There were some unexpected benefits of working with Smart Choice. I was surprised how fast I was able to get direct appointments and all the extra commissions if you exceed the required amount set forth. And it seemed that just about every carrier offered extra cash incentives.
Our State Director at Smart Choice (Todd Alexanderson) is ALWAYS here and available for us when we need anything. He uses his connections with carriers to really help us beyond our expectations.
I've used Bestow with some of my insurance cases and I'm impressed! The communication, ease of doing business, and follow-up have been amazing. Once the policy was applied for through my custom link, the client received an active policy within minutes. Bestow understands what is important to the agent and client satisfaction. I will not hesitate to use Bestow again and again.
Our Smart Choice Territory Manager (TM) is amazing, and I knew that he would help me become successful in a challenging insurance environment. My agency would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for Smart Choice and my TM, Chris Reisdorf.
Life insurance offers great commissions. Since I am a start from scratch agency it’s going to take a couple of years to build the residuals in the P&C market. Life allows me to make huge gains in revenue to offset that. It has also open doors for my P&C by getting me in front of customers that I might not have if they hadn’t requested a quote.
Smart Choice has been instrumental in our success because they put the agency’s best interests at heart and will do whatever is necessary to help them succeed.
I have been an agent for 20 years and never seen anything as easy to sell life insurance as we have found in Bestow. We just send our agency link over to an interested prospect for a quick online app -- which literally takes less than 5 minutes for the prospect to complete. In a couple minutes the applicant will know if they have been approved and they are issued a policy right then and there. Very little work is done on our end, but we still get to reap those nice commission checks. Bestow has proven to be a win-win for our agency!
It’s hard to imagine running this agency without the support of Smart Choice. The reality of being a brokerage is that it is significantly more complex because every writing company has its unique differences. Smart Choice helps us solve that problem by giving us one central point of contact for help with dozens of writing companies. It prevents us from getting caught in the minutiae and lets us focus on what matters most: serving our customers.
Our revenue has been significantly bolstered working with Smart Choice – we’re hitting bonus multipliers we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise – like 4.5% in aggregate instead of 2.5%.
The accounting team at Smart Choice and their online portal is very clear and makes our reconciliation job very easy.
We are consistently presented with markets as they become available rather than having to seek them out on our own. It is nice to have options for our risks, and to know a Smart Choice carrier partner can be trusted.
Smart Choice is always adding new carriers and providing incentives to qualify for additional compensation which allows our agency to perform at the highest level.
My goal is to continue to grow my Agency and having Smart Choice partner with us to identify opportunities to purchase books was unexpected.
Express Markets offerings have allowed us to create a niche, making it possible for us to place business for our clients others won’t or can’t.
In the beginning of my career, only having access to one carrier as a captive— even at my very best, I would be lucky to close 15 to 20% of the deals that came my way. With Smart Choice giving me the options and the capability to quote so many carriers, it’s extended my closing ratio up to 75 to 80%.
Smart Choice has allowed me to get direct appointments with carriers that I wouldn't have been able to get on my own or even through referrals.
Partnering with Smart Choice has had a HUGE impact. I have grown my business far more than I could have expected and it was because Smart Choice provided access to the markets needed to be successful.
We thought Smart Choice would be fairly hands-off with a basic level of service. On the contrary, they’ve really become a valuable partner for our agency, being supportive, responsive and incredibly committed to our success.
It used to be that my hesitation to write life insurance policies was the TIME that it took! But, with customer demand high and the potential for increased revenue I decided to partner with Smart Choice because of the ease in issuing most life policies.
Our revenue has increased significantly since we’ve joined Smart Choice. We were able to reach the commission cap in a short period of time and we’re now able to get paid 100% commission and participate in profit sharing on an annual basis. This is something that we never had before when we worked exclusively with wholesalers.
I did a ton of research before I even reached out to any of the aggregators, clusters and networks -- I had to learn what the difference was! Smart Choice stood out in a few ways with the cap and being able to write all the major insurance companies.
The impact on our agency has been significant. We were able to reach the commission cap in a very short period of time which now allows us to be paid 100% of the commission from the carriers. We also qualified for profit sharing this year which greatly impacted our agencies revenue.
Bestow's Term Life Instant Issue is a complete game changer allowing our agency to be well rounded in our day-to-day prospecting and servicing of our policyholders. The amount of time this product saves our agency is incredible. Our clients are thoroughly impressed by how user friendly it is with applications taking no more than 15 minutes. More importantly, the Bestow Instant Issue allows the client to be in control of creating their own legacy without feeling pressured. In less than two months thus far with Bestow, we are on pace to increase our gross commissions for our agency by 25%.
Smart Choice provides a vast choice of carriers to place insurance including access to Nationwide Insurance Commercial policies.
One of the most challenging things we face as an independent agency would be the lack of carriers you can acquire if your agency does not have a large book of business. If you can’t get access, you just can’t compete. Smart Choice gets us that access and to over one hundred carriers which means I can offer multiple policies to clients assuring a good fit and a successful sale. If I was making this decision again, I would in a heartbeat!
We wanted to try to get “single entry” market access to standard lines carriers. Since we are a smaller agency, it would have taken us forever to achieve the volume required to get direct contracts with some companies. Smart Choice makes it much easier to know where we are going. The MGA’s we used previously had inconsistent service, were often gobbled up by other MGA’s and we get lost in the shuffle.
Any time we have questions about where to place business, or best practices on how to work with certain companies, our Smart Choice rep is more than willing to help. He’s knowledgeable and I don’t remember a time when one of my agents has had a question that he hasn’t been able to answer.
As a scratch agency, we had very little premium to show to carriers. Smart Choice allowed us the opportunity to get appointed with carriers that we wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.
I have been a partner with Smart Choice since November, 2003 and have enjoyed every minute of it. Starting out, Companies wouldn’t appoint my Agency because of size. Smart Choice didn’t require policy
achievements so this allowed my Agency to partner with prominent carriers. As my Agency grew, I was able to achieve 100% of my commissions. Without Smart Choice, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Good Luck, and Hapy Selling.
It is so exciting to offer the Bestow product! It is quick and easy for potential clients to understand. I appreciate the simplicity of the site, and it's a great product to offer and discuss when I'm in front of a customer. It definitely saves time for me which is the most valuable asset as an Insurance Agent. Easy sell and addition to my agency.
Having direct access to carriers has been a huge help in allowing us to respond to our client’s needs in a fast and efficient manner.
Smart Choice has a lot of carriers that help me place my clients and grow my business. I like the 100% book ownership and fair split structure. My territory manager helps me get appointed and find the carrier(s) to fill my client’s needs.
Having the availability of carriers without the commitment for production along with the broad range of larger national carriers (Allstate, Nationwide, etc.) creates the image of a large agency regardless of actual size -- giving us the ability to compete with anyone in the industry.
Increasing numbers of new agency owners, existing independents, and former captive agents are looking to join agency networks to compete in a tough insurance market. But how do you choose the right agency network partner?
Like many people who wind up in the industry, Lee Ann didn’t plan to become an insurance professional. She fell into the industry, and ultimately realized it was the right career for her. Once she had dedicated herself to insurance, she needed to find ways to grow. Over the years, she’s done that with incredible success — and with the help of the Smart Choice network.