How to start an insurance agency-my story

My story begins with me being my own boss for 8 years in the bar/restaurant business. In that difficult world, it is hard to make a good living and keep your seats “full” consistently. So I went bankrupt.

The negative feelings of failure crept into my mind, as I tried to figure out what went wrong and how, at 32, I was already a failure. Where would my life now take me?

Tom Larsen, Independent Insurance Broker
Tom Larsen

Luckily I had a very good friend (high school buddy) who own an insurance agency and asked, “Did you ever think about insurance?”. No, was my answer but I can give it a go. So at 32, starting a new carrier, commission only sales! So I worked sales, tended bar, referee’d hockey and collected rents on some rental property.

Twelve years later, having built a great “book of business”, I no longer tended bar or referee’d. But another crossroad was to come my way again – his son (heir apparent) joined the agency. Now what do I do?

I decided to start my own agency from scratch, gaining a few insurance company appointments with those who knew and trusted me. Armed with those 4-5 insurance companies, I moved north (10 miles away or so) and started my own business. Because we never had a signed non-compete agreement, I was allowed to take my old clients away 1-by-1. Not easy but we got it done.

In the insurance world, most insurance agencies are merging together or “clustering” to gain the maximum profit they can from the insurance company (based on volume and claims paid). Here I was, de-merging or starting all over again! never hear of in our insurance world. But anything worth while or worth achieving is only going to happen when you take action toward your goals. Action + determination = success.

Now you know the rest-of-the-story.

Tom Larsen

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