Direct carrier access is simple. You have your own code (sometimes referred to as a sub-code) with a carrier that allows you to access the carrier with no middleman. You have your own log on information for their portals, quote your business, have binding authority and your agency’s name shows up on the policy.
One difference you may find from network to network is how commission is paid to sub-codes. Some models have the commission paid directly to your agency from the carrier and others have the commission paid to the network first then the network distributes the commission.
Most often, direct access/sub-codes will come with some level of premium commitment. Because opening a code is an expense to the carrier, committing to writing a certain level of premium assures them they are spending their time with the right agencies and that you are committed to growing that relationship.
Finally, though you may have your own code, be sure to check if you can take that code with you if you leave the network. Some will sign off on the code, the code/appointment goes with you and the process is simple. Others may keep the code, and you’ll need to re-apply for access to the carrier after leaving the network which is not always an option. It’s always important to understand what ‘getting out’ looks like.
Here are some questions to ask when utilizing direct carrier access:
- Is the commission paid to my agency from the carrier or the cluster?
- Is there a volume commitment associated with my code?
- If I leave the cluster, can I keep my codes/appointments?
- Whose name shows up on the dec page?
All in all, direct access seems to be the most popular and ideal point of access for agencies.
To find out more about PIIB’s model, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org