Sometimes people gauge success by their number of locations. This is because in business it is often thought that the more locations you have, the more money you will make. So it will not surprise anyone to learn that two common questions we get are “can I have more than one location?” and “can I have people produce for me?”
In short, the answer is:
• Yes, you can have multiple producers in your location.
• And, no, you can’t have multiple locations.
Here is why:
The answers to both questions hinge on your ability to grow profitably with your carriers. Firefly has no production requirements. But we do expect every agent to follow carrier underwriting and rating guidelines. If you and your staff do that, you will be profitable most of the time.
The only way to be sure that your location is following underwriting guidelines is for you to consistently be a good field underwriter. With technology, you can be a good field underwriter even if a property is far away from you. Clients can email you, or your producers, photos of a property, and most carrier systems are engineered to help confirm that the information you have gathered is correct.
Our carriers trust us and hold us accountable for profitability for the entire agency. We in turn hold you accountable to do your best to write profitable business. If you have producers, we consider it your responsibility to make sure they do the same.
Producers must meet the standards of carriers and of Firefly. So if you have someone in mind to be your producer, the sooner you discuss it with us, the better.
Years ago, we allowed a few agents to have satellite locations. Unfortunately (and consistently), even if our agents personally were good underwriters, producers at distant locations were not. Underwriting standards slipped, loss ratios suffered, and agents got burned. Something that seemed like it should work, didn’t unfold as planned. Sort of like this:
The principle is that if you follow carrier guidelines, you will be profitable most of the time. We know you can effectively do this so long as you are aware of what is being written – and which carrier you’re placing it with. Experience has shown that it is too difficult for you to teach and monitor producers who are not at the same location as you.
This is why we are open to discussing plans where you would write business in other states, with one central location that employs multiple producers – but not open to you having more than one location.