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The Best Insurance Plans for Churches
At first blush, it may seem like a no-brainer. Churches need insurance like any other business, right? While that remains true, church insurance coverage needs are a little different than those of regular businesses. Wondering how to find the best plans? Check out this quick guide.
Types of Church Insurance Coverage
Churches share some of the characteristics of for-profit businesses, but they also have unique needs. That’s why most church insurance coverage has to account for those needs. For example, as The Balance Small Business notes, churches often work with volunteers more than with employees. But they’re also vulnerable to theft, property damage and more. Examples of insurance types to consider include:
Property insurance to protect personal property and church-owned buildings
- Liability insurance to protect the church from lawsuits
- Pastoral liability insurance to protect the pastors and leaders of the church who could be held liable for emotional or physical insurance during spiritual counseling
- Auto coverage for any church-owned vehicles
- Workers compensation to cover workers who are injured while they’re on the job
Church Insurance Coverage Sources
Now that you know more about the type of coverage to consider, it’s time to start researching the providers who you might want to work with. Whatever policy types you end up choosing, it’s important to keep in mind that churches typically can choose from a variety of carriers, including mainstream property-casualty insurers, specialty insurers and self-insurance options.
Top Church Insurance Providers
There are many options available. A few of the top providers for church insurance coverage include:
- Specialty Insurers: Brotherhood Mutual, Church Mutual, GuideStone, Samaritan Ministries and Christian Care Ministry are among the smaller specialty providers available.
- State Farm: Not just home care insurance coverage or auto coverage, State Farm also offers coverage for religious organizations, including property, liability, computer property, money and securities, employee dishonesty and more.
- Liberty Mutual: Motor insurance coverage isn’t the only policy you can get from Liberty Mutual. This provider also offers protection for religious organizations, including commercial auto, general liability, property, employee benefits liability, identity theft, pastoral professional liability and crime insurance.
- Farmers Insurance: Religious organizations can choose from church insurance coverage like business property, business liability, business crime and pastoral professional liability to help minimize the risks to their organization.
Large vs. Small Church Insurance Needs
The size of your church may dictate your overall coverage needs. As The Balance Small Business notes, larger churches often need different coverage, especially if they operate facilities like daycare or schools. Large-scale church operations may benefit from contacting an insurance broker, who can help guide them about possibly self-insuring some branches of their operations. Small churches can often work with an agent for personalized recommendations and guidance throughout the process.
Tips for Choosing the Right Church Insurance Provider
Choosing the right policy and the right provider can go a long way to giving you piece of mind. A few tips to help you sift through all your options include:
- Research the provider’s background. Do they offer the types of policies you need?
- Can your insurance policy grow as your church grows too? Church Executive suggests looking for a provider with value-added products like risk management tools and vendor discounts.
- Check the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ database for any complaints against the insurance company you’re considering.
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Insurance Agency Business Plan
Start your own insurance agency business plan
Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.
Quaestor Services is in the process of being formed as a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Sheila Claflin. This plan is written as a guide for financing, start-up and management of this new business and will also serve as the basis for measurement. The following is a summary of the main points of this plan.
- The objectives of Quaestor are to generate a profit, grow at a challenging and manageable rate, and to be a good citizen in the community.
- The mission of Quaestor is to provide products and services with high quality, protection and value pricing.
- The keys to success for Quaestor are variety of business services and products, personal contact, timely and accurate service, development of one-to-one relationships, and a reputation of honesty and integrity.
- The primary products offered will be from Whelnoan Insurance Company, and the added value to small businesses will be the accounting and financial services offered.
- The local market for this business is wide open. Whelnoan Insurance Company has captured 23% of the market share and is considered the second largest insurance company in Plainstate.
- In the first year of operation, a customer base is being established. Over 85% of the new and established insurance business will renew each year creating compounding growth in sales of over 200% with limited increase in operational expense.
In conclusion, as shown in the highlights chart below, this plan projects rapid growth over the next three years with a profit forecasted in the second year of operation and continuing into future years of operation. Implementing this plan, will ensure that Quaestor Services becomes a profitable venture.
The main objectives of Quaestor Services are:
- Profit – to create enough prosperity for the owner and employees to have a secure and comfortable lifestyle.
- Growth – to grow the business at a rate that is both challenging and manageable.
- Citizenship – to be a social asset to the community and contribute to others who are less fortunate.
Quaestor Services is dedicated to providing insurance products and business services that provide high quality, protection, and value pricing. We wish to establish a successful partnership with our clients that respects their interests and goals.
Success will be measured by our clients choosing us because of their belief in our ability to meet or exceed their expectations of price, service, and expertise.
1.3 Keys to Success
The keys to the success for Quaestor Services are:
- A wide variety of business services and insurance products that are affordable, available and understandable.
- Personal contact and service that meets or exceeds the expectations of our clients.
- Services and products that are delivered with accuracy and timeliness.
- Relationships with our clients that fosters renewal business.
- A reputation in the community for it’s honesty and integrity.
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Insurance Agency Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 3,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their insurance agencies. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an insurance agency business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your insurance agency as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Source of Funding for Insurance Agencies
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an insurance agency are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate the business.
The second most common form of funding for an insurance agency is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund an insurance agency unless it is based on a unique, scalable technology.
