You came to this page because you want to start an Independent Insurance Agency. You might care about increasing your commissions, gaining access to carriers, and owning your book of business.

But chances are, what you really want is to learn how to build a large successful agency. The only reason you’re here is to find a partner to help you realize that dream.

Before I start, I want you to know this guide wasn’t written by some outside marketing intern told to write a “how to” for his angry boss.

This is the exact blueprint that I have used at Pacific Crest to ruthlessly scale agency after agency to over $2M in premiums.

Step One: Set Up Your Licenses

If you are not already an insurance agent you are going to need to obtain a valid P&C license. This is the most basic requirement and can change state by state, you can get started here.

After you consult with your accountant, walk into your states Secretary Of State office and file an LLC or a DBA. This will cost between $30-$200 depending on your state & boom. You have a business license.

Step Two: Location, Technology, & Overhead

You are going to have to decide how you want to structure your overhead. You can either start your agency out of another agents office, or you can take on the overhead costs yourself. These include things like:

  • Cost of your rent

  • Technology cost of your systems like Hawksoft & EZLinks

  • Premium of your personal E&O insurance

If you don’t have the money to pay for all of these things yourself, you can start off working in another agents office building your own book of business until it’s large enough to support these expenses. Generally however this will mean sacrificing some of your commissions.

The quickest way to a $2M book of business is to have the necessary startup cash to pay for your overhead.

Step Three: Gain Access To Carriers

Getting appointments to access carriers is without a doubt the hardest hurdle in starting an independent insurance agency. The reason is very simple.

Unless you start by buying an existing book, your current book of business is $0.

Most carriers are not going to work with you with a $0 book of business. And the carriers that you NEED in order to be successful are definitely not going to work with you.

Now if you can somehow get appointments with a handful of carriers, each carrier is going to have production requirements in order to keep them.

This is why the main path to starting an independent agency is to partner with some sort of alliance or cluster group. By operating as a group with hundreds of millions in premiums, an insurance alliance is capable of hitting production requirements and easily obtaining appointments for new agents.

Step Four: Become A Quoting Machine

You’ve got your licenses together. Your office is set up. And you have access to the carriers you need. Time to start bringing in business.

Here are a few hacks on how to become a quoting machine.

1. Google+ is the king of local SEO

You don’t need a fancy website to rank #1 on Google. Local search, the people who are looking for insurance agents in your area, is almost entirely based on your Google+ page and the number of people leaving you a review.

Shockingly, almost no agents compete on Google+.

Set up a Google+ page and start getting clients to give you 5 star reviews. Call them up and ask them if they are happy with their insurance. If they say no, figure out what’s going wrong. If they say yes, ask them to leave you a review on Google+.

I just did a search “boise idaho car insurance” and this is what came up.

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To rank #1 all I would need to do is get 18, five star reviews. Try a similar search in your city to see how many reviews you would need to rank #1.

2. Linkedin = Free Leads

The best social media for free leads is LinkedIn. Set up your profile, fill out your experiences, give yourself a nice bio.

Now. Send out 75 connection requests every single day to people who live in your area. When they accept the request, send them a message thanking them for the connection and asking them if they need any help with their insurance.

This is a numbers game. If you are consistent with this strategy I absolutely guarantee this will bring in an extra $5,000-$10,000+ in premiums every single month.

3. Always Ask For Referrals

It doesn’t matter how many people find you on Google, how many leads you are able to generate, the king of new business is referrals.

Always ask for referrals. I’m sure this is something you have heard 1000 times. If you ask our top 10 agencies what their #1 source of business is, I promise you they will say referrals.

This isn’t because they don’t rank #1 on Google. This isn’t because they don’t drive new leads. This isn’t because they don’t have other marketing efforts.

This is because asking for referrals turns 1 lead into 3. It turns $300k in premiums into $900k.

Now… See If You’re Qualified To Partner With Pacific Crest.

You are free to take this blueprint and start your agency without an alliance or with another cluster/aggregator.

But, if you want to work with the absolute best, fill out the form below to see if you would make a good partner with Pacific Crest Independent Insurance Alliance.