How does an Independent Agent get in the P&C Business?

Mar 31, 2008

  1. gradyinsurance
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    gradyinsurance Super Genius

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    Hello, guys. I don't have a P&C license as of yet, but am going to take the course this summer. What I am wondering is, how can I get an appointment with a P&C carrier for Auto and Homeowners (that's all I really want, to start off with), without having to go and work for another agency. Are there any carriers who will appoint a new agent, without any P&C experience, or should I be trying to get under a local agency as a 'sub-agent', in order to get experience. I don't want to close my own business, just so I can sell P&C.

    Thanks, Dave
     
  2. clk1206
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    clk1206 Expert

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    Find a local independent agent in your area and ask them how to get started.
     
    clk1206, Apr 1, 2008
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  3. gradyinsurance
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    gradyinsurance Super Genius

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    Well, the ones I've approached haven't been too forthcoming, as I don't think that they want any more competition than they already have, but I'll keep asking around.

    Dave
     
  4. insureitnow
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    insureitnow Super Genius

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    Keep asking, Its going to be your best way to break into P&C
     
  5. Insurance Phoenix
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    Insurance Phoenix Super Genius

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    There are independents out there that want to expand and they do that by bringing on new agents (at least in our area). Make sure they have a contract to sign detailing your working agreement. You want to be able to take/own your book after a couple of years.

    I don't know any P/C carriers that will give you a contract with no prior experience and no book of business. Likely, you will have to work under an existing independent agency to gain a history before getting direct contracts. Make some phone calls, stop in to visit some agencies and see if they are bringing on new agents.

    You can visit the website of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association for a list of agents in your area.
     
  6. Soaringagent
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    Soaringagent Guru

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    You might want to checkout Aggregate Insurance company's or MGA's to place business.
     
  7. gradyinsurance
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    gradyinsurance Super Genius

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    Well, I came up with this outfit, The Potter Group, and apparently, they act as a broker between the agent and the company. Does anyone know anything about these folks?

    Dave
     
  8. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I don't know anything about the Potter Group, but in general, yes, they will work with you so you can write business. What you need to look at in any sort of aggregator, is what markets they open to you, and if they are what you want. For instance, the Potter Group does Preferred Standard auto. Doesn't look like they have anything for non-standard. Many brokers are okay with that, others want to make sure they have a nonstandard resourse available.

    They have dwelling coverage, but it looks somewhat limited. Foremost will write non-standard homes (brush hazards, needs work, protection class 10's, whatever) but they don't have competitive rates for Main St. America for most homes. Their home and auto carriers appear to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. I didn't look that closely, I may have missed something here.

    Also, just because they list a carrier doesn't mean they have all the lines of that carrier. For instance, you might get to write Foremost Specialty dwelling, but not Foremost marine (example only, I have no idea). This takes knowing what you want to market, and asking a lot of questions up front.

    Also, you will not have binding authority. They will bind for you, upon approved submission. This can be somewhat problematic in working with some marketing venues. I can get a call for a home that is trying to close today, and I have have an evidence of insurance into escrow within an hour. Without binding authority, you lose that deal.

    In general, this is a good way to gain access to a multitude of markets, including things that you won't write much of, but is nice to have in your pocket. I use a service like this for the obscure stuff I get asked about all the time. This is more common in commercial, where carriers have defined limits of what they will write, and I need the flexibility to take care of my client.

    Dan
     
    djs, Apr 15, 2008
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  9. mopop949
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    mopop949 Guest

    *DJS....
    do u know of any other companies other than the potter group that offer that same services to new licensed agents?
     
  10. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    All depends, what state are you in?
    Try sais.com
    There are many, many, many companies that offer similar things. None are great, though many are decent.

    The thing you usually give up is the opportunity to bind coverage. Going direct, you usually can get binding authority. Being new, you'll have to work through the binding delay, and simply write clean business up front.

    Dan
     
    djs, May 5, 2008
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