The short answer is no. Long ago we tried it, but it didn’t work well because of these two realities:
- If you have outside appointments you will have production requirements from those carriers.
- If you have outside appointments you don’t split commissions with us.
As a result, you would have two really good reasons to take your best accounts to your own carriers. And this means Firefly’s carriers would inherently get adversely selected against.
Our carriers would get the less-desirable, less profitable business. It would be as if we were a buffet that allowed customers to fill up a “to go” bag every time they came in to eat. Everyone would love that restaurant, but they’d also know it couldn’t last long.
Or, to put it another way, the risks these agents wanted to quote with us were like curve-balls for our carriers – while they took the best stuff (the fastballs down the middle) to their own few companies. This made it much more difficult for Firefly grow profitably, so we stopped allowing it, many years ago.
Here’s a 78-second explanation with some additional information:
Note that our agents can write life, health, annuity, and other such policies outside of Firefly. (And their E&O through Firefly covers them for this activity.)
The requirement to be exclusive with us (for P&C insurance) is one reason our carriers are willing to give you direct appointments without production requirements. They understand that your only financial concern is to do what’s best for your customers – not to be swayed or pressured into writing with a few of your own carriers.
This matters to customers, too. Here’s how we visualize the above concept for them.
What is a “captive” agent, anyway?
A few agents have asked, “Does being a Firefly agent mean that I am a captive agent?” If by “captive” you mean that there are some limitations on what you can do, the answer is yes.
And the related truth is that EVERY insurance agent is limited or “captive” in one way or another, as summarized here:
If you’re a Firefly agent, you can write 10-12 P&C carriers directly and you are free from production requirements. Is that worth the tradeoff of only being able to write P&C through Firefly? If not, you might feel you are “captive,” and Firefly would not be a good fit for you.
But if you’re like our current agents, you see the value in Firefly’s quality and quantity of carriers. You value not having the stress of production requirements so that you can do what is best for your client every time, without ever-present pressure to sell a more expensive policy to hit a carrier’s quota.
You also know you can do better with all of your Firefly carriers than you could if you had 2-3 appointments through a cluster, and “access” to 3 or 4 more (that you can’t even quote or bind yourself).
In fact, over the last couple years, several agents have voluntarily chosen to merge their existing independent books with ours, because they saw how flexible and competitive they could be as Firefly agents. These agents are voting with their feet – or even their incomes – that it’s better to get high commissions on many carriers than to get 100% from just a few.
If you’re looking for an organization that will supplement the P&C carriers you already have, or appointments you can get on your own, then we’re not a good fit for you. You should reach out to a cluster or aggregator instead. You’ll usually get a lower commission split on the carriers you get through them. But you’d be able to keep the carriers that you have on your own – if you can meet their production requirements.
Agents are willing to be exclusive with us if what they want most is:
- Lots of carriers
- No production requirements
- The best ability to win (and help) their customer.
If that sounds like it might be you, get our ebook from our Become an Agent page to learn LOTS more.