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Your insurance agency business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of insurance agency business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an insurance agency that you would like to grow, or are you operating multiple insurance agency locations already.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the insurance agency industry. Discuss the type of insurance agency you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of insurance agency you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Direct Writer / Captive : this type of insurance agency only sells one insurance company’s products – like Allstate or State Farm
- Independent Insurance Agent : this type of insurance agency is privately-owned, and sells policies with may different insurance companies
In addition to explaining the type of insurance agency you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new location openings, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the insurance industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards weather-related policy purchases, it would be helpful to ensure your plans call for flood insurance options.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your insurance company business plan:
- How big is the insurance agency business (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key insurance carriers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your insurance agency. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your insurance agency business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, households, businesses, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of insurance agency you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want different pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than recent college graduates.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most insurance agencies primarily serve customers living in their same geographic region, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Direct competitors are other insurance agencies.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes self pay and public (Medicare, Medicaid in the case of health insurance) insurance or directly working with an insurance carrier. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who purchases insurance does so through an insurance agency.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other insurance agencies with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be insurance agencies located in your geographic region.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What products do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior insurance agency products/services?
- Will you provide insurance agency products that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an insurance agency business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of insurance agency that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products/services you will be offering. For example, in addition to P&C insurance, will you also offer life insurance?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu items you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your insurance agency. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your insurance agency located next to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a heavily populated office building, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.
Promotions : the final part of your insurance agency marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Making your insurance agency’s front store extra appealing to attract passing customers
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., auto dealerships or car rental stores)
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your insurance agency such as serving customers, procuring relationships with insurance carriers, negotiating with repair shops, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to acquire your 500th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.
To demonstrate your insurance agency’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the insurance agency business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in insurance agencies and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you acquire 20 new customers per month or 50? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your insurance agency location and/or website, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an insurance agency:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Marketing expenses
- Website development
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Insurance Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your insurance agency is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the insurance agency business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful insurance agency.
Download Our Insurance Business Plan PDF
You can download our insurance business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
Insurance Business Plan FAQs
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You can download our insurance business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Insurance Agent Business Plan
If you have an aptitude for convincing people and can identify what insurance works for different customers, then an insurance agency business might work for you.
An insurance agency is not only profitable, but also requires lesser skills to get started. But at the same time, it attracts a lot of competition. Moreover, it is also a work that involves a lot of responsibility for managing insurance portfolios properly.
You can do all of the above and more smoothly, with the help of an insurance agent business plan .
If you are planning to be an insurance agent, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample insurance agent business plan created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.
Before you start writing your business plan , spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of insurance & finance-related business .
The insurance industry stood at a massive value of 1.28 trillion dollars in 2020 and isn’t about to slow down any time soon.
Life and home insurance make up the majority of the market share. The growth of the industry can be attributed to the increase in buying houses and getting the same insured.
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Things to Consider Before Writing an Insurance Agent business plan
Choose your legal structure.
Different legal structures come with different pros and cons. Also, each legal structure solves different purposes for a business. From the taxes, you’ll pay to the liability on your assets, the legal structure of your business decides everything.
Hence, you should go through all of your options and pick the one that fits your business needs the best.
Build brand identity and image
Having a brand identity that makes you memorable to your customers is important. Constant marketing and branding efforts can help you achieve that.
Get your licenses and permits
Figuring out what licenses and permits you need as per the laws of your country and state is very important before getting started in the insurance industry.
But at the same time, keeping track of all the legal requirements can be difficult. Hence, it is a good practice to have a checklist at hand before you get started.
Look into your funding requirements
The cost of setting up an insurance company depends upon the location and size of your business. Hence, look into what would be your financial requirements to set up your firm and if you’ll need any funds or not.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of your aim. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
We have created this sample insurance agent business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect insurance agent business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Insurance Agent Business Plan Outline
This is the standard insurance agent business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Keys to Success
- 3 Year profit forecast
- Startup Cost
- Funding Required
- Company Ownership
- Competition and Buying Patterns
- Market Analysis
- Target Market Segment Strategy
- Competitive Edge
- Marketing Strategy
- Sales Forecast
- Sales Yearly
- Personnel Plan
- Startup Funding
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample insurance agent business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your insurance agent business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
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Download a sample insurance agent business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free insurance agent business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your insurance agent business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
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About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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- Carriers, Partnerships & Profit Sharing
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- Determining Your Agency's Value
- The Value of Your brand
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April 20, 2020
How to create a business plan for your insurance agency, 12 min read.
Topic: Insurance Marketing Insurance Agency Management sales Start an Agency Grow an Agency
“What’s the plan?”
That’s the question my wife and I ask each other every day about 3:00 in the afternoon. We have pretty busy lives with multiple businesses, children, hobbies, and activities to manage. So, probably just like you, we need a plan to get it all done!
If a plan is important for getting a family through the day, how much more important is a plan for an insurance agency with customers to serve, sales to make, companies to satisfy, and employees to manage?
But who has time to plan with all that going on?
That’s a great and valid question. The other one for the typical Type A insurance business owner is, “Can I get someone else to do it for me?” and, “What’s the minimum planning that will yield the most impact?”
Assuming you have goals to meet and would like every day to be something other than crisis management, let’s take a look at this from a high level.
Getting Started With Your Business Plan
Creating a business plan sounds like work, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Really, this process is as simple as putting on paper your three-to-five-year goals and general means to achieve them.
For example, this is a super-simple plan template:
What are sales going to be each year for 3 years?
Net profits? What do you want your balance sheet to look like?
What is your ideal business mix? What products and services do you want to sell the most of?
What kind of customers do you want to serve? What do they look like demographically (i.e. target market)?
