SIAA has a unique operating model – offering member agencies a distinct advantage over other membership-based options – yet for some that may be just learning about the national alliance, it can be a little confusing. If you are an agency owner, producer or captive agent beginning the process of exploring your options in starting or growing an independent agency, this article is for you.
SIAA is the national organization and it is comprised of 49 Master Agencies across the continental 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.
What are the advantages of this unique model with Master Agencies?
The most compelling and obvious advantage for members is that by virtue of their membership, they are part of the largest and powerful alliance in the country while having a local staff and office to grow their agency with. The Master Agency will have a thorough understanding of the market and appetite of their strategic partner companies, and the unique challenges of their region. Should you decide to join, these Master Agency folks will get to know you and your producers on a first-name basis, and will be an integral partner in your agency’s success, including:
- Place business with SIAA and Master Agency strategic partner carriers
- Local incentives and profit sharing
- Business planning process
- Helping you attain direct appointments
- Perpetuation planning
- Act as your conduit to the breadth of SIAA services
The local Master Agency is laser-focused on members’ profitability and growth on all fronts, and works with agents daily to maximize agency income by helping agents participate with carriers paying the best commissions and highest profit-sharing.
If the Master Agency does all that, what does SIAA bring to the table?
SIAA is heavily invested in delivering on its mission statement – SIAA is dedicated to the creation, retention and growth of the independent agency distribution system. The net effect of this is an array of partnerships, resources and programs to help you succeed, which are established at the national level and don’t need to be duplicated 49 times with each Master Agency. This array includes but is not limited to:
- Over 20 national insurance company partners with which you can write business
- Highest commissions available – with many companies cutting commissions, the size and growth of the SIAA books have proven to be a stabilizing force
- National profit sharing and overrides over and above the Master Agency profit sharing and incentives
- MarketFinder Programs and Specialty Markets
- Marketing Services
- Training & Learning Center
- Business Insurance Growth program
- Life and Financial Services division
SIAA is often compared with, or described as, an aggregator or cluster group, even by some of the most reputable industry publications and associations. This is not an apples-to-apples comparison for many reasons, including all the services to which members have access, the unique multi-tiered business model and (perhaps most importantly) the resulting relationship with each other for quality over quantity. With over $6 billion in written premium, the size and stability of the national alliance is beyond compare.
The national alliance is not a “take all comers” enterprise, and membership is not right for everyone. SIAA and its Master Agencies conduct a very intensive due diligence process before partnering with any agency to ensure only quality member agencies are admitted.