxpower.com
    This is a mailing service I’ve been using for over a year now and I love them. 
    I send all of my birthday cards, thank you cards and marketing post cards from this platform. 
    My birthday cards are automated. I set it and forget it. The only thing I have to do when I add someone new is to put them into the automation series and the rest is done for me!
    I have marketing mailings scheduled for several months. I blocked out two days to set everything up and now I just watch the phone ring!
    Check out Insurancemailboxpower.com and see how you can stay top of mind with your clients and referral partners. Tell them Debbie DeChambeau sent you!
    ABOUT THE HOST
    This episode of the Business of Insurance podcast is produced and hosted by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA - an entrepreneur, business advisor, insurance professional  and content creator. Her goal is to inspire you to think differently and explore ideas that disrupt the status quo. 
    Debbie has an extensive business and marketing background with a focus of helping insurance professionals be more successful. 
    She is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and produces two other podcasts, Divorce Exposed and Seniors We Love. 
     Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.  
     

    • 11 min
    Continuing Education Thoughts

    Continuing Education Thoughts

    STAYING FOCUSED ON A MONITOR FOR 8 HOURS
    EP 62 - This episode is about getting CE credits
    As a CIC, we are required to do annual updates and the classes are usually a deep dive into a topic that you won’t find elsewhere. I’ve done updates every year since 1992. In 2012 I did an update and received a certificate that I had been a CIC for 20 years. To my surprise that meant that I only had to do my CIC update every other year now, instead of every year. 
    This created CE issues for me because I need 24 hours of CE’s a year in my state and since the CIC updates are only 16 hours, I’ve been scrambling for a few years  to get my 24 in the allotted time. In the past, I just did my update every year and there were my CE’s. I never thought twice about it. Over the past 10 years, I’ve found myself scrambling at the last minute!
    Before COVID they were all in person. 
    It was great, you could go to Florida for an update, make a vacation out of it, learn something new, meet some new people and it was an experience, not something that was dreaded.
    Not everyone likes to travel, or to be out of the office for a few days at a time, so many people do their updates close to home. After doing them for so many years, you get to know a lot of the attendees and it becomes a little like old home week! 
    I’ve seen people I worked with in the 80’s, 90’s and even people I coached in my business development groups in these updates. One of my earlier podcast guests, Laura Bianchini, was scheduled shortly after seeing her at a CIC update! Listen to episode 8 Finding Your Niche   for that conversation!
    In my area, we had one instructor, Jerry Milton, who was a mainstay. He told a lot of jokes and stories around insurance, keeping  us entertained as we talked about business auto exclusions (I know, boring right) or is it an inland marine or business auto exposure! Sadly we lost Jerry a few years ago just after his retirement, but for anyone who’s older listening to this and has taken a few CIC classes, will remember Jerry. RIP Jerry
    Over the years, the CIC society has updated things a little bit, taking them from 2 ½  days to 2 days but always in person.
    The classes usually start at 8:00 am and end at 5:15, allowing 10 minute breaks in between and also an extended lunch break because the hotel restaurants often had difficulty feeding 400 people in 60 minutes!.
    During the morning session and the afternoon session they send around a form to sign that you are there….if you miss signing the form, you don’t get credit, so everyone is always watching out for the form. You never know when it is going to be passed around.
    If you had to get up and take a phone call or use the rest room, you could. If you needed to be out for more than 10 minutes, often you could get an ok from the educational coordinator. Basically if you weren’t there, they didn’t notice it!
    Last week with COVID, I did my first virtual CIC update. It’s also about time for me to renew my state license, so I needed to get 24 hours of CE’s. (or so I thought, but I’ll elaborate on that later)
    Since CIC updates are only 16 hours, I needed two different classes. I decided to do a basic update on life and health, thinking it would be a refresher but hoping they would talk about a few topics that I’m not as confident about (annuities and LTC). I cleared my calendar, no appointments, nothing to do for 2 days but watch my computer monitor and listen to someone talking.
    First, I need to say that I don’t really watch TV, so watching my monitor for 8 hours a day felt a little challenging. When I’m working, I usually have 20 tabs open, looking up something I don’t know or doing some other type of research to get answers to my questions. The thought of sitting at my computer for 8 hours was concerning but I had to get the CE’s.
    What caught me by surprise was the pop up quizzes. The three pop up an hour quizzes that apparently if you miss one, y

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

daj420 ,

Great podcast for persons new to industry

As person new to the industry this podcast was clear and to the point. The information is great to use when preparing your business plan.

Lyd876854 ,

5 stars!

This podcast will give you many tips you can use to grow your agency!!

LoReese13 ,

Thank you Debbie!!

I just got into the insurance business and was looking for more resources. All of the information Debbie provides is relevant, practical, and useful. I feel a lot more prepared to make my impact on the insurance business after listening!

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