Getting started in California... Part II

Slow Eddie

New Member
First of all a big thanks goes out to Dan aka djs. I wouldn't have gotten this far with out his help.

I'm looking to get into transportation insurance. I already have a small client base that I do administrative work for (maybe 10 or so clients), and now I'm hoping to start servicing their insurance needs. We also will be stepping up our marketing to attract new clients. Also, I am very familiar with the types of insurance my clients will need.

I'm scheduled to take my fire and casualty test at the end of this month, then I'll be ready to go. I'm well aware of the need for a broker bond, as well as E&O insurance (Got a quote for about $3k a year but I'm prepared to pay $4k).

What I'm hoping for, at least at first, it to be a glorified salesman of sorts. The way I would like the process to work is that I solicit the business, discuss client's needs, and then submit applications to carriers on behalf of my clients, weigh the pros and cons of each quote, and then place the business with whom ever we decide is the right fit.

Does that work flow sound about right?

I am not heavily concerned that I will not have binding authority since transportation insurance isn't something that is bought on a whim. In the future, the plan is to eventually have direct appointments and binding authority, but right now I don't have the book of business or the experience to land direct appointments. But what I do have going for me is computer skills, marketing talents, a good understanding of business, a day job to pay the bills, and a bilingual stay at home mom to help out.

To paraphrase, I'm asking how the process is going to work for me. Can I work through another broker? Is there an MGA experienced in transportation insurance that will work with me?

Any advice is appreciated.


Good luck on your test. If in doubt, the answer is 'B'. Seriously, just read the question and read the answers, you'll do fine.

If you work through another broker, which can be done, make sure you know who owns the business. The good news here is that their E&O insurance should cover you.

I don't have a clue on an MGA that deals specifically with what you are looking for.

For an MGA to work with on the trucking, I would recommend going to Crouse and Associates. They handle a lot of those accounts, Mike in the SF office is who you'll probably speak with.

Century National does pretty well on Trucking as well, but you would need to get a direct appointment. The agency I work with is appointed with them, but I'm not sure if we can broker business and let you work through us.

Welcome to the insurance industry. To look for more MGA's you can work with, try to get a copy of the Kirschners's risk placement guide and look up trucking under risk placement. I don't have one on hand right now, or I would look it up for you. There is also a website that lets you put in the type of risk you are trying to find coverage for and gives you a list of MGA's to go to. I can't think of it at the moment, but maybe some searching on the web will find it.

Good Luck.
Dan and Joseph,

Thanks for the help. I finally took the test on Monday and passed. I am officially licensed.

But what now? My caveat at this point is whether to work through another broker or try and find an MGA that can write standard and non standard risks.

Am I fooling myself into thinking that there is one MGA out there that can place all of my clients whether they have a clean license, accidents, or even new start ups? My current clients run the gamut.

Or will I end up submitting applications all over the place? I can live with that if thats the case, but I was wondering if that would be the job of the MGA.

Maybe with my lack of experience I should partner up with an established agency, but what is really important to me is that I brand my own company name.... is that even possible working through another broker? Or would I be forced to market their name? Of course I would want to own the book. I realize with this approach I would be sharing commissions, but I could live with that depending on the arrangement. It sure would be nice to benefit from someone elses experience.

I thought I had a handle on this but now that I'm licensed I am realizing that there are so many blanks to fill.

I'm still missing that critical piece of knowledge that puts the puzzle together for me. Please offer whatever advice you can.


OK, I'm back from vacation and ready to go.

$5 a gallon fuel cost us a few clients, but now that the shock has worn off they are slowly coming back.

I would like to hook up with a semi local office on an independant contractor basis to sell transportation insurance. Ideally a brokerage in the fresno or surrounding area would be best so that we are not competing for the same business, and they would seem to be more open to the idea of opening an office in another area expanding their territory.

I'm not looking for anyone to advance any money on future commissions, or pay for any overhead, I will take care of all of that myself, but the commission split should reflect that most of the risk is retained on my end. I would also like to retain ownership of the book.

Fair enough? I will be renting a small office space to conduct operations. I will be the one assessing client needs and collecting qualifying information, and then will forward this on to the "home" office for rating. Then I'll collect the check and forward it to the "home" office once the client agrees to purchase a policy. Will I need my own E&O insurance under this type of arrangement?

So far so good? If anyone knows anyone in the transportation insurance industry in California that would be interested in this type of arrangement please forward their contact information in my direction.

Also, I was wondering how long it normally takes to be paid your commissions after the policy is binded.


You're not really taking on any risk. If you find someone who is willing to do this, they are putting they're reputation on the line by letting you use their company relationships. If you screw something up, that company will drop them and they'll have to try and find another company to write their clients.
Go get your own e&o and appointments, and join your local insurance association. Life will be much easier that way.

also, its bound - not binded