How many employees does it take to get this done?
A plan can be a whole lot more complicated, and potentially more valuable, but if you have lots to do, this takes a couple of minutes and it’s a great start.
Consider This Question To Help You Focus:
During lunch with a successful entrepreneur in a business completely unrelated to mine, he asked me this wonderful and powerful question during our meal.
“What are the best opportunities in front of you right now?”
That question really focuses the mind.
I was able to give him an immediate answer and listed for him four priorities for myself and my team. We have more than four opportunities in front of us, so I was interested in my own immediate reaction. You see, like most entrepreneurs and small business owners, I am constantly seeing opportunities and weighing my capabilities and interests.
I answered my friend with four things and a quick note as to why they were important and valuable for our business. It didn’t take a lengthy market analysis or sales forecasting - the question really helped me to focus, prioritize, and verbalize what I want to capitalize on out of many choices. It happened in an instant and will now guide us as we plan for the next year or two - this is the simplest version of an executive summary and it will guide our sales strategy.
Most successful business owners are highly focused people, who don’t pursue every single business idea that runs through their heads. They understand that resources like time, capital, and people are limited. Regardless of their relative level of optimism (an absolute requirement and one of the main keys to success opportunities, but the more successful they become, the more realistic actual opportunities are for them.
So, as they go about building a bigger and bigger future, choosing which opportunities to pursue every year of operation becomes an ever more important task.
As we face the future and the demands of many others who want us to focus on their priorities (opportunities!), choosing which things we will concentrate our efforts on becomes a critical decision for every insurance agent and businessperson.
What about you? What are the best opportunities in front of you right now? Those are the ones to focus your planning.
Let’s Do Some Thinking
Everyone, and every business, is different. I start planning for the next year in the fourth quarter of the year before. Your timing may be different than mine. But you do set aside time to think about the business and plan for the coming year, don’t you? Or do you just let it happen?
This is a great time to be honest with ourselves about this! Let me suggest that if you don’t do annual thinking that you consider it. It’s not hard. It doesn’t have to take a long time but is really important in sustaining growth .
Here are some of the things I think about.
What can we accomplish?
What is a revenue goal that is achievable within our current capabilities? As I think about this I ponder the knowns about what the market is doing and which insurance products are more likely to sell.
Are rates up or down? Has the weather this year been good or bad?
What can we expect from Profit Sharing and PMSF (you do get PMSF, don’t you?)
What kind of activity and results are our current marketing efforts producing? How is our market share?
What is going to happen to overhead next year?
Do we have rent increases, automation increases, or other overhead cost increases coming?
What about employee benefits and payroll?
Do we need additional employees to manage the expected normal growth?
Do we have a place for them to work? Equipment to use?
When do we need them?
Now comes the fun part!
What could we do if we really stretched ourselves?
If we are to do that, what else must we do?
Do we need to increase marketing investment?
Are there any potential investors we should talk to?
Hire additional people? Modify compensation strategies?
Open another office or expand this one?
Add a CRM program?
These and endless other things can and should be considered.
We can’t develop a plan for our business until we spend time thinking about it. Perhaps you do this ad hoc from time to time, but now is the time to organize your thinking and your thoughts and start putting things in written form, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. It’s time to think!
Now, Let’s Do Some Planning
I’ve described the thinking process that I use during the early fall to begin to get ready for a productive, growing period in the coming year. The results of the current year are beginning to take shape and the business environment is more clearly understood. After the thinking process comes planning.
Relax! This doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, complicated or time-consuming for a growing agency. Let me encourage you to make a plan that can be put on one sheet of paper. Two at the most.
If you can’t describe your plans for a year in that space you probably can’t do it all either.
How I Do It
What I do is take the things I’ve uncovered in my thinking process and first use them to create a simple budget:
I increase current year results by what I think is the “steady as she goes” growth and expected rate, profit sharing, PMSF and other revenue changes should produce and put that in a month by month spreadsheet.
Then I take the overhead thinking I’ve done and put that into the expense ledger. Now I’ve got a simple budget. Is the result of that budget what I want it to be based on my goal setting? Or not? If not, I begin to tweak.
Once the budget is all tweaked up I turn to the thinking about the growth goals I want. What does that do to income? What expense increases are required? Those go down on paper and I work on this until I’m satisfied.
This is still not planning! This is budgeting. Now comes the plan:
- What will be required to get the results we are forecasting? (See the next section!)
- When and how will we market ?
- What changes to our website, social media , phone program, referral program, etc. do we need to make?
- Do we need more employees , insurance companies, cell phones, or other tools? When and where do we plan to acquire them?
- What else do we need to schedule to do to make the budget work out?
This is planning! See, it’s not hard. It’s really easy when you think about it first!
Now that you’ve done the thinking and planning, next year will be easy. And if you execute on the simple plan you’ve built, tweaking as you go, you’ll get wherever it is you want to go!
More Things to Consider for Your Business Plan
How much activity do you need to get the results you want.
The “Silver Bullet” to agency growth is activity. One of the natural questions is how much? How much activity will it take to get x results? Really, the question is what do I need to do? What do I need to plan for?
To answer your questions I need a little more information. So, here are my questions to you:
What is your growth goal?
What is your average sale?
What is your closing ratio?
How do you get prospects?
Let’s assume I want to add $25,000 in commission revenue to my agency (growth goal). And let’s assume my average sale nets me $450 (note: this is commission, not premium).
