Supporting your insurance agency's trucking clients
Does your insurance agency serve clients in the trucking and transportation industries? If you do, then you know how vital trucking is to absolutely every aspect of daily American life. Everything from food and gasoline, to cash at the bank, to the infinite world of products you can access through online shopping depends on trucks to get to consumers.
Trucks and truckers are responsible for keeping products on the shelves across the U.S. and the world, so it’s a big deal when changes impact their ability to deliver cargo.
Unfortunately, supply chain disruptions have become more commonplace since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. So much so that it’s even been coined “The Great Supply Chain Disruption.” Trade disputes and conflict can cause supply chain disruptions, for example, trade disputes between the U.S. and China and the war in Ukraine. Regardless of the reason, average Americans have become more aware of the importance of the global supply chain and how it impacts their lives.
As an insurance agent or agency owner, you may have been spared some of the supply chain pain since your business sells services and intangible products. Selling insurance policies and risk advisory services doesn’t depend on parts coming from overseas. Your clients, on the other hand, have likely been impacted—and none more so than those in trucking.
Supply chain disruptions in a global world
The supply chains of today’s digital age are more complicated and globalized than at any time in history. Technological advancements promise to create unprecedented efficiency gains within these supply chains. While there are plenty of advantages to this evolution, the downside of more complex and global supply chains is that local events can have a ripple effect on a global scale.
Historically, a drought, flood, fire, or other extreme weather events in a region may have impacted only the closest surrounding states or countries. In recent years, we’ve seen several examples of regional issues impacting global supply chains. If smaller regional events are enough to impact the global supply chain, it’s not surprising that the effects of a truly global event such as the COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruptions.
How do supply chain disruptions impact the trucking industry?
The trucking industry in the U.S. employs nearly eight million people both as drivers and in supporting roles. When all is running smoothly, these truckers and other transportation industry workers facilitate the efficient movement of materials and goods from one side of the country to the other.
When the supply chain experiences disruptions, transportation companies may not have enough demand to keep their entire workforce employed. Supply chain disruptions can cause prices to rise, which in turn can cause trucking companies to reduce routes and lay off employees.
Further complicating the picture is the years-long trucker shortage which was exacerbated by COVID-19. The lack of available drivers caused supply chain disruption even when there were goods available to ship.
Simply put, a healthy supply chain fuels a healthy trucking industry—and vice versa. The recent trucker shortages and disrupted supply chains have created a perfect storm, making business extremely challenging for those in the trucking industry.
How can insurance agents help trucking clients deal with supply chain changes?
As an insurance agent, you can’t magically solve the world’s supply chain problems. You can’t single-handedly solve your client’s driver shortages either. So, what can you do to help?
- Recommend insurance products that will compensate your clients for losses caused by supply chain issues, like business owners’ and errors and omissions insurance.
- Help your clients reduce risks so they can avoid costly losses from eating away at their already-slim margins.
- Advise your clients on the best employee benefit plans to help them attract and retain drivers and other transportation industry employees while keeping costs under control.
While your job in insurance may be a far cry from driving a big rig across the country, you can still play a large role in your clients’ success and profitability.
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