mgas

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scotp
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mgas

Post by scotp » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:08 pm

Hi All

I've been set a task by my boss to look into MGAs as we are getting into more non standard business (we only do P&C commercial). We're west coast based and there are clearly a number of the bigger ones (USI, Arrowhead, Crump, Swett, Burns, RPS, Amwins etc) that we could reach out to.
However we have been trying to come up with criteria for what we think are the most important things from MGAs. Rather than post a list and ask for comments I wondered if people would be willing to share some opinions on what they view as important (preferably in some sort of priority list!). We'll then think through our likely overall approach (a few big ones, a few small ones or some other blend) based on that criteria and then start finding people we like (clearly a lot comes down to the individual in the end) :-)

Scott

d's insurance store
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Re: mgas

Post by d's insurance store » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:17 pm

My numbers one and two are as follows:
A CLEAR idea of what an MGA specializes in and is good at...I've read too many 'we do it all' ads in the trades and then submitted only to find out the MGA can't or won't service that market well...jeepers, just some kind of web site list that says 'we do the following really well and have a lot of business placed in these areas'

And secondly, fast acknowledgment of submissions and fast email responses, even if the email only says 'got your email...we'll back to you later today or tomorrow' I've had it with MGA's that never respond to my email inquiries or progress requests. And to ice the cake, it would be really cool if an MGA would let me know an approximate time frame for receiving quotes...hours, days, weeks? What is it? There have been times where I've requested binding on a risk after a few days with one or two quotes only to have a 3rd or 4th quote come in with either better coverage or better rates, or both, and I didn't even know the MGA was still shopping the risk around.

For some reason, MGA's have always been a curiosity as to how they stay in business with really loose and sloppy business practices. Maybe I'm just more demanding than most...

mica.cooper
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Re: mgas

Post by mica.cooper » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:25 pm

The business practices speak volumes about companies.

How long have they been in business is a foremost criteria I have. I think EVERY company we represent has been in business over 90 years. They are conservative, competent, and don't change on a whim. The recent financial crisis barely affected them and in fact increased their new business volume by 50% or more.

They are also smaller and capable and know their clients by name.

yoyowordup
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Re: mgas

Post by yoyowordup » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:58 am

mica.cooper wrote:The business practices speak volumes about companies.

How long have they been in business is a foremost criteria I have. I think EVERY company we represent has been in business over 90 years. They are conservative, competent, and don't change on a whim. The recent financial crisis barely affected them and in fact increased their new business volume by 50% or more.

They are also smaller and capable and know their clients by name.
Every MGA you do business with has been in business over 90 years?

Prolines
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Re: mgas

Post by Prolines » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:13 pm

All brokers are not created equal. Just because it's a "name" shop does not mean you will get excellent service. Unfortunately, in many cases it's just the opposite. Will you be treated like a second class citizen because you are not a top retail producer for them? Many of the heavy hitters at various agencies are not staffed well enough to provide extraordinary service to a new client (unless they are bringing a large account or a big book of business).

The important thing is to interview the broker and/or account manager who will be working on your submissions (assuming they work for a respected fiscally sound MGA). You should discuss your service expectations and then hold them accountable. The ideal relationship is a partnership. They will not be able to help you on every deal, but you should be comfortable enough to know they will point you in the right direction.

Do not submit the same account to multiple wholesalers unless you are upfront with each of them. There is nothing worse than wasting your time on an account that two or three wholesalers are chasing.

mhutch69
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Re: mgas

Post by mhutch69 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:03 pm

been in business over 90 years, small enough to know agents names AND grew over 50% since 2007???


Please list these entities for us???

Brenda H
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Re: mgas

Post by Brenda H » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:47 am

The most important thing, I think, to consider, is not getting too many MGA's. You can't "feed" them all and you get some overlap in company representation. My suggestion is to get one or two and develop relationships with the underwriters. They should ideally have different companies and specialities, so you can get what you need at any given time. May I suggest a company that I enjoy doing business with, and they are based in California, Western Security Surplus. I do business with them in Texas and enjoy working with them. They always acknowledge my submissions with an email or fax saying we got and are working on it. They are also the only company that I have run across that will do a phone quote.

mica.cooper
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Re: mgas

Post by mica.cooper » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:34 am

Yes,
Every company and parent company of every MGA has been in business for 90+ years. They did not increase their business by 50%, please read more carefully, some of them have increased new business by 50%. Most of that business is coming...or running away from direct writers.

My point is that longevity is an important management criteria. Companies that are successful over time and don't jump on the latest thing just because some pimple face college kid or Facebook says it is. Sound business principles are just that and time and technology do not change that.

pcock1
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Re: mgas

Post by pcock1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm

been an agent for 47 years service is what your looking for and i have found it with anderson & murison in LA 323 255 2333 GIVE THEM A TRY THEY ARE COOL ask for melissa alcorn

kiswest
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Re: mgas

Post by kiswest » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:48 pm

Hi, I'm new to your forum. I use MGA's and wholesalers. MGAs that have programs and have the pen are important if you have a specific class. I use wholesalers as well for a various classes. I have one national and one regional. Always on the lookout for others that are best suited to my type of biz.

ignotus25
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Re: mgas

Post by ignotus25 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:12 pm

Hi Scott,

I happen to work for an MGA, JE Brown & Associates specifically. I recognize all the names you listed, and they have fine reputations. I agree with one of the other posts about specialization. One can be "Jack of all trades, master of none", if one isn't careful. That's not to say that a diverse offering is bad, only that some degree of specialization is preferable. While it is cliche, I happen to believe that service, more specifically responsiveness, is still king. I hope this helps in some way. Please don't hesitate to contact me at 800-955-8213, ask for Michael.
Michael Cotsenmoyer, AINS
J.E. Brown & Associates
O: 800-955-8213 C: 714-244-7007
www.jebrown.net

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