Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is an "agency group" (also known as a cluster, network, aggregator or alliance?)
An “agency group” is a business arrangement in which independent insurance agencies band together for mutual beneﬁt. By combining premium, members gain the scale and advantages that are usually only available to the largest agencies. Typically, these advantages include increased market access and enhanced proﬁt sharing, but some groups provide many other additional beneﬁts and services. An agency group can be as small as a handful of agencies or as large as a network of several thousand members.
Are all groups similar in what they offer?
No. Agency groups and the services they provide vary widely – that’s why it’s critical to research the group’s scope of services before joining. Many groups are little more than “commission clubs” offering no more than enhanced proﬁt sharing and market access. Some are loose alliances of peers; others provide group management services and operations and technology support.
In addition to understanding the beneﬁts of an agency group, it’s equally important to understand the commitment you are making. Some groups take ownership of a portion of your book of business; others make it nearly impossible to leave the group if things don’t work out. We don’t. You must thoroughly review and understand all the group’s legal documents and contracts before signing. It’s also important to understand how the group vets its members. You should ask about the group’s long-term loss ratio: that will have a signiﬁcant impact on your ultimate ﬁnancial results.
Why should my agency join Renaissance?
Most agency groups share two common denominators – they provide market access and increase proﬁt sharing. While we do those two things – we see those as table stakes. What makes us different is that we help our members to grow their premium, revenue and the resulting value of their agency. Our members overall have grown at more than twice the local and national rates every year over the last 5 years (6% vs 3%). Our top quartile members have grown more than 4 times the average (12% vs 3%). How? We have a 7 key Agency Growth Accelerator process that guides that growth. At a high level, our members are able to outsource non-revenue generating activities to the 90+ staff at Renaissance to free up the time of the owners and their staff to focus on revenue generation and growth. In the last year, we’ve introduced a number of new member beneﬁts. Now each of our members receives their own Agency Growth Partner to help them focus on growth. Our proprietary technology dashboards and reports provide real time analytics to ﬁnd areas of growth opportunity. Since the introduction of these new capabilities, our member growth has increased even more – to almost 8% average growth in 2019, and over 15% for our top quartile members. Members remain 100% independent, retaining complete ownership of their agency. No entrance fees. No exit fees. Leave for any reason with 180 days notice.
How long has Renaissance been in business?
We have a successful track record dating back more than 20 years! Ours is not a new or unproven model – we were a pioneer in agency partnerships, and we set the standard for many of the groups that followed. We continue to be a leader in technology, innovation and, most importantly, consistent results.
Will I still maintain ownership of my agency and my book of business?
Yes! Renaissance Alliance members retain exclusive ownership of their agency and their book of business. You maintain complete and total agency independence. We help you ﬁnd markets, but we don’t decide where a piece of business is placed – that always remains your decision, in consultation with your client.
Why Renaissance? What sets you apart from other agency aggregations, groups or networks?
Renaissance Alliance members grow at twice the national average rate for independent agencies and our top-quartile members do even better, growing at four to ﬁve times the national average.
A relentless focus on growth underpins everything we do. It starts with an Agency Growth Partner and a Marketing and Placing Specialist being assigned to your agency. Their jobs are to help you shift your focus from processing and paperwork to activities that drive sales and client retention. We give agencies the tools, technology, capabilities and support they need to thrive independently in a rapidly evolving industry. Learn more about our services here.
What type of market access do you offer members?
Members have access to 45+ standard markets through either direct appointments or through the Renaissance Alliance Master Code. Members receive the same commission, proﬁt sharing and overrides on both master code and sub-code business.
Will I retain my current carrier appointments and relationships?
Yes! Renaissance Alliance members continue to represent all their current carriers. The carriers and wholesalers available through Renaissance Alliance membership are in addition to your current carriers, they do not replace them.
How will Renaissance improve my agency proﬁt sharing?