Let’s also assume I’m an average salesperson and my closing ratio is 35%. Lastly, let’s assume I get my prospects from a direct mail campaign and my response rate is 1.5% of pieces mailed.
From these assumptions “how much” becomes very clear.
- I need 56 sales! ($25,000 goal divided by $450 average sale).
- I need 160 prospects! (56 sales divided by 35%).
- I need to mail 10,650 mail pieces (160 prospects divided by 1.5%)
Don’t get hung up on whether you think direct mail is the best way to advertise, or whether you think my closing ratio is good or bad. That’s not the point. The point is, if you know some very basic numbers, you can figure out very easily how much activity you need to reach your goal!
Everyone has a different idea about the best way to sell insurance. We all have different goals, talents, resources, and abilities. But we can all achieve our goals with the appropriate amount of activity.
Success is simple. Figure out “how much”. Then go do it!
Pay the Business First
One of our Agency Development team recently met with one of our agencies to work with them on business planning. This is a great thing, because without a plan it is virtually impossible to grow rapidly. This particular agent is my favorite kind of person: a dreamer with big dreams! They are ambitious, hard-working, and highly motivated
In their discussions, the agent and our Development Specialist talked about the agent's desire to hire producers and to build their own office building. Both are potentially great ideas. However, there is a small problem: money.
Our agent owner didn't have any…
When we start our businesses, we entrepreneurs usually need every nickel we can find, right? Every dollar that isn't nailed down often finds its way into gasoline, rent, or shoes for the kids. This is normal. But as the business begins to prosper there is a choice to be made: buy nicer stuff, or feed the business.
We often see agencies with little or no working capital, and without working capital, you simply can't expand, because you can't fund a producer. What bank is going to lend you money on a building when you haven't got any? None. Those days are gone forever.
My partner and I started our agency in 1996, and we didn't take a profit out of the business - not even to pay taxes - until 2003! We were reinvesting all our money in the business.
This is what you must do if you want to keep growing. That doesn't mean you can't take money to improve your family's situation - you can. Do that by increasing your salary over time.
But if you want to keep growing, give the business a raise before you give yourself one.
Our method was to decide each year what the business was going to make in net profits. Until that number was satisfied we didn't get paid and we didn't get a raise either. This method allowed the business to have the money - its lifeblood! - that it needed to keep expanding.
Look around at the successful people you know. The businesses you admire. Very few of them got where they are except by following this little principle:
Pay The Business First!
Make sure your hours match your business plan .
The world is changing. Technology is taking customers away from us. The new world demands a higher level of service and availability from anyone who wants to sell anything.
If, as an independent agent, personal service is the competitive advantage that will help you reach your goals, why aren’t you open more?
I was at the office on a Saturday morning, and I received a nice note from one of our new members about one of our great team members (thanks Natalie!). I fired off a quick “thank you” to the member and said, “Glad to see another entrepreneur working on a Saturday!”
What was interesting was his response, which I quote verbatim:
“Yep. Many can only come in on Saturday. Plus set up apt to sign two Travelers app issued via Access Plus. And doing an auto and home app for Safeco.”
Why was he working on a Saturday?
Because that was the only time prospects and customers can come to see him.
It seems obvious that anyone trying to sell anything would go where the customers are when they are there.
So, why are almost all insurance agencies only open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm? By now, even banks have figured out for a couple of decades now that they need to be open past 5 o’clock and be open on Saturday.
Mom and Pop businesses all across America have wrung their hands while they went bankrupt when Walmart came to town. They complained they couldn’t compete on price.
I think it’s much more than that. They refused to compete on service. They weren’t there when the customer needed them.
When will insurance agencies get the message? Before for or after bankruptcy?
Build Your Business Plan for the Long Term
“you must prepare for the future if you want one.”.
Tyler Asher, President of Safeco Insurance Company, made this headline statement in a speech to an SIAA semi-annual meeting in Boston. His comment was made in the context of a list of things his company is working on to sustain their growth and prepare for a future insurance market, much different from today’s.
If you just take the statement at face value it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Of course, we must all prepare for a bigger future if we want one, and oak is a great symbol of strength and stability. I was immediately captivated by the idea.
But, where the analogy breaks down for me is that it takes a long time to grow oak trees, and the future is coming upon us with breathtaking speed. Do we really have time to grow oak trees?
Then I thought again about a Jeff Bezos quote I wrote about where he says he is more concerned about what stays the same in the next 10 years than about what changes.
I’ve decided that it’s the intersection of Asher and Bezos where we, as independent agency owners, need to focus.
For example, it’s estimated that 60% of the employees in our industry will retire in the next seven years, and if you believe “Outliers” author, Malcolm Gladwell, it takes at least five years (10,000 hours) to train an expert in anything.
I believe, channeling Bezos, that customer service and person-to-person selling will be as important to agency success in the future as it is now. So, how are we going to replace the oak trees (people) in our industry fast enough to secure our future?
I don’t have an answer. But, it’s an incredibly important question for anyone who plans to continue to make this industry their career in the decade ahead.
In our organization, we are creating a streamlined training curriculum, coupled with third party courses and old fashioned apprenticeship, to meet our needs for new blood. Frankly, it’s expensive to do this. But the only other options are to hire other’s problems (which is getting harder and more expensive to do) or go out of business.
The need to invest in new people comes while commission compression and new competition (in the form of online sellers) are beginning to stress some agency income statements. As Tyler Asher points out, you must prepare for the future if you want one.
