They have a lot of names within the P&C world: Agency Networks, Agency Groups, Clusters, Premium Aggregators, Agency Franchises, etc. They serve a very important role in the P&C industry, in particular. One or more of them could provide a solid base for an agency to succeed. These organizations can be a very viable way for an agency to acquire markets and services that might otherwise be difficult or not likely attainable in this marketplace.
However, when evaluating any of them, you need to ask a number of critical questions. Believe it or not, here is one that I often see ignored in the course of an agent’s due-diligence process.
Who owns the business that I produce as a member of your Network?
Obviously this question is critical but I have known agents who have joined Networks without asking for clarification about it and have paid the price, as a result.
Make sure that you are totally clear and comfortable about all of the circumstances regarding ownership of the business before you sign a contract. Your business future may hang in the balance!