Researching becoming Independent Life and Health Agent

Dec 3, 2008

  1. harveyj5
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    harveyj5 New Member

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    I have begun researching on becoming an independent agent. I have my Life/health and Annuity license and would like to get advice on what to look for in companies and what to consider. I am located in ohio. Any help would be nice.
     
  2. insuranceexec
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    insuranceexec Guru

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    What kind of help are you looking for? I currently own an IMO, here in Arkansas and specialize in helping new agents like yourself get started all across the country. The best advice that I could give you is that you want to make sure that you stay with A rated carriers or better, and make sure that the comp is where you want it. Alot of companies do not advance on premium that has yet to be earned, so again make sure that the company you are wanting to do business with will pay you accordingly. If you would like some more information or If I may be of any further assistance just let me know.
     
  3. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Actually, only if you need advances, they're available through almost every carrier
     
  4. insuranceexec
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    insuranceexec Guru

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    Almost every company does not offer advances on the life side. Maybe they do on the health side and I apologize for not knowing that answer. The problem however in alot of cases you take a reduced commission for taking an advancement. Again and to be clear I am talking about the Life side only, sorry for any confusion.
     
  5. Mark
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    Mark Guru

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    LOL. You are 100% wrong. Most of all the insurance companies and IMO offer advancing if you don't have a vector or really bad credit. 90% of the agents that try to get advancing get it. If you owe another insurance company money, then you might not get it.

    Also, I don't know which IMO you work with. But if they reduce your commissions to give you advances, I would find another IMO to work with.
     
    Mark, Dec 3, 2008
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  6. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    You can get advances for almost any life carrier.
     
  7. insuranceexec
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    insuranceexec Guru

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    As far as the IMO is concerned I own it. Each company decides whether or not they are going to advance commissions. If an agent chooses to take an advancement on commissions then WILL NOT get as high of a comp from that company.

    Sure if you are OK staying at street level or slightly above than take all of the advances you want. But I am telling you that you will limit your future earnings with most companies for taking advancements.

    For Example West Coast Life and Protective are sister companies. Both of these companies have the same underwriting guidelines and the same ratings. However, the comp is very different, West Coast will not ADVANCE commissions and has a street comp of 110%. Protective will advance 75% of target, but thier street comp is only 75%. Therefore you are taking a REDUCED commission for receiving an advancement on unearned premium.


    What I have found to be true is that more agents, especially when getting started, will choose to take the company that offers an advancement. And in the long run they cost themselves alot of commissions. I as president of my IMO will not offer much higher than street to my agents that are receiving advances. The reason I will not is that I have to sign off on any agent in my IMO as being financially responsible for any debit balance not satisfied by the producer. I hope this helps clear things up.....
     
  8. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    I have not found that to be the case in my dealings. I can take an advance or go as-earned - same comp
     
  9. Mark
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    Mark Guru

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    I also am an IMO as many of you know. If you take advancing or not, you will still get the same commission levels with me. I do not know of an imo besides yourself, that does what you do. I too am responsible for the debit balances, but I've been doing this for a while and know how to protect myself. But if that is how you do it, and it works for you, then keep doing it. If the agents do not mind you doing this, then keep doing it. I didn't know the agents would allow an IMO to cut commissions if they place them on advancing. You must find a different kind of agent then I do.

    My other question is do you offer an up front release letter to your agents? A lot of agents will want to know this. Since you are advertising yourself.

    What did you mean when you said that most of all the life companies do not offer advancing? Why did you say that?
     
    Mark, Dec 3, 2008
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  10. insuranceexec
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    If an agent contracts with me they do so because I am paying them more than any other IMO. For example If the street comp for ABC company is 100% and my override is 45% the total comp would be 145%. If I start my agents at 120% it is at my discretion whether or not to give them more. If they do not like what I am paying than they are free to move their contract. The way I operate for the most part is that I pay everything to the agent and I operate on 5%. So with the example given the agent would get 140% to start off with.

    If an agent starts and they tell me that they are wanting advances then I will not start them off at the 140% level I would start them off at around the 120% level. Again like I am sure that you know it is at your discretion how much commission you offer to your agents. I personally do not know of any Life company that will give advances to any NEW agents without going through a marketing firm. That is what I meant. When the individual said that he was thinking about going independant and talking with the different companies, I assumed he meant that he would be contacting the companies directly. If he in fact contacted the companies directly without a proven track record he probrably would not even get a conversation with the company. In the rare instance that he did get a conversation they, being the company that he is talking to, would not offer him advances on a direct contract until he has a 12 month track record with that company.

    To clarify I am not saying that every company operates this way, but I am comfortable in saying that 95% of the companies do. I can only speak from my own experience, but this is the way I was dealt with. I do not have bad credit, quite the opposite actually, and I do not have any vector hits on my report. So to say that unless you have either one of these would be the only way not to get advanced commission is not entirely true. I mean if we are going to hang on every word and pick it apart.

    The information I was trying to give was in my opinion good information. Most marketing companies get upset with me when I tell the truth and I am use to that. In Conclusion I would add that a marketing company is of NO use to an agent unless:

    1. The Marketing company is providing you contacts or leads.

    2. Is providing you an office and support.

    3. Is paying such a HIGH commission that you do not care about 1 and 2.

    I do any of the following for my agents, but I will not and can not do all three. Unless your a Democrat and expect OBAMA to magically appear and make all of your problems go away........LOL. I thought I would throw some humor in there......


    I can see where what I said could have been misconstrued and for that I apologize. I was trying to get past the FAT and provide the facts. But again to be clear the facts that I speak of ARE FROM MY EXPERIENCE, AND MY EXPERIENCE ALONE.
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    Yes you will get the same comp, but the chances of having your comp increased by your marketing firm will go down. That is what I am saying. I was trying to give a point-of-view from an IMO standpoint. An IMO can say that it will not affect their future comps to their agents, and all I am saying is that is not TRUE. That is the wonderful thing about an opinion you can take it or leave it. I am sorry for posting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
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