Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Your response to industry hot topics.

Moderators: independent guy, Josh

Post Reply
manny79
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by manny79 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:59 am

Hi,

As many of you may know already from my previous post's, I have been doing some research to open a new independent agency in Florida. I have everything almost ready to go on the AUTO & FIRE side on relation with companies, commisions, rater and agency management software but still not 100% of what companies to use to sell LIFE .
I am currently a captive agent so I will need as much information as you guys can give me about it. I dont know if a quote comparasion or rater will be need it for it and what companies will be onces to go after. I will be looking a maximun of 4 companies for now as my agency will be a AUTO,FIRE, HEALTH & LIFE so lets start small.

Any advice will be more than welcome, thanks

ishootfriendlies
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:10 am

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by ishootfriendlies » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:49 am

I have worked with FAIU (faiu.com) in the past, and been very pleased. There are a lot of operations like them out there. Just pick one and you can work with and move forward.

manny79
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by manny79 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:52 pm

Thanks ishootfriendlies,

I just called them but they are Brokers. I am actually looking for direct contact with the carriers so I avoid all the nightmare of dealing with anybody else. They (as I was told) will be taking their commision portion but I will be doing business through them, not direclty with the carriers so,.....My agency will be a P&C agency that also sells Life and Health so adding a Broker to the table will not make sense specially if I already have a franchise for the P & C . I just need to know what are the most used carriers in FL so I contact them directly and see what happens.
If I ever consider LIFE as primary that option with FAIU will be great,thanks I appreciated the reply

newportins
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:05 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by newportins » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:24 am

manny79, in life insurance, most carriers do not contract directly with retail agents. Even if you are large life retail agent, you still have to go through the middlemen. Even life wholesalers have to go through another level of wholesalers.

pdxagentgal
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by pdxagentgal » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:29 am

I'm not in FL, but we use a local MGA here in our state. If you can find a great MGA I would recommend going that route - they can provide great help with underwriting and service of existing policies. The MGA gets an override from the carriers, they do not take a portion of our comission. (I do not recommend Crump as an MGA if they are out there in FL, they have not been able to provide much service once a policy is written.)

As others have said, it is very hard to get directly appointed with a carrier unless you have very high volume.

manny79
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by manny79 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:38 pm

Thanks guys, I appreciated your post's,

Yes it seems that's the way to go. Coming from a captive world this small details could be seen like huge rocks on the way, so thanks I appreciate your help. I had reviewed so far three options :

- Crumps
- FAIU
- Brokers Alliance

Thanks to (pdxagentgal) comment I will be really careful with Crumps. But guys, what sould I be looking for in a MGA ? And it is normal that you write the business through them? I call yesterday FAIU and was told that business will be written through them, will this means that I will loss control of whats happening? Sorry, but again I am really new on the independent world and they are a lot of small things that I am not 100% of. Also a comparasion quote rater, do I have to look for something like that or no? Here is what I know and the questions I have according with my experience :

1- contact the client and do all the work that we all know and get the client interested in one of the products the office offer.
2- have an appointment with the client to start the quote in the system( FIRST QUESTION- What system, will I be using a direct link to the carrier website or a quote rater from the MGA ? ) this will determine how much time will I be investing doing a quote in lets say 4 different companies, if I have to type the same information over and over or just a comparasion tool.
3 - Now the client is happy and ready to purchase the application( SECOND QUESTION- I know that I should use either one (carrier)or the (MGA) system . The paper work, signatures if need and payment will be send to the carrier directly or the MGA for their underwriter review ? )
4 - After the technical is been resolve we should follow up the case, now, I IMAGINE that I will have to contact the MGA to see the status of the application and to whom ever listed for the lab results and all of it.
5 - Policy has been issue and my commisions has been paid but client will like to update beneficiaries or etc...or I want to follow up on his renewal to see how the policy is doing ,specially if UL. Who do i have to contact then? THIRD QUESTION)

Those are logical steps that I do everyday but I know were to go and how. Could some one guide me into how can I complete at least those steps with a MGA? I know they dont all work the same but....Any advice will be appreciated,thanks guys

d's insurance store
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:04 am

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by d's insurance store » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:58 am

You need to seek out one of the MGA's that offer multiple markets and an on line quote indicator with a health analyzer.

