Exclusive considering Independant?

May 9, 2008

  1. Rhinoguy
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    Rhinoguy New Member

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    I am currently exclusive and considering going independant, has anyone done this, if so any regrets?
     
  2. Insurance Phoenix
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    Insurance Phoenix Super Genius

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    Did that exact thing last year. May 1 was my one year anniversary. No regrets. There are different challenges being independent, but being away from the corporate environment was worth it. How long have you been captive?
     
  3. Rhinoguy
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    Rhinoguy New Member

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    2 years, I have built to 1.1 million. I am just looking ahead and realizing that the extra 5% would be coming in handy. Which company were you at as an exclusive.
     
    Rhinoguy, May 12, 2008
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  4. Insurance Phoenix
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    Insurance Phoenix Super Genius

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    You put a good amount of premium on the books in two years. The learning curve as an independent included learning and understanding so many different websites, payment plans, carrier preferences, underwriting guides and who/where to seek assistance when needed. Having some variety to offer clients when shopping insurance is good. I would talk with carrier reps a couple months ahead of any plans to leave. Put ducks in a row, which I didn't do so well.
     
  5. BRIS
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    BRIS Expert

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    :)I have done the same about 7 years ago and would NEVER consider going back. I was a Allstate agent fo 10 years and the freedom of being independant is increadable! Of course the other side of the coin is you can't blam the company for problems...It's all on your sholders. Rates too high, claims not handled well, you picked the company, and the good thing is you hired 'em, you can fire 'em. You can get with someone else! Or a number of someoneelses!
     
    BRIS, May 23, 2008
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  6. Insurance Phoenix
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    Insurance Phoenix Super Genius

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    I've been on my own for a little over one year now and it's just really picking up steam big time. Sales as well as customer service, and referrals. I need to get my income up higher to justify and office and an office person. Home office has worked fine but I put in so many more hours doing it this way.
     
  7. pcguy
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    pcguy Expert

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    You mentioned that the extra 5% would be helpful but something to consider is that unless you're fairly confident that you can take the majority of the $1.1 million with you, you'll probably have a hard time attracting the carriers you'll need to remain competitive.

    In my area, the most competitive carriers want to see a substantial book of business before they'll give a new agency an appointment. You'll probably get appointments with a couple carriers but when you're former clients see the difference in premium, loyalty will fly out the door.

    The alternative would be to align yourself with a larger local broker and have them set you up as a sub. Just make sure contractually you own the business you bring in. The downside is, most brokers are going to keep a substantial % of the commission in return for access to their markets, ultimately netting you much less than the 10% you're currently making. But once you've put enough business in their quality carriers, you may be able to convince the competitive carriers to give you your own contract.

    Just my 2 cents, hope it offer some insight.
     
    pcguy, Jun 2, 2008
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  8. Beach Broker
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    Beach Broker Guest

    I have been an independent for six years, and I have several good friends who've been captive during that time.

    There are some significant cons to being captive which you're obviously familiar with.

    One of the biggest pros to being independent is the equity you build.

    I actually went through the process of leaving one agency and starting with another. It was a long, ugly, stressful process, but in the end it was DEFINITELY worth it.

    You do have to get your ducks in a row with carriers, that's the biggest challenge with starting out.

    Have you got carriers lined up, or an agency that will let you work with their carriers?

    Beach Broker
     
  9. Rhinoguy
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    Rhinoguy New Member

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    I have met with Grange, progressive, Donegal, and Liberty Mutual. All of these companies have verbally commited to an appointment. Meeting with Grange was incredible, they pay 15% on auto and 20% on home. A big difference from the 10% I currently make.
     
  10. Insurance Phoenix
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    Insurance Phoenix Super Genius

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    The captive carrier I was with forced several good agents out the door. They no longer wanted to work a bunch of evenings or sell life insurance. It was a shock to see them do what it took to get them to leave. They were good agents, by most accounts. But you cannot rest on your laurels with most carriers. They want more and more. Well, at some point you might want to enjoy the fruits and relax, travel. The company I was with they would find a way to get rid of you.
     
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