6 Things for Independent Agents to Worry About in 2013

By Alan L. Shulman | November 19, 2012

  • November 26, 2012 at 6:31 am
    David A. Vudragovich says:
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    If this makes you nervous, then you are a cookie cutter insurance agent or need to change your strategy.
    People who use “off the shelf” solutions do not have a good persistancy rating and are actually getting a disservice from the provider.
    (they think they understand what they are buying and in my experience do not understand what it can do for them down the line)
    They also think they can design a strategy as well as an experienced and trained professional.
    (That is like me claiming I know how to hang dry wall!)
    Those are not people I want as a customer, you can have them all!
    I prefer longer term relationships and being there as my client’s life changes.
    This article is for those hunt, sell, and repeat agents.
    Dave

  • November 26, 2012 at 8:58 am
    Matthew says:
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    Don’t ignore the under 30 crowd. Relationships don’t matter to them. Each day they become a larger force and the boomers fade away. Its a real issue. Trust me.

    • November 26, 2012 at 10:32 am
      Mr. Solvent says:
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      I work with a lot of the under 30 crowd. Relationships DO matter to them but you’d better be prepared to communicate with them on their terms. E-mail, Facebook, Google Chat, etc are how they want to reach you…and if they have a question on Saturday they want it answered on Saturday. Trust Me.

  • November 26, 2012 at 9:37 am
    tiger says:
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    This isn’t that a real “danger” list. What about total lack of business growth in 2013? Obamacare? Taxation issued?

    Seriously….baby boomers and their issues? Not a real threat in contrast…

  • November 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Amy DeMasters says:
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    I agree–clients prefer to meet face to face with their advisor, but we also need to be flexible when communicating with our clients. I work with Insphere Insurance Solutions and I feel that our companty addresses these industry concerns by combining the benefits of an independent broker (and autonomy)with the support of a larger broker for training, marketing, lead generation, compensation, etc. It’s worth a look for any independent agent!

  • November 27, 2012 at 8:34 am
    Bill Ford says:
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    The need to work is number seven How shocking!

  • November 27, 2012 at 11:30 am
    Kathy Caselman says:
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    Be carefule whom you hire, I hired a girl [From St. Joseph] whom I thought was a friend when she was down on her luck. She quite and stole my client list and files and talked most of my clients into agent of record signatures, told them she owned half my business and I devided it. She talked another crooked agency into to backing her. They are both low lifes. But she refused to sign a contract, said we were friends we dont need that, I was stupid and to good hearted.

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm
    Tom Barrett says:
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    If these items scare you, you have much larger problems. These are only symptons of a much larger lack of true business focus, leadership and management. These fears shake out the real dead weight in the industry and clear the path for those of us focused on a true viable future as a valid business with a business plan and budget. We should welcome these changes, the weak shall fall away and our future shall become brighter. We opened 500 new offices this year and wrote $750 Million in new business, the future is bright for those who plan correctly and position their skill sets accordingly. If you aren’t serious about your business get out of the way!

  • December 3, 2012 at 10:41 am
    Sarah says:
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    I have owned an independent agency for almost 30 years and approaching the exit strategy of my agency within the next 15 years. If you are my competitor, the last thing you need to worry about is my production going through the roof as I get older, I worry about the opposite. I do however have a few younger producers who are looking to steal your business and buy mine, those are the guys you need to worry about. Here are the things real agency owners and not some make believe journalist worry about.
    1. Perpetuation
    2. Aging Producers
    3. Aging accounting staff
    4. Hiring the right new producers.
    5. Carrier production goals met and contracts safe.
    6. Obamanomics (Tax and Spend) and its effects on our business going forward.

    • December 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm
      GregCW says:
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      I read Sarah’s post and cant see how it got 21 dislikes. She sounds on track to me. I’m facing some of the same issues and hope that I can deal with them to be able to retire.

      her number six point is right on treack. Dealing with the Obamination has certainly impaired my agency operations and retireent plans.

  • December 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm
    FabIns says:
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    Sarah,I too have been in the business a long time. My biggest concern is burning good money on bad producers who don’t have the killer instinct. Either you got it or you don’t. Unfortunately, I have found that much of the younger set has an expectation of entitlement, that they should be rewarded before they have proven they can hunt,kill AND eat. I have found that the psychological profile tests are not good at filtering out these younger duds. Tom, I suspect you a an SIA-like network that is only too happy to take a loser producer’s money so that they can work out of their houses. I have found that these people are not producers, but are CSRs with big egos. They live off of prior production, usually poached from former employers. That is doing no one in this industry any favor, particularly the loser producer who settles on making a go at it for $20,000 in revenues. You don’t tell us how many offices you closed last year.

  • December 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm
    pv1 says:
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    I have been in the Insurance Business for 47 years now and I will tell you that , with no exceptions, the first thing to do when anyone–Anyone— comes into your office to work is a really good non piracy and non disclosure agreement. One with teeth stating what your State Laws and what the Federal Lwas are dealing with this if it violated. Make sure you read it together and that all copies are signed in your presance and witnessed and give them their copy of the agreement that they signed. If they leave and go with another competetor send them both a certified letter stating to the EX…Congradulations on your new job but please remember the following that you signed in my presance. Then send the new employer a certified letter congradulating them on their new hire and attach copies of the Non Piracy ect for their records and advise them that if the agreement is violated since you have notified them you will treat them as an assesory to the violation should one occur. It does not make friends but then they wern’t friends anyway. However it sure does take care of the problem. Especially with the new employer who has got a lot at stake.

    Sure, when I was starting I made a few bad decisions but this change was not one of them…
    Just free advice…Take it for what it cost you.



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