As a member of Renaissance Alliance, you will be eligible for top-tier proﬁt sharing from all our standard market carriers, regardless of the premium you may have with the carrier. On average, members receive 2.5 times the proﬁt share that they would receive as a stand-alone agency.
Are there other types of compensation membership in Renaissance Alliance provides?
Yes! Leveraging our volume and strong carrier relationships, we have negotiated overrides with almost half of our carrier partners. Renaissance Alliance shares a portion of this revenue with member agencies. Unlike proﬁt sharing, which is not guaranteed and can be volatile, overrides provide an additional and more stable source of income.
How will Renaissance help me grow my agency?
As a member of Renaissance Alliance, you will grow your agency with the assistance of our team of more than 90 professionals who handle routine agency activities so you can refocus your efforts and redeploy your staff to customer service and new revenue-generating activities. Because every agency is unique, you will have a Growth Partner assigned to your agency who will help you identify and implement priority growth initiatives tailored to your unique goals and needs. We also provide key performance indicators which allow you to monitor and measure results. These are just a few of the ways that we help our members grow – we’d love to tell you more. Contact us to talk about how we can help your agency accelerate growth!
Why do carriers work with Renaissance – what’s in it for them?
Carriers are attracted to our ease of doing business, our focus on driving organic growth and our data-driven management culture. They beneﬁt from predictable long-term proﬁtability and our streamlined approach to consolidating distribution priorities. They also know that our membership consists of elite, high-performing agencies who’ve delivered quality business and an excellent loss ratio over more than two decades.
Beyond market access, what other services are available to my agency?
Unlike most agency groups, our top-quality infrastructure is second to none, affording our members unparalleled support. Our staff of more than 90 full-time insurance professionals have expertise ranging from business process outsourcing to software engineering. Services include account placement, back-ofﬁce processing, employee training, marketing support, acquisition support and even software focused on helping agencies measure and manage their businesses. Our Agency Growth Partners, a team of industry veterans focused on driving organic agency growth, help our members discover untapped opportunities and design and execute growth-focused initiatives.
What is the “carrier management” service that you offer?
Insurance carriers are increasingly focused on predictive modeling and multivariate rating. With this shift in underwriting focus, the difﬁculty of ﬁnding the right market increases exponentially. Renaissance Alliance excels in marketing and account placement services, enabling our members to focus on what they do best – building relationships and selling insurance. Our Marketing and Account Placement experts work with you to market and place commercial lines risks. We also offer a proprietary system to manage the submission process, with tools to view status, comments and quotes. We also provide expertise and placement for high-value properties and hard-to-place accounts.
Do you offer any discounted services to members?
Yes. We offer a broad array of discounted and value-added services to our members. We are continually evaluating services that might be beneﬁcial to our members and negotiating discounts for them. Examples include discounted technology services, outsourcing services, agency E&O insurance, loss runs, consulting services, web development, graphic design, and much more. We also offer many other value-added services such as training and help-desk technology support, that are included in your membership beneﬁts.
Do you have tech tools to help me monitor the growth of my agency?
Renaissance Alliance has a full-time staff of technology professionals who are continuously developing new tools to help provide better insights into your business. We handle the data to get the answers you need. Every agency has their own dashboard displaying their unique agency metrics. You can monitor your data 24/7 from either your desk or from your phone using Arno, our proprietary mobile app for members agency owners. Members work with their Growth Partners to understand where opportunities exist within their book of business, who then help to implement the strategy to realize those opportunities.
What if it doesn’t work out for my agency and I want to leave – are there penalties?
No! There are no exit fees or penalties.
What’s the future for agency networks?
Going forward, agency networks must offer a much more robust value proposition than simple market access and proﬁt sharing. Thriving networks will offer sophisticated technology expertise and will provide agencies with access to the skill, scale and capital required to grow and differentiate, all while optimizing revenue opportunities and enabling greater independence.
As one of the pioneers and recognized innovators in agency groups, Renaissance Alliance is geared for the future. Our ongoing commitment to technological advancement is a core strength.