Is It Time for Me to Leave this Agency?

Dec 2, 2015

  1. JohnP1986
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    JohnP1986 New Member

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    I’m currently a P&C agent with Brightway Insurance in Florida. I have been in insurance since January of this year and have had no prior sales experience before starting. Here is the issue I am having at my office. The agency owner has a very deceitful way of paying out commissions. Full details below.

    Brightway Split
    ---New Business---
    15% BW Take / 85% Office Take

    ---Renewal---
    45% BW Take / 55% Office Take

    ---Rewrites---
    30% BW Take / 70% Office Take

    Since I was a novice, I guess it decided he could deceive me at the beginning which should’ve raised a red flag. After I initially signed the contract, the Agency Owner told me that Brightway will always take 50% of ALL commissions paid out by the carrier. He then tells me that he will take 10% and I will take 40% of the total commissions paid out by the carrier for that particular policy. I know this isn’t much at the beginning but after a while when my renewals start building up and my client base starts to become solid, I haven’t done the math but I think I will get severely screwed.

    Now on the last couple months of commission payouts, now that I am starting to generate a decent amount of premium and policies per week the commissions paid out by my agency owner is all over the place. First the main issue is after everything is split he randomly takes a chunk out of the final payout to me. (Started doing that when I started to get a good amount of commission in). The amount is as random as it gets, sometimes it’s a large portion and others if I am lucky it is a small portion. When I confronted him about that he told me the accounting department from Brightway does this and that was the end of that conversation.

    The second issue is the split he pays is so erratic. If he is happy he pays 40% of the total commission paid out by the carrier to me for new business, 30% to 40% rewrites and 30% on renewals. If he is in one of his moods, he will pay 40% on new, 20% on rewrites and 10% on renewals. Then the issue of when there is a policy change from the Insured and he doesn’t remember what percentage he paid out before. So there have been times that an insured lowered coverage and I ended up paying him money back due to his erratic split system. There have also been instances where I had a lot of commission (my best month) paid out and he decided he was going to do the percentage split from the money amount after Brightway has already taken their take which resulted in a shocking amount of commission loss on my end. So with all this I feel like I am severely getting reamed when it comes to my paycheck.

    I know that its only my first year and I don’t have a lot of clients yet (more on this below) but should I get out now before I achieve a decent book and he continues to play this crap? Also forgot to mention, I don’t get a salary, no benefits whatsoever, no set allotted vacation time and he expects me to work from 8 AM to 7 PM.

    Now on to the issue of clients, this agency refuses to do anything to grow his business. I have no sales experience and I am a newbie in this industry so I don’t have a client base at all. He has not provided any leads. I depend on family and friends and walk ins/call ins for clients so pretty much I am on my own when it comes to getting clients. Is this fair? He says that his office is built on personal referral which is complete crap since barely anyone comes in and says they were referred by someone else. How am I supposed to grow my client base if the owner won’t provide clients? Am I supposed to buy leads myself?
    His office is so run downed, in a crap neighborhood and he does absolutely zero marketing. Do you think I can grow my career here?

    There is an office about 30 minutes away from mine and they are producing 10x as much as we are and they only have 2 more people than us.

    Overall since I sold my first policy in mid-February 2015 to the time of this post, I have only done $145,000 in total premium. All of which were from clients that I self-generated, mainly friends and family.

    I want to eventually be able to own my own agency in the very near future but seriously do not see that happening if I stay.

    Can I get your opinions on this? Any advice? Am I over reacting?

    Thank you in advance.

    ----------

    Also forgot to mention this in my original post. Due to market rate increases this year there have been a lot of rewrites. In my opinion if I did all the work (quoting, selling, finalizing) a rewrite I should get commission for that policy.
    The agency owner "conveniently" did not tell me that if I don't change the name of the representative for that account on our management system the policy will automatically go to his name and I don't get credit/paid for that policy.

    It took me a couple months to finally have the nerve to play around with this and now I am finally getting paid for the policies that I rewrite. When I asked him about this he says that Brightway accounting does everything and he has no control. (Bullshit). So calculating all of my missed rewrites, I lost out on almost $50,000 in total premium (not included in my figure posted above).
     
  2. GoPokes
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    GoPokes Guru

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    Thats a long post. You are clearly unhappy, so just go somewhere else, where you can be happy. Im sure you could go back if you needed to, just dont burn the bridge.
     
    GoPokes, Dec 2, 2015
    #2
  3. Patriot Girl
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    Patriot Girl New Member

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    YES, It is time for you to leave and go out on your own.
    look around this site you will find a ton of information on building your
    own book of business and agency.
     
  4. BigSteve
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    BigSteve Super Genius

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    Yes. Run away now.
     
  5. ppj09
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    ppj09 New Member

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    Wow. That was a lot. I think you went into a situation having no idea what you were getting into. I would be more than happy to give you some help in understanding what roll an insurance producer and an agency owner play. I'm very familiar with the situation you are in. Send me your number if you want to discuss.
     
    ppj09, Dec 10, 2015
    #5
  6. Heather
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    Heather Guru

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    Please run.

    Seriously I know this agent here in NY who hires newbies, does nothing in the way of free marketing for them and they only get commission. They sign up all their friends and family and if they have no experience in marketing or sales that is where it ends. Eventually you run out of friends and family to call. The newbie quits because they can't eat and the agency owner keeps all the business. This agency runs employment ads year round.

    My next step would be to find a good mentor and move on.
     
    Heather, Dec 12, 2015
    #6
  7. Derrick
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    Derrick Super Genius

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    And I thought my 60/40 on new business, and 50/50 renewal was bad. Plus I get fat contingency checks at the end of the year.

    Run!

    Sounds like most captive life agencies, but instead of owners it's managers who need to look good for their managers.
     
    Derrick, Dec 18, 2015
    #7
  8. salesgirl
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    salesgirl Expert

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    You should have gotten a full commission schedule up front and have held him to it. He is taking advantage of you. Even if the commissions change based on experience or production, they should be laid out in the beginning. I think it's time to start shopping around for another agency.
    I work in health and life, not P&C or I'd have a recommendation for you.
     
  9. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    This guy is a slimeball and it is time for you to seek a different path.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    xrac, Dec 19, 2015
    #9
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