Associate Agent with Nationwide--UNHAPPY

May 1, 2016

  1. insurancechic127
    Offline

    insurancechic127 Expert

    Posts:
    42
    Likes Received:
    16
    State:
    Rhode Island
    Hi everyone,

    I posted in another thread about the same thing...I'm a veteran sales producer. Spent 15 long years building a book of business with Aflac...took a BIG hit in 2008 and lost a lot of my book, but am still collecting some modest renewals.

    I probably jumped at my current job too quickly. I was desparate and itching to get AWAY from Aflac (their business model changed and the focus now is recruit, recruit, recruit. Hire anyone with a license, and who cares if we lose them 3 group later...kind of the 'Amway model', as I like to call it--yuck.)

    A small, local Nationwide agency was advertising for a commercial agent. I interviewed and they hired me immediately. Sent me to P&C school, paid for my test, (passed first time.) and my license.. I get a MODEST base that goes down every year, as i build my renewals.

    Here are the problems:

    1. Nationwide's appetite for commercial is very limited. They seem scared to get into a lot of industries. I DO have something called "Nationwide Brokerage Solutions" where i can place groups that NW turns down, but the prices are always sky high, and turn off the client. So 40% or more of the contacts I'm making, and appointments I'm setting are eventually turned down. Frustrating.

    2. Commissions. They're LOW. 14%, half of which I have to give to the agency.

    3. This is a small agency; they are located in the middle of a crowded, mixed-use neighborhood. Their bread-and-butter is Personal Lines. People come in every day to pay their car insurance in cash. I'm like the red-headed stepchild in the office...the CSR's are focused on current business, and NOT anything I"m doing.

    4. I don't keep my book. Again..I'm not vested and can't hope to be. I don't know if this is typical for P and C. If so, then it's not for me. I'm working my tail off and closing 2 groups a week (averaging about $10K for most weeks, some others lower.) The Principal Agent loves my production, but he's young and rather cold and distant.

    5. No one in the office can sell or is even remotely interested in what I'm doing except the Principal, and that's only because I"m growing HIS future renewals.

    Sigh.

    What should I do? The pace of this place is depressing and I'm not happy. I can sell and am not afraid to telemarket, door-knock, use social media, network, ask for referrals, etc. I'm a heavy hitter, and even though my peak already came and went, I'm not ready to call it quits yet.

    At 54, I've got another 15 or so years left to work, and I want to make them COUNT.

    Any advice? The 'not keeping my book' part is what's killing me, along with how LOW the commissions are.

    Nationwide's ok, I guess...but I keep thinking i should have gone with an independent that would have more competitive offerings. And that I should have considered 'no vesting' before I accepted this position.

    Thanks again,

    -The Chic who sells insurance;)
     
  2. indienoise
    Offline

    indienoise Guru

    Posts:
    977
    Likes Received:
    32
    State:
    South Carolina
    I was an associate agent for a couple of years - my split was better but I operated a satellite location I ran on my own, so that stood to reason. Problem with NBS is the principal doesn't own that book either, so he can't offer you vesting. Any nationwide business, he can if he wants - NW has a suggested guidelines for the three party agreement, but it's not the same from one agency to the next - I had a sort of vesting termed "extended earnings" in my contract, had I stayed.
    You're right, Nationwide is great for personal lines but they do have CL classes they are competitive on - you just have to find and stick with them. Not only are brokerage commission sucky, they are painfully slow as well if it's not a DIY market. I feel your pain there.
    I would look into producing for an IA where you can get the markets you need and can negotiate vesting into your contract. ESPECIALLY if you're focused on CL, you need to be indy.

    On the flip side, if you stay, get your principal to get appoinylted to some commercial brokerages. He can do that if he really wants to, and it will put you in a better position.
     
  3. cottonland
    Offline

    cottonland Super Genius

    Posts:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    State:
    Arkansas
    Where are you located?? I would suggest finding an IA and approach them under the premise of some type of ownership in your book. Your book belongs to Nationwide.

    If you were in my area, i would bring you on as a producer, handle the service on your book, and provide you with other markets in addition to Nationwide, since i have a contract with them as well. I would allow you to own your book or a portion of it depending on the specific arrangement.
     
  4. insurancechic127
    Offline

    insurancechic127 Expert

    Posts:
    42
    Likes Received:
    16
    State:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks to both of you for your responses. Going with an indy is one of the options I'm seriously considering.

    Anyone heard of Iroroquois Insurance? They help you get appointed as your own agency, or something like that. Don't know much about them.
     
  5. Derrick
    Offline

    Derrick Super Genius

    Posts:
    176
    Likes Received:
    2
    State:
    Michigan
    I went from captive to independent. I think that is what many people do. I do not own my own agency yet, but I would produce under an IA that has access to regionals that may take years, if ever, to get appointed with.

    With places like Iriquois, you're going to get access to what everyone is able to write. Doesn't mean that's bad, but regionals seem to understand (and price) their markets so much more competitively than your national insurance companies, particularly in the preferred market.
     
    Derrick, May 2, 2016
    #5
  6. shawnmwalker
    Offline

    shawnmwalker Guru

    Posts:
    896
    Likes Received:
    38
    Give me a Call Chic who Sells Insurance. It is time to show you independence, agency ownership....
     
  7. indienoise
    Offline

    indienoise Guru

    Posts:
    977
    Likes Received:
    32
    State:
    South Carolina
    Regional carriers can be both a blessing and a curse. They have more competitive pricing in most cases but the trade-off is nitpicky underwriting guidelines. A well rounded agency should have both regional and national carriers.
    But if your focus will be commercial, that's a whole other thing that I can't offer advice on. If you choose to join a group make sure both your short-term and long-term interests are well-served and you have a sound exit strategy. You may not ever end up leaving your group but you need to know what will happen if you do and what steps you need to take in that event. Don't end up in the same position you are now with Nationwide and not truly owning your book if it comes down to that.
     
  8. insurancechic127
    Offline

    insurancechic127 Expert

    Posts:
    42
    Likes Received:
    16
    State:
    Rhode Island
    Okay, so this is where I now show my ignorance...(I'm only 7 months into P&C)...what is a "regional" vs. a "national" carrier?

    Hope this question doesn't net me snarky responses...pls educate me anyone.

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!:yes:
     
  9. indienoise
    Offline

    indienoise Guru

    Posts:
    977
    Likes Received:
    32
    State:
    South Carolina
    A National carrier would be one like Nationwide (Allied), Travelers, Safeco - one that operates in most or all states.
    A regional carrier might do business in one state, or a handful, or maybe 20 or 30 if they're huge. More well-known regionals would be Erie, Auto Owners, State Auto, Donegal, etc. My regional standard/preferred carrier in my office does business in 7 states here in the southeast.
     
  10. PhilL
    Offline

    PhilL Guru

    Posts:
    319
    Likes Received:
    17
    State:
    Florida
    InsuranceChic, I would be glad to talk to you about some possible options. I work with agents who are in your situation, trying to decide what are some of their best alternatives. I can be reached through my website listed below.
    Hope to talk soon.




     
    PhilL, May 4, 2016
    #10
Loading...