Farmers Insurance Retail Program

Jan 6, 2015

  1. dales769
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    dales769 New Member

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    Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this program??
     
  2. todd02
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    todd02 Guru

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    If you have experience and money its a good idea in the eastern US because our rates are crazy competitive. Plus they bonus a crazy amount of money.

    I think our new Head of Distribution Roy Smith has our ship heading in the right direction.

    That being said going indy is always preferred IF you have experience in the P&C business and know how to make it.
     
    todd02, Jan 6, 2015
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  3. No Limits
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    No Limits New Member

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    Get the details in writing. Farmers will have a contract of what is required by you, training offered, and guidelines. Check it out completely. Find a Farmers agent in your area.
     
  4. rollinghills
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    rollinghills New Member

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    Considering a move into Insurance. Sold real estate for years before jumping into the corporate world in sales / marketing and find myself at a new pivot point. I have no insurance experience and am currently considering Allstate and Farmers. What little I know of Farmers was that they had a bad rap in TN for putting an agent on every corner. Based on what I have seen, it looks like they have potentially moved past this and the new retail program looks like it could be lucrative. Yes - I know its captive. While on the surface I might prefer Indy, not knowing anything about the industry and liking the idea of training and rolling in under a company spending millions a year in advertising is big plus. I am also considering franchising, but the branded insurance offerings look like a good opportunity on the surface. Can anyone share any more thoughts on the Farmers retail program or the current state of Farmers vs. Allstate?
     
  5. insurance1822
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    insurance1822 Guru

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    They are both a horrifically stupid choice that you will regret. Run away as fast as you can.
     
  6. rollinghills
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    rollinghills New Member

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    Run to where? I have no desire to make $50k working for an Indy office building someone else's business and with no insurance experience, trying to open an indy office would be even more stupid. As a layman, I don't understand what is so wrong with the big guys. Based on the production and bonus numbers I've seen, they look like solid opportunities - especially the Farmers Retail program I just looked at. I get that your captive, but so are you if you buy into any franchise system in any industry. Starting fresh with indy might be ideal, but I'm not 22 anymore and have much higher earnings expectations. Show me a way to go indy and make $130k+ net year 2 or 3 with ownership in the value of the book and I'm all ears.
     
  7. myfakename
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    myfakename Super Genius

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    You can make 130k in 3-4 years if you work your ass off, but probably wont have any ownership unless you find an agency that is looking to sell to you in a few years.
     
  8. AZDave
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    AZDave Guru

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    It sounds like you have made up your mind with this decision. You will not find many on this forum that have any positives to share about Farmers or Allstate. Maybe Todd02 will chime in...

    Learning the business on Farmers dime can be quite beneficial and you may decide you actually like this business. If you do, you'll be back on here asking how to go indy!

    Best to you!
     
    AZDave, Nov 9, 2018
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  9. rollinghills
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    rollinghills New Member

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    Not at all, but based on what I have seen, I don't perceive the indy route to be viable for the level of income / ownership / support that I would expect early on. If I'm missing something please let me know. I already see many benefits to going indy, but for someone mid-career there just doesn't appear to be a good jumping in point. You are most likely correct that I will be asking exactly that question down the road as I can already see many advantages to the indy route. I have reached out to Erie to get more info on their program as I believe they may offer an indy conversion after a period of time, but still very early on in my research with them.

    What I was originally wanting more info on was the new Farmers Retail program. Appears they are potentially providing additional incentives and bonuses of $250k or more (uncapped) over the first 3-years. To me that seems incredibly strong and a powerful motivator. My understanding of the program is that it is based off of reasonable averages and expectations and not someone being in the top 10% of the industry. The program requires 1 licensed and appointed agency staff member in addition to the agency owner at appointment. The Allstate program that I am looking at requires 3 and they don't appear to offer the same heavy front loaded incentives that Farmers does. I am told that this program is relatively new - especially in my area. Still evaluating and doing my due diligence and appreciate the feedback and comments.
     
  10. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm not that familiar with the Farmers Retail program, so you'll have to make adjustments on what I'm about to say. My input is just generally how things work with Farmers (and most other opportunities).

    For the record, its almost impossible now to start out indy. To many people want to sign up, the carriers have gotten very picky, people went to 'groups' who now have also gotten very picky on who they bring in. It depends a lot on where you are, but to get appointments with companies like Travelers, Safeco, etc without experience and a proven track record is not very likely. Heck, in my area, even Progressive won't appoint new agents any longer (may have changed recently).

    With Farmers, what catches most people is the 'recruiter' speaks of these bonuses like they are a guarantee. Yeah, there are a bunch of caveats thrown in, but most people don't hear those or understand them. In essence, the bonus is usually a loan that has to be repaid, but if you make certain numbers, then the loan is 'waived' either totally or partially.

    So what happens is people miss the numbers, keeping in mind very few people brought in have any idea what they are doing, many new to sales and it takes to long for them to get in stride with what they need to do to get the numbers.

    Now they have a debt balance to the company, which is paid back a little at a time, but you are somewhat 'trapped' while you are paying all that money back. This is where I've seen a lot of agents experience go south.

    Also, Farmers disputes the use of the term, but in essence, you are a franchise of Farmers. This means you are independent, but have to abide by a lot of their rules to keep the 'franchise'. They control those and will change them from time to time. In this, I just mean how they measure performance or what commission rates they pay or what risks they will take, etc. You have little to no control over this. Okay, you don't as an independent agent either, except you could move business to another carrier.

    I'm not sure what state you are in, but most carriers when they enter a new state, set their rates low to buy market share. Then, as the losses start piling up, they jack up the rates, sometimes significantly, to trim the total risk back to acceptable levels. At the same time, they will frequently tighten up underwriting guidelines, making it harder to replace business you are losing to the higher rates.

    I personally know several extremely successful Farmers agents and I know many, many more that have been left on the side of the road. A lot struggle for years before either hitting a good stride or moving on.

    It can be a great learning opportunity. If you use it for this, watch out for the 'loans' that trap you in. It can be a decent career, but nothing in the agency world is what it was 10 to 15 years ago, pre internet shopping and binding. You have to find your niche and go after it with a passion.
     
    djs, Nov 9, 2018
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