FAQs About Agency Groups

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As we meet and talk with new agencies, we get questions about the benefits of membership in an agency group. In New England, where Renaissance Alliance was founded, agency networks are a familiar concept, but that isn't necessarily the case as we meet agents in other states throughout the country. Plus, even for those agents who think they know what an agency group is and what to expect from a group membership, those assumptions can be wrong or dated. It may be time to take another look!

We get questions!

As we meet and talk with new agencies, we get questions about the benefits of membership in an agency group. In New England, where Renaissance Alliance was founded, agency networks are a familiar concept, but that isn’t necessarily the case as we meet agents in other states throughout the country. Plus, even for those agents who think they know what an agency group is and what to expect from a group membership, those assumptions can be wrong, or dated.

It may be time to take another look!

From time to time, we’ll use the blog to respond to some of the most frequently asked questions that we get. Here are a few we’ve recently received:

Q. Are all groups similar in what they offer?

A. No. First, agency groups are also known as agency networks, clusters, aggregators, partnerships and alliances. But beyond the name, the services that an agency network provides 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. Renaissance Alliance offers a robust suite of services designed to accelerate agency growth delivered by a full time team of dozens of seasoned industry experts.

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.

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.

Q. Will I still maintain ownership of my agency and my book of business?

A. This is an important point of clarification that you definitely need an answer for when talking to a group. But at Renaissance Alliance, we can offer a resounding “yes!” Our members retain exclusive ownership of their agency and their agency’s book of business. Member agents maintain complete and total agency independence. We help agents find markets, but we don’t decide where a piece of business is placed – that always remains the agency’s decision, in consultation with its clients.

Q. Why do insurance carriers work with Renaissance Alliance – what’s in it for them?

A. Insurance carriers are attracted to the 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 Renaissance Alliance membership consists of elite, high-performing agencies who’ve delivered quality business and an excellent loss ratio over more than two decades.

Do you have questions about agency groups?  Give us a shout – we’d be happy to answer!

 

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About Renaissance Alliance

Renaissance Alliance is the premier alliance for independent property casualty agencies. Founded by agents for agents in 1999, we are a pioneer in agency groupings, offering far more than expanded markets and profit share. Distinct from agency aggregators, we provide state of the art technology solutions, a full-time staff of more than 90 industry experts and a proprietary agency growth acceleration process that delivers superlative results.

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