New Agent - Cluster Questions

Oct 15, 2015

  1. cfuller4080
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    cfuller4080 Expert

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    Hello Friends,

    I will be starting an independent agency soon selling P&C, Life, Health...

    I was hoping you guy's could give me some questions/guidance to ask insurance clusters that I speak with... I know there are a lot of pros and cons stuff with Clusters.... I was told by someone to ask them all a lot of questions and compare contracts etc.

    What should I ask? What should I try and avoid? What should I look for?

    What clusters would you recommend for NEW agents?

    Thanks for all the help!!!
     
  2. ABAInsurance
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    ABAInsurance Super Genius

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    Smart Choice is a good cluster
     
  3. 1963
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    1963 Super Genius

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    Iroquois is an excellent cluster. However, there are some options that are open to you that don't require clusters. Upline brokerages for life products give you access to a large number of carriers, probably more than you will need. On the P&C side of things, there are some appointments available for homeowners (Centauri and Foremost come to mind), as well as some nationally-known automobile carriers. Check out the options and keep an open mind. Good luck!!!
     
    1963, Oct 15, 2015
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  4. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    Depends on what your priorities are. For me, a fair exit strategy without a restrictive non compete is more important than initial commission splits. Which is why I avoid siaa or smart choice. But for some agencies, those clusters are a good fit. Find out what carriers they can help you with - some only do business with big national carriers, some contract with smaller regionals. Are their carriers competitive in your market? Do you need them to assist you with back end and training? Some offer more in that department. Are you allowed to have your own contracts outside of your agreement with the cluster? Do they do profit sharing? Are there start up/monthly fees? Read the contract and see who REALLY owns the business-don't just take the rep's word for it. Talk to agencies who are members of the group, and not just the ones the group recommends you to talk to. Find out what they do and don't like, and how well they deliver on their promises.
     
  5. cgreene
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    cgreene Guru

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    Definitely recommend PGI they are awesome. Our business has increased 70 percent since signing on.
     
    cgreene, Oct 16, 2015
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  6. 1963
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    1963 Super Genius

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    Hey cfuller, what type of experience do you have as an agent, and did you start as a captive or an indy?
     
    1963, Oct 16, 2015
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  7. agentinsouth
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    Stay away from any cluster that makes you captive to them! You are just going from one captive situation straight into another.

    I use agentsecure.com for a few carriers I don't have direct appointments.
     
  8. PhilL
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    PhilL Guru

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    cfuller4080, I have a list of key questions that I have developed from my experiences, that relate specifically to evaluating agency networks, clusters, etc. Please feel free to call me to discuss.
     
    PhilL, Oct 19, 2015
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  9. cgreene
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    My cluster has been great it is exclusive but many of them will still allow you to get appointed to companies they don't offer. Just make sure you write it into the contract.
     
    cgreene, Oct 19, 2015
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  10. insuranceladylv
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    insuranceladylv New Member

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    We joined Insurance Pro Agencies and have been extremely happy. They do not "own" your book and you can buyout at anytime. Terry, Dave and Adam are very diligent and resourceful. Give Terry O'Reilly a call at 708.745.5080 x11 or email him, [email protected]
     
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