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Old 08-08-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
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State: prateek07 is an Insurance Agent from Undisclosed Location
Questions About Running an Independent Agency Questions About Running an Independent Agency
I'm interested in doing something in insurance at some point so I'm curious to how things work on the agent/broker side. These questions are specific to auto and if it matters, California only. Appreciate the responses!

1. Can an agent (independent or otherwise) only use someone's existing policy declaration to generate a bindable quote? If not, what other information would they need from the customer? I've heard using the policy dec, an agent can get a MVR and generate a quote. Is there any cost to getting the MVR?

I read on Ezlynx that providers will give you the MVR/CLUE when you go to bind and then you can make changes. Is there an easier way of doing this?

2. Are captive agent sales only location based or can they sell outside if they are approached by a customer?

3. Are there any costs associated with switching someone's insurance policy (on the agent's side)?

4. If I bundle a homeowner's policy to your existing auto insurance, do I commission on the entire premium?

5. For how many years will the insurance provider pay commission on a customer's policy?

6. Can the insurance provider directly poach an agent's customer? For the same company.

7. What are average commission rates for captive agents? Can they choose to partner with independent agents to get more sales?

8. Who collects the premiums? The insurance company or the agent? Especially the first premium.

9. How long does it take for the insurance company to pay the commission?
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:51 PM   #2
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State: PandCagentCA is an Insurance Agent from California
Questions About Running an Independent Agency Re: Questions About Running an Independent Agency
Originally Posted by prateek07 View Post
I'm interested in doing something in insurance at some point so I'm curious to how things work on the agent/broker side. These questions are specific to auto and if it matters, California only. Appreciate the responses!

1. Can an agent (independent or otherwise) only use someone's existing policy declaration to generate a bindable quote? If not, what other information would they need from the customer? I've heard using the policy dec, an agent can get a MVR and generate a quote. Is there any cost to getting the MVR?

Im an Independent Agent, most of your questions seem to be geared to Captives. I do have a basic answer for most of them just in case no one else replies. A Dec page will help drastically with a quote but not a bindable alone. It will help with vin #'s, coverage's and deductibles. It does leave out important information such as DL #'s, mileage driven and sometimes the dec pages have old info such as there is a new driver living in the home using the insureds vehicle but they didnt update with their current carrier ect. So you will still have to ask some questions to get a bindable quote.)

I read on Ezlynx that providers will give you the MVR/CLUE when you go to bind and then you can make changes. Is there an easier way of doing this?

Captive or Independent Carrier for Personal lines if you are appointed and have access to the quoting system direct then yes you should be able to pull the driving record and loss history for auto and homeowners if quoting a home. Has to be done through the carrier or company before binding in most all cases. Again you have to be appointed and have access to utilize the system.)

2. Are captive agent sales only location based or can they sell outside if they are approached by a customer?

not to sure as im Independent, but I would assume you can sell anywhere in your state. But! I would also assume if your client wants to come in and meet they will go to the closes Captive company and they may do some broker of record so they will get the commission for servicing the client. Check with whatever captive you choose to go with.)

3. Are there any costs associated with switching someone's insurance policy (on the agent's side)?

Should cost you anything other than time, effort etc.)

4. If I bundle a homeowner's policy to your existing auto insurance, do I commission on the entire premium?

you should only get paid for policies that are under your sales code.)

5. For how many years will the insurance provider pay commission on a customer's policy?

as long as the policy is active and under your sales code.)

6. Can the insurance provider directly poach an agent's customer? For the same company.

A customer does not have to have you as their agent even if you initially issued the policy. Carriers or Captive Companies themselves usually dont poach your clients. Clients can drop you as an agent if they dont like you though shouldnt have to worry if your service is good.)

7. What are average commission rates for captive agents? Can they choose to partner with independent agents to get more sales?

Not sure think it changes depending on when you join for Captives. Also most Captives dont let you officially partner with an IA.)

8. Who collects the premiums? The insurance company or the agent? Especially the first premium.

Usually on Personal lines side it could be either the client can send the check to your Agency or the Carrier/Company.)

9. How long does it take for the insurance company to pay the commission?
Captives not too sure but if anything no longer then 30-90 days after client has paid the premium. Independent side is about 30-90 days after client has paid for the most part.)

Again these answers are not the all be all but a general answer to your questions in case someone else doesn't comment. You will always have to ask the Company or Carrier you represent to get the official answers you need. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:42 PM   #3
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State: adjusterjack is an Insurance Agent from Arizona
Questions About Running an Independent Agency Re: Questions About Running an Independent Agency
1. Can an agent (independent or otherwise) only use someone's existing policy declaration to generate a bindable quote? If not, what other information would they need from the customer?
As noted you would need to update drivers, driving records (5-6 years), claims. Your company's application form should give you a better idea of what to ask.

I've heard using the policy dec, an agent can get a MVR and generate a quote. Is there any cost to getting the MVR?
MVRs can often be obtained online by the driver for a few dollars. Insurance agencies often have access to the DMV records and can run the MVRs themselves.

I read on Ezlynx that providers will give you the MVR/CLUE when you go to bind and then you can make changes. Is there an easier way of doing this?
I'm not sure that I'd wait for the potentially unpleasant surprises that can generate. If your preliminary quote is going to save your prospect a healthy amount then you can explain the advantages of him/her going online and getting a current 5 year MVR. He/she can also get a CLUE report online for free (for auto and homeowners).

8. Who collects the premiums? The insurance company or the agent? Especially the first premium.
Personal lines are generally direct bill from the company to the insured. There are exceptions that you will learn at some point.

As for the first premium, I suggest getting a check from your prospect. It's a commitment to buy the policy.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:28 PM   #4
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State: prateek07 is an Insurance Agent from Undisclosed Location
Questions About Running an Independent Agency Re: Questions About Running an Independent Agency prateek07 is the thread starter for: Questions About Running an Independent Agency

Originally Posted by PandCagentCA View Post
Captives not too sure but if anything no longer then 30-90 days after client has paid the premium. Independent side is about 30-90 days after client has paid for the most part.)

Again these answers are not the all be all but a general answer to your questions in case someone else doesn't comment. You will always have to ask the Company or Carrier you represent to get the official answers you need. Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for your replies!
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