Viewed in this way, spending on new employees is an investment, not a cost, and the promise of the future is a profitable business built for the long term.
Tony Caldwell is a modern “renaissance man,” who is not only immensely successful in the field of insurance, but is also a writer, children’s advocate, mentor and even a licensed pilot. Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for. Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs. Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club. In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.
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Insurance Business Plan Template
Business Plan Outline
- Insurance Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Company Overview
- 3. Industry Analysis
- 4. Customer Analysis
- 5. Competitive Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
Insurance Agency Business Plan
You’ve come to the right place to create your own business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their insurance companies.
Essential Components of a Business Plan For an Insurance Agency
Below we describe what should be included in each section of a business plan for a successful insurance agency and links to a sample of each section:
- Executive Summary – In the Executive Summary, you will provide a high-level overview of your business plan. It should include your agency’s mission statement, as well as information on the products or services you offer, your target market, and your insurance agency’s goals and objectives.
- Company Overview – This section provides an in-depth company description, including information on your insurance agency’s history, ownership structure, and management team.
- Industry Analysis – Also called the Market Analysis, in this section, you will provide an overview of the industry in which your insurance agency will operate. You will discuss trends affecting the insurance industry, as well as your target market’s needs and buying habits.
- Customer Analysis – In this section, you will describe your target market and explain how you intend to reach them. You will also provide information on your customers’ needs and buying habits.
- Competitive Analysis – This section will provide an overview of your competition, including their strengths and weaknesses. It will also discuss your competitive advantage and how you intend to differentiate your insurance agency from the competition.
- Marketing Plan – In this section, you will detail your marketing strategy, including your advertising and promotion plans. You will also discuss your pricing strategy and how you intend to position your insurance agency in the market.
- Operations Plan – This section will provide an overview of your agency’s operations, including your office location, hours of operation, and staff. You will also discuss your business processes and procedures.
- Management Team – In this section, you will provide information on your insurance agency’s management team, including their experience and qualifications.
- Financial Plan – This section will detail your insurance agency’s financial statements, including your profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. It will also include information on your funding requirements and how you intend to use the funds.
Next Section: Executive Summary >
Insurance Agency Business Plan FAQs
What is an insurance agency business plan.
An insurance agency business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your insurance business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your insurance agency business plan using our Insurance Agency Business Plan Template here .
What Are the Main Types of Insurance Companies?
There are a few types of insurance agencies. Most companies provide life and health insurance for individuals and/or households. There are also agencies that specialize strictly in auto and home insurance. Other agencies focus strictly on businesses and provide a variety of liability insurance products to protect their operations.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for an Insurance Agency Business?
The primary source of revenue for insurance agencies are the fees and commissions paid by the client for the insurance products they choose.
The key expenses for an insurance agency business are the cost of purchasing the insurance, licensing, permitting, and payroll for the office staff. Other expenses are the overhead expenses for the business office, utilities, website maintenance, and any marketing or advertising fees.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Insurance Agency Business Plan?
Insurance agency businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Other options for funding are outside investors, angel investors, and crowdfunding sources. This is true for a business plan for insurance agent or an insurance company business plan.
What are the Steps To Start an Insurance Business?
Starting an insurance business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop An Insurance Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed insurance business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your insurance business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your insurance business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Insurance Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your insurance business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your insurance business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Insurance Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your insurance business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your insurance business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful insurance business:
- How to Start an Insurance Business
Where Can I Get an Insurance Business Plan PDF?
You can download our free insurance business plan template PDF here . This is a sample insurance business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Remembering Shay Litvak Our Co-Founder and CTO
November 1979 - September 2023
Crafting a Winning Business Plan for Your Insurance Agency
Whether you have experience as a captive insurance agent or you’re an independent agent looking to branch away from working for others, starting an insurance agency might make sense as your next career move.
And now’s as good a time as any to start. In fact, broker and agency revenue increased by 1.5% over the past five years —with growth expected to continue as the economy improves.
But with this growth and opportunity comes competition. The insurance industry is continuing to evolve, which means different companies—like those that use insurtech to blend insurance with technological innovations—are entering the fray and competing for market share .
To give your new agency the edge over its competition and make sure your company is viable, you need a plan—an insurance agency business plan. Let’s look at why you need this document, what it should include, and other things to consider before you present your plan and launch your agency.
What Is a Business Plan—and Why Do You Need One?
A business plan is a document that outlines your approach to starting and running your agency. This document serves as a roadmap to follow at each stage of business growth, from your initial planning stages to achieving your long-term goals .
It can include information about how to structure and fund your agency, financial projections and goals, and guidance for how to run the agency as it evolves and grows.
There are a number of reasons you should consider creating a plan for your insurance agency, including:
- Help your agency succeed: About 20% of startups fail within their first year. Though creating a business plan doesn’t guarantee your business will succeed, business owners who write out formal plans are 16% more likely to succeed than entrepreneurs who wing it without one. Why? Planning helps you lay a solid foundation for your business, giving you a step-by-step guide for how to reach your goals.
- Secure funding: Many lenders require you to provide a plan for your business if you apply for a business loan or investment. The reason? A plan can reveal how viable your business is—including if you (and your leadership) are qualified to run a successful agency, what your financial forecast is for hitting different milestones, and what your overall objectives are for achieving success. In other words, lenders and investors want to know the likelihood of you paying off your debt and earning a profit—and, if so, how soon you’ll hit both milestones. A business plan helps them get a better idea of that likelihood—information they can use to determine if they want to lend to or invest in your business.
