Going Independent...Too risky for a newbie??

Jul 8, 2008

  1. MShaw82
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    MShaw82 New Member

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    I am thinking of becoming an independent agent. I would like to start out selling primarily P&C while cross selling life and fixed annuities and referring any health business to another agent. I also have the ability to refer any complex financial planning cases to a family member who has been in the business for 15 years while receiving referrals from his clients for any P&C needs.

    I was curious as to what anyone may think are some of the real big issues/stumbling blocks in getting this business started for someone without much P&C experience? Also, what do you think are the most effective marketing strategies for acquiring new business? And lastly, would it be wise to to focus on one kind of insurance initially?

    Any information, ideas, and insight will help. Thanks.
     
    MShaw82, Jul 8, 2008
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  2. indmedins
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    indmedins Guru

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    If you are in FL, you can refer all the health business to me if you need someone to refer prospects to. ;)

    I don't sell P&C and sorry I can't help you directly, but from what I have read on some threads here is selling P&C as an independent right out of the gate is near impossible. Correct me if I am wrong anyone. I thought I was reading you should have an established business with an office and a proven track record for the insurance carriers to appoint you. I hope I am wrong and would suggest to do a search, but P&C is only three characters and the search function won't allow it.

    Good luck on your new endeavor and welcome to the forum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  3. Albert88
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    Albert88 New Member

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    I'm very interested to hear the responses to this - as I'm looking forward to open my own agency here in Cali and do auto and commercial mainly.
     
  4. patch36
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    patch36 Guru

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    P&C is a really hard way to make a living out of the gate. The money in P&C is down the road in renewals. Health, Life, and Annuities pay enough to make a living, but the only secret to this and almost any other business is finding a way to get in front of potential clients with your message and product. It is not easy whether you are captive or independent.

    I have been both and Independent is the only way I will do business. Getting started, trained and ready to face the world on your own is not easy and sometimes it helps to be captive and have a support system for a while. But it depends who you hitch up with. Many of the companies are just pyramid schemes to hire agents who hire agents who hire agents...kinda like AFLAC, Senior Solutions, ect...
     
    patch36, Jul 8, 2008
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  5. padthaiforlunch
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    padthaiforlunch Guru

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    You might want to start with col calling for annuities. Lotta of people out there don't like watching their nestegg drop in the market.

    I would look for a multi-year guarantee and an FIA with a nice cap.

    Goto your local library and see if they have a business database you can access for free, then start calling small businesses.

    Go for the non-blue-collar, mom and pop shop. Avoid Dr.s and lawyers to start. Hmmm. Guess that leaves creatives like graphic designers (no, most are poor) and ad agencies. Ok, try calling the lawyers who are legal beagles and not legal eagles. You want the guys who handle DUI's and criminal -- the ones you can give your business to when you go berserk from the constant stress of meeting a monthly nut.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  6. Soaringagent
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    Soaringagent Guru

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    Both P&C and Health Insurance have nice renewals. Do you have any experience in either?
     
  7. MShaw82
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    MShaw82 New Member

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    I have a little bit of experience in personal health and LTCi, but none in P&C. I was hoping to focus on Auto and Home to get started.
     
    MShaw82, Jul 9, 2008
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  8. Corey
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    Corey Expert

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    Targeting a specific type of audience and selling a specific type of insurance is good idea, but it's difficult to really defy your target market in the beginning. It might prove useful to try your hand in everything and then focus in on what you're successful at or really enjoy doing later on.

    It's great you have the ability to refer your complex cases to a family member. If you do encounter those types of cases, another option would be to work closely with a BGA. Most can provide assistance with this sort of planning and might even be able to provide some point of sale assistance with your client.
     
    Corey, Jul 12, 2008
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  9. patch36
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    patch36 Guru

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    You want to focus on an area of insurance you have no experience ? What about focusing on the areas you do have experience and work in some P&C as the opportunities present themselves?
     
    patch36, Jul 13, 2008
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  10. Chkndinner14
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    Chkndinner14 Super Genius

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    Getting quality contracts in L & H is easy. Getting quality contracts in P & C is next to impossible for someone with no experience and no book, I would suggest being captive. They will train you and support to build your agency.

    In your position, I am going to assume that the only way for you to get P & C contracts is going to be.....

    Going with small, 2nd tier carriers.
    or Going thru an agency.

    I have been in the P & C biz for 14 years and most people that go independent with a non direct contract, get frustrated down the road. The cluster agreements will take away some comp and bonus which you will need for overhead.
     
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