Matt Carlucci, Jr. and Joe Carlucci, II have deep roots in the insurance industry. Both their father and grandfather were captive insurance agents, paving the way for them to follow suit. Once the brothers were ready to build their own book of business, the captive insurance company they planned to work for stopped writing property coverage in Florida. They were determined to find a better way to offer coverage for their community in Jacksonville, Fla.
Discovering the Brightway difference
The Carlucci brothers discovered Brightway Insurance soon after the company got its start. They were impressed with Brightway’s relationships with multiple carriers and the after-the-sale support provided, which led them to open Brightway, The Carlucci Agency in March 2009.
“Servicing your book of customers, especially as an independent agent when you’re handling multiple renewals each year, makes it really difficult to grow and ensure you stay fully staffed,” said Matt. “Brightway takes all of that in stride and allows agents to do what we do best—build relationships with new customers. Brightway does a lot for their agents, and we don’t even see most of it. They really take the service side of the equation. That’s invaluable.”
A consultative approach
Since their agency opened, Matt, Joe and their agents have built lasting relationships with customers, due to their consultative nature when recommending customized policies to fit their needs. Instead of focusing on price, they emphasize quality more than anything, so customers can be covered should an emergency or inclement weather strike.
“A lot of insurance agents just quote based on price,” said Matt. “At Brightway, we really try to prioritize quality over price. I talk to my customers about quality coverage and quality carriers to make sure they will be taken care of.”
Florida has recently experienced challenges in the insurance market, with several carriers no longer writing policies in the state and customers experiencing premium increases. Matt and Joe’s customers are no exception and have been contacting them with questions.
Several of their customers are curious about switching policies or carriers to avoid premium increases, but Matt and Joe explain that may not be the best long-term solution. They continue to be transparent with customers, emphasizing that a lower initial premium could later mean a future price hike or cancellation if costly repairs or inspections are completed, or if issues are discovered after binding the policy. A minor premium increase from a quality carrier may feel detrimental in the short term, but it’s worth sticking with better coverage from a quality carrier in the long term.
“Our goal is to shift their focus from price to coverage, and from price to the quality of the carrier,” said Matt. “Quality coverage plus a quality carrier is what we strive to accomplish every single time.”
Over the past year, nearly 86% of their customers have renewed policies with The Carlucci Agency, thanks to their quality recommendations and service.
Words of wisdom for success
Matt and Joe stress that owning a franchise still requires lots of hard work and a consistent desire to learn. Having a solid knowledge of carriers and their guidelines helped them craft the consultative approach that won over many of their customers. Without this and hard work, they would not be able to provide the best coverage recommendations for their customers.
“When you write a policy for a customer, take it as seriously as if the customer will put in a claim the next day,” said Matt.
The Brightway Carriers Team also plays a large role in the learning process, ensuring agency owners and producers can familiarize themselves with carriers in the onboarding process and as updates and changes occur.
“We coordinate training for agents with carriers when a new carrier is appointed with us or when an existing carrier has something new to share,” said Melinda Kachelriess, Carrier Appointment Manager. “In our welcome email and throughout their training, we encourage our agents to get to know carriers by reaching out to their direct marketing contact or representatives to learn their offerings and underwriting guidelines. In addition, all carrier documents are shared with agents through our internal agency portal.”
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