- Inform your decisions over time: A business plan for an insurance agency is a roadmap that defines your goals and objectives—as well as how to achieve them. But as your business grows, it’s easy to lose track of your long-term plans. Being able to refer to a document that details your plans can help you remain committed, even as your team—and agency—grows.
What To Include in Your Insurance Agency Plan
Now that you know the importance of writing an insurance agency business plan, the next question is: what do you include in it?
When it comes to creating a plan for your insurance agency, there aren’t any hard requirements. In fact, your plan can be in any format you’d like (including a “lean plan,” which focuses only on key elements)—though, if you’re looking for a bank loan or investment, your plan should be as detailed as possible.
Elements you might want to consider including in a traditional business plan for insurance agencies include:
As its name implies, the executive summary is a brief overview of your plan. It should include general information about your insurance agency, though this information might change over time depending on how long your agency is operational.
For example, a startup insurance agency might include a brief mention of market competition and its planned growth strategy. On the other hand, an established agency might summarize past achievements and include information about employees.
Items to include in your executive summary are:
- Your agency name
- Your mission statement
- A high-level overview of the products or services you offer or plan to offer
- Background on you and your agency’s leadership team
- Information about your employees
- The location and market you operate or will operate in
- A brief description of your marketing plan
- Brief financial information and an overview of your growth plan, including projected costs (though you’ll expand on that later in the document)
Because your executive summary is a top-level overview of your insurance agency business plan, keep it concise and enticing.
The idea is to encourage a reader to keep reading your business plan and learn more about your agency—especially if you’re looking for funding.
In other words, the executive summary should be just that: a summary that introduces ideas you’ll expand upon later in your plan. Limit yourself to a couple of short, brief sentences for each idea and save specifics for dedicated sections of the document.
Company Description/Business Summary
The second element to include in your plan for an insurance agency is a detailed description of your company. This is your opportunity to expand upon some of the ideas you introduced in the executive summary. Here are some things to discuss:
- Legal structure of your agency: Your agency’s form of business, like a sole proprietorship, limited liability company , partnership, or S-Corp. (Not sure which structure to choose? Make sure to read the next section.)
- Organizational chart: An organizational chart identifies your management team members and highlights their qualifications and expertise to determine who’s responsible for different aspects of running the agency. (You can attach resumes in an appendix to the business plan too).
- Target market: Who you plan to market to (such as individuals, businesses, or a mix of both).
- Business history: If your agency has already been established, what it’s achieved since it first opened.
- What sets you apart from the competition: For example, if you serve a wider (or more specific) target market or offer products other agencies don’t, or if you or your agents are uniquely qualified.
- SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis identifies your core Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to give you (and your plan’s readers) an accurate and objective insight into your agency to inform future decisions, like investing in your agency startup.
What is the Best Business Structure for an Insurance Agency?
Many insurance agencies structure their business as a limited liability company (LLC), as it provides certain tax benefits and helps to protect their personal assets.
That being said, the best structure for your business will depend on a variety of factors, including your goals, number of employees, and projected revenue.
If you’re not sure how to structure your business, consider talking to a business lawyer and/or tax professional with experience in the insurance industry.
An effective insurance agency business plan should include a comprehensive list of the products and services it offers or plans to offer. Include the lines of insurance you’ll sell—like personal lines or commercial lines —as well as the specific insurance policies you sell (or plan to), like workers’ comp , life insurance or professional liability insurance.
And don’t skimp out on details. Mention the benefits of the insurance products you plan to offer, premiums and pricing, and your sales projections for each product.
You should also include which insurance carriers your agency will represent—and which policies they’re responsible for underwriting. You might also want to provide a brief description of what appointment and representation means (or, in other words, which insurance carriers allow you to sell their products and represent their companies)—especially if you’ll be using your plan to secure funding for your agency since lenders might not be entirely familiar with the insurance industry.
A major reason for creating a plan for your insurance agency is to prove that your business idea is viable. In other words, you need to demonstrate that there’s a demand for the products you offer—and that you have a competitive advantage that lets you capture enough market share to turn a profit.
And the place to do that? The market analysis section.
In this section, include detailed information about your agency’s target clients. Try to determine if there’s room for your agency. If not, look for underserved niches that you might be able to fill. At the same time, look at your market’s demographics to make sure your potential offerings meet their demands for insurance products.
For example, if you plan on selling commercial insurance, will you market specifically to construction companies and contractors or businesses in general? You might also want to limit your marketing efforts to small businesses that earn up to a certain revenue (like businesses with annual revenue between $1 million and $2.5 million).
You should also include a competitive analysis that identifies your key competitors, including their market share, target customers, and the specific products and services they offer. From there, explain how your marketing strategy will be competitive.
For example, do you plan to partner with an insurtech company to attract leads and drive conversions? Hourly combines time tracking, payroll, and workers’ compensation insurance into one easy-to-use platform. Premiums are based on real-time payroll data, so your clients can say buh-bye to those nasty audit surprises.
Finally, include the demand for your proposed offers—and your sales strategy for how your insurance products meet the needs of your potential clients.
How your agency earns money—and when you can expect it to turn a profit—is crucial for securing lending and making sure you have a stable cash flow. Your financial plan should include your:
- Projected costs: How much will it cost initially to open your agency, purchase office furniture and supplies, and hire and train agents? How much will your ongoing expenses (like rent, advertising, health insurance and other employee benefits, and salaries and commissions) cost?
- Estimated cash flow: How much money do you expect your agency to generate and spend over time—and how much of that revenue is profit?
