amckirahan wrote:Having been with Farmers for over 16 years on the management side, I would steer you away from this captive agency relationship, especially with the new agency contract. As for wholesalers, MGAs, etc............there is really no "free lunch" out there. Some charge membership or subscription fees, some charge broker fees, there are varying levels of commission splits and some have a "non-compete" preventing you from moving your book to a carrier(s) that you have placed policies with, through them, for up to two years.
It is true that you can get appointments with some non-standard carriers but, do you really want to build a non-standard book for the first two to three years and hope for standard carrier contracts once you have some volume and experience. Most standard carriers will shy away from a book of non-standard business. So, it really makes sense to use a wholesaler/MGA to gain access to markets that you can't get on your own.
A few comments have referenced Superior Access (SAIS) and, in the interest of full disclosure, I am the National Sales Director with SAIS. Turn around times are a relevant measure. We do not provide an instant, bindable quote. In most cases, we turn around requests the same day depending on when submitted. Any suggestions that we are not motivated to provide superior service because we charge a fee are ludicrous. And, we pay higher commissions to our Superior Members. With the monthly fee, you have access to comparative raters, over 50 carriers plus 3 E&S brokers. We have thousands of agents across the USA using our services. I would be more then happy to discuss our program with you and, if interested, give you the first month free to try us out. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish you the best of luck with your agency and know that we can help you get started and grow.
William Graham wrote:BJ
for what is worth -- of all the companies you mentioned --- State Farm is the best opportunity on a captive side -- SF also tends to make agency opportunities available to its employees -- so you might think about taking your current skills set to State Farm to begin with -- It has been many years since I checked it out but I think SF is looking for a $50 to $100K commitment/investment by the agent to open or assume an agency - I believe the employees tend to cash in their retirement to fund the agency start up costs.
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