Independent AAA Insurance Agency Owner?

Jan 3, 2019

  1. johnkearnsagency
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    johnkearnsagency Expert

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    Any one in the Carolina's have experience with AAA of the Carolina's independent agency owner opportunity?

    I'm relocating to the Carolina's and looking into this and want to hear about any pros and cons.
     
  2. jdlash
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    jdlash Super Genius

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    Will you represent any other carriers? Here in Michigan they have a program called the EA program (Exclusive Agent) Those agencies don't seem to last long. It's very challenging only representing only one carrier.

    I have AAA through my agency and I am a true independent agent.
     
    jdlash, Jan 3, 2019
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  3. johnkearnsagency
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    johnkearnsagency Expert

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    jdlash,

    In the Carolina's it's known as the EIA (Entrepreneurial Independent Agent) program and are appointed directly to a broad portfolio of A-Rated carriers (example: Travelers, The Hartford, Metlife, SafeCo, etc.) and companies and not just to AAA owned and operated carriers and companies, so you can compete for personal, commercial, life, and health business. The carrier and company appointments are exclusively through the American Auto Club Insurance Agency (AACIA), much like if you joined SIAA or another agency cluster.

    The Key Benefits:
    • No start-up costs (meaning no buy in or franchise fee like many clusters require or agency groups),
    • You own the economic interest in your book,
    • Supported by the AAA brand and team (training, software, agency management system, at no charge),
    • E&O provided at no charge, and
    • Co-Op Marketing support
    I was a Farmers agent in California for almost 5 years, before selling my book a year ago. The pitch very much reminded me how Farmers recruited agents before going to new model they use now.

    Any how, I know each auto club operates differently from the other clubs. Some only offer AAA insurance owned carriers and companies exclusively through club owned and operated agencies or captive agents, while others operate as a agency group or cluster offering direct access to multiple carriers and companies. The club in Michigan would be different then the one in the Carolina's and how it operates.

    I was hoping to find another agent from the Carolina's who's appointed or explored EIA opportunity and hear their feedback.

    So far I think it's a pretty good deal and excited to learn more when meeting with the territory representative later this month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  4. bps
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    bps Expert

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    I don't have any info on AAA, but where in the Carolinas are you relocating? If NC, Erie is selectively appointing, and is a great opportunity. Erie is not in SC.
     
    bps, Jan 4, 2019
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  5. johnkearnsagency
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    johnkearnsagency Expert

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    bps,

    I’ll be relocating to Morehead City, NC. I am
    however licensed in 28 states, including North and South Carolina. I mainly focus on writing commercial in all my states, but would like to get back into the personal lines market for the Carolinas when I relocate. I’m also life and health licensed as well in all my states.

    I’ve been exploring other agency groups or clusters such as Goosehead, ASNOA, Oli, and a few others, plus looking at the possibility of purchasing a book from a captive or independent agent.

    I would like to hear more about Erie and what they are looking for. Is Erie a captive insurer? I don’t know to much about them.

    Right now for personal lines I have a few wholesalers or general agencies I can place with, if I need to until I get a direct appointment.
     
  6. bps
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    bps Expert

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    Erie is a really good regional carrier, both in personal and commercial. However, they aren't interested in coastal areas, so I don't think they'll be a fit for you. Good luck with your search.
     
    bps, Jan 7, 2019
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  7. johnkearnsagency
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    johnkearnsagency Expert

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    bps,

    I licensed in almost 30 states and I believe most of not all of Erie’s coverage territories. I do all sales over the phone and through video communication. Would they be open to agent who works more virtual in nature?
     
  8. bps
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    bps Expert

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    I don't think that would be something they would be interested in.
     
    bps, Feb 5, 2019
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  9. fun2drum
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    fun2drum Expert

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    John if you do this, I would be interested in hearing how it goes for you so please make sure to post updates.
     
  10. Magicmarker98
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    Magicmarker98 New Member

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    I know AAA is getting serious about growth and are a great company. However, if I’m not mistaken, you’ll be an employee rather than an independent contractor if I’m not mistaken am I correct?
     
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