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Frequently Asked Questions - Agent FAQs

Iroquois is a service provider for independent P&C agencies. We are currently supporting over 2,250 agencies in 41 states. We don’t fit into any easily defined categories. The label most often applied is ‘Insurance Network’, but we are very different from our competitors.

Smaller agencies often join Iroquois for assistance with market optimization, which means identifying the best carriers to help them write and retain more business. Through Iroquois, agencies gain access to new carriers with lower volume commitments and profit sharing thresholds than they would have under a direct appointment.
Larger agencies most often join Iroquois for strategies to increase their revenue, profits and agency value. Larger agencies don’t need a group like Iroquois but many of them – some with total agency premium over $50 million -- find they can make more money by working through Iroquois, without giving up their independence.

We do so in many ways. First, by helping optimize their market selection, we help an agency write and retain more business. Second, because of our size and scale and historic profitability with our Carrier Partners, Iroquois members share in preferred commission schedules and better profit sharing opportunities than even large agencies can earn on their own. Third, we provide an array of consulting and other services to strengthen an agency’s operation and help them grow. Lastly, we use our negotiating leverage to negotiate discounts on insurance vendor’s products and services for our members.

Similar only in that one service we provide is access to insurance carriers, but we are different in scope and structure. Iroquois rarely gets in the middle of the workflow between the agent and the carrier. We have our Members appointed with our participating carriers and then get out of the way. We think this “direct access” model is a key to our success.
Unlike an MGA, our members do not have access to all of our carriers, nor do our carriers have access to all of our members. Iroquois acts as a matchmaker, finding the best fits between agent and carrier. The result is a profitable business for all the parties involved.

No, most do not. The MGA or central placement model is much more common. There seems to be a fear that if the agent and the carrier get together, the Network will be cut out of the loop. We have found the opposite to be true. The stronger the agent/company relationship, the more we satisfy our customers and company partners.

We do not charge an up-front fee. Others charge as much as $20,000 to join. We do not take an equity position in the agencies we serve. We do not restrict our Members from using outside markets and we do not have a right of first refusal on the agent’s new business. Since our contract has fewer restrictions, we attract more agents. Our size is a great competitive advantage.

The Iroquois Group has more than 2,250 Members in 41 states.

There are no “application” or “initiation” fees.
 

If a Member accesses a company through Iroquois and subsequently terminates their contract with Iroquois, they are prohibited for a period of two years from seeking a direct appointment with that company.  However, they are free to move that company’s book to another non-Iroquois carrier.  Members also agree that they will not negotiate a direct contract with a carrier that Iroquois has offered to them. If a Member doesn’t like Iroquois for any reason, they can terminate the agreement without penalty by giving 90 days' notice. We are often told that our contract is much more user-friendly and less intrusive than other networks' contracts.

No, Iroquois serves a diverse group of agencies that have total annual premium ranging from $1.5 million to over $50 million. We tailor our benefits and services to the needs of our member agencies. We have new agencies and old; large and small; rural, suburban, and urban. The common denominators are integrity, profitability and competence, which come in many packages - and a recognition that Iroquois can help take their agency to the next level of growth and profitability.

By giving an agency access to the proper mix of companies so it can write and retain more business.  Iroquois also provides information and strategies on sales and marketing, and services such as co-op marketing programs and producer financing help.

Stability is a function of having enough premium to satisfy many carriers. You can’t have too many eggs in one basket and you can’t spread yourself too thin. Iroquois’ lower volume commitments make it possible for our Members to have solid, stable relationships with many carriers. And, Iroquois’ size and historic profitability with our Carrier-Partners provides an extra measure of stability.

They differ by carrier but they are lower than they would be under a direct appointment. With Iroquois, quality is more important than quantity. But you have to write enough business to justify the expense of doing business and enough to be familiar with underwriting, products, and procedures. Commitment levels typically range from $50,000 of premium to $150,000.

Results. We have exceeded our carriers’ expectations for both growth and profit for more than 38 years. We also provide a more cost-effective way to penetrate the market. We have top-notch marketing professionals in the field working with our agents. Our carriers gain tremendous leverage from our efforts and relationships in the field

Our Members submit their applications online or directly to the carrier by e-mail, fax or U.S. mail, depending on the carrier’s procedures. Underwriters are available to answer questions. Our Members have binding authority. Policies are issued in the agency’s name (not Iroquois) and are billed directly by the carrier to the insured. Commissions are sent to Iroquois for distribution and are direct deposited to our Members weekly.

Iroquois’ success has enabled us to earn higher gross commissions and better bonus arrangements with our carriers. Our Members share in our mutual success on a percentage basis. In many cases, our Members receive higher net compensation from Iroquois than they do from their directly contracted companies. All of the details are spelled out in our “PartnerPlan,” the complete transaction compensation schedule.

Iroquois Members participate in contingencies and bonuses once they reach minimum premium thresholds, often as low as $50,000. There is a loss ratio component attached to all bonuses. Again, we insist on quality over quantity. The PartnerPlan fully explains bonus distribution.
 

Absolutely not. In fact, you will enhance your independence because you will have more choices.

You will need to do some research to ensure that you make the best and most informed decision. We encourage you to thoroughly review the information provided on this website, including all the FAQs. Then, contact an Iroquois representative to further explore how we may be able to help your agency. The more we know about your agency's situation, the better chance we can help. You may also find the following article of interest: "Six Ways to Evaluate Networks"

Once we have established a good strategic fit, the Iroquois appointment process can be completed in a week. Carrier appointments generally take between 4 to 12 weeks. 

The Iroquois Group has different management groups in seven regions of the country. We have people who are experts in the regulations and markets in your area. The best way to get to the right person is to click on the bar across the top of the page, then select your state, if you haven't done that already. From there, click on the "About Us" link that is close to the company logo, and then click on "Meet The Team." For more general assistance, call our home office at (716) 373-5511.

Evaluating networks

Joining a network of insurance agencies is a critical decision that deserves careful thought and honest answers to key questions. We have identified nine aspects that every agency should consider before signing on with a network of insurance agencies. Click on the photo for more information.