The more options you learn about as you figure out how to start your independent insurance agency, the more you might feel like these guys:
You may have talked with a person or organization that’s tried to convince you that they’re exactly what you need. You perceive a difference between your goals and their model and you don’t want your agency to be a square peg in a round hole. Neither do we.
We can usually tell if an agency or aggregator would fit someone best after a short conversation with them. For example, a multi-location new car dealership recently called us wanting to start an agency. Their plan was to get a few carriers from us and establish a track record. Once they had those things in place, they planned to get their own appointments and roll their clients to those carriers.
They were looking for short term help—a launchpad. Their business idea seemed like it could work, but we were not the organization to help them do it. Firefly is built for long-term relationships; an aggregator was a better fit in their case. We were happy to point them in the right direction, even though it was away from us.
That is just one example where our model is not the best fit for someone. Here are a few other clues that we might not be the best model for you:
You are too new to the insurance industry.
You may have the right plan, personality, and commitment to profitability. But if you don’t have experience with Property and Casualty insurance, you are not a good fit for us. Our training is not currently designed to help you get acquainted with the insurance business. Instead, our training builds on the knowledge and experience you already have. We’re set up to teach you about carriers and markets, but you need to “speak insurance” before you begin with us.
You have a hard time getting prospects to talk to you about insurance.
If you have difficulty keeping your quoting pipeline full, we are probably not a good fit for you. Our deep line-up of carriers solves your market problem, but it’s up to you to solve the marketing problem.
Some agents think that having a lot of carriers will lead to getting prospects. This is not the case. If you struggle to get prospects now, that problem will persist even with Firefly’s resources, support, and encouragement.
You want to get your agency off the ground and are just looking for a launchpad.
Some agents are experienced but lack P&L statements or personal history they can show a carrier. They don’t mind having production requirements, so they want help getting a couple of carriers so they can establish enough history to get more appointments on their own. An aggregator is a better fit than Firefly in this situation.
You want to have several locations in multiple states.
This is not a great fit for us. As agents get farther and farther from their insured customers, we are concerned about their field underwriting processes getting diluted or discarded. (Thorough field underwriting is essential—read more on the process here.)
To be clear, our agents can write business in other states. We believe that with technology the distance between an agent and their prospect is not a problem. However, the distance between an agent and a producer in another state is problematic. It is harder for the agent to make sure a far away producer is doing things the right way.
You want to supplement the carriers you have with additional options.
Some agents just want to add Firefly’s carriers to their lineup. When speaking with these agents, it’s clear that they love the idea of dramatically increasing their carrier reach. Unfortunately, this scenario does not work for us. Our agents can get our carriers without production requirements because our structure as an agency lets carriers know they will always have an equal shot at every prospect. If you had your own carriers, that disparity would lead to adverse risk selection. Read more about that here.
You do not want, need, or welcome Firefly’s support and training.
If you are a type A personality who needs to control every detail of your agency, some of our processes might bother you (especially in commercial insurance because our process is very thorough). The fact is, an aggregator wouldn’t probably be a great fit for you, either. (Every organization has their own processes you need to follow.)
If you want to organize book rolls and manage every aspect of carrier relationships, you’d also fall in this category.
So if this describes you, we’d prefer you call an aggregator rather than work with us! Our model is built for people who are team players and who want to learn.
If this article has sparked your interest, and you want to learn more about becoming and independent agent with Firefly, check out this article on who we find is a good fit for FireFly.
We’re also here to answer your questions. Don’t be shy, please just ask us what you want to know. We’ll answer!