Captive to Independent....

Dec 15, 2018

  1. Weedlebug
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    Weedlebug Expert

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    Wanting, no needing, to break away from my Captive agent to become an Independent agent. I would like input on groups to partners with: clusters, MMA's, GA's.....

    I have 10 years in P&C with some life. I have a direct market that I have never tapped into with a great referral stream. So I would want as much access to the carriers as I can get, Direct Access. I understand that is not possible for some companies.

    I know you can not share the contract details, but how about the good, bad and ugly.

    I am looking for a partnership with comes with benefits...:wubclub: and training support...:noteworthy:

    Lets chat how you'll did it and what you would recommend....
     
  2. Markthebroker
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    Basically that's what I did, except I only had about 10 months at State Farm, but i had about 10 yrs of b2b sales and some business ownership before that, so I was a good candidate. Almost every independent agency I interviewed with offered my a position. It should be even better for you.

    Remember, you are bringing a lot to the table. You already nailed it, training and support are the two big things you should be negotiating for. As you know, you could drown in servicing if you don't have good support. With your background, just about any agency should give you a shot. Commercial is where the money and the future are, but there is a much sharper learning curve, but it's worth it. You've got a LOT of learning to do going indi. Start as an employee/agent/independent contractor in an agency that can give you lots of training. I've been doing commercial for 7 years, and I am good at it, but every week at a minimum I learn something new.
     
  3. Weedlebug
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    Mark,

    I'm used to doing all my underwriting and servicing on my own, that's not an issue.

    Working as a captive agent, we are spoiled. They provide the quoting and managing aspects of the business. Going independent, now I have purchase these items.

    I want to be independent, but not sure if I want a general agency or a group.

    I would love to branch out into commercisl more, it's always a potential when doing P&C.

    .
     
  4. Markthebroker
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    Ohhh boy.

    First off you may know how to underwrite and service on the captive side, but you will now need to know how to underwrite with several different new carriers on the indi side. It absolutely is an issue. You will need to learn.

    If you plan on servicing, then don't expect to succeed in sales or make any money. Spending time servicing will take you away from selling.

    Uhhh, incorrect. If by "independent" you mean start your own agency, which is a terrible idea, then that is correct.

    General agency? You mean a brokerage house? You should go work for a brokerage house to learn the business.

    If by saying "I want to be independent" and "find a general agency" you mean you want to start off as your own agency? That's a terrible idea. You have already demonstrated that you have no idea what you need, or how it will work. Your statements and ideas of what you want to do, and how you want to do it are completely mixed up, conflicting and convoluted. That's not a bad thing, that were we all start, but that's where you are.

    You're right, it's always a potential. It's a potential if you want to make real money and still be in business in 10 years. Otherwise you can stay in personal and watch new direct writers (lemonade, esurance, geico, etc. etc.) continue to pop up and take the market and suffocate the personal lines agents.
     
  5. Weedlebug
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    Mark,

    This is why I started the thread. I need different point of views to make sure I'm on track with the way I want to go.

    Most of everyone has some good insight, including you, who I have been following for a while.

    Even though I'm captive, the agency writes with multiple carriers.

    The decision process is slow and tedious.

    Then my brother called me up to tell me hes thinking of buying another captive agency....:arghh::arghh:
     
  6. Markthebroker
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    Go indi, then go commercial. That's where it's at. It's a long road, but boy there is a big pot of gold at the end. I'm not even 40 yet and I doubt I'll ever work more than 20 or 25 hours a week unless I want to, for some reason other than money.

    I've met plenty of captive agents saying they wish they had gone indi. I've only once met an indi agent that went to captive. I've never met an indi agent that went commercial and regretted it, but most indi agents I've met that aren't commercial, wish they were more commercial, or all commercial, they just either can't figure out how to get in, or recoiled from the learning curve. The fact is too, some people aren't cut out for dealing with business owners. For me, it's all I know how to do.

    You are captive, but write multiple lines. So I am guessing you are Allstate, or more likely Farmers with an old contract?
     
  7. Weedlebug
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    Mark,

    Your smart for not be 40 yet ;)

    I would like to transition into commercial, but still have P&C.

    Like I said, I have no problem sell and servicing. I've been doing it for almost 10 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  8. Markthebroker
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    Ah, you just reminded me, I wanted to go stealth on my profile. I just removed that :).

    Cluster is the term generally used.

    Psychologically and emotionally, COMPLETELY stopping selling personal was one of the hardest parts. Turning away business, boy, that was tough. Now I send it to captive agents, giving away $500, $1,000, $2,000 accounts. Then they send me accounts.

    My average client across the board is just under $10,000, and each year it gets bigger. So, I am happy to turn away personal. On top of commercial accounts being bigger, higher retention, easier to service, they also have the potential to grow a lot. My oldest commercial client started out as a $1,800 policy. Now they are around $50,000. Started out as just a flower shop. Who would have guessed.

    I have an account that will probably be a six figure account in 2019. When I wrote it 2 years ago, it was a $750 account. Not only does that not happen in personal lines, if I were still selling personal lines, it would get in the way of these accounts I am writing.
     
  9. Weedlebug
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    Mark,

    Done.

    Sounds like a dream.

    My main thought with this thread is to discuss the thoughts on the different options to go Indy besides the normal rant of setting up business.

    I've enjoyed your post and look forward to the discussions....
     
  10. Markthebroker
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    It's a lot riskier and more stressful if you start your own agency. You have to worry about a lot more than gaining and keeping clients. I suggest, for anyone, go as an indi agent first.
     
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