Gaining access to new markets is nice, but there’s much more to it than that.
It’s a new year, filled with fresh opportunities and new challenges ahead for you and your independent insurance agency. A time for setting goals, taking stock of where your agency is poised to succeed, and identifying areas in which you want to accelerate your business.
While operating at your current levels may have worked for some time, as your business has grown you may have considered the benefits that being part of an agency network might bring you.
That’s benefits, plural – because joining an agency network is a two-way street. If you’re looking to leverage your hard-earned premium to achieve higher levels of profit sharing and fixed overrides on the business you write, you should receive that monetary compensation – and much more – in return for your membership.
It’s important to know that the benefits provided by the various agency networks vary widely. When doing your due diligence on what you’d get out of membership with each of them, it’s vital that you begin with a list of precisely what you need for your agency to thrive.
Get What You Need
When pondering that question, many agency principals might respond that they’re primarily looking for access to a wider panel of carriers or enhanced compensation, and those are solid reasons. However, bearing in mind that you should receive the maximum benefit for your participation in a network, there’s a lot more that your agency can – and should – get for your investment.
The membership benefits of an ideal agency network should include:
- Access to a wide range of carriers, increasing your options to serve clients
- Profit sharing and fixed compensation for the business you write
- Placement teams that work with you to secure coverage for commercial lines risks
- Freedom from minimum-volume requirements
- Specialists dedicated to growing your agency
- User-friendly technology that helps your agency make money
- Help with billing and invoicing, which takes time-consuming administrative work off your plate
- Experts who can guide your agency-marketing efforts
- Assistance in managing your carrier relationships, providing you more time to sell
- Operational support for the services provided by the network
Every single one of these resources provides unique value to your agency, and you should receive as many of them as possible.
Download our free e-book here: The Independent Agent’s Playbook for Success – How to Solve Your Agency’s Five Biggest Challenges
Additionally, membership with the right network should afford you complete autonomy when it comes to running your agency. You should remain in control of your business, not a network (again, this is something you should pay close attention to when negotiating any contract.)
Above all, your agency’s growth should be the top priority for the network you select. Anything less is membership in a group that merely seeks to leverage your premium and provide you little else.
You’ve put in an enormous amount of effort to build your book of business, and selling yourself short is not an option when it comes to considering an agency network. While deciding which one might be the best fit or you, make sure that you get exactly what your agency needs – and deserves.