Your Guide to Getting an Appointment with the Best Insurance Companies

If you are an independent agent, you know how important it is to get appointed with reputable insurance companies.

Getting appointed means that you can sell their insurance products to your clients and earn commissions. It also gives you access to more options and better rates, which can help you grow your business and satisfy your customers.

But getting appointed is not easy, especially if you are doing it on your own. You have to meet the requirements of each insurance company, which may vary depending on the type of insurance you want to sell, such as life insurance, auto insurance, or property insurance and casualty. You also have to compete with other independent agencies and agents who are vying for the same appointments.

We can help you navigate the appointment process and get appointed with the best insurance companies for your niche in this post. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • How to research and choose the right insurance companies for your market
  • How to prepare and submit your application and supporting documents
  • How to follow up and negotiate with the insurance company representatives
  • How to maintain and renew your appointments once you get them

By following these steps, you will be able to get appointed with the insurance companies that suit your needs and goals and offer the best insurance products for your clients.

Understanding the Insurance Landscape

If you want to become an independent insurance agent, you need to know the different types of insurance companies that you can work with. There are three main types of insurance companies: mutual, stock, and independent groups.

Mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders, who share the profits and losses of the company. Mutual insurance companies tend to offer lower premiums and higher dividends to their customers, but they may have less financial stability and flexibility than other types of companies.

Stock insurance companies are owned by shareholders, who benefit from the profits and growth of the company. Stock insurance companies tend to offer more products and services, as well as more innovation and technology, but they may also charge higher premiums and fees to their customers.

Independent groups are associations of independent insurance agencies that pool their resources and negotiate contracts with insurance carriers. Independent groups offer their members access to a variety of insurance products and carriers, as well as support and training. Still, they may also charge fees and commissions to their members.

As an independent insurance agent, you need to find the best insurance companies for your niche and expertise. Whether you specialize in life insurance, auto insurance, personal lines, or other types of insurance, you need to research the carriers that offer the best products, prices, and services for your target market.

The Best vs. The Right Fit

When considering insurance companies to work with as an independent agent, it’s crucial to recognize that the best choice may not necessarily be the most popular or well-known but rather the one that aligns with your unique business goals and values. Several factors warrant careful consideration in making this decision:

Quality and Diversity of Insurance Products

Independent agents should assess the insurance companies based on the quality and diversity of the insurance products they offer. This involves looking into various coverage options such as casualty insurance, property and casualty insurance, car insurance coverage, and even specialized policies like manufactured home insurance or customized policies for equine businesses.

Commission Rates and Payment Terms

Evaluate the commission rates and payment terms provided by insurance companies. This consideration ensures that your compensation aligns with your financial expectations and requirements.

Underwriting and Claims Processes

A seamless and efficient underwriting process, coupled with a straightforward claims process, is essential. It ensures that you can provide your clients with responsive service and reliable insurance coverage.

Training and Support

The level of training and support offered by the insurance provider is crucial for the success of independent agents. Look for companies that invest in the development of their agents through training programs and ongoing support.

Reputation and Financial Strength

Consider the reputation and financial strength of the insurance companies. A reputable and financially stable company is more likely to honor its commitments and provide a solid foundation for your business.

The best companies for independent insurance agents are those that offer a comprehensive range of insurance options, maintain a strong financial standing, and support their agents with training and assistance. It’s about finding the right fit that complements your business objectives.

Some examples of best insurance companies for independent agents are:

  • National General Insurance: A leading provider of personal and commercial auto insurance, as well as specialty insurance products such as RV, motorcycle, and flood insurance.
  • Safeco Insurance: It specializes in property and casualty coverage, providing various personal insurance options. They tailor coverage to customers’ needs, including homes, vehicles, and renters’ insurance. Safeco also offers customized coverage and discounts for competitive value.
  • Travelers Insurance: A property and casualty insurer that specializes in business, personal, and specialty insurance solutions. It helps customers protect their assets, manage risks, and recover from losses. Travelers Insurance also offers innovative tools and resources to help customers prevent accidents and save money.
  • Berkshire Hathaway: A notable subsidiary, excels as a property and casualty insurer. They provide a comprehensive array of insurance products to businesses, including commercial and auto insurance, workers’ compensation, and liability coverage. Their focus is on delivering outstanding service and value.

Researching Your Options

To find the best insurance companies for independent agents, you need to do your homework. You can use online tools such as websites, blogs, forums, reviews, and ratings to compare different carriers and their products. You can also network with other independent agents and ask for referrals and recommendations. You can also contact the carriers directly and ask for quotes, proposals, and contracts.

Becoming an appointed agent with an insurance carrier is not easy. You need to meet their requirements, such as having a license, experience, education, background check, etc. You also need to prove your value proposition, such as having a niche market, a loyal customer base, a strong sales record, etc. You also need to follow their rules and regulations, such as complying with their underwriting guidelines, reporting procedures, ethical standards, etc.

However, becoming an appointed agent with an insurance carrier can also be rewarding. You can enjoy the benefits of working with a reputable and reliable partner who can help you grow your business and serve your customers better.

Building Your Appointment Arsenal to Get to the Best Insurance Companies

If you want to get insurance carrier appointments on your own, you need to have a strong arsenal of qualifications, value propositions, and relationships. In this section, we will discuss how to prepare yourself for the appointment process and impress the carriers with your professionalism and potential.

Qualifications and Credentials

The first step to getting insurance carrier appointments is to meet the basic requirements that most carriers have for their agents. These include having relevant experience in selling insurance policies, especially in the lines of insurance that you want to represent; having a formal education in insurance or a related field, or completing continuing education courses to keep your knowledge up to date; and having the necessary licenses and certifications to operate as an independent agent in your state.

Carriers want to work with agents who are competent, knowledgeable, and compliant with the laws and regulations of the insurance industry. Having these qualifications and credentials will show them that you are a professional who can handle their products and services.

Demonstrating Value: Crafting a Compelling Appointment Letter 

The next step to getting insurance carrier appointments is to convince the carriers that you are a valuable partner who can help them grow their business and reach new customers. To do this, you need to craft a compelling appointment letter that showcases your track record, business plan, and growth potential.

Your track record should highlight your achievements and successes as an agent, such as your sales volume, retention rate, customer satisfaction, and awards or recognition. Your business plan should outline your goals and strategies for selling the carrier’s products, such as your target market, marketing channels, value proposition, and competitive advantage. Your growth potential should demonstrate your ability and willingness to expand your business and increase your market share, such as your projected sales growth, geographic coverage, staff size, and technology investments.

Your appointment letter should be clear, concise, and persuasive. It should explain why you want to work with the carrier, what you can offer them, and how you can benefit them. It should also include relevant documents that support your claims, such as your resume, portfolio, references, financial statements, and business plan.

Networking and Relationships: Building Bridges with Underwriters and Decision-makers

The final step to getting insurance carrier appointments is to establish and maintain positive relationships with the underwriters and decision-makers of the carriers. These are the people who will review your appointment letter, evaluate your qualifications and value, and decide whether to grant you an appointment or not.

To build rapport with them, you need to network effectively and communicate frequently. You can network with them by attending industry events, joining professional associations, asking for referrals from existing agents or carriers, or reaching out directly via phone or email. You can communicate with them by following up on your appointment letter, providing updates on your progress, asking for feedback or advice, or expressing appreciation or interest.

Your goal is to make yourself stand out from the crowd of other agents who are seeking appointments. You want to show them that you are reliable, trustworthy, and eager to work with them. You want to create a lasting impression that will make them remember you and choose you over others.

Decoding the Appointment Process

One of the most challenging aspects of becoming an independent agent is getting appointments with the best insurance companies to work with. Appointments are agreements that allow you to sell the insurance products of a carrier to your clients. They are essential for building your insurance brand and offering quality insurance products to your customers.

But how do you get appointments on your own? What are the steps involved, and what are the best practices to follow? We will decode the appointment process and give you some tips on how to get insurance carrier appointments on your own.

The appointment process typically involves four stages: initial contact, application and submission, underwriting review, and the final answer. Let’s look at each stage in detail.

Initial Contact: Making that first impression

The first step is to contact the insurance carrier that you want to work with and express your interest in getting an appointment. You can do this by phone, email, or through their website. The goal of this stage is to make a good first impression and establish a rapport with the carrier representative.

Tips for making a successful initial contact are:

  • Do your research. Before you reach out to a carrier, make sure you know their products, target market, commission structure, and requirements for appointments. This will show that you are serious and prepared.
  • Be professional and courteous. Use a formal tone and address the representative by their name. Introduce yourself and your agency, and explain why you want to work with them.
  • Highlight your value proposition. What makes you different from other agents? What can you offer to the carrier and its customers? How can you help them grow their business?
  • Ask for the next steps. Don’t end the conversation without knowing what to do next. Ask for the application process, the timeline, and the contact information of the person who will handle your case.

