Agency members are treated equal even when it comes to cost to join. The total cost to join is a one-time $5,000 initiation fee and $850 monthly. “There is no commission split, and our affiliates keep 100% of the commission,” said Tracy Ryan, marketing and agency relations for PIIB. Also, the monthly fee does not increase. “Simply, $850 a month,” she stressed. Cost is not the only differentiating factor PIIB likes to cite.
“Integrity and patience are what set us apart from other groups,” said Ryan. “Our contract is black and white; no one agency sees a separate contract than another.”
PIIB retains 10% of the profit sharing and distributes the other 90% back to its affiliate members. “PIIB affiliates earn profit sharing on dollar one,” she added. Profit sharing is paid based on how much premium is written (with no minimum) but the most profitable PIIB agencies can gain more share. “This allows an agency to be paid on their books with PIIB regardless of if they have a bad year and to earn more for staying profitable,” she said.
And should an agency decide to leave the network, there is no fee or buyout cost.
PIIB members gain access to an online portal called PIIB Connect, which houses carrier and vendor catalogs; a market search forum; and PIIB Match, a program designed to match buyers with sellers to simplify the process of M&A’s through confidential, no-pressure ‘match-making’ of affiliates.
Ryan says all members are pre-vetted by PIIB prior to being sent to carriers for an appointment. “In addition, all affiliate access to the carriers is direct so the carrier knows exactly who is submitting business and has a relationship with them,” she said.
Profitability is the number one concern. “We monitor profitability meticulously and coach our affiliates on agency practices to reestablish profitability if it’s ever lost.”
Ryan sees consolidation of networks in the future. “We believe that networks will begin to merge because there are an endless number of small networks who will eventually be best off to partner with the larger, veteran networks.” Choosing the right agency partnership will be even more critical, she added.