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How to Get Appointed With Insurance Carriers


Your success as an independent agent hinges on making smart decisions—beginning with the insurance carriers you choose to represent. 

Independent agents have the freedom and flexibility to represent carriers that best fit their business—and clientele—without being limited to a single carrier’s products; as we all know, one size does not fit all. While this freedom provides growth opportunities for an independent insurance agency, there are a few other responsibilities to consider. 

In order to act on behalf of an insurance company—or in other words, sell their policies—an independent insurance agency must first be granted authorization to do so through a carrier appointment. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of carrier appointments, factors to consider when selecting carriers, and the process of getting appointed. 

At a glance:

  • When selecting insurance carrier appointments, consider reputation, financial stability, product line suitability, and ease of doing business.

  • Appointments with multiple carriers provide insurance agents access to diverse insurance products for tailored client solutions.

  • Before seeking carrier appointments, assess carrier reputation, product fit, and ease of business, while also considering agency capacity and growth potential.

Importance of insurance carrier appointments

Independent insurance agents play a fundamental role in the insurance industry, serving as both trusted partners to insurance companies and expert intermediaries between carriers and policyholders. That’s why it is so important for independent agencies to secure partnerships with insurance carriers whose product offerings align with their market and provide growth opportunities to expand products and access to new markets and resources. 

Enhanced product offerings

Clients are unique. So are insurance providers. That’s why securing appointments with multiple carriers enables independent agents to gain access to a diverse range of insurance products. A broad product portfolio empowers agents to meet the evolving needs of clients, providing tailored solutions that address a wide range of risks—and attracting clients who value choice and customization.

Access to markets

Insurance carriers already have an established market presence and brand recognition. Through alignment with reputable carriers, an independent insurance gent can gain leads, benefit from marketing efforts, and establish trust. This association can also significantly boost an agency's visibility and credibility in the eyes of potential clients.

Access to support and resources

Insurance carriers recognize the value of their appointed agents and, as such, provide them with support and resources. Resources may include training programs for professional development, co-branded marketing materials to assist with client acquisition and retention, and underwriting expertise.

Openly offers a wide array of resources, such as:

Selecting insurance carriers for appointments

Just as insurers will evaluate your suitability to represent their product, agents should do their own due diligence and research carriers to determine who would be the best fit for their insurance agency. 

Reputation and financial stability

When selecting insurance carriers to get appointed with, it’s essential to prioritize those with a strong reputation and financial stability. The reputation of an insurance carrier reflects its commitment to service, integrity, and the ability to honor policy claims. Partnering with reputable carriers instills confidence in both agents and clients alike. Be sure to research their credit ratings, claims-paying ability, and overall standing within the insurance industry. 

Openly, for example, provides insurance coverages through Clear Blue Insurance Group, rated A- (Excellent) by AM Best. By choosing to work with a carrier like Openly, independent agents can ensure they are partnering with a financially stable and reputable company. 

Product line suitability

Consider whether or not a potential carrier’s product lines align with your agency's target market and specialization. Evaluate the suitability of their coverage options for your clients. Partnering with carriers that offer products tailored to your niche, such as home insurance or health insurance, allows you to better meet the unique needs of your clients and increase the likelihood of business success.

Openly specializes in high-value home insurance, making it an ideal partner for agencies focusing in this niche. 

Ease of doing business

A carrier with efficient and intuitive systems and processes can significantly streamline your operations and enhance the overall customer experience. Look for carriers that offer user-friendly online platforms, automated processes, and responsive customer service teams. Openly excels in this regard, providing a seamless and efficient experience for agents through its user-friendly platform and dedicated support. 

The process of getting appointed

Getting appointed with an insurance carrier varies by carrier and state. It often involves meeting prerequisites and is not an overnight process.

Prerequisites for appointment

Before applying for carrier appointments, it’s essential to meet the necessary prerequisites, which can vary by carrier. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with your domiciled state's licensing requirements (and the states in which you hope to do business) and ensure you maintain active licenses through timely renewals. 

Apply for an appointment

Each insurance company has their own specific appointment processes, but in general, there are  three main steps in the appointment process: 

  1. Research carriers and evaluate whether or not their products align with your agency's goals, target market, and product offerings.

  2. Review appointment requirements to determine whether or not you qualify for an appointment. 

  3. Prepare a business plan that highlights your experience, your agency’s accomplishments, and your individual successes.

Final considerations for independent agencies

In addition to the tips provided above, there are two major considerations for independent agencies to consider when determining if a carrier appointment is prudent for their agents: shelf-space and headroom.

Shelf-space is having the pipeline, capacity, and people in place to support a new carrier and its requirements.

Head-room is the ability to grow and have the processes and people in place in order to do so. An insurance agent may want to grow, but if they don’t have the capacity to dedicate the time, effort, and resources to do so, they will have very little head room. 

So, don’t seek out carrier appointments just for the sake of it. Be strategic and thoughtful in your endeavors and seek the right carriers for your agency and clients. That way you’ll be growing your business and ensuring success through productive partnerships in no time.

To this end, consider requesting an insurance agency appointment with Openly to explore high-value home insurance coverage options that align with your growth objectives and client needs. 

Request an Appointment with Openly

A partnership with Openly empowers you to deliver outstanding service with speed and ease while offering comprehensive coverage tailored to your clients' needs.

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About the Author

Alyssa Little | Senior Content Strategist

Alyssa is the Senior Content Strategist at Openly, collaborating with industry thought leaders to provide insightful and informative content in the home insurance space. With over 15 years experience in content marketing strategy, copywriting, and editing, Alyssa has refined her expertise through her work at such companies as Gartner, Nike, and Trupanion. Alyssa holds a BA in History from the University of Puget Sound and an MA in Museum Studies from Newcastle University.

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