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Old 06-08-2017, 02:20 AM   #1
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Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice
I am brand new to this forum, in fact this is my 1st post. I am a 56 year old "career changer". Have been either self-employed or engaged in outside sales for most of my life. I most recently spent 8 years in the very volatile Oil & Gas industry until I was laid off in February. Am considering my options and trying to make an informed decision. Possible opportunities are 1.) New Agency Owner with Farmers Insurance, 2.) Agent Intern position at American National Insurance, 3.) Financial/Insurance Adviser at Prudential, 4.) Independent Agent working for a broker emphasizing Final Expense and other Life Insurance products and 5.) Franchise opportunity at Goosehead Insurance. I am located in SW PA near Pittsburgh and I am just weighing my options. I would very sincerely appreciate your input/feedback and thank you in advance for your responses.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:43 AM   #2
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Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice Re: Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice
Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
Possible opportunities are
1.) New Agency Owner with Farmers Insurance,
Lots of threads on here about Farmers. I think the general consensus isn't that positive.

Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
2.) Agent Intern position at American National Insurance,
Not much on here for American National - and I'm assuming we're talking about their P&C side ANPAC. I would search for posts by 'Ron Van D' as he was with them for over 10 years (I believe). One key would be to see if their policies are competitive in your area.

Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
3.) Financial/Insurance Adviser at Prudential,
This would be more into a 'financial planning' role, but at Prudential you can sell Liberty Mutual auto/homeowners as well. You may eventually obtain securities licensing and sell securities. There isn't much on here about Prudential, but this side of the business, IF YOU ARE WELL TRAINED, can be very lucrative with the up front commissions.

Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
4.) Independent Agent working for a broker emphasizing Final Expense and other Life Insurance products and
The FE forum would be the best place to search and ask about them. I'd also go to YouTube and check out FE Agent Mentor channel and watch some videos with our own David Duford. He puts out some great material that you would find very helpful in that line of work.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3w...DsQ2XYYoX95Qhg

Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
5.) Franchise opportunity at Goosehead Insurance.
Yeah, there are a couple of threads on that one that pop up every now and then.


Here's the thing: These are all different and it depends more on how you think and how you see yourself do things than "what is best". What you want to do is more important than who you do it for. There are people at "bad companies" that make great money and serve their clients well. How can that be? Because they were suited for those companies & opportunities.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:30 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your input! To clarify, as for the American National position, it is multiple lines, with a very diverse product offering and it is with (ANICO) with a 4 month paid training program administered through a 3rd party. My biggest concern, by far, with American National, is a lack of name recognition.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:40 AM   #4
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Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice Re: Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice
Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
Thank you very much for your input! To clarify, as for the American National position, it is multiple lines, with a very diverse product offering and it is with (ANICO) with a 4 month paid training program administered through a 3rd party. My biggest concern, by far, with American National, is a lack of name recognition.
Name recognition really only matters if you are selling commodities.

While home and auto really aren't a commodity, consumers treat it that way so name recognition helps. Personal lines is dominated by captives, ANPAC (American National's P&C side), Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, the local Farm Bureau, American Family, Shelter, and whatever regional brands may be in your area. Who is top does vary, but State Farm, Allstate and the local Farm Bureau generally will be near the top.

For everything else, name recognition really doesn't matter. You only think it does.

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Old 06-08-2017, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply. ANICO is the parent company of ANPAC. As for name recognition, I'm thinking in terms of leads being more easily generated and consumers having more confidence in a product being offered by a company whose name they are already familiar with. At least in my area, it is hard to watch the TV without seeing multiple Farmer's and Progressive commercials.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:00 PM   #6
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Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice Re: Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice
I think one thing to consider is your personality and energy levels. Would you prefer staying in an office most of the time and being part of a community or do you prefer being out on the open road doing final expense. Also, your energy levels are an important factor. In 10-15 years (which goes by so fast ) you will be 65-70. Will you want to be in an office going forward or out on the road. Some people hate to stay in an office and some hate to work alone on the road. That's one consideration.
I would heed the advise to check out the other areas of the Forum to research certain companies. I did that when I was considering going with an agency and what was said on the Forums was spot on about that brand of agency I was considering . If FE and the open road sounds good to you, do check out David Duford.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice Re: Please Help, I Need Some Good Advice
Originally Posted by practicalguy View Post
Thanks for your reply. ANICO is the parent company of ANPAC. As for name recognition, I'm thinking in terms of leads being more easily generated and consumers having more confidence in a product being offered by a company whose name they are already familiar with. At least in my area, it is hard to watch the TV without seeing multiple Farmer's and Progressive commercials.
I'm aware of the relationship between the two, I mentioned it in my post.

I do find it strange you picked those two companies. Farmer's had tradditional had a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" approach to recruiting. I have heard that may have changed, but that certainly has been their approach in the past.

Also, Progressive is not advertising for agents, but for their direct sales channel. Yes, they have agents, many of whom hate Progressive and send them the business no one else whats, while their other carriers get the better business.

As I said, if you want to sell home and auto, it is dominated by the captives and direct writers. Although, personal lines is facing a lot of challenges too.

For everything else, name recognition doesn't matter a fraction as much as you think it does.

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Old 06-08-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
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Prudential sounds reliable for me, if they still paying monthly until you are on training (12 months I believe). They are a good first step in our industry. My opinion for any start up is to find a better paid position and learn and work hard for at least 3 years. Than analyse if he can go alone. You should learn the principles and the culture in this industry, so you need the best paying you melting pot. Glass door is a good place to check for info as well.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:06 PM   #9
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All solid advice i am in fe and i did try p&c out, i hate being in the office setting regularly but i can see the road getting tiresome as well especially if i were in my middle or late 50's. Whatever road you choose be prepared to hustle for the first few years. I do love the insurance biz glad I took the leap a few years back.
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:39 PM   #10
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I wish I would have taken the plunge a lot sooner.
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