There are different motivating factors for owners of independent insurance agencies looking to sell their businesses.
For some, price is the most important factor. They want to maximize the value they are getting for selling an agency they built over time. For others looking out for the welfare of staff is paramount. They want to create an environment where the team they have created can have continued success in the future. Other agents may rank long-term relationships with their carriers or customers as the top factor on their succession planning checklist.
No matter what the motivation, timing is an important consideration. The reality is it’s never too early to start developing a succession plan. It’s a little like buying life insurance. You don’t want to wait until there are serious health problems before purchasing a policy. In the same way, insurance agents should not wait until they lose their enthusiasm for the business to develop a succession plan.
It is important to remember that planning is just that. A plan by itself is not legally binding. You can develop a five-year plan that can be modified and retweaked based on market conditions or your personal level of agency involvement. When it comes time to convert the plan into something that is legally binding most of the work will be done.
For more about perpetuation and succession planning:
‘Great Retirement’ Brings Succession Planning Into Focus, by Sean Kenny, SIAA Vice President of Corporate Development.
Why You Need to Plan Your Insurance Agency Exit Strategy, by Doug Meacham, MIAA President and COO.