Group of Agents Looking to Be Contracted As a BGA or Direct

Mar 17, 2016

  1. bluesuit
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    bluesuit Expert

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    we are looking to be contracted as a BGA or direct with companies like pru, prin, metlife. we are fully staffed for new business and underwriting. it's too much work to be contracted under another BGA with all the agents in our agency.

    any suggestions?
     
    bluesuit, Mar 17, 2016
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  2. Lifehlth2005
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    If you don't have the production volume, you won't be able to go direct however much of a hassle you think it is. If you're just starting I'm assuming you won't be able to satisfy the premium commitments that come along with direct contracts. Your best bet is to find an agency that has all or most of the carrier's you want and see what you can work out. There's a lot of shops out there for this. and it will be a lot easier to go through another agency than handling all the overhead yourself. This makes me think you're just getting into this. Start with Google and find a few shops that have the contracts you're looking. For Good luck!
     
  3. tlmarketing
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    tlmarketing Guru

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    You won't get direct deals with carriers...most that you mention require multi-million in production....you would be better off contacting one of the national marketing organizations to see if they would let you join them in order to pool production to meet requirements.
     
  4. bluesuit
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    bluesuit, Mar 18, 2016
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  5. 1963
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    1963 Super Genius

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    You may need to step out of the box this time, but do so with the ability to bring value to the table. The best bargaining chip you have is the total of your independent production histories; use it as a representation of your potential value to a marketing firm. Also, a group like yours may possibly get a foothold with one of the IMOs that offer direct contracting opportunities after a short time. Whatever the choice, good luck to you.
     
    1963, Mar 18, 2016
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  6. Mattschmidt
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  7. bluesuit
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    bluesuit, Mar 19, 2016
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  8. Tahoe Ray
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    How much of that are you doing with Met?
     
  9. TheProAdvisor
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    Is your group primarily "traditional" (face-to-face) agents or more "direct marketing" (over the phone & internet) variety? Depending on how you are doing business today and how you want to do it going forward, there are many good options.

    Some technical/logistics questions to consider:

    1. Are you already using an Agency Management System (AMS) like SmartOffice or AgencyWorks? If not, most of the larger carriers require that you have this to be appointed as a BGA - regardless of production because it streamlines their processing (receipt, underwriting, issuance, delivery, etc.) of the business.

    2. Are you already imaging documents to the carriers? Similar to the above, this is often a requirement.

    3. Are you using paper applications with wet signature or eApps/drop tickets for the bulk of your business? This might dictate which IMO/BGA you partner with.

    4. Are you proactively case managing your business today? Basically, do you have dedicated case managers that only process the cases with the carrier versus sales people that try to fill both roles? If the latter, you are likely losing sales opportunities because of the administrative work being done (poorly?) by sales people.

    5. Are you willing to pay a monthly/annual fee to be a member of an IMO group? Fees range from $1k - $5k per month depending on the group. Based on $500k of annual production, this will likely eat a lot of your profitability. Consider looking for a IMO/BGA that will allow you to co-op their services fee free.

    6. Do you already have an underwriter on staff or access to one? This is a service many BGA/IMO's bring to the table and can make a huge difference in placing larger cases where clients often have health problems. If not, "renting" or buying these services is expensive - $25k-$250k/yr depending on how you do it. Renting is less but normally limits you access to some many hours per month.

    At the end of the day there are a lot of benefits to partnering with a reputable BGA/IMO that can help you with these services and tools. If you really want to do it on your own, a good BGA/IMO partner will actually help you get there too.
     
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