It’s common knowledge that there are A LOT of changes happening in the insurance industry. Different factors are playing into carriers taking on rate and companies cutting commissions. Of course, there are digital companies trying to make a wave, as well. So, what I’m about to say probably isn’t going to be classified as a “breaking news story.”
Our team recently had the privilege of attending the UFAA National Convention in Las Vegas. UFAA stands for “United Farmers Agents Association.” Basically, it’s the union for Farmers Insurance agents across the U.S.
They have local chapter members and regular meetings as a chance to communicate on common successes and struggles, as well as air out major grievances they might have with Farmers.
The ultimate goal for UFAA is to do what’s best for all Farmers agents, boasting a tagline of “Agents Helping Agents.” That might be coming up with a solution to help their current agency’s success or a way to help them move on to greener pastures, such as starting their own independent agency.
We were invited to the convention to speak with the chapter presidents and delegates (representing UFAA members from their respective areas) about the changes that Farmers is forcing them to go through.
It was quite shocking to not only hear the company, as a whole, is going to be taking on rate as soon as this month (and continuing for the next couple years), but they’ll be taking commission cuts on both home and auto rates for the next couple years, as well.
Obviously, this is beyond frustrating and upsetting to most Farmers agents, especially those that have been around for a while. For those that are newer agents, they don’t feel as much of the “pain” in what’s happening but will soon find out that these changes are going to make it very hard to run a successful agency and earn a living.
It’s very clear that these agents aren’t feeling the love from a company that sold them on the idea of the ability to run a profitable business that would help support their families.
In addition to the worry of an increased challenge of selling a higher premium and taking less of a cut, Farmers agents are in a battle over a never-ending slew of rules and requests that tell them how to run their business. An issue that troubles most agents who thought they would be running more of an “independent” operation.
At this convention, there were other resource offering to help agents become independent or tools that can help their agency run more efficiently. We met other vendors that help agents finance the sale or purchase of books of business (Capital Resources), unique marketing tools (automated lead calling systems) and of course, other alliances/aggregators.
It was in the middle of the convention when we truly realized how many agents we could help with our customized solution. These agents are hungry for viable salutation and someone who can relate.
Our position and pitch to them is just that. Our founders have been captive agents and wondered how successful they could be on the “outside.” Upon establishing the alliance, it became necessary that they create valuable partnerships with companies that have the same goal in mind: helping agents.
Every agent is different and has specific and unique concerns about leaving what they’ve spent so much time and money to build and develop. We understand that and want to help those with what we believe is a best-case scenario for Farmers agents.
The key word here is FLEXIBILITY. Through these partnerships and customized opportunities, agents with different wants and needs are able to make the transition to independence at their speed, without the fear of starting over.
After explaining this concept to everyone we had the time to speak with, the excitement in the air was clear. Farmers agents all over the country are desperate for a way out, they just need the “escape pod” to do so. That’s where we come in.
If you’re a Farmers agent or know someone who could benefit from Pacific Crest’s ability to help agents start and run a successful independent agency, please have them reach out today!