I talk a lot about the importance of Referral Reward programs for generating insurance referrals!  And today I want to share a little bit more about them.  A referral program is very simple.  You’re simply rewarding a prospect or client for sending someone to your agency for a quote.  That’s it!  You can make them as complex as you’d like.

Ideas For Generating Insurance Referrals

generating insurance referrals ideasI’ve seen a LOT of different referral programs over the years.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Give client a $5 gas card for each quote they refer
  • Give a $5 Starbucks gift card with a “Thanks A Latte” note
  • Give a $10 gift card to a restaurant or retail store
  • Pay $20 cash!  (This one gets a LOT of response!  One agent told me it was one of his top ways to generate new business.)

On top of your reward, you can run a monthly (and even annual) contest.  Each time someone refers, you would send their reward PLUS enter their name into the hat for the contest prize.  Ideas for prizes?

  • Two tickets to the local movie theater
  • A $25 restaurant gift card
  • Spin a big wheel of prizes in the office and see what it lands on!
  • We used to give away an iPod shuffle (about $50) each month.  I don’t know that these are still popular, haha, but they were at that time.

Remember, the monthly reward only goes to the one person who wins the contest that month.  I’ve also seen agents enter names into an annual Grand Prize drawing for a TV or a $500 gift card.

The sky is really the limit here.  Think about what would get your clients excited!

Create A Flyer

Once you have the rewards sorted out, put all of the info into a simple one-page flyer.

Here are some places to put the flyer:

  • On each team member’s desk
  • Set up a Referral Table at the front of the office with information and your monthly drawing bowl if you have one.
  • Put copies in your Welcome packet
  • Make smaller versions on slips of brightly colored paper and include in each piece of mail you send out.
  • Put the details on your Facebook page.

This is one of those things that you’ve got to mention A LOT if you want it to work.  It can’t be a forgotten item on a desk if you want to get results.

When should your staff be mentioning Referral Rewards to clients?

  • At the sale – tell ALL new clients how it works.
  • Whenever they receive a compliment!  Happy customers refer more.
  • At annual reviews.
  • When they follow up with a customer after a claim (as long as the customer is satisfied!)


generating insurance referrals warningNow, I will throw a big WARNING in here.  Make sure that whatever you choose for your referral program is allowed by the state you are in!  You don’t want to be accused of rebating.  You should be able to look up rebating laws online at your state insurance department. 

Many that I have seen limit prizes to a cash value of under $20-$25.  Some only allow gift cards or have other stipulations.  Check out the rules so that you know what you’re working with.  (And don’t trust your marketing managers or other agents to know this.  I’ve seen so much wrong information get passed around.  Take the time to look it up!)

Most states do have a rule that you can NOT limit your rewards to only those people who buy a policy. 

“We’ll give you $10 if your friend buys their auto insurance with us!”  <—— Probably not allowed!

“We’ll give you $10 if your friend gets a quote (even if they don’t purchase a policy).”  <— Much better!

Once again, you’ll want to verify this with your state insurance department. 

Biggest Mistake?

So what is the BIGGEST mistake that I see in referral programs?  Not promoting it to the fullest potential!

If all you do is secretly hand out gift cards when someone happens to refer their best friend, you’re losing a TON of leads!

You need to be maximizing every bit of marketing potential in order to make it worth paying out those rewards.  Here are some ideas:

Post about it on social media at least once per week.  Make a great graphic and share it on all of your accounts (business and personal).  Plus have your staff share it too!

Mention it to everyone.  Over and over again!  Tell each phone call as you’re finishing up.  Something as simple as “Don’t forget we have a great referral program and send you a $5 Starbucks card every time you refer a friend for a quote.  We would really appreciate it!”

THANK your clients on social media.  Let’s say that Barbara sent her next door neighbor for a quote.  Why not send a thank you on Facebook and tag her?  (This works best if you are actively getting your clients to LIKE your agency page.)

“Thanks Barbara B. for sending Nancy for a quote!  We appreciate it and have sent you a gift in the mail as our way of saying thanks!” 

Take a photo of your monthly winner picking up their prize!  I LOVE this one.  It gives social proof that people are actually winning a prize and sending you referrals.  It makes the whole program look more exciting and legitimate. 

When someone wins just give them a call and ask them to stop by and pick up their gift in the next day or two.  And ask politely that they allow you to take their photo!  Then post it on your social media and save it for your email newsletter that month.

Which brings us to email newsletters…What an inexpensive way to reach hundreds of clients!  You need to be sending an email blast at least once per month.  One of my clients puts a short thank you with a list of everyone who gave a referral that month in the email.  You could also include your winners photo!  

Track it!  You should be doing this with everything, but makes sure you ASK where someone heard about you so you can track it year round.  See if you see a bump in your referral program.  It not, think of how to promote it more or make it more compelling.

Staff Incentives.  Get your staff on board!  Track their referrals and offer special contests like an afternoon off or a gift card for whoever gets the most referrals each month.

These are just a FEW ideas on how you can use Referral Rewards Programs to generate insurance referrals.  If you haven’t done it yet, I suggest you start organizing your program RIGHT NOW.  Need help?  Join Mega Posts and get access to ALL of our Referral training videos, flyer templates, social media images and more.  Get all the details here.  

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Robyn Sharp
Robyn Sharp

Robyn Sharp is an insurance marketing expert (and former agency owner). She specializes in Facebook content creation & marketing for P&C insurance agencies. Robyn has been a featured contributor to Exclusive Focus, PropertyCasualty360, IndependentAgent, and other insurance publications.

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