Archives for independent insurance agent

Juanita The CSRI met Juanita* three weeks ago.

Juanita is new to the insurance business. Young – still in her mid-20s – it’s the first non-retail job she’s had.

She has a bubbly personality, loves taking good care of customers and did very well on her insurance license exam. The agency where she works is one of the top auto agencies in their small town so she has already learned enough to be very comfortable with auto insurance issues and questions.

But they’ve been losing customers.

They haven’t had a good home insurance market. So every time a customer asked for a quote for renters policy or homeowners policy they ended up referring her to an agency down the street. Inevitably over time they lost those customers as the home insurance agents asked for a chance to quote the auto.

Juanita’s manager Rafael* found out about iMGA through another agent. He visited our website and liked what he saw there. He completed our online interest form, our system notified us of his interest and we quickly reached out.

When Rafael and I talked it was obvious that there was an excellent fit between his customers’ needs and iMGA’s products. He was easily able to complete the online new agent application and we had him set up the same day.

Because they were located in central Texas, it was easy for us to do an in person visit and train the staff on our products and underwriting guidelines that week. Juanita was, frankly, worried. How hard would it be for her to understand these new products? What questions might customers have that she couldn’t answer? Would she get the support she needed? How hard would it be to issue a policy?

You should have seen the look on her face the first time she went through a quote. She said “Is this all there is to it?” when it took her less than two minutes to complete the whole process.

She – and Rafael – especially loved how the system and printed application clearly explained the primary coverages and limitations so that she didn’t have to worry about missing those. She called into iMGA and one of our friendly underwriters made sure she got the answer she needed and felt comfortable calling any time. She wrote her first homeowners policy while I was in her office.

As Juanita’s confidence has grown she’s steadily increased the number of auto customers who she’s able to offer Homeowners, MobileHome, Dwelling and Renters coverage and their agency no longer has to refer those customers down the street.

Would You Like a Story That Ends This Well?

Yes, the process for signing up with iMGA can be this easy.

The process for quoting and issuing business with iMGA is absolutely this easy.

If you’d like to add more Easy to your life – and a strong range of Texas personal property products for your agency staff to offer to your customers – contact us.


*We’ve changed the names in this story to protect the innocent. 🙂

TedCruzCSPANLast week our Senator Ted Cruz made national headlines by giving one of the longest speeches in U.S. Senate history. As expected, the speech didn’t change the vote, but it did expand the conversation. Only time will tell what the ultimate results will be, but already it’s attracted both passionate supporters and opposition.

As Texans, we all know about the Alamo, where in 1836 nearly 200 defenders stood up against 1,500 Mexican soldiers. The defenders of the Alamo were defeated, but “Remember The Alamo” became a rallying cry that swelled the ranks of the Texian army and made victory at the Battle of San Jacinto possible and ensured the stability of the fledgling Republic of Texas.

At iMGA we stand for making life as easy as possible for independent insurance agents who work with us. We know we can always do better, but when we find that we’re doing something that isn’t helpful, we do everything we can to fix it. We put a lot of extra time, energy and expense into our systems to make sure they’re as rock solid as possible. We eliminate every question we can, and simplify the ones that are left.

Sometimes that makes more work for us. Sometimes that means we have to choose to say “no” to opportunities that might mean a short-term benefit. But we know without a doubt that as long as we stay focused on making life easy for our agents, they’ll benefit and together we’ll grow more than we could have otherwise.

What does your agency stand for?

Being clear about that one thing sometimes means doing something that is tough in the short run. In the long run, though, it let’s you build a strong foundation that will attract exactly the right supporters, clients, customers and employees. It’s worth it.

If your agency has taken a clear stand and has a distinct message or unique customer base, please leave a comment telling us about it.

If you have a Texas independent agency, don’t already work with iMGA and would like to work with a Texas personal property market that does take a stand, please contact us.

