I am starting a comml p & c ins agcy, how do I get appts w/carriers and where can I

Jul 8, 2007

  1. MJT
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    MJT New Member

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    Hello:

    I am starting my own P & C insurance agcy specializing in commercial p & c (package, gl, wc, umbrella, etc) to start off since that is what I am most familiar with. Later on, I have plans to expand to include personal lines and benefits (small group medical/dental). My plan is to buy an existing book of biz, as well as creating my own book from scratch. Does anyone know where I can find a book of business to buy and how do I go about securing appointments with standard carriers (standard carriers such as Chubb, Hartford, Firemans Fund, Safeco) and surplus lines carriers for substandard class of business (probably through mga/wholesalers)....

    Thanks much, MJT
     
    MJT, Jul 8, 2007
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  2. Sam
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    Sam Founder Administrator

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    Sam, Jul 8, 2007
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  3. Macdaddy
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    Macdaddy Guest

    Do you have a track record in P&C? If not it is my understanding you will not be able to sign on with any P&C carriers as an independent.

    If you do not have a track record then you can work through a company like Smart Choice as a sub agent. You will start out with a few good carriers and after production levels are obtained you will have access to more carriers. See http://www.smartchoiceagents.com/

    The do take what I consider to be a reasonable haircut for the liaison relationship, plus you will have their full support, which can be nice.
     
  4. MJT
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    MJT New Member

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    Thank you Macdaddy and Melmunch3 responses! :-) I will check your tips out! I am in Southern California, specifically Orange County.

    MJT
     
    MJT, Jul 8, 2007
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  5. JRoot
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    JRoot Guru

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    MJT,

    If you don't have a current book of business, you'll have to go through wholesalers to be competitive. Getting a direct appointment through Safeco, Hartford, Chubb etc. won't happen unless you have an established book of business.

    My agency is in SoCal as well. Right now we use Bliss and Glennon for surplus lines and Networked Insurance Agents for all your SafeCos, Hartfords, Zurichs etc. We use a few other wholesalers for certain markets also....highly recommend these 2 if you're looking around.
     
    JRoot, Jul 9, 2007
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  6. MJT
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    MJT New Member

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    Hey Super Genious...thank you so much for your insights! :-) I really appreciate your generosity to share your knowledge and network. I would need both standard and non-standard markets (in case I need "your work" completed opns 11/85 ai for contractors)...it's the chicken and egg thing...i.e., how can I get appointments with carriers when I don't have a book and how can I produce when I don't have appointments. Then, E & O insurance is expensive for start up..probably $5K per yr. and Applied Systems database is very expensive. I really would like to buy a book of business to buy so that I can have some income from the book for e & O ins...I wonder if I buy a book, the carrier will automatically honor my appointment with them? Do you know? The trick is finding a book that is mostly commercial, not personal lines. No luck so far in my search...still searching.........

    Thanks, MJT :-)
     
    MJT, Jul 10, 2007
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  7. newold
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    newold New Member

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    Re: I am starting a comml p & c ins agcy, how do I get appts w/carriers and where can

    Hi,

    I just got my license....
    Will they take newbies as sub-agents ?
    also, as a sub-agent, can I open my own agency ??

    thank you for replying.
    CM
     
    newold, Aug 31, 2007
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  8. TerriE
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    TerriE New Member

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    Re: I am starting a comml p & c ins agcy, how do I get appts w/carriers and where can


    I'm interested to learn that, too. I am taking my test this Friday so I haven't earned my license yet.
     
    TerriE, Sep 10, 2007
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  9. tkirk97
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    tkirk97 Expert

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    Re: I am starting a comml p & c ins agcy, how do I get appts w/carriers and where can

    a couple of things for scratch agents, i started a scratch 3 years ago, the only way i got the contracts was because i have some friends who have large P&C agencies and were influential with several carriers. A scratch agency is very difficult to start if you don't have other streams of income, thus why carriers will not give you contracts because the failure rate is tremendous. I was already involved as an Reg. rep and an indy life rep so i could cash flow the P&C with the life and investment sales. Our E&O premiums when we started were around 3k per year. I would skip applied systems and save the money until you have a larger book of clients. I believe applied is 5k for base program and monthly fee is around 500-600 per month.

    I would highly recommend going entirely paperless if you decide to do P&C, our agency is and it saves us a substantial amount of money on staffing.

    In regards to buying an agency that is probably the best route to get started, if you buy an agency the companies in the agency will usually still honor contracts.

    Hope this helps, willing to answer any other questions
     
    tkirk97, Sep 21, 2007
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  10. wcShaver
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    wcShaver New Member

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    Appointment Frustration!

    Thanks tkirk97! Great information!
    I am a new agent hired by a new agency and I have been tasked with getting P&C appointments. I have had zero luck thus far. It's a very frustrating "Catch-22" situation.

    What I can't understand is why P&C companies don't want new agencies to sell their product? How much skin is it off their nose to send out some marketing materials and applications to a new producer who could bring them some business?
     
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