Three Questions to Ask Before Starting an Independent Agency
Being a successful captive insurance agent has its limitations. Many captive agents hit a plateau in their career, and the only way to break through and reach new heights is to become an independent agent. However, just because you’ve had success as a captive agent doesn’t mean that going independent is going to be easy. Before quitting your day job, every captive agent thinking of going independent needs to ask themselves these three questions.
What is your business plan?
One of the restrictions of being a captive agent is that you are under contract to only sell insurance from one carrier. When you are independent, you can sell insurance from multiple carriers. The more carriers that you represent, the better you can personalize each client’s insurance portfolio. However, before you can build up your carrier representation, you need to be able to prove to carriers that you have a plan to make money. You may have all kinds of personal and socially responsible motives for becoming an independent agent, but when it comes to acquiring carrier representation, you are the Jerry McGuire to their Cuba Gooding, Jr., and if you can’t show them the money, you’re not going to get to sell their product.
A business plan should lay out a specific outline for how you plan on making a profit for you and the insurance carriers.
Do you have access to a niche market?
To show a carrier that you are in a position to be profitable, you need to show that you understand your target market. Having access to a niche market will give you added insight into the client base that you hope to dominate.
Be specific about your niche market. There is a growing trend towards targeting smaller niches to specialize your services. It’s not enough to want to sell to millennials or the tech industry, even if you have access. Tighten your niche, and be as specific as possible. Sell to millennials who are expanding their million-dollar online empire and starting a family at the same time.
The more you can show that you understand your potential clients, that you already have access to your niche market, the more insurance carriers will be interested in being represented by your agency. Or, don’t focus on auto insurance; focus specifically on the self-driving auto insurance that we’ll be needing more of in the not-too-distant future.
What makes you different from other independent agencies?
Knowing how to market and sell your agency and your vision is going to prove to carriers that your agency will stand out. Knowledge of new technology and ways to use social media outlets to communicate with your clients will help your agency stand out. Many agencies have not caught up with modern technology, so if you are ready to embrace how the new generation is conducting business, and if you can show that you already have a report on social media and are respected in with your niche clients, you will be much more attractive to insurance carriers.
Increase carrier representation as an independent agent
Affordable American Insurance (AAI) provides a turnkey business model for a captive insurance agency to transition to the independent world, or for an existing independent agency a platform to increased carrier representation and revenue while removing carrier production requirements.
Request more information on the benefits of joining AAI and starting an independent agency in Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.