Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

The Power of Agency Networks

As insurance carriers look for ways to navigate rising risks and decreasing profits during this hard market environment, many brokers are left with limited options. The right agency network has the ability to provide direct carrier access and other benefits, that may not be available by going it alone.

In the current hard insurance market, carriers have temporarily paused or severely limited their new agency appointments to manage their existing portfolios effectively. This situation can be disheartening for independent agency owners trying to secure new direct carrier appointments – when they’re needed the most. However, joining the right agency network can prove extremely beneficial even if immediate appointments are not available. Here’s how:

Relationship building: The best agency networks maintain strong partnerships with carriers, even during challenging market conditions. By becoming a member of a quality network, agency owners can leverage the network’s existing connections and rapport with carriers. Network representatives can advocate on behalf of agency owners, highlighting their strengths, market expertise, and potential value to carriers. This ongoing relationship-building can position agency owners favorably for future direct carrier appointments once the market stabilizes.

Placing business on your behalf: Joining a network that has the ability to place business on the agent’s behalf enables them to build a book of business that ultimately leads to a direct carrier appointment. This not only provides immediate income opportunities but also demonstrates to carriers the agency’s ability to generate profitable business and manage client needs effectively. As the agency develops a strong book of business through the network’s assistance, it becomes a more attractive candidate for a direct carrier appointment, showcasing its growth potential and track record of success.

Carrier insight: Quality networks have access and insights into carrier plans. While carriers may not be actively appointing new agencies, they often share their future expansion strategies or provide early notification of upcoming openings with their respected partners. This information can be invaluable for agency owners as they can proactively prepare and position themselves to be among the first candidates considered once the carrier resumes making new appointments.

Continued education and skill development: A hard market period can be an ideal time for agency owners to focus on continuous education and skill development. Agency networks offer a range of training programs, workshops, and resources to help their members stay updated on industry trends, emerging technologies, and evolving customer needs. By investing in their professional development during this time, agency owners can enhance their knowledge and expertise, making them more attractive candidates for direct carrier appointments when market conditions improve.

Market intelligence and preparatory guidance: Agency networks are well-versed in the insurance industry’s cyclical nature and can provide valuable market intelligence and preparatory guidance. They can offer insights into market trends, carrier preferences, and the anticipated timing for new appointments. Armed with this information, agency owners can fine-tune their business strategies, expand their market presence, and refine their operations to align with future carrier requirements. This proactive approach positions them favorably for direct carrier appointments when the market rebounds.

Is FirstChoice, a MarshBerry Company, right for you?

Joining the right agency network during a hard market can provide agency owners with benefits that may not be available by going at it alone. FirstChoice is the premier network for independent agencies looking for direct access to top national and regional insurance carriers. FirstChoice is leading the next generation of aggregation – providing high value resources, assets that enable independent agencies to scale their business, talent development support, and agency differentiation coaching.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about the benefits of a top agency network like FirstChoice, please email or call Mark Sichterman, Regional Sales Director, at 440.769.0319.

Navigating Carrier Partnerships: Rough Seas of a Hard Market – FocalPoint Webinar On Demand

Did you miss the recent FocalPoint webinar on Navigating Carrier Partnership? Watch the session, featuring Keith Captain (President, FirstChoice) and Jason Juarez (Regional Vice President, FirstChoice), on demand to learn how agencies can grow and retain customers through today’s market and best practices on how to develop carrier partnerships that can weather any storm. Access the webinar here

Contact Mark Sichterman
If you have questions about Today's ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how MarshBerry can help your firm determine its path forward, please email or call Mark Sichterman, Regional Sales Director, at 440.769.0319.

MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own.

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