The insurance industry is no stranger to contracts. Whether it is contracts with carriers or insuring agreements in policies, contracts dictate a lot of what happens within an agency. Even agents are required to sign a producer agreement before they go to work for an agency. The purpose of the agreement is to outline certain terms of employment. But like any contract, there can be lot of details that are difficult to decipher.
As eager as an agent may be to get to work, it is vital to do a few things before signing on the dotted line.
1.) Have the contract reviewed by an attorney. A producer agreement can be full of a lot legal terminology. Some parts of the contract may be straightforward and easy to understand, but others’ terms may have more complexity. An attorney will be able to review all the fine print and advise you on any details that raise red flags and could create complications down the road. An attorney will also understand state statues and identify any illegal or unenforceable conditions in the state where you work.
Investing in legal advice to ensure that you understand all aspects of the contract before you sign will save you stress in the long run.
2.) Be prepared to negotiate. Whether there are specific terms in the contract that an attorney has advised be changed or other details you found during your review, there may amendments needed to the agreement. Understand that before you sign, you have the right to reviews, discuss, and ask for changes to the terms of the contract. Once you sign, this becomes a lot more challenging. Embrace the opportunity to negotiate those points in the agreement that are most important to you.
3.) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Entering into an agreement with an agency in insurance is an exciting step. However, it is perfectly reasonable to have questions and concerns. Whether you need more information about licensing, training, or compensation, getting answers upfront is better than trying to put the pieces together after the fact. Obtaining as much clarification as possible will help prevent future stress and help move all parties towards future success.
4.) Understand how the agency plans to invest in your future. If your goal is to build a career in the insurance industry, you must work with an agency that is committed to helping you meet those goals. A couple of key indicators of this would be an investment in your continued learning and development and a well-designed marketing plan that provides you the exposure you need as you begin a career in sales.
A career in insurance is exciting and rewarding. By taking a little extra time and paying attention to the details before signing the agreement, you can be sure you are as prepared as possible to start your career on the right foot.
For more on this topic, check out the entire episode of The Independent Agent below!