Application and Submission: Filling out the paperwork with confidence

The second step is to fill out and submit the application form and any other documents that the carrier requires. The application form is usually available on the carrier’s website or can be sent to you by email. The documents may include your resume, business plan, financial statements, licenses, E&O insurance, references, etc.

Key components when filling out and applying are:

  • Follow the instructions carefully. Make sure you fill out all the required fields, attach all the necessary documents, and sign where needed. Don’t leave anything blank or incomplete.
  • Be honest and accurate. Provide factual information that reflects your experience, qualifications, and performance. Don’t exaggerate or lie about anything.
  • Be clear and concise. Use simple and direct language that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon, slang, or abbreviations. Keep your answers short and relevant.
  • Proofread and review. Check your application for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. Make sure it looks neat and professional.
  • Submit on time. Don’t wait until the last minute to send your application. Submit it as soon as possible or before the deadline.

Underwriting Review: Understanding the evaluation process and potential roadblocks

The third step is to wait for the underwriting review of your application. This is when the carrier evaluates your suitability for an appointment based on various criteria such as your background, experience, financial stability, market potential, and many more.

To ace the underwriting review process, you need to:

  • Be patient and cooperative. ’Remember, securing appointments can take longer than you might expect. While underwriting reviews typically range from weeks to months, the overall timeline from initial contact to securing an appointment can stretch from 3 to 6 months and, in rare cases, even years. Patience is key here. Don’t pressure the carrier, but be responsive and polite if they have questions. 
  • Be ready to provide additional information or clarification. The carrier may ask you for more details or evidence to support your application. For example, they may ask you for proof of your E&O insurance coverage, copies of your licenses, or samples of your marketing materials.
  • Be prepared for possible rejections or counteroffers. The carrier may reject your application if they find that you don’t meet their standards or expectations. Alternatively, they may offer you a conditional appointment with certain terms or restrictions, such as a lower commission rate, a higher premium volume requirement, or a limited product line.

The Final Answer: Landing the appointment and negotiating terms

The final step is to receive the final answer from the carrier regarding your appointment status. If you are approved, congratulations! You have successfully landed an appointment with one of the best insurance companies to work with.

Some key points when accepting and negotiating the appointment term:

  1. Review the contract carefully. Before you sign anything, make sure you read and understand the contract that outlines the terms and conditions of your appointment. Pay attention to details such as commission rates, premium volume requirements, product availability, cancellation policies, etc.
  2. Negotiate if necessary. If you are not satisfied with some aspects of the contract, don’t be afraid to negotiate for better terms. For example, you can ask for a higher commission rate, a lower premium volume requirement, or access to more products. However, be realistic and respectful in your negotiations. Don’t demand or expect too much from the carrier.
  3. Celebrate and get started. Once you have agreed and signed the contract, celebrate your achievement and get ready to sell the insurance products of your new carrier. Start by familiarizing yourself with their products, policies, and procedures. Then, update your website, marketing materials, and insurance quotes with their information. Finally, reach out to your existing and potential clients and let them know about the new insurance offers that you have for them.

How Dark Horse Insurance Brokers Can Help You Land Your First Appointment

One of the challenges that independent agents face is getting appointments with the best insurance companies to work with. Insurance offers vary widely in terms of quality, commission, and support. You want to partner with one of the best insurance brands that can provide you with quality insurance products, competitive insurance quotes, and excellent service.

That’s where Dark Horse Insurance Brokers can help you. We have established relationships with some of the best companies to work within the property insurance industry. We can guide you through the process of applying for appointments, preparing your business plan, and following the best practices to impress the carriers.


As an independent agent, you have learned how to secure insurance carrier appointments on your own. This is a vital step in growing your business and providing your clients with quality insurance products. You have discovered the best insurance companies to partner with, the requirements and expectations they have, and the best practices to follow. You have also learned how to present yourself as a professional and trustworthy insurance brand.

Acquiring insurance carrier appointments is not easy, but it is achievable. You must be tenacious, proactive, and patient. Conduct market research, network with other agents, and show your value proposition. Submit applications to multiple carriers, follow up with them, and negotiate the terms of your contract.

You are not alone in this journey. There are numerous resources and support available for independent agents. You can use tools to streamline your workflow, access carrier information, and manage your appointments. Join online communities, attend webinars, and read blogs to learn from the experiences and insights of other agents. 

You have what it takes to secure insurance carrier appointments on your own. You just need to take action and make it happen. Good luck!