Opening an agency office and getting appointed with carrier

Jul 8, 2008

  1. Albert88
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    Albert88 New Member

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    Hi everyone - this is my first post. Thanks to the mods and admins for providing such a helpful place.

    I have a couple quick questions but first I will give the run down of our situation and do my best to cover all bases without being too lengthy.

    Basically I have been working in the insurance field as an agency producer for the past 12 months - I have learned very quickly and have quiet a bit of knowledge on auto policies, commercial policies, bonds, however limited knowledge on life and home policies (which I know home is pretty straight forward). The office I work at is appointed with Farmers. I do just about everything other than pay the rent for the office, so I know how things are ran here.

    Our goal: A partner of mine and I would like to open our own agency office - an independent office. Our main lines of business are going to be auto, home, commercial (auto, building, business, etc) and bonds (city bonds, maybe bail bonds). We are planning to have about 300-400+ policies written from our relatives, friends, and their friends and relatives etc the first 3-6 months.

    Questions :
    1. We are going to start off with about $20,000 in hand. We figure our costs will be the basics like 1st month + deposit for office, a couple computers and desks, some chairs, phones, internet, signs, and we pretty much have the rest like printers/scanners, etc. Is this being realistic?

    2. How hard is it to get appointed with the bigger P&C carriers? I know the smaller ones like Bliss & Glennon or Unitrin are easy as signing some pages, but what about bigger ones like Mercury and other carriers we can put commercial policies through?

    3. Since we are going to be independent, will bad credit or bankruptcies hurt our chances or getting appointed as independent agents?

    I know it's hard to start your own, but we have the mind set to go at it and give 110%. We have a few basic marketing ideas which we know will work because after the initial contact with a person, we can do the rest. (mainly on commercial based business)

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Albert88
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    Albert88 New Member

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    Bump
     
  3. patch36
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    patch36 Guru

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    I started out as a Farmers agent. I discovered independence and never looked back or regretted it. I was a career agent with my own office and walked away. I gave my small book through the DM to a fellow agent who had started when I did and I still send her all of my auto and home leads gratis.

    I used MJ Kelly for commercial lines. It was an easy appointment process. I may still be appointed with them, dunno, but they were really good to work with and I know others who work regularly with them.

    Someone here surely knows a good Marketing group for independent Auto and Home. Hell, someone here probably is a Marketing group for about any line you can name. ;)
     
    patch36, Jul 11, 2008
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  4. Corey
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    Corey Expert

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    Will you be primarily focused on P&C at first, or do you have any plans to explore the life side as well?
     
    Corey, Jul 12, 2008
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  5. Albert88
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    Albert88 New Member

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    We won't be focusing on life since I have almost no knowledge on them. If someone comes to the office and knows exactly what they want, and is okay with the fact that I cannot help them with to their best interest then maybe if I'm appointed with a Life carrier I can do something for them, but other than that no plans on doing life insurance.
     
    Albert88, Jul 14, 2008
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  6. allen704
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    allen704 New Member

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    I don't know, but you may want to check with foresters and old mutual. Also, if you are really desperate Unitrin.But I think you really need to get into life. That way you can take care of all your clients needs.If you don't you run the risk of someone else replacing it. Just educate yourself.
     
    allen704, Sep 14, 2009
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  7. Tomfromtheshade
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    Tomfromtheshade Super Genius

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    Hey Albert, what state are you in? I will take those life clients you don't know what to do with. LOL.
     
  8. taainsurance
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    taainsurance New Member

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    First off you are going to need a lot more than $20,000 to get started. I would recommend at least $75,000 and even then you are going to need to watch your monthly expenses very closely. (Expenses for agency owners are at an all time high and profits are at an all time low.)

    As far as appointments, don't get too many appointments. Start off with 3 or 4 to cover your basis (Standard, Non Standard, Commercial ect...) and wait until you get a handle on those carriers before expanding.

    I hope this helps and good luck!
     
  9. jalmaguer1@
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    [email protected] New Member

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    I just opened my agency and was given the oppertunity to quote 2 night clubs. I am in Washington state and was wondering whom i can get an appointment with to quote with when it comes to commercial.
    [email protected]
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  10. NCAgent
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    NCAgent Guru

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    Honestly I wouldn't look at a company unless you have a decent-sized book or looking to expand further out sometime soon. You are better looking at one of the MGAs to quote and then roll everything over through BoR once you get a direct appointment. I don't know any in your area though that might be useful.
     
    NCAgent, Jun 7, 2012
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