1. Do you have a good carrier mix across the lines of business I want to use in my agency?
  2. Are those carriers competitive in my region specifically?
  3. Do you have any production requirements?
  4. Do you provide an agency management system?
  5. Do you provide a comparative rater(s)?
  6. Do you have a non-compete or non-solicitation if I decide your network isn't for me? If so... why?
  7. Do I need an office or may I work from home?
  8. What if I am new to Insurance, is that ok in your network?
  9. Do you have any exit fees?
  10. Can I sell my agency at some point?
  11. If I sell my agency, do you take a cut?
  12. Will I quote, bind, and service my policyholders directly with the carrier on their sites, or submit through you.
  13. How long is my contract for, and do I get ownership right away, or over time?
  14. What are the startup fees and are you willing to work with me if I need to make payments?
  15. What is the commission rate/split?
  16. What is the criteria for participation in the contingency bonuses (if applicable)?
  17. When there are overrides and incentive bonuses do we get any of those while in your network?
  18. Do you have a cap on the commission split or do you take your split forever?
  19. Do you offer training during the startup phase of my agency and mentorship throughout the relationship?
  20. Are you open to me contacting some of your member agencies before I sign the contract?
  21. Are you open to me contacting some of your carrier reps before I sign the contract?
  22. May I have an attorney, or third-party consultant review my contract with me?
  23. How much industry experience does your network leadership have?
  24. Has anyone in your leadership had experience in running an independent agency?
  25. Does anyone in your leadership have any carrier experience/background?
  26. May I contract with other carriers outside of your network?
  27. How long have you been in business and how many agencies do you have in your network?
  28. Define ownership.
  29. How does your agency network make money?
  30. One of the most important things someone can do other than reading the contracts of many networks is to speak to the owner/CEO/president of each network to get a feel for the culture. If you find they don’t have the time to talk to you... message me your contact info and I will make time for you.

There are subtle nuances each network you approach and some not so subtle.  This will help you do a more thorough search and by the end I hope you find the right answer for YOU, and that answer is far more clear than when you started searching.

If you find this helpful, do me a favor and remember where you got it and drop me a line to tell me what you ended up deciding and how you are doing. Good luck on your adventure!

Trout Kirch


Horizon Agency Systems