Many a successful business has been built upon the old adage “early to bed, early to rise, work like Hell and advertise.”
That’s what happened for an insurance agency cluster group called MSI Group, from Denver, Colorado. MSI had been working hard for its 63 member agencies in 20 states, securing access to many top carriers.
MSI grew quickly the last few years due to the changing marketplace in the independent agency universe. “We are seeing smaller agencies that are either new to the independent agency system or too small to partner with a sufficient number of carriers to be effective in the marketplace. As a result these agencies are either selling to larger brokers or are partnering with cluster groups like MSI says Greg Holt, MSI’s Co-Founder.” Holt claims that MSI Group, now InsureZone Direct has “the most favorable Agent contract and technology suite in the industry.”
MSI was looking to expand its visibility among insurance agencies nationwide – and elected to focus its advertising with us – AgencyEquity.com. Holt said he wasn’t able to advertise everywhere at once, so he created a focused presence on AgencyEquity, which targets agency principals and senior management. “We were present at the creation of AgencyEquity, I think,” says Holt. “We started advertising with them right around the time they started up and have continued to do so ever since.”
Time for a Change
MSI was looking for a strategic partner for Summit Special Risks its E&S wholesale operation. Summit took out an ad in the wholesale section of AgencyEquity.com. This ad attracted the attention of Jeannie Lewis at InsureZone who was in the process of building a cluster/network group called InsureZone Direct. Insurezone had a nationwide presence and a technology platform that provides a powerful, turnkey policy management and integrated quoting system for personal and commercial lines. MSI Group had been seeking that very thing for its agencies.
One of the biggest challenges independent agency principals face today is technology. It’s very difficult to get a good deal on software and support as a stand-alone agency, explained Holt. We had tried almost every off the shelf system and none were able to provide the policy management and personal lines and commercial quoting capabilities in an integrated affordable package. So talks began between Insurezone and MSI about doing something on a larger scale. MSI had the expertise in the cluster group model and Insurezone offered agencies a way to become more efficient and therefore more profitable.
It was the best match since “you got peanut butter in my chocolate.”
Partnering with InsureZone Direct
MSI members were able to benefit from InsureZone’s industry leading software solutions. InsureZone realized a windfall by bringing on MSI’s 63 agencies and operating expertise in the cluster arena. Everyone benefitted from increased participation in the new InsureZone Direct cluster group program, which helps Agents gain access to a broader array of carriers, discounted E & O insurance premiums, improved lead generation, web site hosting, and development, and access to resources that make it much more affordable to start or expand an insurance agency with InsureZone Direct. The agency partners of InsureZone Direct will have access to over 50 carriers and the most efficient sales and service platform in the insurance industry. This platform includes real-time rating for personal and commercial lines, a web-based client management and policy servicing system, integrated email and phones as well as the ability to add CSR services whenever needed. Between MSI’s resources and Insure Zone’s tremendous technology solutions, the two companies combine to make a much more comprehensive value proposition for member agencies.
InsureZone offers wholesale carrier access through AgentSecure.com, and a cluster agency program through InsureZone Direct. The InsureZone Tech platform consists of a suite of twelve products serving the entire insurance industry, including carriers, wholesalers, MGA’s, program administrators, brokers and agencies.
Neither company anticipated such a broad win-win partnership from the initial contact. The original idea was for a much more limited transaction. But as the two entities discussed the matter, the more sense it made – and InsureZone wound up acquiring MSI and Summit Special Risks. Greg Holt and Chad Farmer are still on board and fully involved in both companies.
The end result: “We’re here to provide a suite of tools to help [our agents] grow faster,” explains InsureZone’s CEO John Pergande.
It just goes to show: Beautiful things happen when you get the word out.
New Agents are flooding to InsureZone Direct to be a part of the most technologically advanced cluster group in the nation. This new idea to add powerful technology to a cluster group has catapulted InsureZone Direct to the top. Some of the other features that are different from most other cluster groups are: no minimum level of production, own your book, hang your own name on the door, direct access, and share in the bonuses and “NO” long term contract. Holt says “We are looking for successful agents or agencies with solid experience and a history of success who are interested in becoming part of something BIGGER! Whether it’s becoming an affiliated Agent or owning a Zone and growing a group within our group, the benefits are too numerous to mention here, but we are happy to have a conversation with anyone who is motivated and ready to succeed”.