Acme Insurance, Inc.
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The original incarnation of Acme Insurance was created as a sole proprietorship in 1938. Four generations of Smiths have worked at Acme. Acme has built a loyal customer base selling primarily life and general insurance that includes auto insurance as well as packages for small businesses. The business has done well over the years, but the current principals desire to take Acme to the next level. The basic market need is a comprehensive insurance brokerage that has developed clear lines of communication with the client. With better communication, Acme will be able to offer better value to our customers by addressing their true needs. The need to establish close, effective relationships with clients is a priority at Acme and a competitive edge.
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Having operated in the same town for over 64 years, Acme has developed good information about the common attributes of the most prized and loyal customers. This information will be leveraged to continually collect information about the customers in the "holy grail" of better serving them, meeting their specific needs, and learning the most efficient and effective means of communicating with them.
|Lower Income Families||8%||8,044||8,688||9,383||10,134||10,945||8.00%|
The profile for Acme Insurance's customer consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors:
Acme Insurance is providing their customers with a personalized, close communication advising/brokerage relationship for insurance products. Acme seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.
The past few years have seen tremendous upheaval in the insurance industry. The number of players has decreased in both the broker and company communities. The automobile product has, in the mind of the public, become unaffordable, unavailable, and impossible to understand. The recession has curtailed insured from properly maintaining their homes and automobiles, and to exacerbate the situation, many clients have turned to wood heat and started doing their own repairs and maintenance that may have increased the number and severity of claims. Insurance fraud has become a major issue for the entire insurance industry.
The traditional close relationship with our companies has been strained. Brokers are concerned that in spite of commission reductions, quotas, contract cancellations, and refusal to write new auto business in some markets, they now may find themselves in competition with some of the traditional broker distribution companies that are setting up direct marketing facilities and branches. The banks, even though thwarted by the federal government in its last budget to retail insurance from their premises, will continue pressure on the government and now have announced they will open stand alone insurance offices to retail insurance.
In spite of the above, Acme believes that the independent broker will survive. Acme is more automated than most service industries. Acme is closer to the customer, regardless of some insurance companies' attempts to sever the traditional broker-client relationship. The clients, in most cases, still do not care or know which company Acme places them with. They trust our judgment in selecting the proper coverage and company for them.
The new federal government is close to adopting a new automobile contract that hopefully will make it affordable, understandable, and available to the clients. A profitable automobile product will entice the companies to aggressively seek new sales and more brokers will see companies offering contracts.
Upload/download capabilities are in many broker's offices, including our own. This will cut costs, improve efficiency and accuracy, and help us meet the competition from banks and direct writers. Companies that truly value and trust the broker distribution system will align themselves with professional brokers and grant more underwriting authority similar to Lloyds.
In 2001, the national insurance market was a $43 billion industry. Insurance sales are forecasted to grow at 6% for the next four years. Insurance is a part of life in the Canada. Some insurance is required such as automobile. Other insurance such as life and home is not required but is a very sensible way of reducing risk. Within Canada, 87% of the population have some form of insurance. Because of the large rate of adoption and its mandatory nature in some segments, the insurance industry will be a growth industry for years to come.
The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company and describes the opportunities and threats facing Acme Insurance.
Competition is found in five forms: local indeendent brokers, agents, mass market providers, mass merchandise programs and group plans.
Local Independent Brokers
Agents (such as Co-operators)
Mass Market Providers
Mass merchandise programs heavily advertised over the radio such as "Gray Power."
Group Plans - Teachers, Public Employees
Acme Insurance is committed to providing professional sales and service for its insurance customers. Acme has established what they consider to be an excellent reputation in our area, and are the largest multi-line insurance broker in our trading area.
Acme Insurance provides home, automobile, and business insurance in the Smalltown district. Acme takes pride in knowing that for over 50 years they have helped clients to find the best coverage at the right price that suits their needs and expectations. In the event of a claim, the clients know that Acme is there to provide help and counsel to ensure a fast, speedy claim settlement.
Like other independent brokers, Acme issues binders and new policies, endorsements and process renewals.
Acme has stressed to the insured the importance of good communication between the broker and client to insure proper coverage is in place. Acme has noticed as the clients become better informed about insurance that there has been a tremendous increase in clients wishing in-depth discussions about their policy coverage and how they can get the most value for their insurance dollar.
Acme also provides insurance services to non-clients, such as lawyers and mortgages, to ensure the mutual clients have proper coverage and binding notes in place for the purchase of homes, businesses, and automobiles.
Acme believes the keys to success in a small town insurance business are:
Acme Insurance is an established, family business that is pursuing new growth strategies. The critical issues that we face are:
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