Who owns my book of business?

In short, you do!  But what does that really mean?  We’ve never understood why most networks say the word “ownership” but never truly explain it.  Do you really have true ownership if you have:

  • A time-vested schedule of ownership in your own agency?
  • A non-compete or non-solicit?
  • A buyout fee when you leave?

Newsflash…  NO ONE owns a client!  That’s why we don’t restrict you if you decide to leave.

To us, ownership means you own the relationship with your client without restriction… period.  If you decide to leave, you are welcome to move that relationship with you.

What are the startup costs?

$1,000 (and we will even take payments)

There are many networks that charge $2,500 to as high as $75,000 but does that make them any better?  Nope!  Some will say it’s for training…  Others will make you feel exclusive and important just because you spent $50K to join the club.  Invest in your agency,  not in your network.

We would rather invest our time and training efforts into your success!  The wisest investment you can make at this point is on YOUR business, not ours.  We need to cover our costs but the last thing we want to do is take away your working or marketing capital when you are just getting started.

If you are not convinced, we would be happy to increase our fee if you like… Seriously though we would much rather you sell a ton and have us both financially benefit that way.

What is the difference between an ageny cluster and an aggregator?

Really not much!  They are both a form of agency network designed to provide strength in numbers.  Agency networks come in many shapes and sizes, but the devil is in the details of the contract.  Generally speaking we would define the different terms as…

  • Aggregator:  (Let’s use EIEIO Group) You get a login to the EIEIO Group code.  EIEIO Group is one big happy family and you are a part of  the EIEIO machine, although you can sorta call it whatever you like, you are mostly recognized as a branch office.  Most of the paperwork will reflect EIEIO GROUP.  Commission is ok but many involve long contracts and non competes.  You may even get an EIEIO issued email…
  • Cluster:  (Lets use random Initials MIOSA… Oh don’t read into this as it really is random)  You will get Direct codes to the carrier or have the ability to submit business to their brokerage.  They are great, except many don’t realize it takes a long time to get a direct code to the carrier… and that it still flows through a master code… just like an aggregator.  There is no doubt though this is YOUR agency as MIOSA has provided you the handshake to the carrier and you are paid directly in many cases.  So, what do you do in the meantime while you wait for your direct codes?  These are often long contracts, with good sized buyouts at the end.
  • Franchise:  (Let’s call it Bright Moose)  You will pay a large fee to open a branch office.  You get to call it “Bright Moose”.  You will give up typically 50% of your commission because they do all the tedious work for you and you simply handle the sales.  You have a non compete, and the comfort of knowing you wont ever have to worry about how to spend contingency, because it’s not part of the vocabulary there at Bright Moose.  If you are looking for a job where you advance your first years pay to your employer this just may be a great fit for you… Don’t buy a job.
  • The Rest:  (Lets call it Intelligent Access)  It’s cheap to get in… commission is on the lighter side but its easy to get in.  No non competes typically but watch out, they don’t like you getting appointed with any of their carriers any time soon.  With Intelligent Access you may have to send in ACORD forms… even on a renters policy, and just wait until you need service, or your customer is sitting at the DMV or worse at the dealership on a Saturday.

The contract is really what separates the sheep from the wolves.  Pay attention to it for things like non-competes, buyout clauses, cancellation penalties, and the length of time the contract is for.

What makes us different?  Shop around to every agency network you care to, then compare their contract to ours…  We have taken the best aspects of each of the above and worked them into Horizon, and the, well,  stupidest parts and gotten rid of them. We look forward to doing business with you NOT because we’ve convinced you that we are the best but because all the other networks have proven it.

Does Horizon offer training?

Absolutely!  It won’t cost you extra either as we consider your training as our investment in your success.

We will train you on our systems and proprietary practices.  We will also send you through EZLynx University to get you a top to bottom look at your agency management/rating systems.  Each carrier has invested millions of dollars into their own training programs and we have an in house dedicated training manager.  Once you start establishing relationships with carriers, in many cases we can arrange training at your office with a carrier marketing representative or through webinars to jump-start your agency!

What happens if I decide to leave?

What will happen?  We will be sad to see you go.  You would be missed, but if you aren’t into it, we won’t hold you hostage with non-solicit clauses, required buyouts,  or carrier restrictions.  We believe no one owns a customer, so feel free to come get them.

Why are we so confident you’ll stay with Horizon?

We offer a robust carrier offering, a great commission/bonus structure, top-shelf industry systems, and most of all… independence.

What will I need to get started?

A great attitude goes a long way, but we will also need copies of your insurance license(s) and a certificate for your errors & omissions insurance.  We recommend a business & marketing plan as well, something that will show the carriers you really take the partnership seriously.

There are many other things that will be helpful but these are the basics to get you off the ground.

How do I receive my commissions?

We will direct deposit any commissions received by us to you in the following pay cycle (around the 15th of the following month).

If I lost a carrier appointment are you able book-roll my business?

Yes, we are absolutely open to a book roll.  In some cases, you may earn even more due to our negotiated commission rates.  There are some instances where we will pass if it would be a detriment to the network.  We take profitability bonuses seriously so we look at each book-roll on a case by case basis!

How long does it take to get appointed?

The length of time it takes in order to be appointed with a carrier is completely dependent on the carrier.  Short answer: Many carriers in as little as 24 hours from the time you request access and generally speaking between 24 hours and 8 weeks.  Some do take longer, but we are there to help you navigate the process.  As soon as your agency is active we immediately start this process with multiple top carriers that cover personal, commercial, life and health, and E&S markets.

Our goal is to get you to dedicated access with a carrier and to pay the highest commissions as soon as possible.  We have a licensing and compliance specialist that will work with your agency to get the appointments as fast as the carriers will give them!

Do you charge brokerage fees?

No we do not charge a brokerage fee.  Certain states allow agencies to charge a brokerage fee. You may, so long as your agency abides by all state insurance regulation, provides the required disclosure, obtains the needed customer authorization, and secures all pertinent signatures.

Am I required to send in signed applications?

With certain carriers you may, but for the most part… absolutely not!  For compliance, you’ll simply upload them to your client’s file in the management system along with any required rejection forms or underwriting requirements.

Do I need a license for my agency?

Although you will need to be licensed in each state you wish to do business in, your agency technically doesn’t need to be licensed.  We do recommend an agency license if you ever plan on having employees or interns.

Will my agency name appear on the Declarations Pages and Billing Documents?

On all business you place with carriers you have a dedicated relationship with YES, your agency name will be reflected.

If the business is placed with a shared carrier where you are using one of our codes, it will reflect the name of the master agency.  On all broker assisted business it will also reflect the master agency name.

It’s our goal to have your agency identity reflected as often and consistently as possible.