Sure, you can seek out individual appointments, but can you really do enough volume to satisfy 5 or 6 of the top rated carriers?

Secondly, you're only a one person shop and you're apparently trying to be the main street jack of all trades. Do you really think you're going to have the time to sell and service labor intensive P&C Personal Lines AND keep track of APS requests and paramed appointments? Furthermore, you're also mentioning after sale service for life insurance...fact is, after 30 years of doing this, the vast majority of my life clients don't want to hear from me for a very long time after policy issuance. A good MGA will keep you informed of the ups and downs of a cash value policy as the producing agent, but for you to think you're going to have a measured, thoughtful conversation about beneficiaries or UL Options when your phone is ringing for auto quotes and mortgagee changes on property policies, you're living in a dream world.

Get real...it's going to be hard enough to start and manage a one person scratch P&C Personal Lines agency without you presenting as an advocate for financial products as well. Give up 25 to 35 points of commission in return for letting someone else handle the nuts and bolts of life insurance underwriting and servicing is the way to go.

Want a couple of places to go? Look up Quick Life in Colorado and Pinney in California.

pdxagentgal
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by pdxagentgal » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:15 am

As d's insurance store said, a good MGA offers multiple carriers and an online quoter with a health analyzer.

You should also be able to have a underwriter/new case contact who you can ask for more detailed pre-screens, follow up with them on applications that are pending, etc.

The local MGA I use has all the various carrier forms available on their website. Even though I am submitting my apps to the MGA, I'm using the carrier forms.

A good MGA will also provide service for existing policies. This is my beef with Crump - I try to ask a service person there for help - a question on a policy, a change request - and they direct me to the carrier (and the carriers don't always give me info if I don't know what agent code the agent was under or things like that). The MGA I use has a service person I can email or call for any questions or changes. Truly lets me have the MGA be my one stop shop.

Again, we use a local MGA not a large national MGA. It's worth researching if there are any local MGAs in your area that may provide more customized personal service to you than a larger MGA...

manny79
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by manny79 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:33 pm

I am 100% with you guys, as "d's insurance store “said otherwise I will be living a dream. Nothing could be more realistic than that, that’s exactly why I am looking for the right IMO or MGA. But yeah I am trying to be the Jack on all trades, giving my cut on the way will help me to be just so, that’s the reason for the IMO so far the two I have contacted today they will both take care of the lab work and underwriting and both have online quoting system so I can create my own illustrations and they process the application. About the servicing, yes I will need their help but my goal is to be able to serve my clients at least once a year to double check their insurance needs, and no I will not be by myself at that point my plan is to have at least two employees with me to help me with the service portion of the business until they proof otherwise.

I contacted today Brokers Alliance and Crump, and I will try tomorrow Ash Brokerage and FAIU. Is hard to determine what option is better as I have been captive for a long time and don’t have any experience with ANY IMO. Could you guys give me your opinions? As far as the two I contacted today they work very similar just that one give you commissions + bonus (Crump)and the other one(Brokers Alliance) give you a street level higher from app one so....but they both have the quoting system, the case manager, your (team), contract with A rated companies. But I need to know how they had worked with any of the forum members so I can make my final decision. Thanks again for your help.

pdxagentgal
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by pdxagentgal » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:50 am

Perhaps there is a local agent group - part of Big I, NAHU etc, that you could network with to see what other agents in your area think of the various MGA options available?

I'm no help on this one since I'm across the company and we don't use any of the GAs you mentioned. We had some business roll over from Crump via an agency acquisition and I did not like their service, but that could be just the branch of Crump out here...

Good luck with your decision!

manny79
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Life Insurance Companies for Independent Agents?

Post by manny79 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:28 am

Thanks,

I think that I am more towards "Brokers Alliance" .They offer decent street level commissions and (apparently) great service, a great website with the rater for life and, contract with all the majors on my area offering me a variety of (A rating) companies and products. I haven’t hear anything negative about them so far and I think is better to sacrifice some $ by been with the pros than to be dealing with an unknown company with barely any resources to help you. Most important is that there is no contract so if the relation is not healthy both ways I just go to the next one until I found my match. What do you think?

Post Reply