You’ve decided to start an insurance agency! That’s terrific news since the insurance industry is currently thriving. It’s also stable and ever-growing, so you picked a great time to start in this field. But where do you begin? How can you ensure your new insurance agency gets off on the right foot? This guide will give you some helpful tips on getting started.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Insurance Agency You Want to Start
Do you want to focus on auto insurance? Homeowners insurance? Health insurance? Each type of insurance has pros and cons, so it’s important to research and decide which is right. For example, health insurance tends to be more complex than other types of insurance, so you’ll need to be prepared to handle that complexity.
On the other hand, auto insurance is more widely sought-after than other types of insurance, so you’ll have a bigger pool of potential customers to draw from. It’s important to weigh all these factors before deciding which type of insurance agency you want to start. To help you decide, you can consider the following criteria:
- What type of insurance do you have the most experience with?
- Are certain types of insurance more in demand in your area?
- Is there a particular type of insurance where you can secure the best commission rate?
Once you’ve answered these, you should know better which type of insurance agency to start. You may even decide to offer more than one type of insurance.
Step 2: Get the Necessary Licenses and Certifications
It would be best if your state’s insurance department licenses you to sell. You’ll also need to take some exams to get certified. The requirements vary from state to state, so you must check with your insurance department to determine the specific requirements. The most common requirements are the following:
- A background check
- Completing an insurance pre-licensing course
- Passing the respective state’s insurance examination
These requirements are necessary to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the laws and regulations related to insurance in your state.
Step 3: Find an Insurer to Partner with
You can only sell insurance with an insurer backing you up. That’s why it is important to find a reputable insurer who shares your values and will support your agency as it grows. It’s also important to ensure that the insurer you partner with has a good reputation in the industry; otherwise, your reputation could suffer. Here’s a practical guide on how to find the right insurer for your independent insurance agency:
- Research insurers and compare their offerings
- Ask for recommendations from other agents and brokers in the industry.
- Read online reviews to get a better understanding of customer satisfaction
- Get familiar with their commission rates and policies.
Once you’ve narrowed your list, it’s time to reach out! Set an appointment to get more information on the insurers you’re interested in. Ask questions, and discuss commission rates and other details that may affect your partnership. After speaking with each insurer, you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your agency.
Step 4: Insure Your Agents
Your agents are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s important to ensure they are properly insured. Errors and omissions insurance is a must for any agent who works in an insurance agency. This type of insurance helps protect your agents if a client has an issue with their policy or if errors were made while selling insurance. An errors and omissions insurance for your agents will give them the peace of mind they need to do their job. Make sure you shop around and find a policy that best fits your agency’s needs. You can look for the following criteria:
- Coverage against errors and omissions
- Reasonable premiums
- Good customer service
- A reliable insurer
With errors and omissions in insurance, your agents can do their job without worrying about potential liabilities.
Step 5: Market Your Agency
Now that you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to start marketing your insurance agency. It’s important to establish a presence in the community so potential customers can easily find you. Consider the following tips:
- Create a website for your agency with all the necessary information about your services
- Make sure to have a professional-looking logo
- Take advantage of the power of social media to create awareness of your agency
- Create an email newsletter with helpful insurance tips and advice
- Participate in local events, such as trade shows or community festivals
- Advertise in local newspapers and radio stations
Remember that when marketing your agency, it’s important to focus on building relationships with potential customers. The goal is to create trust and foster loyalty among your clients.
Starting an independent insurance agency can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and execution, you can get your new business off the ground in no time. Just remember to research, get the necessary licenses and certifications, and find a reputable insurer to partner with—and you’ll be well on your way to success!