Need Your Feedback on an Idea please

Nov 27, 2016

  1. Andy K
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    Andy K New Member

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    I'm thinking about establishing a business that would help end customers compare quotes from different companies (starting with auto insurance) by submitting their information to one online source. The value proposition is that the customers submit their info to one company and then this company shops for the best rate without inconvenience for the customer caused by talking to many agents or filling up online forms with the same personal information over and over again. Customer phone number wouldn't be shared with the network of agents that I plan to use to get quotes.

    I understand that there are independent agents providing similar service, but the major issue that I see is that they don't represent enough leading companies in the industry. And by including more of the large insurance companies I should be able to find better rates.

    Can I get your feedback on this idea, please?

    Thank you,
    Andy
     
    Andy K, Nov 27, 2016
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  2. Newby
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    Newby Guru

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    I think you have shopped at the wrong independent agencies.

    Most of them carry all the top companies.

    Your business plan sounds exactly like what most P and C agents do now.
     
    Newby, Nov 27, 2016
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  3. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    So...you want to start an independent agency???

    I mean, unless the agency just doesn't really specialize in your demographic, they should have PLENTY of options available. A large agency might have the ability to serve all types of customers...but most large agencies don't get to where they are by being generalists.
    Talking to many agent's? Either you're dealing with a producer on training, or someone who is ineffective at theirjob, or you're dealing with the coverhounds, geicos, or usaa's of the world. These comps does are very impersonal and online...so if your proposition is to be all online, well There a realityyoure facing. If you're trying to automate the process from capturing a lead to purchase, not only do you face this same issue for customer experience, but you limit choices. Carriers like progressive MIGHT let you automate selling, but most aren't looking for these kind of transactions. Plus, once they finally get on board, the online and mega agencies will already be several steps ahead of you.
    Nothing wrong with innovation or being a disrupter if it works for you, but...you need to offer something truly different. Unless you're bringing something else to the table, it's just another agency, not something new.
     
  4. Andy K
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    Andy K New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! Can you please give me an example or two of a large independent broker you're referring to?

    I wasn't able to find any in my small town of Oxford, MS. There are only 5 independent brokers and this is what they cover:

    1. Sharp Agency:
    Safeco
    Progressive
    Travelers
    State Auto
    Foremost

    2. Oxford Insurance Agency:
    Safeco,
    State Auto,
    Travelers,
    Progressive,
    Met Life (said will be high, so it doesn't make sense to run).

    3. R. L. Brown Insurance Agency
    Progressive,
    Safeco,
    Travelers

    4. HUB International Gulf South
    Safeco,
    State Auto,
    Travelers,
    Progressive,

    5. Insurance and Realty Advisors, Inc.
    Progressive,
    Safeco,
    Travelers,
    Dairyland

    So I called the first three independent brokers Google shows in a nearest large city, Memphis, TN. Here're the results:

    Boyle Insurance: Traveler, Metropolitan, Allied, Erie, State Auto (wouldn't even try to beat my current provider btw).

    Sneed Insurance: Safeco, Travelers, Progressive, Hartford, Metlife, Incompass, Allied.

    Oseman Insurance: Safeco, Chubb.

    Where the independents who can quote a good number of top insurers?
     
    Andy K, Nov 28, 2016
    #4
  5. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    There are only so many carriers for the preferred market. It seems the local agencies have them covered, except for the captives who only represent one company and won't allow independents to use them.
     
    VolAgent, Nov 28, 2016
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  6. nyc2phi
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    nyc2phi Guru

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    Google tried this and failed at it.
     
    nyc2phi, Dec 4, 2016
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  7. TroyMiller
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    TroyMiller New Member

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    I just want to say that go for small, get some experience after that play on a large scale. Well you have to search on web for this. Although, Google has all answers for your all queries??
     
  8. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    I don't know about your state, but some states have more or less carriers doing business than in other states - Maybe MS doesn't have as many? The big names are all represented here, but I'm not really seeing regional names in your list (I know State Auto is technically a regional carrier, but they're one of the largest). Travelers, Safeco, and Allied are all good and will be competitive for the most part, but you need a regional carrier or two if you want to really be hard to beat.

    As a side note, it's quite possible that some of these agencies didn't bother quoting you because your current carrier's premiums are artificially low right now.
     
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