The Real Battle for Profitability

My name is Ted Rusinoff. Like you, I’m an independent insurance agent, and if you’re reading this, I assume you are, too. I also assume you’re fighting a similar fight to me.

A battle, even.

A battle for profitability. I hope you’ll read this short note and perhaps get back to me with your thoughts.

Insurance companies industry wide are under greater pressure to grow, and they push that initiative with increasing force down to the agency principals. To people like you and me.

As you know, maintaining your profitability as an agency is directly dependent on the terms and conditions each carrier places in their contract around what you get paid.

As you also know, that mark is constantly changing as they adjust the rates, terms, and qualification standards for the levels of commission and profit-sharing payouts.

As agents, we can fight for things to remain the same, but ultimately the carrier has the power to make the changes that they want or feel they need to operate as an insurance company.

The more power they have, the less we do as individuals. This could potentially kill our agencies. I know you’ve thought about this before. (I have. Many times.)

What’s Missing

Simply put, we need tools to keep that relationship from being so one sided.

We need that seat at the table the independent agency principal had in the past. Not only that, we need the flexibility that comes with access without the entanglements that bring new commitments. 

Is that even possible in 2017? Well, many independent agencies are doing one of two things:

  1. Selling out to large national firms.
  2. Giving up their independence by joining an aggregator of some kind.

Personally, I’m not completely satisfied with either option. To battle for profitability and lose independence in the process would be pointless.

(I know a number of agents who hope for a third option: things will simply reverse, and go back to the ways of old. I’ve thought that way myself at times, but the reality is this: there are no magic pills, secret spells, or time machines that can reverse the course of the insurance industry.)  

There’s a Fourth Choice

I’d love to know your thoughts on aggregators.

As I see it, there are several different models to choose from, and there’s not a “one size fits all” or even “one size fits most” scenario. Certainly not for an independent agency principal who has spent a lifetime building their business.  

I choose to look at the core of the opportunity and ask these questions:

  1. Do the founding values of the organization match the culture of your firm?
  2. Who wins when something good happens within the new relationship?
  3. What’s lost if it doesn’t work out?
  4. What’s the real cost to my agency to achieve a new level of profitability?

These questions might seem obvious, but the process of answering them could very well be enlightening.

Secured Advantage Answers

When my partners and I explored those questions above for ourselves, we realized there wasn’t an aggregator that could provide us with answers that made us feel safe or secure.

At the same time, we knew the battle for profitability could be won by creating an agency network that could.  

That’s why we created Secure Advantage, a network built on five core principles, uncommon to your typical aggregator. (Shoot me an email and I’ll send them to you.)

Secured is an organization founded by an independent agency principal, like you, and our goal is simple:

To build a network of historically profitable agencies that maintain their complete independence, and who can bring the right strategy to protect and perpetuate the life’s work of an independent agent.  

So far, we’ve helped over 60 agencies feel what winning the battle for profitability is like.  

To learn more about our story, read through our site or get in touch. You might also sign up to our email list to get useful industry info and profit-building tips on a regular basis: