Advice on Independent/cluster/MGA Options

Dec 3, 2016

  1. neb1970
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    neb1970 Expert

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    Hi everyone:

    Looking for some advice on which direction might be the best for my situation. I'm an eight year captive agent and looking to make a change to owning my own book. I've looked at the models for several cluster groups (Global Green, Iriquois, Smart Choice, etc) and seem to be more confused than when I started.

    Ideally I want to own 100% of my own book and be my own boss, but I don't think I can get solid appointments in the industry (or could I?) by not joining a cluster. I need to hit the ground running because after eight years as a captive, I've got to consistently making 150+ a year and while I understand it may take 1-2 years to get back to that level, I need to try and get back to there as quick as possible. My plan is to come out the first few months and sell a solid amount of P&C from my sources, but hit life insurance big premiums heavy the first few months to bring in more revenue early since my understanding is that those contracts are 75%+ of the premium?

    I want access to the best providers (Safeco, Travelers, Met Life, etc) in Texas, and I'm afraid if I go 100% solo that it'll be the groups like progressive, kemper, foremost that I'll be using for the first few years. I also worry about finding a solid AMS, as I plan on eventually bringing 1-2 other producers with me after the first 3-9 months.

    Has anyone made a similar switch and had to consider the same options? Would love to hear your thoughts on pros/cons. Anyone have any recommendations or point me in a good direction?

    Thanks.

    Neb
     
    neb1970, Dec 3, 2016
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  2. Schwetty
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    Schwetty Super Genius

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    Lots of options available. I went with a smaller group that operates only in the midwest as it was the best fit for me. Low buy in, good list of carriers, no buy out, etc

    What state are you in?
     
  3. Kingstoninsuran
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    Kingstoninsuran New Member

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    For P&C carrier access PGI based in Denver they are the best all around! PM me for info. I have a question for you, what would you suggest for Group Health and Life. Where to start and how are commissions paid etc. New to that side of the Ins. business. I was told to contact Benefit Mall?!?!? It would be both large and small group health I'm looking for.
     
  4. neb1970
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    neb1970 Expert

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    I am in Texas. Your group in Texas?
     
    neb1970, Dec 8, 2016
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  5. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    Before you make any selection on a group, make sure to read the contract. They are not all the same.
     
  6. Schwetty
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    Schwetty Super Genius

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    No they don't operate in Texas, but I'm sure you can find another good option.

    Have you checked AgencyEquity.com? they will have a big list of options by state
     
  7. Gulliver
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    Gulliver Super Genius

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    Try TWFG in Texas. Also PGI in Denver as a previous poster suggested.

    gulliver
     
    Gulliver, Dec 15, 2016
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  8. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    Let me point out a few things.


    VOlAgent is correct, Read the contracts. Ask for more. Take a few groups with you to the finish line. Write a Killer Business plan and Leverage that- have it say more than, "I will market to my community and get leads by Word of mouth and social media"

    Groups are NOT created equal in ANY way What so ever!

    I read about the small group in the mid west. Consider this....


    They vary from Good Better best.

    But you have to know that most groups spring up in an agency owners mind as the next frontier to his operation. And that simply is not so. or at least it simply is not executed well. The Model of aggregation or Groups is completely different from agency ownership and therefore should be created and managed differently. Little groups here and there are often an agency owner thinking that the next frontier to his 5m agency is a cluster or a group or an aggregator. They often stumble around in it for a time, messing up a lot of peoples lives.

    Pay close attention to the Groups you court. Where did they come from? Who Manages it? What are the agents saying? What are the agents saying that left the group?

    Again- Groups deliver four things: Transparency, Carrier access (Or Alignment to carriers needed as dictated by your business Plan), Training and support, and a killer contract.


    Too many little groups get you access to a ""house code" slap you on the butt and send you on your way.....Not what you want.
     
  9. marindependent
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    marindependent Guru

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    Do your homework
    Read the contracts
    Ask and interview people both recommended and not recommended by the cluster that you are considering
    Create a good solid budget
    Learn how to use the internet to market
     
  10. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    While you don't want to get lost in the woods, little things do matter.

    One group I was looking at, I called every agent in the state with them. Not a single one answered or returned a phone call. Not one. Granted, it was maybe 5, but you would think at least one would answer or return a message.

    To me, that didn't say much about the group.
     
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