Insurance Industry Thriving

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 8:23pm

It may come as a surprise, but one south Louisiana industry is thriving, despite the puttering economy. FNBR’s Emily Turner take a closer look at insurance companies and what keeps them going strong.

An empty parking lot would normally be a concern to most businesses, but for insurance companies, a day without a steady stream of customers isn’t anything to be worried about.

Brandon Breaud, manager at Insurance Network of Louisiana, says “You’re always required to have insurance as long as you have a vehicle, house you have to have insurance.” Breaud says his insurance business is thriving even though right now he’s only getting 3-4 walk-ins a day. “We’re different from a retail store or a car dealership. If their sales stop then their income stops.”

But, Breaud doesn’t believe the insurance industry is completely immune from the economic downturn. With new home and automobile purchases slacking, he admits he’s seeing a decline in people wanting new policies. “An insurance policy is continuous, you buy it for six months or a year and you’re paying that monthly. It’s a recurring thing, so if we stopped writing new policies we’d still have that income.”

Without people trying to save whenever and wherever they can, Breaud claims the recession has, in a way, helped business. “A lot of people are shopping their own rates, so we are getting a lot of calls from people trying to save money looking to switch insurance companies.” Breaud says on any given day, his company receives hundreds of calls from people searching for a better deal.

Local insurance companies began seeing a rise in competition right after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike last September.