How to Get Direct Carrier Appointments As a New Agent

September 6, 2016
By: Voldico

It's an uphill battle, but it's doable.

As a new insurance agent, getting a direct appointment with a quality carrier is a challenge. But it's also critical to your success.

Most insurance carriers want to work with agents who have—

  • industry experience,
  • a proven sales record,
  • a desirable marketing territory,
  • and a solid business plan.

So, as a new agent, how do you overcome this hurdle? Where do you start?

Here's what we recommend—

Write a business plan. 

If you haven’t already, your first step should be to write out a detailed business plan. An agency with an up-to-date business plan including specific, measurable, and attainable goals is more likely to succeed. Carriers only want to work with successful businesses.

Consider joining a cluster. 

An insurance cluster (a.k.a. alliance, network, aggregator) typically provides agents with access to otherwise inaccessible markets, niche programs, and even direct appointments. 

Make sure you carefully review the contractual relationship with any cluster, especially when it comes to book ownership, commissions, revenue sharing, and fees. For example, Voldico's member agents retain complete ownership of their books of business, pay zero membership fees, and are not charged if they decide to leave the network.

Start with a wholesale carrier. 

New agents typically start out working with wholesale carriers. Do some research and find out what wholesale carriers are out there. 

After you've spent some time building up your book through a wholesaler, you will be in a better position to gain access to direct carriers.

Do your homework. 

Before reaching out to direct carriers, do your research. Are they taking on new agencies? Do they have a minimum premium volume commitment? 

A good place to start is online. Review what your peers have to say about the carriers you're interested in.

Find your niche. 

Niche marketing can lead to higher that average profit margins, which can make your agency look more desirable to direct carriers. 

Research other local agencies to see where gaps exist and be the best in your niche.

Be prepared. 

Most carriers provide a list of requirements (and an application) on their website for obtaining an appointment with their organization. 

Before you begin the process, make sure you have all the prerequisites met and be prepared to meet additional requirements (such as a background check and proof of licensing for both you and your agency).

Being a new agent in today’s competitive marketplace is not easy. If you need help getting your agency off the ground, check out the many benefits of joining Voldico.