New Independent Agent Advice?

Dec 19, 2018

  1. Kevin Burkowski
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    Kevin Burkowski New Member

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    I'm hoping some other agents can steer me in the right direction here. I'm a fresh newly licensed insurance agent in P & C and am looking for advice on whats my best coarse in working up to getting direct contact with carriers. I know most wont give me the time of day without any experience.

    Thanks
     
  2. texasnative
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    texasnative New Member

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    I am in a similar position, and I am starting an insurance agency to go with my existing business. I have zero plans to live off the income from my insurance business for now, I have plenty of capital put into it, and I have a lot of connections which would give me plenty of referrals - so I'm just about ready to go. The biggest challenge I have seen is you will have some trouble getting appointments with the big brand names when you start out, such as Safeco. Everything I have researched says it's best to go with a MGA/cluster such as Superior Access or Smart Choice to get a lot of your policies, but also you should be able to get appointed with some surplus lines or second choice insurance companies fairly easily - see Express Markets™ | Smart Choice for a list some. Many people hate Smart Choice because they have a very tough two year non-compete agreement if they appoint you to any carriers through their main program, but if you join there Express or Smart Start programs the non-compete does not apply I was told (but I have not reviewed the contract yet). Superior Access seems to be the best deal for somebody just starting out, because they have more carriers and there are no non-competes. And you can move your book of business over as you grow and get direct appointments (with the big brands) over time. SIAA seems to be the best of all, but based on my experience they won't talk to you unless you have experience, so maybe you can migrate to them in the future after using Superior Access for a while. Iroquis also requires experience. Insurance Noodle is another one I looked at, but there's no way I would want to use them because from what I read and from talking to them they can take days just to get you a quote ... more or less bind a policy. Superior Access does have some complaints on this board and others, but after talking with them they said they have confirmed the turnaround time for binding policies is just 2 hours most of the time (this is recent) and also they have instant quoting available either for you in your office or on your own website even which I think is important considering we are in a fast, quick, information based society. Yes they take 30% of your commission which sucks, but every single MGA/cluster has a lot of catches inin t form of upfront fees, taking a percentage, tough contracts, whatever. The best part is you can write policies through second-rate carriers (e.g.Foremost, Wellington, etc) as well do business with the MGA, and you should get a higher percentage of commission on those carriers. And over time when your book is big enough and you have enough experience, you should be able to get some more direct appointments through the big guys.
     
  3. Markthebroker
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    Markthebroker Guru

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    I am a successful p&c commercial only agent. I have started several businesses, and indy insurance, especially indy, has probably the biggest learning curve. It's a terrible idea going off on your own with no experience. You should both start working with an agency.
     
  4. Weedlebug
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    Weedlebug Expert

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    I'm with Mark, if your starting off with no experience, you need to work for an agency.

    Unless you have the upfront cost to join a group and the income to cover your monthly overhead until your book is established, about one to five years.

    I've been P&C licensed for almost 10 years and I wish I can go with a group, but I understand that that is not the best financial plan for me. So I have been looking at the independent agency's in my area to partner with. It's been a challenge since I have not really networked out of my captive environment.
     
  5. Kevin Burkowski
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    Kevin Burkowski New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys! I've decided to start with Smart Choice as I'm working with another business and have clients already looking for policies, I just need access to carriers.
     
  6. Dreamiekid
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    Dreamiekid Expert

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    Are you like a Brand new agent? or been working as a agent and looking to start your own business.
     
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