Allstate cannot broker either (only within the broker that they have to use). As far as Farmers, unless things have changed, yes many an agent has their husband/wife, child, relative, etc. become an IA, and most the managers know about it but then heads went to the chopping block several years back and the practice was to stop. Did it? Doubtful for sure, you see too many but the one thing that did come of it was that if you officed in the same bldg, you had to have a separate entrance, address, staff, phones etc.
If you are that lucrative of a Farmers agent I would be very careful in how you proceed. Kind of like risk management, why risk it? And be very careful, you being a corporate officer of this IA could put you in other situations including but not limited to E&O exposures.
Personally I don't understsand your desire to have all the additional expenses associated with a 2nd (albeit IA) office, Farmers can broker after first right of refusal, if anything, I'd save the cost, find an agent you can "pal up" with and set a commission split as well as an agreement that neither touches or approaches the other for the business they have. I've done this for years and it's been very profitable for both of us and as said previously, no additional expenses.[/i]