Platt Insurance to Go Independent in July
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Since 2017, Platt Insurance Group, a nine-year-old Nationwide agency, has tripled its revenues, grown to 12 employees from four and added four office locations, largely through strategic acquisition.
With much effort spent on managing and retaining so many new clients in a short amount of time, the focus this year for owner Ellie Platt and her team is on strategically organizing the business for long-term growth.
One major step is a planned transition in July to an independent agency.
“Nationwide has been great to us and will continue to be one of our primary carriers, but they’re shifting to an independent-agent model that complements our growth plans and service model,” Platt says. “We’ll have more than one tool in our toolbox.”
As an independent agency, Platt says, clients who want to retain their Nationwide policies can do so.
When rates or coverages change, clients will have the flexibility to shop other carriers or fill insurance gaps while keeping the same agency relationship. The change applies to all the lines Platt carries, including home, auto, life, business, Medicare and farm.
Platt’s plans include consolidating to three offices and adding two members to the sales team. She’s projecting a 15% increase in revenues this year.
Platt covers the expenses for agents to pursue advanced credentials in the insurance field, allows paid time off for volunteering and matches employees’ donations to nonprofits.
“We’re trying to create a culture that’s both fun and profitable for the employees,” she says.
As a byproduct of her recent growth, Platt is able to employ specialists in insurance disciplines such as farm, Medicare and life insurance, as well as business insurance and financial planning, which she sees as a competitive advantage.
Another growth initiative involves becoming a digital agency.
“We are focusing on adding technology and offering our clients more options for how they do business with us,” Platt says.
Every computer has a webcam, enabling the team to video chat with clients and even send video proposals. Further, a new online client management system made its debut in January. And in the third quarter, a mobile app will be introduced to better serve the agency’s more tech-savvy policyholders, Platt says.
With all the major changes planned, she will also be rebranding the agency, and she’s working with local creative talent on it.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.