DM, statistics are important to look at, especially when making a VERY IMPORTANT financial decision that will affect you for the rest of your life. I personally received all kinds of pie in the sky "statistics" from Farmers prior to signing up as an agent years ago. 50% of all marriages end in divorce. So, one has a 50% chance of being successful in marriage, right? Those sound like great odds. Vegas does not have odds as good as this. However, a 97.5% chance of failure as a FIG agent? After getting in debt on average about $100,000? A 2.5% chance of "WINNING" as Charlie Sheen says, are not great odds.
You say that:"The tools are there & as far as entrepreneurial opportunities go, it's high high up there!"
Just exactly what tools are FIG providing to the agency force, that you speak of? I can think of only a few:
1. Access to write 21st Century? No. FIG bought 21st Century with the money made off the backs of its agency force, and has it positioned as a direct competitor against the agency force. Not to mention, if the FIG agent is lucky enough to write a client's auto into Farmers away from 21st Century, the agent only gets 4% commission instead of 10%.
2. Lots of support behind the agency force? Well, you tell me. Farmers is pressuring agents to do so many auto quotes a day. If the FIG agent does not sell the quote within a few days, the customer gets a direct solicitation from...you guessed who... 21st Century!
3. Great life insurance commission? No. FIG pays 40% commission versus the industry standard of 80- to 90% commission.
4. Opportunity to "own" your own business? Not so much. The only thing the agent owns is the debt. Job security? Not so much. If a agent spends 10 years or more with Farmers, spending thousands of his / her own dollars for rent, marketing, advertising, and all of the rest of the overhead to build an agency into a renewal stream, Farmers can walk in anytime, and has, and terminate the agent with only 90 days notice. They do not need a reason for termination. And the incentive for Farmers is they can distribute this agent's policies to other newbie agents, and only pay 40% commission to the newbie.
(4% on auto and 5.6% on fire policies.)
5. A great new agency contract? Not quite. The new agency contract FIG rolled out in May of 2009 basically takes the agent's right to free speech away, among other things. If the agent speaks any ill word of Farmers, the agent can be terminated. A reason for termination: "Conduct that is disparaging...to the companies"
Since I no longer represent Farmers Insurance, I do not have a "dog in this hunt". But in the interest of being transparent, can you please disclose if you work for Farmers Insurance in any way, or a District Manager, or a recruiting center, or have an interest in promoting Farmers Insurance in any way, or are you just here to help educate the masses who wish to get into the insurance business?
You go on to say that: "They've received accolades as well, research it"
What accolades are you talking about? The Farmers university? What a joke. If you speak to any agent that has been to this so called "University", they will tell you that they are not taught anything about insurance. They teach the agent to be like a car salesman, because that is Farmers mentality at the moment.
Ok, you have justified your reason for giving a link to a Farmers recruiting site. Does Farmers pay you to do this? I have a few links of my own to share, and I do not get compensated for doing so.
Maybe the accolades you are talking about are from J D Powers? Wait a minute, no, JD Powers consistently ranks Farmers Insurance at the bottom, at a 2 out of 5 stars in 4 out of 5 categories. Research it. http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/au ... r-ratings/
How about all the complaints about Farmers Insurance? Agents, customers, adjusters all can fill you in on their experience with FIG. You may research this as well here: http://www.farmersinsurancegroupsucks.com/index.htm
DM, a healthy, spirited exchange of information I believe is healthy, and hopefully readers of this post will see more than one point of view. Your contributions are appreciated, "brotha"