Tag Archives: P&C

P&C Agent: “What Do You Really Want to Do?”

A P&C Agent and I were talking today and discussing his options with regard to the agency network group that might be best for him to consider, based on his particular circumstances.   He asked for my opinion.

I explained that I do not normally recommend one group over another as I want the agents to make their choices based on their own evaluations.  I supply some of the tools and related advice to help them make the most informed decisions but they decide on the final choice.

To help them in the decision-making process, one question that I like to ask is: “What do you really want to do?”  

It sounds simple enough but the agent needs to decide if he or she wants to be inside an office, fielding calls, processing business, supervising other production people, etc. or does the agent want to be free to produce outside the office and not be involved with the day-to-day activities of running an agency.  Of course, there can be a lot of room in the middle of these two scenarios but the answer to the question:  “What do you really want to do?” is often not asked of agents.   The answer is really very helpful in the process as many agency network groups offer variations to their main program models, to accommodate different agents’ needs.

It is too easy to assume that all agents want the same thing in terms of their involvement in the insurance business.  My image is often not their image.

Insurance Agency Network Groups – Questions

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!