jwwells1962 wrote: ↑Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:54 pm
If anyone has information to share, positive or negative on
SIAA or SmartChoice or ASNOA, I would be interested in hearing from you.
I have been captive my entire career, 15 years with one carrier and 15 with another.
Finally decided to set up my own shop.
Any steering suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your responses.
First off, I think its a wise move you are making by considering independence! I think the contracts will tell you all that you need to know. Having built an aggregator myself, I can tell you I have dissected many of the aforementioned contracts and many other than the ones you mentioned. The devil is in the details.
1. What happens if you decide to leave? Look for that in the contract... if you do, do they charge you a fee? Is there a non-compete? Are you held in any way hostage to the contract, unable to contact your clients, or contract with carriers even after you have parted ways?
2. Bonus... Almost all carriers have some sort of profitability bonus they offer their top agencies... do you get a piece of that? If so, how much and when?
3. Do you get dedicated relationships with the carrier and direct underwriting access, or do you have to submit literally everything?
4. Do you have the option to obtain your own E&O, or are you lumped into a huge group policy where you dont have many options for your coverage?
5. Commission... Many ag's will get overrides from their carriers... do you get a share of that or are you on a flat commission schedule?
6. Training, do they have leadership that can offer guidance for you and your agency when needed... not forced.
7. Do you get to use your own agency name, or are you just a branch?
I could go on an on because in some of the contracts I have read I have seen:
$60K startup fee (unreasonable)
15 year contracts (the average U.S. marriage lasts 8.2 years)
2 year restrictions for contacting/soliciting clients (I'm sorry good neighbor I can't help you for 15 more months)
up to 7 year restrictions on direct contracts with carriers (why not 6 years? Seriously, what's one more year going to do?)
Get a contract from them all, take each point through the contract, and I would bet you find flaws in all of them, but you will get an idea of who is the best fit for you... and one more thing, contact the President of each one... not the marketing guy, and see who has time to talk to you. If they don't have time for you, call me.