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Insurance Specialist Network

All About Us

About Us

Insurance Specialist Network was founded by Joe Springer, an independent agent, and Jason Holmer, a former captive agent. By bringing the two perspectives together, Joe and Jason found a solution to a problem that changes the way that the traditional aggregator model works.

“My concern when I left the captive side of the business was simple: I’m giving up too much, and the overhead is much higher. In most cases I had to forego 20% of my commissions in the beginning, and then best case, I’d still be giving up 10% when I hit certain benchmarks, usually $1,000,000 in written premium. Even though the commissions on the independent side were much higher, it still felt wrong that I’d have to eventually give up tens of thousands of dollars of my hard earned money as I grew my agency. Couple that with the ancillary fees in most contracts and the high costs of quoting and management software, and it was tough to see the upside from a business standpoint.”

– Jason Holmer

Agency Opportunity

The goal of ISN is simple: Give quality agencies the tools they need to succeed, and let them run their agencies as they see fit. All agency owners have a different style, and we don’t believe that we always know best. What we do believe strongly is that agents want to succeed, and by allowing them to run their businesses in a way that compliments their individual styles and strengths, they will do just that.

Basically, we provide you the tools, you build the house.

What are the tools?

For starters we give you access to our contracts. We work with many different A-rated carriers that offer a variety of risk markets and appetites. With these contracts your agency will be able to shop rates and offer many different types of coverage packages to best fit the needs of your clients.

Why is this such a powerful approach?

Simple. There is power in numbers.

By pooling our premiums together, our agents enjoy the benefits of higher commissions out of the gate. Our contracts receive the top tier of commissions right now, so there is no “ramp up period” for your agency.

Your agency also has access to much higher levels of profit bonuses. If our contract sees a profit bonus, then so will you! By pooling premium together, and spreading it across the Midwest, we help to insulate our agents from bad loss years. Of course, bonuses are never a guarantee, but when they are earned they are substantially larger in our group than they are on your own.

We also have a software solution, which is completely optional, but available to our agents. In most cases, this software package, which includes quoting and management software, will save 50%-90% over traditional agency packages.

Did I mention that we also get preferred underwriting status?

Sounds like a great opportunity for a captive agent, but my agency is already independent, how does this help me?

Aside from potentially gaining more contracts, we are going to use one of our carriers as an example. Let’s call this company Acme Insurance. Let’s also assume that your independent agency already has a contract with Acme with $200,000 in premium on the books spread out across 100 House policies and 200 auto policies.

Acme has a few contract provisions around commissions and bonuses.

According to Acme’s contract, commissions work like this:

  • 10% New and renewal business until you have 300 total policies (then bumps to 12%)
  • 12% New and renewal business until you have 300 auto policies (then bumps to 15%)
  • Profit bonus starts at $350,000 written premium. A qualifying loss ratio would receive a bonus of 0.20% at minimum profit up to 3% at max levels.

According to those numbers, your agency will receive 12% commission, which works out to $24,000, but is not eligible for profit bonus.

Under our system, this same agency would earn 15% commission, which works out to $30,000, but would also be eligible for a potential profit bonus. At a current minimum level of 0.40% with the max being 5.60%

What’s the difference? Well, $6,000 in straight commission, and a gross bonus ranging from $800 – $11,200!

…and that’s with just one company and $200,000 written premium!

OK, so how does ISN make money?

Glad you asked! We simply charge a small monthly fee. This fee is not tied to your book value and does not increase as you grow. It is a static fee.

If you can charge someone 10-20% of their commission, why would you go this route?

We have been asked this by agents and other agency groups alike. We like to look at it like this:

If you are going to build a house and you walk into the hardware store to buy a hammer you might plunk down $20 for a decent hammer. As the house you build grows larger and nears completion you come back to the hardware store to buy another hammer. We feel that that hammer should still cost $20. Other business models think that hammer should now cost $2,000.