Home and AutoDeloitte Consulting has released a new study of auto and home insurance policyholders and the results are significant for independent agents.

The online study of 1,080 each auto and home policyholders, titled “The Voice of the Personal Lines Consumer/Buyers in the driver’s seat”, reaches several relevant conclusions:

“there is a sizable group of consumers who still prefer the human touch in personal lines, choosing to establish a trusted relationship with an insurance professional who can help them shop for a policy (sometimes for more than one type of coverage) as well as show them how to navigate the claims process and be their advocate in case of a loss”

“fewer companies are dedicated to distributing through any one channel. Many are looking to reach prospects and more regularly communicate with policy- holders over multiple platforms, both to take business away from competitors as well as improve retention of their own customers”

“there are demographic factors at work that make some prospects more viable than others in terms of taking them away from the competition”

“while some respondents are committed to buying with an intermediary and others without, there is a significant percentage of “independents” that are more open to switching from agents to a direct purchase (or vice versa) given the right circumstances and enticements”

“overcoming suspicions about the integrity of insurers and agents can play a major role in drawing prospects away from rival carriers and channels”

“Price remains the biggest single element respondents consider when purchasing personal lines insurance. However… price is far from the sole decision point when a prospect is determining whether to become (or remain) a policyholder”

If you think your agency is “destined” to lose clients to direct sales, never to retrieve them again – that is definitely not true, especially if you offer homeowners insurance products. 39% of homeowners currently buying direct said their top preference the next time they buy a new policy is to work with an agent. The same was true with 30% of direct auto policy holders.

Homeowners Clients are Better

55% of homeowners who responded to the survey had been with their insurance agent for at least 6 years. Only 49% of auto insurance customers said the same.

Home policy owners are:

  • Less likely to think buying direct would save them money (59% for homeowners vs. 67% for auto customers)
  • Less likely to strongly agree that buying direct would be more convenient (29% vs. 33%)
  • Less likely to consider price extremely influential in their decision (45% vs. 54%)
  • Less likely to switch agencies (only 20% had been with their agency two years or less and many of those were younger consumers who had been purchasing homeowners coverage for a shorter period of time)

With all those great characteristics, it’s clear agencies need to attract homeowners policyholders as much as possible.

What’s the most important step in doing that, according to the survey?

Get Homeowners Policyholders as Young as Possible

Nearly half (45%) of homeowners said they had never switched carriers. So being there first made a huge difference to their agent and/or carrier.

iMGA products let you bring in homeowners clients that are buying their first home or mobilehome. Even before that you can offer your clients a renter’s policy through iMGA. Later if they purchase a rental dwelling or vacant dwelling, we can help you protect that for them also. Together we can help you build a book of quality homeowners clients that will make your agency more successful in the long run.

Higher retention, less price sensitivity, more appreciation for the value agents bring. Who wouldn’t want that? iMGA – and a focus on providing quality homeowners protection to your clients – can make that a reality in your agency.

PIA Texas LogoAt iMGA we’re proud to support our independent insurance agents and the organizations that help them grow and succeed. The Texas Professional Insurance Agents association is strongly in that camp, and as such we are pleased to have joined as Associate members.

We look forward to working with Texas PIA members to grow their agencies and strengthen their association.

If you’re a member of PIA and would like to offer our Texas Personal Property products to your clients please complete the iMGA New Agent Interest Form.

Labor Day can be bittersweet. On the bitter side it marks the traditional end of summer. In most of Texas kids are back in school and the vacation season is over. On the sweet side, it’s the first weekend of dove hunting season.

We’d like to take a moment, though, and recognize Labor Day for what it once was, and should be – a chance to thank those whose productive efforts have made our economy and country the success it is.

Of course our national economy is going through a tough patch right now. But at iMGA we have the privilege and pleasure to work with smart, talented, hard-working people every day, and it’s you that makes the difference.

