Own Your Own Insurance Business

To start an insurance agency you will need to decide on going independent or being a captive agency. Some of the best known captives include Farmers, Nationwide and Allstate. Captives sell exclusively, or mostly, one brand of insurance. There are advantages and disadvantages of each so it is advisable to investigate both. Many states require an insurance company to sponsor your license application, so selecting a company is a good place to start. A property and casualty license is generally the minimum to start and allows you to sell auto and homeowners type policies (Laws vary by state). It is advisable to get additional licenses such as accident and health, and possibly investment type licenses (For example Series 6 and 63).For either choice many agents work part time first to get licensing, training, experience, and begin building a client base. If you have your own business your income will probably be straight commission. Normally you are paid for the sale of each policy and again every time of renewal. In my area 20 to 30 policies per month is considered good for new agents. This might pay you $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the type of sales. After you pay your expenses the income can be quite small when starting. As your book of business increases your renewal income will greatly increase your income.An option to building an agency from scratch is to buy an existing agency. Typically you will pay 2 or more times annual earnings. For example, if an agency has 1,000 policies that earn $100,000 annually in renewals, you will probably pay $200,000 or more. It is possible to finance an agencies purchase. This will generally require 10% or more for a down payment. SBA is the most common lender for this kind of loan. My company, Texas Capital Mortgage 281-537-7800, can help with business financing for Texas residents. (I have found that the mortgage business is a good compliment to the insurance business.)Obviously you need a lot more information to start an agency. I suggest spending a lot of time researching the business before jumping in. Read some books about the business. The larger companies have district offices where they can tell you about employment with them. The agent you buy your insurance from may be willing to share his experience with you. There is also a lot of information available online.Insurance is a great business but don’t underestimate the difficulty! After starting with Farmers full time, the first 1/2 year I lost 50K (much of this was start up expence), the next year I lost 20K, and this year I should make some profit. Some agents will do better or worse but this could give you some idea.

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