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2016: New Year, New Challenges

Certified financial planner Dave Evans gives independent insurance agents something to think about in his recent article in IA Magazine, “4 Independent Insurance Issues to Ponder for 2016.”

Driverless cars: We saw Marty McFly’s hovering skateboard realized in 2015, but what about another invention long relegated to science fiction? Well, the United Kingdom “announced it will allow driverless cars on some public roads starting in 2017,” and there are concerns that “driverless buses will eventually displace 10,000 public transit workers.” While there will still be plenty of cars with insurable drivers, “over time it’s possible that new vehicle auto insurance may not be a viable avenue for most agencies.”

“Fiduciary” standard: The Department of Labor’s standard may “significantly expand the number of advisers and brokers who will be considered fiduciaries in the context of investment advice.” Since this could result in greater remuneration for the adviser, it will be imperative to “put your client’s interests first.”

Online sales: “Independent agents need to harness the Internet to drive consumers to their websites, engage potential clients online and build [relationships].”

Work/life balance: Achieving balance is always challenging. Evans recommends doing some pleasure reading, particularly hockey champion Gordie Howe’s book, “Mr. Hockey: My Story.”

To read the full article, click here.