One of our services is assisting prospective insurance agency owners start their own agency. Sometimes it’s a Producer that’s been in the same agency for many years with an above average income and ample savings. Sometimes it’s a person from a completely different industry that wants to give the insurance business a try because they heard it’s a great business.
For those of you that have no insurance experience and want to start an agency, our advice is to find a job in a Retail Insurance Brokerage and make sure it’s a career you want to stick with. Learn the products, coverages, software and lingo before hanging your own shingle.
Some of the direct companies; State Farm, Allstate and Farmers will recruit, train and allow you to start a captive agency without prior insurance experience. Their training programs last for months and by the time you complete the training, you’ll be ready to work in an office.
The Brokerage business is a completely different beast. In order to obtain competitive products to sell you need experience (lots of it) and relationships within the industry. You can obtain a few wholesaler appointments and start your agency immedaitely, but in order to get direct, competitive appointments, it takes a lot more than money and desire. In addition to the appointments you need E&O Insurance which will be costly if you don’t have experience.
So, before you get excited about opening a new agency, learn the ropes, take a couple of years (yes years) and work in a Retail Insurance Brokerage. By doing this when you do hang your shingle, you’re armed and ready to make it happen.