- Break-even analysis: What is the sales forecast for how many policies you need to sell before you’ve covered the cost of opening and running your insurance agency? At what point does your agency become profitable?
Generally, your financial plan should cover at least three to five years. If your agency is already established, you should support your financial plan with balance sheets , cash flow statements, income statements , and other financial statements.
If your agency is a startup, you should include detailed estimates and projections supported by industry or competitor data.
Similarly, you might want to provide monthly or quarterly projections for your first year in business (vs. annual projections for the following years) to help explain and emphasize how viable your agency will be in its first year—as well as when you expect to break even or achieve profitability.
How Profitable are Insurance Agencies?
Insurance agencies may see a profit margin of about 10% or more, however that number can vary widely based on agency size, where you're located, what you sell, demand, and your efficiency.
If the purpose of your insurance agency business plan is to request funding, you need to specify how much cash you need—and what you need it for . Start by outlining the type of funding you need—like a bank loan or investment funds—and how long you need the funding to last. You should also outline your preferred structure—like debt or equity—and any repayment terms.
Then nail down the details. Create a budget that stipulates how the money will be used. Make sure to also tie your request into your overall financial plan. Ideally, funding should sustain your agency until it meets its break-even point and a stable cash flow—and how you plan to do that should be clearly outlined in your business plan.
Insurance Agency Business Plan Template
Creating a business plan can seem complex at first, especially if you’ve never done it before. The good news? You don’t need to start from scratch.
This customizable template can help you get started. Just use it as an outline, fill it in with details about your business, and voila! You’ve got your plan.
Text Copied to Clipboard
Products and services
Management team background
Brief marketing plan description
Brief financial information:
- Growth plan
- Target market
Product #1: Description, price, sales projections
Product #2: Description, price, sales projections
Competitive analysis: Competitor #1
- Market share
- Products offered
Estimated cash flow
- Balance sheet/projections
- Cash flow statement/projections
- Income statement/projections
- Other financial documentation
Amount of funding required
Reason(s) for funding
Type of funding requested
How long of a period funds needs to cover
Preferred funding structure
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Other Things to Do When Creating Your Plan
Now that you understand the importance and benefits of a business plan for your insurance agency, let’s jump into a few things to keep in mind while creating your plan to ensure that it sets the stage for launching a successful insurance agency:
- Define your brand identity: Your agency’s brand—its name, purpose, and values—helps it stand out from your competition and draw in new customers. Defining and committing to your agency’s identity helps you establish trustworthiness and reliability.
- Apply for licenses and permits: Small businesses are subject to local and state laws that might require you to obtain a business license, insurance coverage, and other types of licenses and permits. And because the insurance industry is so heavily regulated, check with your state’s insurance department to learn if you require any additional licenses or permits.
- Research potential funding options: When it comes to funding, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Compare and contrast different funding options—like self-funding, taking out a loan, looking for investors, or even crowdfunding—and choose what makes the most sense for your agency.
- Identify potential insurance companies to represent: Before you launch your agency, research potential insurance carrier partners to find those that align with your goals and values. Partner with insurance companies that offer the types of insurance products your ideal clients want—at the prices they’re willing to pay—and don’t dismiss the importance of exceptional customer service.
Tips for Presenting Your Business Plan
After you’ve drafted your business plan, the final step is to present it to interested lenders and investors. But how do you successfully present your plan for an insurance agency with confidence?
- Set up an in-person meeting: A face-to-face meeting helps humanize the people behind your plan—you and your management team. It also gives you a chance to establish and build credibility, field any questions, and demonstrate your excitement and passion for launching your new business. If meeting in person isn’t doable, set up a video conference to recreate the face-to-face experience.
- Use a clean, detailed, and professional layout: Your business plan should be legible, concise, and direct. Make sure it appears professional by proofreading it to correct any typos or misspellings. Include clear charts that support your claims and statements. Finally, make both digital and physical copies to distribute (and print extras—just in case!).
- Practice and rehearse your presentation: Come prepared to answer any questions that your business plan might not have covered or that a lender needs extra clarification about. That doesn’t mean you need to memorize your presentation word-for-word, but you should have a solid idea of your plan’s specifics and certain important details, like your break-even point or the amount of funding you’re requesting.
Plan to Set Yourself Up for Success
Starting a small business is hard. And in the competitive insurance space, you need every competitive advantage you can get to set yourself up for success when launching an insurance agency.
Writing an insurance agency business plan can help you outline—and commit to—your goals and objectives, giving you a clearly-defined path to success.
Ready to transform your business into a profit-pumping machine? Learn how with our monthly newsletter.
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How to Create a Business Plan for an Insurance Agency
If the adage is true that even the greatest enthusiasm is no substitute for planning, independent insurance agents know that both are required in order for an agency to succeed.
An insurance agency business plan is therefore essential, especially for brand-new agencies in addition to established firms. A thoughtfully developed plan provides you direction for your efforts and structure for ongoing business development.
Without a plan, all you have is good intentions – and those won’t get you where you want to go. A map, on the other hand, will.
With this in mind, let’s dive into how to create a business plan for insurance agents and the things you’ll need to do to set your agency on the path to success.
Why is an agency business plan important?
A well-constructed insurance agency business plan helps you to set realistic goals, define your needs for specific resources, and focus your attention on the essential must-dos for accelerating your business.
