What’s the training process for new agents?

Long ago, we poured out information too fast in the training process. Agents attended a several-day-long orientation in Columbus to meet our team and get a general overview of carrier appetites and systems. Though the experience was enjoyable and exciting, we found that agents couldn’t retain the information. It was just too much, and they needed real-time training once they got home.

Based on our agents’ feedback, we have made the process more practical. Instead of an in-person orientation, we’ve moved to training over the phone with screen sharing. We’ll train you on accounts you’re actually working on so that the instruction is specific, relevant to your situation, and helps you write policies.

Even better, you’ll learn by doing, which leads to true mastery of skills.

The process is adapted to your pace, allowing you to understand and apply the information you learn and then add new training when you’re ready. It’s like filling one cup of milk, drinking it down, and then filling another. Less stress, no mess, and no wasted milk.

Sounds good, right? Here’s how it works:

You start by getting appointed with carriers.

You’ll get appointed with your carriers over a 30-45 day period. There are a lot of carriers to be trained on, so we train you as each appointment is completed by each carrier. That way it’s naturally spread out.

Your trainer will give you PDF snapshots for each carrier, including their appetites and guidelines. This will help you remember the important details of each one.

After you are trained on a carrier, you can write with them immediately.

Whether you have one or twenty years of insurance experience, you’ll benefit from a structured onboarding process.

This video shows why:


Pre-bind process:

For the first 30-or-so home policies that you write, you’ll use our online pre-bind process to help you get familiar with the carrier underwriting guidelines. It will also allow us to check your work to ensure that risks are being properly placed.  

This is important because things get messy if you bind something contrary to a company’s guidelines. The carrier would cancel the policy, requiring you to move the client to another carrier that will accept the risk, but almost certainly at a higher price.

So, please trust us when we tell you the pre-bind process is worthwhile! It will save you time, aggravation, and embarrassment while you are getting the hang of what carriers want.

Once you have been trained on all of the carriers and submitted at least 30 accounts through the pre-bind system, you will have full binding authority for property policies.

At that point, you can move entirely at your own pace.

What causes frustration for new agents?

If you’re like most agents, when you sign up you’ll be raring to go! You’ll want to start selling as soon as you can. We want that for you, too! As we’ve said before, the best thing about being a Firefly agent is having so many carriers. Also, the most challenging thing about Firefly is . . . having so many carriers.

There are so many carriers to get to know, and so much to learn about EZLynx, LastPass, and other systems, that the on-boarding experience can sometimes be frustrating. We want you to have a realistic understanding about the whole process, to reduce feelings of frustration.

The reality is that some carriers take longer to appoint you than others. You may feel frustrated as you wait for them to complete that for you, so you can be trained and start selling.

You may have already sold policies for one or more of our carriers, so you might not want to go through training with that carrier. You still need to, because we’ve promised our carriers that every agent will get an explanation of their basics, appetites, and processes from our trainers.

You may feel too busy to take time to have your electronic meetings with our trainers. Or you feel like you know the industry well enough to start writing business by learning on your own, as you go. There are too many carriers with too many idiosyncrasies for this approach to work. You’ll need to take time to build a foundation of knowledge, so you can grow your agency.

You might not want to use the pre-bind system, because you know that you’re a good underwriter, and you know where to place business. There are too many Firefly carriers – each with unique requirements for property risks – so the pre-bind process protects the carrier, the agency and you. It is a must until you are deemed to be proficient with each carrier.

All of this is to say that we know being trained may seem tedious. But it is critical to your success with Firefly and each carrier. Before you know it, you’ll be proficient and writing business on your own. It’s worth the work to get there.

Training topics

You’ll learn about things like:

  • Appetites and underwriting guidelines of each carrier you get appointed with
  • How to save retention documents in the management system
  • How to run MVRs (and keep carriers happy by not over-ordering them)
  • Firefly’s internal tools
  • Navigating and using each carrier’s website
  • Using Lastpass to manage all of your carrier passwords (with so many carriers, password management is really important!)

See? Training doesn’t have to be overwhelming and messy! Our real-time process is effective and efficient.

By the end, you’ll be able to say “I did it!” with a smile on your face.