Starting in the Insurance Industry

Jul 14, 2015

  1. dbg1974

    dbg1974 New Member

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    Hello. I have been an observer of this forum for a few months now, and have found much of the information here to be quite valuable to someone like me who is looking into insurance as a possible career. Thank you for your wisdom and advice.

    I am 40 years old, and am about 6 months away from finishing my bachelor's in business management. (Yeah, I'm a late bloomer.) I am making a career change, and am interested in entering into the insurance business. I want to open an agency, not a work from home type of thing. Seems like agencies here in SW Missouri (Farmers, State Farm, Shelter, American Family) all do quite well. State Farm is the number one writer in Missouri, according to information I've received. However, I have read the horror stories that many of you have shared on here about companies like State Farm and Farmers. So, I am asking your advice ladies and gentlemen...what direction should someone like me go to get started in this profession? (BTW, I come from the funeral profession..I am a licensed funeral director.) Thanks in advance for your responses.
    dbg1974, Jul 14, 2015
  2. shawnmwalker

    shawnmwalker Guru

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    Well you have a decision tree here. I'll lead you down one path, but it is biased.

    "Begin with the end in mind"- 7 habits of Highly effective people.

    Decision #1:

    What end of the Ins Spectrum do you want? If you answered P&C keep reading. If ''Other" wait for the others to respond

    Decision #2: Captive or Independent.

    Pro: They will teach you a lot but inevitably you will go Indy at some point in your career. Another Pro, they will subsidize your life for a time.
    Con: The District Manager will push too hard or force life on you or cut your commissions or change your contract, or, ext, ext. Your Captive will take rate increases and kill your production and you will have one price point while others dissect your book one policy at a time.

    Pro: Control expenses. Get higher commission. Higher conversion. Higher retention. All of those factors equal more money.
    Con: Starting out. Getting knowledge. Your personality type could sink yourself.

    Decision #3:

    Once you decide Indy is for you, in the next week or 22 yrs from now. The question will be how to do it. Your options include:

    1. Buy an agency.
    2. Join a group.
    3. Become a producer for an agency.
    4. Get direct appointments.
    5. Get an agency that provides the back end service so you can hunt full time.

    You decide which one is best for you.

    Decision #4: What group should I join?

    There are a lot. Consider the following. NOT ALL GROUPS ARE CREATED EQUAL! They range from good, better and best.

    Any group claiming to be best of class should provide the following:
    1. Transparency
    2. Training and support
    3. Carrier Alignment
    4. and a great Contract
    Give me a call, shoot me am IM. Good luck and have fun with your choices.

    I have been in Insurance for 13+ years and the great thing in this industry is you can choose to never stop learning. Your learning curve is never ending. Meaning you will never get bored.
  3. Lifehlth2005

    Lifehlth2005 Expert

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    Seanmwalker- that was some good old fashioned advice that seemed to me, pretty non biased. I've been licensed since 2005 and am in a great spot now, but the early years are all about learning. Dbg- good luck. It's a tough industry to break into and if you weather the storm the first 2 years, it can be great!

    I'm all life and health so I never ventured to the p&c side but it's all about clients. You cant make any sales if you don't have anyone to see!