P&C or Health?

Sep 11, 2008

  1. GoingIndy
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    Good afternoon folks,

    This thread is simple...

    P&C or Health and why?

    What are the pros and cons to each. I'm currently contemplating them both and need a push towards one or the other as I am undecided on which to pursue.

    I have 6 years experience on the P&C side but know very little about the Health side.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. LGilmore
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    well, the majority of people insure their things before they insure themselves. How hard a road do you want?
     
    LGilmore, Sep 11, 2008
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  3. TonyC
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    ;-)

    Good one Gilmore!

     
    TonyC, Sep 11, 2008
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  4. indmedins
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    Funny!
    ---------------------------
    From what I understand about P&C, it's a difficult LOB to go indy on, however, since you have 6 years with P&C, you might have no difficulty.

    As long as you learn the mechanics of health, the startup is smooth.
     
  5. GoingIndy
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    GoingIndy Expert

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    If I did health it would be in NY and the focus would be on businesses, not individuals. Does that change anyone's opinion?

    P&C worries me because of the CAT exposure. Because insurance companies are claiming the "Big One" is due to hit Long Island soon, companies are pulling their homeowner market off the table... for now.
     
  6. indmedins
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    Ah the "Big One". Good thing I moved out of NY last year. I guess I was being proactive.

    Why can't you sell both? I owned a Bar in Bethpage and a single storefront was $5K/mo. Are you going to sell P&C out of a brick and mortar? Will cost money. If you can sell online with P&C, why not do that? You could get licensed in another State then, save rent money, put into leads and sell both LOB's. Group plans take forever, IFP is fast and easy. If you are going to sell group, then f2f would be your mode of business. Eitherway, IFP or Group, NY needs coverage. GHI, Empire, Guardian Health Net, Aetna, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  7. djs
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    This is an age old question, and nobody but you can answer it. You have the exposure in P&C so you know it's a residual based, service oriented type of business. With health, the startup is much smoother, but the long term benefits are probably a bit smaller (i.e., health plans are designed for a 3-4 year max lifetime, if you are not actively working the book, it will shrink rapidly).

    P&C startup is a full time commitment, much more expensive, probably requires brick and mortar (carriers usually do not allow pure online sales), staff, much higher E&O, significantly higher service, claims issues, etc. It's a pain, but very manageable.

    If you have decent rates, know how to rate an auto policy correctly, it's an easy sale, heck people need it, they know it, no big issue. Of course, a $500 policy nets you $50, which doesn't go far, but then it nets $50 every renewal (or thereabouts). A $1000 home policy will get you $200 and maybe $140 on renewals. A single health policy can blow these away..... first year, but not usually renewals.

    My suggestion is if funds are in anyway limited, go health first, then once you are comfortable, add P&C if you want. If you have the funds, go P&C and add health.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 12, 2008
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  8. GoingIndy
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    Dan,

    Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

    I actually had my own captive Allstate agency here in Arizona for 4 years and sold it to get into management. Now I work with independent agencies all day and after seeing how much easier it is as an independent, it got me thinking.

    Here in Arizona most companies allow you to work from home, however I was thinking more of using a virtual office in order to have a place customers can go if need be.

    Because the cost of moving back to NY alone could be an expensive one, I definitely want to keep costs low and going virtual would allow me to do that with a P&C agency.

    Also, with my experience of owning my own agency already, especially in the captive market (which independent carriers love), I figured signing on companies wouldn't be too much of an issue. I figured the only thing that might hold me back IS the virtual office space. Still gathering information on that part from each carrier.

    The only reason I started thinking about Health Insurance instead is because I have family that does it and she thinks it's a better move as she used to work in the P&C industry herself as well. I asked her why and she said the only real difference she can see is the fact that there is a lot less servicing. However, that doesn't worry me as much with P&C because now most companies offer a Policyholder Service Center which does all of the servicing for you (of course they take 2 points off your renewal commission). Plus, most companies are paying as much as 15-20% on new business these days.

    So here I sit, still undecided.
     
  9. InsuranceGuru
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    I'm licensed in Life and Health. Now I'm going after my P&C to complete my basic insurance lines. What I plan to do from there? I have no idea... but it was interesting how this all ended up happening anyway. I worked for a State Farm Agent for 3 days, but the drive was 45 minutes to the office and 45 minutes home. It wore me down and the agent and I agreed it wouldn't work out... but not before I'd signed up for the P&C course.

    I used my own money to sign up, so I might as well go forward and complete it, take the state exam, get the lines I need. Then, who knows? I'm always open to suggestions...
     
  10. OHInsAGNT
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    I offer everything and I like it that way. I don't sell all insurance to all people all the time. I concentrate on one target line at a time when prospecting. Once a secure a policy, I go back and cross-sell others to the same prospect, it's great.

    My only caution would be that it is going to be very difficult to sell P&C and make a living within the first couple years. Also, you can't get appointed with anyone unless you have a book and years of experience or go through an agency. Sell health to pay the bills and P&C to build income for the future.
     
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