Why You Don’t Need a Direct Agency Appointment to Work with Insurance Companies

Insurance market access is at the heart of an independent insurance agent’s success. Without insurance products to sell to your customers, you simply don’t have an agency. Many independent insurance agents seek and maintain carrier appointments to secure market options for their clients. But there is another path.

What is an insurance agency appointment?

An insurance agency appointment is a contract between a licensed insurance agent and an insurance carrier. This arrangement enables the agent to offer the insurance carrier’s products for sale to their clients. 

In order to secure an appointment, you may need evidence of a marketing plan, some background in sales, and a solid business plan. You’ll be asked to demonstrate that you have a pool of customers or book of business in your area. And as part of the appointment process, you’ll need to show that you have expertise in your agency to handle the business and volume the carrier demands. 

A direct appointment often comes with obligations to produce a steady flow of new business and achieve targeted hit ratios. And an agency appointment agreement often involves minimum production requirements. Appointed agents typically work underneath the auspices of a territory representative who manages various aspects of the working relationship and outlines goals for your agency. 

Can you have more than one insurance agency appointment?
Once you have an agency appointment in place, you may seek other appointments for different market needs. With more than one appointment in place, you’ll have to manage your book of business by balancing your commitments to various carriers. This can be a juggling act wherein the agent must determine what business to place where to keep all requirements satisfied. 

In part, our market access program was formed in response to Big “I” member inquiries about “How to get appointed with property and casualty insurance companies.” We know that market access is top need for Big “I” members. But if you have considered seeking additional commercial insurance appointments or auto insurance appointments, you should also look at Big “I” Markets as a market access option.

How Big “I” Markets helps you access market opportunities without an appointment 

Direct appointment with one or more insurance carriers is a commonplace path for many independent agents, but it is not the only way. Some agents choose to work with an MGA platform such as Big “I” Markets to access many markets in one convenient place. 

Big “I” Markets​ is an online market access system available exclusively to Big “I” members featuring no fees, no volume commitments, and competitive commissions.

We offer a suite of top tier products including affluent homeowners, bonds, commercial packages, habitational, non-standard homeowners, standard auto and home and many more. Whether you are working with commercial, auto, home or basic property and casualty account, we have an option for you. 

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What about ownership of expirations and volume commitments?  

Generally the appointed agent is given ownership of expirations by the company, but at Big “I” Markets but we pass that onto you. Access to Big “I” Markets is completely free as part of your Big “I” membership and you are also free to move your business as your needs determine. 

There are also no volume commitments with Big “I” Markets. Whether you bind one account or 1,000 with BIM, we will provide you the same excellent service we offer to every Big “I” member. 

As part of your national advocacy organization the Big “I”, our very mission is to help independent agents survive and thrive. Our success is inextricably intertwined with yours. We are here for you. 

How long do contracts remain in-force?

In a typical auto, commercial or property and casualty company contract, the appointment will remain in force as long as its financially viable to both the agency and the company. Both Agency and Company can terminate these agreements whenever they see fit.

But with Big I Markets, since no appointment is necessary you do not need to worry about contracts.

How does Big “I” Markets work? 
Big “I” Markets maintains the carrier profitability and production requirements (typically held by individual agents in an agency appointment arrangement) so that Big “I” member agents can enjoy access to an array of markets without fees and minimums. 

We can often access markets on a broader basis since BIM essentially pools the population of Big “I” member agents into a large group and leverages our wide geographic reach to spread the risk for a carrier. That way one member who lives in a CAT prone area that is known to be at risk for high losses and another who lives in a rural area are in a sense working together by being part of our system. 

Big I Markets Helps You Sell More

We also have the staff expertise to help you sell – whether its with a one time standalone jewelry policy, a commercial bond or an affluent homeowners account. Our talented staff is working with agents every day on these specific lines. Even if the bulk of your homeowners business is in moderately priced homes, you can bring us just one high value home if the opportunity arises, and we’ll be able to walk you through the process and help you select the carrier that works best for your client. 

Another example is if you forge a personal connection with a community bank in your community. There’s no need to be intimidated by the complexity of a making a proposal to a larger commercial account; many of the agents we work have just one or two community banks in their books. Our company partner and the BIM team is there to help you every step of the way and the company partner will even visit your client to help make the sale.  

Benefits of Big “I” Markets

  • With Big “I” Markets, you maintain ownership of expirations
  • There are no initial access or termination fees
  • There is no obligation to submit other accounts
  • BIM agents enjoy the convenience of EFT commission payments
  • There is only one login needed to access all programs
  • Big ‘I” Markets agents receive a weekly e-newsletter featuring product knowledge and special interest pieces
  • Doing business with Big “I” Markets supports your Big “I” state association

Gain Access to Big “I” Market with a Big I Membership

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