Question: After tasting the Kool-Aid from several different captives over the last couple of weeks of interviews, I also have an opportunity to go independent. I have an acquaintance who is a long time player in the insurance game and he is offering me 100 leads a month and some long distance training to sign through his company. I would still need to get my own E&O Insurance. Not sure what else I would need besides a phone and a vehicle? Would I be completely insane for jumping off the bridge?
Answer: This is a very good questions and I believe many people have a hard time deciding on which route they would like to go in their career. There are many different aspects that you must find out about your current situation; financial, ability and willingness as a salesperson all play a large role in your decision. You may need a stable financial situation and the ability to work long hours to jump off the bridge and enter the insurance industry as an independent agent. If you are able and willing to do so, I believe in the long run you are much better off as an independent agent. You have the ability to control your income by receiving a larger portion of renewal premium and also control your time and hours worked depending on your situation. I started my insurance career with a large captive insurance company. I believe it was the best situation for me as I had never been a full time insurance agent or even in a sales position. I was able to get licensed and learn about the insurance industry while still having support and leads from a captive insurance company. This also gives you the opportunity to really make sure this is what you want to do. The insurance industry is not looked at as the most exciting field of work but the benefits and residual income can be lucrative. Sales in general are not for everyone and can be very difficult depending on your skill set. I believe only 50% of new agents in the insurance industry last 6 months and only 20% make it an entire year. Going to work for a captive agency, I was able to prove that I could make it as a career in insurance and that was very helpful later on. Plus, I didn’t have the debts and responsibilities of starting or dealing with the startup of an agency at that time.
Almost 2.5 years later, I decided to start my own insurance agency and haven’t looked back since. I was able to take my knowledge that I had learned from a large captive insurance company and used it to help build my independent agency to what it is today but I don’t believe I would have been as successful without prior training from the captive insurance company. Today, as an agency owner there are many more aspects that I have to deal with on a daily basis outside of just selling insurance. There is accounting and payroll, hiring and training employees, learning all the different companies’ software and systems and even paying your monthly bills just to run the company. You must keep this in mind before taking the plunge because it can be overwhelming for a new agent that is trying to start a business but also learn the industry as well. I would recommend talking to a few agency owners to help you figure out your best path to success. At Smart Move Insurance we look to help new agents by allowing them to work as a independent broker and then allow them to branch off into their own agency when they feel the time is right. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Smart Move Insurance at 480-397-9525 or online at www.smartmoveinsurance.com.
Reposted from Insurance Forums: http://www.insurance-forums.net/forum/general-insurance-agent-discussions/can-newbie-make-independent-t70480-3.html#post929442