Independent insurance agents enjoy the freedom of being able to work with multiple providers in order to give their customers more choice in insurance products. At the same time, going it alone means they don’t have the support that a large, established insurance agency brings to the table.
That’s why many independent insurance agents will consider working with an insurance marketing organization, or IMO. We’ll explore some key benefits to working with an IMO insurance company.
5 Benefits of Working with IMOs
Get Access to Management Software and Tools
One of the biggest benefits of working with an IMO is the ability to access a wide range of tools that make you more effective and efficient at your job.
Generally speaking, IMOs will provide all the agents with access to a tool for quoting insurance policies. This tool will allow you to provide quick and easy estimates for potential customers so they can see what the cost of certain insurance products would be. These quoting tools are typically approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well, which enables you to give quotes for plans that both programs offer.
Another tool an IMO has access to is the Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM. This allows you to keep track of all your clients through their entire time with you. Being able to track this information is important when clients come to you with questions about their coverage over time, or if they want to review their policies and coverage.
These tools are extremely valuable, and can be expensive to purchase on your own.
IMOs Offer Top Insurance Products
As an independent agent, it may be challenging to get approved by big carriers to sell their products. And if you aren’t able to sell the best insurance products available, then it’s going to be quite difficult to build a solid client base.
Working with an IMO removes these barriers for entry for independent agents. IMOs offer a huge selection of insurance products you’ll be able to sell, which enables you to stay competitive with others in your region.
IMOs Provide Support and Experience
Running your own business has many benefits, but there are drawbacks too. One of the biggest is not having the support of a large organization, as you would have if you were a captive agent with an established insurance company.
When you work with an IMO, you will gain access to this support you otherwise wouldn’t have. Reputable IMOs will have a dedicated support team ready to answer any of your questions or help you through difficult or challenging situations. Many of these support personnel were once insurance agents as well, so they have the industry knowledge that independent agents need. In this sense, you can think of your IMO as the backbone of your operation.
Gain Certifications and Special Training
IMOs provide all their agents with basic training on topics such as selling, marketing and building a business plan. They also typically offer product-specific training so their agents know what they’re selling.
Beyond that, IMOs will help all their agents meet all the standards and certifications required by the industry. Most states require all insurance agents to get an annual certification to continue selling. Some programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, also may require ongoing certification for agents.
In addition, some insurance carriers may require all agents who sell their products to go through product training, which eventually results in you obtaining a certification.
Your IMO will help coordinate all of this training and certification for you, something that would typically take a lot of your time. They’ll remind you of upcoming certifications or training you need to complete, and then make the resources available to you so you can do it.
Establish Partnerships in the Industry
To be truly successful as an independent insurance agent, you’ll need to establish solid partnerships in the industry and the community. These partnerships can be mutually beneficial, and will help you vault your business ahead.
A good IMO will have established partnerships already in place with people such as a Registered Investment Advisor, and/or a Broker/Dealer. By connecting with these partners, you can expand the offerings to your clients, providing them with a complete financial package that you might not otherwise be able to offer on your own. Building a business is difficult, and it’s even more so when you don’t have the right partners and support in place.
Many independent insurance agents find it challenging to get their business off the ground because they don’t have that support backbone. Working with an IMO fills that gap, and provides many benefits to independent insurance agents.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you establish and grow your insurance business!