If you are keen to start a career selling insurance but are not sure which agency to join, this is the article for you!
Today, my job is to answer your questions about SIAA in an unbiased agent career review. Don’t worry if you haven’t been tested for your insurance license yet, there is still plenty of useful information here that you should know.
Let’s get started!
PS: Check out reviews of other insurance sales jobs.
NOTE: If you are an aspiring or new insurance agent interested in knowing how the insurance sales industry works, check out my Free Insurance Agent Resource Guide.
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The Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance (SIAA) is a national insurance alliance of Master Agencies throughout the country. It is the largest alliance of its kind in the United States, with close to 6,000 member agencies.
SIAA was established in 1995 by Jim Masiello and is headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire.
The alliance focuses on the creation, retention, and growth of the independent insurance agency distribution system. It integrates member agencies with strategic partner companies through a unique business model.
SIAA consists of 48 Master Agencies across the United States, where each agency is responsible for a specific region. When you join SIAA, your agency will become a member of the Master Agency that services your area. This way, you will be able to gain immediate access to all the services, markets, profit-sharing, and incentives of your Master Agency as well as SIAA.
Through SIAA, insurance agents have access to over 30 top-rated national and regional carriers that offer both personal and commercial lines of insurance. Some of the SIAA partner carriers are American Modern, Acuity, CNA, Mercury Insurance, Nationwide, Swyfft, and The Main Street America Group.
The products SIAA that agents sell include:
- Umbrella liability
- Jewelry, furs, and art
- Recreational vehicles
- Mortgage life
- Mobile home
- Watercraft and boats
- Custom designed insurance packages
- General liability
- Workers compensation
- Umbrella liability
- Specialty coverage
- Inland marine
- Business continuity solutions
- Errors & Omissions / professional liability.
SIAA uses the Insurancedeals4u.com web portal for lead generation. The portal finds new business leads for distribution to all member agencies according to their zip code. This system also allows consumers to request multiple quotes from several insurance companies, using a local agent of their choice.
In addition, the Google MarketFinder platform has developed an extensive online portal exclusive to SIAA member agents. Through this platform, agents can quickly search for a market for their business.
Payment at SIAA is commission based and according to the company information, agents receive the best commission their partner carriers offer.
SIAA supports its members through regular program training and business development materials. The Training & Learning Center (TLC) offers courses in sales and agency growth. It includes the QuickSTART program, providing member agents the possibility to obtain certifications online in order to achieve career growth.
SIAA’s Agency Foundation is a consultation program that helps new agencies to establish a foundation for building and operating a successful business. It includes various discounts on agency services as well as access to third-party providers.
SIAA is not a scam, multi-level marketing (MLM) organization, or a pyramid scheme opportunity. It is a reputable and well-rooted company with over $6 billion in written premium. Statistics show that 13% of all independent insurance agencies in the United States have joined SIAA through one of its regional master agencies.
Now that you know a little more about SIAA, I’d like to offer my perspective on selling insurance, as an agency owner who has worked with over 2,000 agents since 2013.
Since you are probably a new agent looking for more information about the insurance sales business, I will offer you some advice that is not necessarily related to SIAA, but is still crucial if you want to succeed in this industry.
Specialization and Generalization
Before you decide to accept any sales opportunity that involves learning about multiple product lines, you should know that this approach may be limiting and detrimental to your career. In fact, generalization will only increase your odds of failure.
As a new insurance agent, you should stay focused on one particular product line until you become a master in your niche. Specialization will allow you to succeed and increase your sales. As you become an expert in your field, you can always gradually incorporate other products into your portfolio.
At my agency, Duford Insurance Group, for example, I focus on teaching new agents about one single product that they will master within 6 to 12 months.
When it comes to your book of business, I believe you should be 100% vested from day one. This means that you will own the book of business and the associated renewal income, even if you decide to switch companies.
Unfortunately, many agencies, even the largest ones, don’t work this way. Although I am not sure whether SIAA allows new agents to own their book of business, this is something that you should confirm before you start working with them.
Sometimes, you may need to wait for up to a year or even more to be vested. If your position is terminated before that, you’ll lose either all or some of your commission and renewals, depending on your vesting contract.
My advice is to make sure you ask SIAA or another agency’s representatives to explain how vesting in their agency works before deciding to work with them.
Releases refer to moving your insurance carrier contracts to another agency. My agency, for example, offers this opportunity, but there are many others that don’t. This will make it difficult to leave, even if you are not happy with your job.
That’s why it’s extremely important to check with the agency whether they will release your carriers to you if you decide to join another organization.
Thank you for reading this article on the SIAA insurance agent opportunity. I hope this information will allow you to decide whether this agency is a good choice for you or not. If you would like to learn more about becoming a top producer and discover how my agency—Duford Insurance Group—works, there’s more information on my FAQ page.