Why are we partners? Why would two insurance networks want to work together?
Great questions with simple answers….
Let’s start with a quick description of what or who each partner is:
Secured Advantage – we provide an opportunity for established, historically profitable books to remain profitable in a changing industry environment. We focus on five core carriers and with members primarily in Ohio and the surrounding states. SA consistently delivers excess profit sharing to their members beyond what they would have earned on their own. Through meetings and events hosted throughout the year, we cultivate a member-to-member connection for idea sharing, developing new ideas and providing perspective and advice. We assist agencies in finding a perpetuation plan that fits their agency best and preserves the role of the independent agent and agency in that community and industry at large. The member agreement provides a simple exit path with no handcuffs, blackouts or non-competes.
Indium – provides market access for property and casualty agencies throughout the country. Currently contracted with more than 19 different insurance carriers and programs, they further assist their members in agency growth, marketing and management strategies through proprietary programs and resources developed by agents, for agents. Through a variety of agency-focused meetings and events hosted throughout the year, they develop a sense of community for the agents by fostering idea sharing, developing new products and services, and providing perspective and advice. They don’t have any handcuffs, blackouts or non-competes in their partnership agreement. With small levels of total combined carrier volume, agencies become profit sharing eligible within their program. They encourage agencies to grow and build their books, and when feasible, promote them to their own direct appointments with their common carriers – the very books Indium helped the agency grow. It’s these elements to their contract that make theirs the most agent-friendly in the industry.
Additional value both groups provide to their agency partners outside of their own core business.…
- Provide a group discounted E&O program.
- Provide access to tools and resources to assist in agency sales, customer loyalty and retention, and marketing.
- Provide communication centered on best practices in the industry.
So– Secured Advantage – Why do we value the Indium relationship? SA members need a trusted partner to help provide access to markets for opportunities that don’t fit in the appetite of the agency’s core carrier line-up. We wanted to provide a solution ourselves, but as we moved into the process, it was taking us from our core business focus. When we looked at the landscape of the industry and where market access was a primary offering, we wanted to find a partner with the fewest hurdles to get started and the fewest handcuffs to get divorced. Indium has a very low fee structure, a simplified commission split on business they write on behalf of the agency and an agency first culture that fits well within the SA member focused environment we have built. We found Indium did not compete with us on our core business; we had a common carrier that we could help support and a good percentage of our members already had connected on business with Indium in the past.
How about for Indium – Why partner with Secured Advantage? Their answer here comes from
a couple different perspectives. First, it matters who they do business with. As an organization founded, owned and led by independent agents, they want to partner with organizations who have that same DNA. They recognize that we understand independent agents and put agents first in everything we do, which aligns with us perfectly. With that in mind, knowing that the members of SA needed a market access solution and SA was willing to endorse and support the efforts of introducing SA members to Indium, it made for a perfect fit. As our partnership has grown and our teams have worked together, the SA partnership has helped them navigate different opportunities in our industry successfully. Finally, as Indium strives to bring the best options to their Indium member agencies, if they have a historically profitable book with a Secured Advantage core carrier – they want them to understand the advantages of partnering with SA, and have found their endorsement encourages those agencies to take the time to give it their consideration.
What’s been the results – Both organizations have found new members – good solid relationships – from the introductions to members from each other’s organizations. Good books, good agencies, good members…both organizations have built their member networks to include the highest quality people and resources.
One emerging perspective from the agencies that are a member of both organizations…those who find the most value from both organizations use a refined approach to their carrier relationships. As most agencies will try to limit the number of markets they are directly appointed with in the hopes of maximizing the profitability of each relationship and limiting the frustration and stress around managing different carrier systems, process and contacts, the agencies maximizing the value of SA and Indium will further reduce the direct appointed carriers to accommodate Indium to be treated as a “carrier” of its own. In one specific agency – they have 3 direct appointments and Indium. We refer to this approach as the 4th carrier structure. When new business is being quoted, the “4th carrier” (Indium) is included in the process, and with that multiple quotes are provided from the one submission. If one of the 3 core carriers is close on coverage and price, they likely get the business, but in a growing number of cases, Indium is getting the opportunity to bring their expertise and reach to help substantially improve the offering that the agency would typically make available to a customer.
By treating Indium as a carrier relationship, the appetite guide just got bigger and the agency’s ability to compete for every piece of business just went up. Having access and the support of the Indium team are transforming how small and mid-sized agencies compete in the market. These agencies are moving within their community with confidence, knowing that good risks can be written effectively by their office and bring value to their customers.
Within this partnership and each of these member networks, it’s not about who has more members, discounts or programs, we focus on meeting the needs of our members and helping good agencies join our network. With our focus there, our members will reap the rewards of our efforts and every member, organization, agent and customer get a win all the way around.
As always, let us know if you have any questions and how we can help.
Thank you for your partnership and Stay Safe!
Thanks, Ted Rusinoff
To learn more about our story, visit www.secured-advantage.com. You can also email me back at email@example.com, or send a note to my partner Tim Buren at firstname.lastname@example.org.~