Before I worked with Firefly, I tried to get carrier appointments on my own. While I knew Firefly was a great company, I also thought that if I could get the carriers on my own, I might make more money. (No commission split should mean more money for me, right?)
I quickly learned that to get an appointment on your own, it’s important to know carrier’s requirements. Unless of course, you want a shortcut to getting direct carrier appointments with ALL of Firefly’s carriers in your state (without any per-carrier production requirements).
Every carrier is different, but below are some ideas of what most carriers will ask you for if you want to get appointments entirely on your own:
📊A Track Record of Growth and Profitability
Carriers are generally looking for GROWTH that is PROFITABLE.
- They’ll want at least three years of your reports to verify it.
- A common problem is that you can’t show profitable growth if you don’t have production and claims reports.
If you have worked with at least one carrier for enough time and have the records to show for it, they will want to see that your book generated an underwriting profit for that period.
Note that your growth and profit over time can have an impact on the way a carrier views you. A $1 million book after three years makes a better impression than a $1 million book after 15 years.
📄 A Business and Growth Plan
Even if you can demonstrate solid, profitable experience, adding a carrier will change the dynamics of your agency. Carriers know this and they want to see how you’ll generate more business overall with them (rather than simply moving one carrier’s customers over to them).
This is when you might feel like a chef promising to give Gordon Ramsay 110 or 125 percent, so you can stay in the game!
For example, if you have a $500,000 book of business with two carriers—$250,000 per year, per carrier—this makes a good impression. But new carriers want to be sure you have a plan to grow beyond that $500,000 total if they appoint you. They’re not looking for stagnant agencies that just shuffle customers from one carrier to another.
You might feel like you’re committing to do better than your best, but if you make that commitment, you must follow through on it and grow.
(And don’t forget: In this hypothetical scenario, your two existing carriers will want to be sure that your new carriers do not hurt their position in your agency.)
📈A Production Commitment
After you present your growth plan, you will have to agree to a production requirement with the carrier. It will usually be a 1-to-3-year goal.
- Don’t forget that many companies have separate production requirements for commercial and personal insuranc
- Also, getting a carrier does not necessarily mean that you will get every line of business that they offer.
Production requirements are pretty much universal, and they limit the number of carriers you can get appointed with because there is a limit to how much business you can write in any one year. They’ll also increase stress in your agency, because you have to balance your customers’ best interests against your carriers’ requirements for more premium.
⚠️For this reason, you’ll need to be cautious when getting appointed with multiple carriers. Adding more insurance companies before you reach your production goals with current carriers will jeopardize your existing or future appointments.
☂️Obtaining E&O Insurance
You will also need to have errors and omissions insurance. This isn’t usually difficult to do, but it’s worth noting.
📑Book of Business to Roll Over
If you have the ability to do a book roll, you’re likely to get more attention from carriers. In some cases, a carrier might insist you roll a book to them in order to get their appointment. Even then, they will probably not take ALL of the accounts.
Of course, the book you want to roll will need to have a history of profitability. Otherwise, no carrier will want it.
🔎Getting Appointed: The Bottom Line
In short, to get appointed with insurance carriers you need to know what they want, and you have to deliver on some big commitments to them.
**With most insurance clusters or aggregators, the principles are the same, but a little more lenient. The bar for experience will be lower, and the production requirements will probably be lower too.
- But the limiting principle of production requirements vs the number of carriers you get still applies. And commercial and personal lines will still be separate with some carriers.
🎯Direct Insurance Carrier Appointments with Firefly
When you join Firefly as an independent agent, it’s easy to get direct carrier appointments with our entire roster of carriers.
Not only will we get you appointed with ALL of our carriers, you won’t have to worry about per-carrier production requirements either.
➡️ Get all the details by clicking the yellow “Grow Your Agency” button at the top of this. page.