As the principal, you must continually refine your vision for what you ultimately want to achieve: the type of business you want to run, its operations, its cash flow, its culture, and its workflows. Then, you can list the necessary steps to reverse-engineer the ideal agency that you’ve pictured.
Not only will the business plan for your insurance agency serve as a tool for internal management and decision-making, but it’s also extremely useful in conveying the vision for your business to other parties. Among these are investors, lenders, and potential partners – and new insurance carriers will often want to review your agency’s business plan before they’ll partner with you.
It’s worth noting that over time, the business plan for an insurance agency can and will change, and the agency owner must be flexible in both thought and execution as a new agency is forged. For example, you may envision writing a large portion of your agency’s book of business in a certain line, and later discover that market conditions or intense competition will encourage you to pivot to other lines that may also prove profitable.
What should be included in the business plan for an insurance agency
Agency principals will create a comprehensive summary that mindfully considers everything from the agency’s location and target markets to the products it will offer.
To get started, let’s review the various sections that make up a comprehensive business plan, and how each section contributes to the overall plan’s effectiveness.
Your insurance agency business plan should run about 5,000 words, outlining the following in detail:
- An executive summary detailing your “vision” for your agency
- Description of your company
- List of the insurance products your agency plans to offer
- Business analysis of your market
- Your agency’s marketing strategy
- Organizational structure
- Your agency’s financial plan
- Agency funding needs
If you’re already thinking, “I’m not a writer; I can’t do this,” fear not. You’re summarizing what you’re setting out to achieve and how you plan to get there – not writing a sonnet. Once you start writing, you’ll be surprised how far you’ll get.
The aforementioned word count, while a solid goal, isn’t set in stone. Don’t pad what you’re writing; stick to the facts. In the end, your business plan should be thorough, useful to you, and appealing to investors.
Let’s break down each of these sections one by one.
Think of this section as a concise overview of the overall business plan for your agency – your mission statement. Include highlights of your agency’s mission, goals, and its competitive advantage. Highlight your agency’s projected growth and potential profitability.
Be realistic and truthful in your assessments. It’s good to be optimistic, but not pie-in-the-sky level, especially for new agencies. Remember, you could find yourself answering to an investor sometime in the future.
Here’s where you explain what makes your agency special. Tell your story powerfully. What’s your vision for your organization? How would you describe your company culture ? How do you recruit new talent ?
What is your target market? What are your customer demographics? Who will be selling, and what are their strengths? How do you manage your relationships with your insurance carrier partners? What types of agency technology do you leverage in your customer service efforts?
Offer details on what you consider your unique selling proposition. Do you offer specialization in certain lines of business? If so, explain the inherent value in the expertise you possess.
Keep this question in mind as you write: What makes your firm exceptional, and why would someone want to invest in it?
List of products
The composition of your agency’s book of business is critical , and here you’ll lay out exactly what products you’re selling (or plan to sell). Provide a detailed breakdown of the insurance products and services offered by your agency, including a brief explanation of each product’s features and benefits.
In addition, include ideas for expanding your product lineup in years to come.
Investors and carriers alike want to know that you possess comprehensive knowledge of both your local insurance market and the forces influencing the wider industry. Offer analysis of your agency’s target market, including the demographics of your potential clients.
Then, provide a thorough analysis of the insurance industry’s current challenges and evolving exposures, with emphasis on how those trends affect the types of clients you serve. (This section doesn’t need to be exhaustive – again, don’t pad it – but it should reflect your macro perspective on the P&C market as well as how market forces will factor into your pricing and risk selection.)
How do you market your agency to prospects? Do you utilize digital marketing, social media, or create content that will resonate with potential customers? Community engagement is key in endearing your business to local prospects, as are networking events.
Detail your marketing strategy, and explain which types of outreach you’ve found most effective.
Note: As an agency owner it’s especially important to be flexible with your plans in this area, as certain approaches may prove less effective over time. When they do, you’ll need to pivot.
Organization and management
Effective leadership and a clear organizational chart will contribute greatly to your agency’s success. In this section, lay out your agency’s organizational structure – the hierarchy of your leaders. Include profiles of key team members, highlighting their various expertise.
Here’s where you begin to get more detailed on dollars and cents. Offer your realistic financial projections for your agency, taking into account expenses, revenue, and projected profitability.
Your projections should include a breakdown of any and all financial forecasts and possible variables taken into consideration. Contingency plans to address potential financial challenges should likewise be included.
Your agency’s financial needs are assessed in detail here. Apply your knowledge of what you want your agency to achieve, versus what it will cost. This includes (but is not limited to) rent, payroll, utilities, phone service, and business insurance.
Include the purpose behind each expenditure, and demonstrate how funding for your firm will be used to cultivate growth.
By the time this section is complete, you’ll have an informed understanding of exactly what it will cost to fund your organization – and how much you may need to borrow to manifest your vision. Provide an outline of potential sources of funding, including personal investments, loans, or investors.
What is the Best Business Structure for an Insurance Agency?
There are several business structures you can consider for your agency, each with various benefits. These include:
- Sole proprietorship
There are various legal, financial, and operational factors to consider in selecting the structure that’s best for you, which we’ll explore in greater detail in a future blog.
How your insurance agency business plan will evolve
As your agency evolves over time, so too will your firm’s business plan. It’s best to revisit and refine your overall plan at least every seven to 12 months, in order to chart your progress and adopt new strategies that will help to continuously drive revenue.
The path to agency success is long and at times extremely difficult, but thoughtful planning will aid your firm’s execution and growth for years to come.
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