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Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comPrivilege of Membership
Jim Miller of JSE Insurance in Bakersfield, CA has been an agent specializing in Auto and Homeowners insurance for more than 14 years. In early January of this year, he decided to branch out into Commercial Lines. He had a few major challenges: no markets, no carrier appointments, no clout, and no established underwriting relationships with insurers in the Commercial arena.
His principal solution: programbusiness.com. “I started in January and within four months I’ve written $100,000 in premium through programbusiness.com…that may not sound like a lot, but I’m just starting out, and that is with limited staff, limited experience, and no markets to speak of. Programbusiness.com gave me access to markets and the opportunity to expand my business,” says Jim. “I made the money I spent in joining programbusiness within the first two weeks of signing up.”
Jim’s current goal is to do four commercial quotes per week, with 2-3 going through programbusiness. Sixty percent of the submissions going through programbusiness.com are placed. Eventually, Jim’s goal is to write 20 per week.
In addition to establishing a footing in the Commercial Lines industry, Jim is establishing relationships with general agency underwriters through programbusiness.com. He credits the teamwork and membership spirit of programbusiness: “I get immediate responses from the on-line markets at programbusiness.com. When I find a client, all I have to do is submit the account and I have a number of companies saying, ‘yes we’re interesting in writing the business.’” “We’re all part of a team through programbusiness -- everyone is on the same page. I’m not wasting my time, spinning my wheels, looking for markets and waiting for answers.”
Programbusiness simplifies the entire process. You get immediate quotes, within 24 hours, rather than going through tons of paperwork that can take up to two weeks for an underwriter to decide upon and then end up with disappointing results.
Another added benefit is that Jim has been able to provide cost-savings to his news customers because of programbusiness.com. For example, he posted business on the Trading Floor for a used car lot. The prospect was paying an annual premium of $21,000. Jim was able to find the same exact coverage for $9,000. “Now I can go after other used car lots, providing coverage and competitive pricing. So the niche marketing can begin to develop itself,” concludes Jim.
While building his Commercial Lines business, Jim is also getting access to standard carriers through the GAs on programbusiness. Without carrier appointments and premium commitments, he would otherwise not be able to place coverage with standard companies.
Jim is now looking to expand his agency. With the addition of Commercial Lines to his agency, he is adding another CSR and additional salespeople. “It has opened new doors for my staff and me. My office manager, who has her insurance license, is now out on Commercial Lines sales two days a week. This month, she has doubled her income selling Commercial Lines and going to market on programbusiness.com.”
Yes, membership does have its privileges.
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