This is a great question that I am often asked by entrepreneurs who are interested in getting involved with a stable industry such as insurance. Unfortunately, owning your own insurance brokerage is not as easy as it may at first seem. When looking to open your own insurance brokerage, a few basic considerations you need to make are:
- Do you have a Level 3 General Insurance License? This can take a minimum of 2 years to achieve and is required by the Insurance Council of Manitoba (ICM) before they will grant you the proper licenses to get your brokerage off the ground. Without the proper licenses, it is illegal to be transacting insurance.
- Did you want to sell Autopac to the General Public? For many years, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has not issued any new brokerage appointments (permissions to sell their Autopac product) to anyone who wishes to open up an insurance brokerage. Instead, a person would have to buy out an existing insurance brokerage in order to have the use of their Autopac Appointment. And this is not as simple as it seems – with many rules regarding how MPI manages Autopac Appointments, all business changes will require their blessing before it can be confirmed.
- Can you get an Insurance Company to sponsor you? Every insurance broker needs to have at least one insurance company on board before they can open their doors. This means that, no matter what, this insurance company will agree to issue insurance based on policies that you submit to it.
In all of these cases, the big item needed to start-up your own brokerage is experience. Owning an insurance brokerage is a great dream for anyone to have but I personally would recommend that you work hard at getting experience and learning from senior brokers around you before taking this big leap.
Do not be in a hurry to succeed. What would you have to live for afterwards? Better make the horizon your goal; it will always be ahead of you.
William Makepeace Thackeray