October 23rd, 2019
If you are a captive insurance agent thinking of becoming an independent agent, there is much to consider. You’re not a novice. You’ve been in the insurance industry for years, so you have the advantage of industry knowledge. Still, there will be some challenges. However, these challenges can be overcome with careful planning and consideration.
Once you overcome the challenges, the benefits can be truly rewarding. You have the satisfaction and freedom of owning your own agency and being your own boss. You are completely responsible for your own success or failure.
While you are not a ‘new agent’ in the true sense of the word, changing from captive to independent insurance agent can be a bit like starting over. You won’t have your existing book of business and clientele to rely on for income. You’ll have to attract new customers and learn ways to earn their business and trust. Here are some strategies for taking on this challenge:
Be visible on social media and the web. Relying on word-of-mouth, in the traditional sense, isn’t a great strategy, as the news of a satisfied customer can take a while to get around. It’s essential to establish a social media presence and an attractive, user-friendly website to get your name out there and provide immediate resources to current and potential customers. A blog can also establish you as an industry expert and direct customers to your website and social media platforms for industry information and insurance tips.
Be visible within your community. Networking is important, as is being an active member of the community. It’s likely your captive was involved in all sorts of charitable and community events and you didn’t really have to work that hard to establish the brand name. It’s a completely different story for the independent insurance agent. People need to recognize your name and not just from insurance. Customers are looking for a personal connection that comes from interaction on a local level such as sponsoring a charitable event or making a donation to a worthy community cause.
Establish partnerships to maximize access to resources. Associations are another big part of networking for the independent insurance agent. You can gain crucial knowledge by networking with other industry professionals and also gain access to the association’s resources. Assure Alliance is in partnership with SIAA which has a wealth of resources for the independent insurance agent.
While making the change from captive to independent insurance agent can be challenging, it definitely has its benefits and rewards. If you are interested in transforming from captive to independent agent, we encourage you to check out the unique membership benefits available from Assure Alliance.