Career Opportunities

Whether you are currently practicing insurance or looking to enter the industry with no background experience, SKB provides support and training for all levels of expertise. Our managers are some of the best in the industry and our training schedule is robust and informational.

Before making an affiliation decision with any agency, an agent should be aware of 6 RED FLAGS agencies have implemented to hold agents captive.  A company will not need to implement these tactics if it is truly a fair model of compensation, benefit, and support.

RED FLAGS

  1. LOW COMMISSIONS - The company claims they pay competitive commissions, yet they find it extremely difficult to attract a productive independent agent under their business structure. One might ask, if it's so great, why isn’t every agent jumping on board?
    1. New agents are placed at 30%-50% below street level commissions
    2. agents/experienced agents are placed 20%-30% below street level
    3. This commission is viewed as cost for “Support”, The first question you should ask them is, “what support is worth 20%-50% of your income?” To put it in perspective, you must write 3 policies to get paid what you would for 2 policies at street level!  Each agent is writing their 3rd app for free!
  2. ASSIGNMENT OF COMMISSIONS
    1. The company REQUIRES you assign your commissions to the agency giving the agency total control of your income. This means they decide when you’re paid as well as the of your future renewals. In a sense, you are held hostage after creating several years of income. So your success essentially tightens your chains.
    2. In this case, you do NOT own your business. The agency does and may stop it at any time which happens frequently if you leave and decide to stay in the business.
    3. In this scenario, if the agency is sued, or potentially files bankruptcy, the commissions, rightfully earned, could be frozen and potentially lost forever.
    Agents should look for a company where they are paid direct by the carriers.  There are a few carriers who don’t have much of a commission structure and therefore assigning commissions might be necessary, however only a few companies should be exceptions.
  3. VESTING SCHEDULE - The company creates its own “vesting schedule” which they use as a retention tool. For example a company may have a 3 year vesting schedule in which you earn renewals up to the number of years you worked there or work 10 years to earn lifetime renewals
    1. An agent should look for immediate lifetime up to a maximum of a 1 year vesting schedule to ensure they are not working for nothing.
    2. An agency which pays low commissions will often use this strategy to retain the agent since it is more difficult to leave in the third and fourth year.
  4. QUAZI-CAPTIVE - The company describes itself as a hybrid organization thereby disguising the truly captive environment they maintain. The agent is captive to the carriers the agency decides they will contract with. If the agent attempts to go outside the company, they will be terminated. These types of mandates give you less control over your business. An agent should look for an agency that is open to contract with all the carriers available to the agent if the need arises.  
  5. 1099 or W-2
    1. Although an agency pays you as a 1099 contractor, they impose requirements as if the agents were W-2 employees, requiring the agent to be in the office at certain times, to report sometimes hourly where they are during the day, and threatening termination if meetings and hours are not met.
    2. By paying under 1099 tax status, the company gets away from having to pay taxes on its agents. The requirements may vary based on agency.
    Meetings and hours for a 1099 Agent should be mostly voluntary except for a few meetings for compliance purposes.  
  6. AN AGENCY OF MANAGERS AND TURNOVER SHOP
    1. The company explains an agent can make a great income simply continuing as an experienced Agent. The problem is the experienced agent will not use the “so-called” benefits the company provides and would rather find a company which pays higher commission.
    2. Productive agents are enticed to enter management. They are convinced they will grow large teams and receive overrides on the production of their units.  This move within the first 2 years of the productive agent’s career creates more retention and makes it much more difficult for the agent to leave.  Managers generally earn pretty good incomes, but will find they do not control as much as they would like and  they are subject to having agents pulled from their teams.
    3. As a manager, you will lose your most productive agents as they will search out better contracts. You will find you are constantly recruiting and training people out of your organization once you have helped them pass the most difficult period of training, transition. If you are lucky enough to build a large unit, your team is completely subject to your manager’s discretion with regard to his/her organizational goals.

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