Personal Lines for Home/auto

Jun 4, 2016

  1. dahonored1
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    dahonored1 Expert

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    Being a new independent agent, I feel like it's really difficult to get appointments for personal lines carriers. Anyone else having a hard time as well?
     
  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    This is one of the biggest challenges facing new (even seasoned) agents. P&C carriers are pretty picky with who they appoint and in parts of the country, have agent saturation and are very limited with how many new agents they will appoint.

    Your choices tend to be:
    - Start with the carriers you can get, usually Progressive and some non-standard carriers and grow as you can.
    - Join a cluster / group / whatever. They can usually get you the appointments, but its a trade off for a fee / split commission, but you can write business.
    - Use companies like Superior Access / Insurance Noodle to place business you don't have a home for otherwise.
    - Buy an agency that has the appointments already and make sure you can keep the appointments.

    None of these are overwhelmingly great, though joining a cluster can be a decent deal if you find one that works for you. There are advantages to cluster arrangements, such as reduced gross written premium requirements, potentially better profit sharing, etc.

    Dan
     
    djs, Jun 4, 2016
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  3. dahonored1
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    dahonored1 Expert

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    Thanks Dan. I don't see what the difference between wholesaler and cluster. Is there a difference? I see that clusters charge a fee and wholesalers don't. Either way, I'm in NY and it's frustrating to find a market for personal lines being that carriers are so limited. What's more convenient ?
     
  4. agentinsouth
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    agentinsouth Guru

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    You should be able to get Safeco. If they won't, then getting Liberty Mutual is pritty easy. However, they normally won't let you have both.
     
  5. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    The difference is simply in the contract language. Wholesalers are more of a "we'll help you place a random case", clusters are more of a "we are your primary go-to source".

    The biggest difference is wholesalers rarely give binding authority, clusters usually do. In some cases, quoting via a wholesaler is done by the wholesaler as well. They also tend to be much 'pickier' about the business they will write.

    Dan
     
    djs, Jun 6, 2016
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  6. stex
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    I believe Liberty Mutual's personal line is direct sales. Safeco is their only PL Channel for IA.
     
    stex, Jun 7, 2016
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  7. agentinsouth
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    agentinsouth Guru

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    That is no longer correct
     
  8. dahonored1
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    dahonored1 Expert

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    I tried applying for Progressive and filled out the questionnaire and I haven't been in touch with anyone. I think it might be because I am in the five boroughs in NYC
     
  9. dahonored1
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    dahonored1 Expert

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    Got some updated info! Spoke with a friend of mine at Liberty Mutual and they will be brokering Progressive starting next year!
     
  10. agentinsouth
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    agentinsouth Guru

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    They already are in some states
     
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