The independent insurance agent is a critical part of the small business universe, and the independent agencies we work with are the best. iMGA’s mission is to bring you new products, streamlined processes and world-class systems to make your life as EASY as possible – because we truly appreciate you and the work you do.

So, as we take an extra day off Monday (and we hope you are able to as well), we will be thinking of you and the incredible result of the labor of so many productive and talented people.

Thank You – and Happy Labor Day!

This Dilbert cartoon does a good job of showing the type of crazy choices some companies seem to make.

We’re obsessed with making things EASY for our agents, though, so you won’t see us making this kind of choice any time soon.

Plus,  we have a fantastic system provided by the great team at Dragonflyware, so we would never have to make this kind of choice.

If you are a Texas independent insurance agent that sells personal property insurance and haven’t already used our system (where the average time to complete a quote is less than 2 minutes) complete the form for more information on becoming an iMGA agent and we’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other.

Nice park in Lubbock, TX.

While out visiting agents in west Texas yesterday I stumbled upon this lovely scene in Lubbock. I don’t know what preconceived notions you may have about the home of Texas Tech, but I could easily imagine that many people wouldn’t picture this.

It just goes to show that if we keep our eyes open there are pleasant surprises – and good opportunities all around.

The same is true in business, though at iMGA we’ve found that it’s not only important to keep our eyes open (looking at things like what impacts retention and what products and coverages are selling best or worst), it’s even more important to keep our ears open.

Our independent agents give us great ideas every day. Some we aren’t able to implement, some we haven’t been able to implement yet, but many we have, and thanks to them we’re seeing growth in spite of the economy.

How about you? What opportunities have you seized lately? If it feels like there aren’t any, or that there aren’t enough, maybe you just need to look – or listen – more intently. You might be surprised by what you find. I was.

Closeup of tree in park in Lubbock, Texas

At iMGA we understand that independent agencies have many companies they can use, and that each of those companies has multiple products with unique underwriting requirements. With us alone you have MobileHome, Dwelling Fire (TDP1 & TDP3), Travel Trailer, Vacant Dwelling, Remodeler Coverage, HOA/HOA+ (both admitted and non-admitted) and HOB options.

How do you keep all that straight? How do you avoid killing time quoting something that doesn’t qualify for a product?
How do you make sure you offer the insured the best coverage for which they qualify, and in the least amount of time?

Other markets require a time consuming trial and error approach. We like it simple. So, we developed an easy method. If you have ANY Texas Personal Property coverage need, simply login at, select Online Quoting, and choose StartAllQuotesHere as the Line of Business.

We’ll run you through a very short set of questions to verify which lines of business that specific risk qualifies for, and show you exactly those lines. Then, with the push of a button the information you’ve already entered is transferred over for quoting. With just a few more questions, we’ve looked up the protection class, tax records, and calculated dwelling value for you online, and you have a confirmed quote, with no wasted effort.

Respecting your time and understanding that you have alternatives – just one of the many ways that we’re working to be the easiest personal property market Texas independent agencies have. If you are a Texas independent insurance agent who would like to represent us, please click on “Become an Agent” at the top of the page and complete the form so that we can start to get to know each other better.

Insurance Journal is looking for the top independent property and casualty insurance agencies in the U.S. in the categories of Top Overall, Top Commercial Lines, and Top Personal Lines.

This survey is for privately-owned, retail, property/casualty independent insurance agencies. However, publicly-owned and bank-owned insurance agencies are invited to submit data for other listings in Insurance Journal.

We already know that the fantastic insurance agencies we work with are tops. If you’re interested, complete the application to Insurance Journal and prove it to the world and your staff. It could be a real morale booster!

There are lots of things we’d like to talk about this week, but none of them is more important than staying focused on bringing you an amazing new product that we’ll have out in just a few more days. So, just a quick note to let you know we’re thinking of you and working hard on your behalf, and that of all our fantastic Texas independent insurance agents. More coming soon!

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