The SIAA Model
SIAA is the national organization and it is comprised of 48 regional master agencies across the United States.
Each master agency is responsible for a defined region. If you were to consider a membership with SIAA, your membership would technically reside with the master agency that services your area. Should you decide to join, you would have immediate access to all the services, markets, profit-sharing and incentives of both your master agency and SIAA.
Sorry, for a number of reasons, the physical location of the member agency determines with which master agency network their membership will be associated.
The master agencies need to be able to administer local support and work closely with insurance company reps to best serve their membership.
Agencies of all sizes and backgrounds find SIAA membership to be beneficial and profitable. While there is no specific member profile, many of our agencies are smaller and in need of markets or seeking stability. Direct writers, life and financial service agencies, and producers looking to open their own property & casualty insurance agency have all found that SIAA can provide the resources and start-up support they need to hit the ground running.
While there is no stated minimum, most startup agencies succeed if the principal has two or more years of experience as a licensed P&C insurance agent.
Insurance aggregators provide market access and aggregate premium, sometimes with additional compensation, but without any support services or tools. Insurance agents join an aggregator to gain access to insurance carriers’ contracts. This relationship tends to be very transactional.
A cluster occurs when a group of agents form either a formal joint venture or a loose affiliation to place their individual books of business as part of a larger book in order to receive higher commissions or profit sharing. Cluster members continue to operate individually.
SIAA is neither an aggregator nor a cluster. We started our alliance with an idea to help other agents grow their entire business, a model which has proven to help the independent agent and the independent agency distribution system grow.
Compensation and Contract Stuff
Agents with direct appointments receive commissions directly from the writing company. This differs from (most) aggregators that name their members as sub producers and subsequently control the commission flow.
Commissions resulting from business written through AccessPlus, as well as profit-sharing, bonuses and overrides earned by virtue of the relationship between the strategic partner companies and SIAA and its master agency are paid by the master agency to the member.
Should you decide to become a part of the SIAA organization, the membership contract will reside with the regional master agency responsible for the location in which your agency is located. These contract terms can vary and the length will fairly reflect the mutual levels of investment and commitment to the relationship.
The majority of our member agencies choose to stay beyond the duration of the contract. But situations change, and some do leave. At the end of the relationship member agents have the ability to leave with clients, commissions and carriers.
Not only would membership not restrict your perpetuation planning, it would open up more options for your consideration.
Access to Markets
First off, the math doesn’t work. At a national level, SIAA is able to negotiate higher levels of compensation, profit-sharing and incentives for its members if the network’s premium volume is not diluted over an unnecessarily high number of strategic insurance company partners.
SIAA has strategic partnerships with top-tier insurance companies, wholesale and specialty partners, as well as life and benefits.
In addition, each master agency has its own select group of financially sound and competitive carriers, including regional and super regional insurance companies.
There are two methods. The first is through your master agency’s AccessPlus placement facility, which allows members access to our top-rated carriers without a direct appointment. The second, is through direct company appointments, which your master agency will help secure. Note: Over 95% of all SIAA business is placed via members’ direct codes.
On your own, most carriers aren’t accepting new agents, and it is difficult to get an appointment. Or, you can get an appointment, but only if you write a certain volume of business, which can be difficult for a small agency.
SIAA has the size and membership to get you that access.