Would you like to know how to leave the captive system, how to become an independent insurance agent, and start an independent insurance agency? Insurance agents can’t afford to be shackled to one company in today’s market, and neither can their customers. Becoming an independent agent gives you the ability to represent multiple carriers to better fit your clients’ unique needs.
Research and Education
When starting out on this venture, it is important to conduct thorough research in becoming an independent insurance agent. As an entrepreneur, it will be necessary to understand the complex nuances of business, finance, economics, mathematics, marketing, and business law. Even if you are already a licensed agent, becoming 100% independent can prove much different from working at a captive agency. Although a college degree is not required to become an independent agent, it can serve as an invaluable resource and set of tools for the future. Apart from traditional education, seminars and conferences present a great wealth of knowledge when it comes to networking with other insurance agents and agencies.
Every year, MIAA hosts an annual Insurance Leadership Conference. This event offers an opportunity for insurance agencies and independent agents to network, learn vital information from speakers, and socialize over catered meals. The 2018 Midwest Insurance Leadership Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, NE, and runs from Thursday, May 10 – Friday May, 11. To register for this event, please visit this link.
Formulate a Business Plan
Before pouring financial resources into this entrepreneurial journey, formulating a solid business plan is essential to ensure the future success of your livelihood. During this stage, you will need to determine the type of legal structure behind your business. Are you planning on being the sole proprietor, or will you need a different legal structure to support a partnership and/or possible employees? It is important to research the different options available to suit your needs.
In order to successfully market your services, you will need to identify your target market, suppliers, and competition. Insurance is a diverse industry, offering a wide umbrella of services and specialties. It can be wise to focus solely on becoming an expert in a single branch of insurance. This can provide a competitive edge by putting you at the top of your field. However, insurance brokers can choose to specialize in multiple types of insurance. The opportunity to expand your agency in future is always an option.
Last, but certainly not least, comes time to analyze your risks, finances, budget, projections, and production forecast. This is the most important aspect of becoming an independent insurance agent or agency. A calculated, effective business plan will enable you to secure loans, financing, and ultimately, the location of your business’ operation.
As you might imagine, there are a few legalities involved with becoming an independent insurance agent. Each state has a unique set of requirements that need to be adhered to. A few of these could possibly include recurring certifications, licensing exams, multiple licenses for different types of insurance, or continuing education courses.
In addition to personal training, you will also need to acquire business licenses and permits, purchase E&O insurance, and select a client management system. Take special care to ensure that these requirements have all been met, as they are essential to running a legitimate operation.
If you’ve already got your business established but are looking to grow big without gutting your independence, MIAA is perfect for you. Reach out today to learn how you can become instantly big!