Wasn't it only a couple of years ago Tom Wilson said ALL needed to raise insurance premiums to become more profitable and now he is saying ALL needs to reduce them to stop the policy cancellations. Most other insurance companies seem to be doing just fine. Insurance is a complicated business but can it be that complicated? Are there any insurance agents on this board that would like to explain what they think of ALL moves?
The company is going to price it's products to make an underwriting profit and in doing so in a very competitive market is losing clients. Those auto customers now being attracted are shopper's and will change companies as rates change. The company has lost agent locations in the past three years and this has impacted production. The plan of bigger but fewer agencies has not resulted in overall increased production.Another shoe waiting to drop is the new compensation plan to be implemented Jan 2013, where agents will see a decrease in compensation if they do not hit production requirements. I believe this will result in a the continued exodus of agents as they become unable to operate thier agencies with the decrease in revenue. When this agencies leave so do a percentage of the clients, just a natural result of a change. Some of the agents will remain in the business and after a year's non-compete will solict their former clients. This all does not bode well for the company.
To Date Wilson has attempted to reinvented, never reingivorate or energize, a proven successful business model with processes loaded with divirginary tactics to camaflouge his ineptness in managing the business he was entrusted with.
Raising rates in a competitive market place will thrill and apease stockholders in the short term; but will cause a customer rush to the exit and out the doors by those hit with the consistently higher prices faster than a fire in a crowded venue and the first persons out the door will be those cautionary folks that are the best customers and that experience will create an atmosphere that will poison their relationship with the company for many years.
Consistency in the market place has been lacking at this company since the introduction of Parts and Labor, an Actuarial Rating System that even those who administer it don't fully understand, and Financial Products with no specific instruction and training on market based products.
The Company's frequent rate activity has driven away the cream and their current marketing approach will only attract the frequent flyers who will change companies for pennies on the dollar. That approach adds little value and increased expense.
This Cash Cow has under performed since the Sears Retreads took over in 1995.