How Can Independent Insurance Agents Increase Revenue and Profitability

March 1, 2022

Second Generation Independent Agent Bryan Clinkscales, owner of Boone-Ritter Insurance, has increased his agency's revenue and profitability by partnering with Smart Choice.Bryan Clinkscales purchased his first agency upon his father’s retirement, as a natural succession plan, in 2002 and grew the agency to four locations and $15 million in premium through subsequent acquisitions in 2007 and 2014. Spiking M&A activity in 2021 and steep competition for carrier appointments led Bryan to consider next steps for his agency – to acquire or be acquired – and if he stayed in the business, how best to expand and become more profitable. He decided to be an acquirer, and following the acquisition of a Smart Choice® agency, Bryan became acquainted with a Smart Choice® representative, who proposed a review of his volumes to see how best to maximize his profitability.

 

“It’s tough to get carrier appointments, especially if you’re in a town where there’s a lot of competition and those carriers have already appointed other agencies. It makes it even tougher to increase revenue.”

—Second Generation Independent Agent Bryan Clinkscales, owner of Boone-Ritter Insurance

What Can Smart Choice Do for Independent Agencies?

Smart Choice® performed an analysis of Bryan’s book of business and identified contracts that would be more profitable if converted from direct contracts to Smart Choice® contracts, where the commission structure would be higher. To date, Bryan has converted $3 million in direct contract premiums over to Smart Choice® contracts. “We’ve got $2 million with just one carrier that we moved over. But we also had these small books with carriers that we were struggling to grow, to get to profit-sharing level. Now we are at that level just by moving those books over to Smart Choice®, and those combined are another $1 million in premiums. I can’t wait to see the year end numbers!”

In addition to gaining access to more carriers through the Smart Choice® relationship, Bryan now actively works with his Smart Choice® Territory Manager to identify additional acquisition opportunities. Smart Choice® facilitates the transaction of either the entire agency or books, depending upon the desires of buyers and sellers. They are there to:

  • Assist with the evaluation
  • Analyze the profitability
  • Support with financing solutions if necessary

Bryan’s Advice to Other Independent Insurance Agents

“If I know an agent is going out on his own, I’ll say it’s going to be tougher to get markets, call Smart Choice®, and see what they can offer. The way they do business, it’s going to be easier for you. You’re going to maximize your efforts.”

What's the best thing to do when the pace of change accelerates?

Be prepared — or get left behind.

It's more important than ever to adapt to the changing landscape of the insurance industry. Disruption is happening daily and presents a critical need for agents of all shapes and sizes to anticipate and pivot. Read more on what's causing the industry shakeup and how agents can flourish in a time of uncertainty and challenge. 

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