Do you want to start a contracting business for insurance companies? If yes, here is a detailed guide on how to become a preferred contractor for insurance companies. Due to the fact that insurance companies are highly regulated, by law they are not allowed to contract services themselves and therefore because of this they usually partner with outside contractors.
These contractors agree to provide services to insurance companies at a heavily discounted price. they also have to agree to limit repairs to a minimum when necessary. In essence, an insurance company contractor works for the insurance companies and not the consumers. Professional insurance contractors often carry contractors’ general liability and contractors’ pollution liability insurance coverage in order to provide efficient and effective services on behalf of insurance companies.
Why start a contracting business for insurance companies?
there are several reasons why insurance contractors have become quite popular and one of them is that insurance companies have their clients all over the country, it is impossible to locate their offices wherever their clients are, hence the need for a contractor who is often the eye of insurance companies, especially in areas where the insurance company cannot easily investigate their clients’ claims.
The independent contractor makes sure that the burden of the claim does not fall too heavily on the insurance company, since the insurance company is their first customer.
In addition to verifying claims on behalf of insurance companies, contractors whose niches are construction, home repair, and auto repair must not only estimate the extent of damages claimed by the customer, but also repairs are expected to be made. about whatever was damaged or find someone who can make the repairs without costing the insurance company more than it necessarily should.
The many opportunities offered by being a contractor have allowed many people to enter this type of business and the fact that you are a contractor for an insurance company does not mean that you cannot be for as many as you are. I want.
When looking to become an insurance company preferred contractor, you’d better conduct a thorough business survey just as you would have done if you were starting any business. study the market well and know which insurance policies are most likely to generate the income that will increase and make your business a success.
By studying the market, you will find out which insurance companies are best to work with and who their competitors are and how you can effectively win them over to become the preferred contractor of insurance companies in your region.
It is important to note that as every business has pros and cons, so does an insurance contractor, so it is necessary to weigh all the pros and cons after creating goals and objectives for your business, and then using these advantages. and cons to compare your goals and decide how they best fit your projected growth as a company.
When starting your business, you will need to register it and also obtain all the necessary licenses that will allow you to operate your business without problems from the regulated authorities. having all the necessary licenses will allow insurance companies and their clients to have confidence in your company.
how to become an insurance company preferred contractor in 7 steps
1. make up your mind to really want to do this
One school of thought correctly states that the first step to being successful in any endeavor is to first make a decision. this is also applicable to becoming a contractor for insurance companies. weigh your options, the pros and cons, and then decide if it’s really the right business for you.
When a person obtains property or an item of value, it is often insured so that in the event of loss, damage, or theft, the person can file an insurance claim and receive payment. An insurance contractor is the person sent by the insurance company to process the insurance claim that the policyholder has filed and decide if the claim has merit and if adjustments to payments can be made.
Although this may seem like a fairly easy business to start, there are steps that must be followed to become a contractor for insurance companies.
2. acquire the necessary certifications and experience
Before any insurance company hires you as a contractor, they will typically review your resume; Your certification and work experience are very important in this type of business. no one may want to award you a contract if you do not have the required certification. Also, you don’t have previous experience either.
If you want to become a construction contractor for insurance companies, make sure you have at least a college degree or diploma in civil engineering or building engineering, or any relevant field of study. it is advisable not to go straight out of college to pursue a career as a construction contractor with insurance companies; apply and work with a reputable construction organization that can provide you with the necessary experience.
as well, if you want to become an auto repair contractor or claims investigator for insurance companies, you must obtain a college degree or diploma in courses related to mechanical engineering and insurance, psychology, or sociology, respectively, with experience relevant job.
3. register your business and obtain the required license
Since you will be doing business with corporate organisations, it is mandatory that you register your business with the corporate affairs commissions in your country and obtain the required license that applies to your area of business.
You will also need to prepare your invoice and commercial contract. you can consult your lawyer to help you prepare a good business contract. It is also mandatory to request and collect your tax ID and also take out civil liability insurance for your business.
As an insurance contractor, you will need certain legal documents before you can successfully start and run your business. The need to have legal documents in order is so that you do not have problems of any kind with the constituted authorities, since not only could you be fined if it is discovered that you are running your business without having all the legal documents in order, but also could prevent you from running such a business, either in that area or across the country.
Therefore, it’s important to do your homework and consult an attorney or accountant when necessary to find out everything you’ll need. In addition to running into trouble with the authorities, the insurance companies you represent may terminate your contract and may even sue you for misrepresentation.
While some documents are considered basic, some may vary depending on the area or region you operate from. Some of the basic documents that you will need regardless of the area where you will be operating from are;
basic documents you need
- certificate of incorporation
- operating agreement (for llcs)
- business license and permit
- commercial certification
- insurance policies
- state employer identification number (ein)
- federal tax identification number (tin)
- contract document consulting
- signed agreements
- Introduce your business by sending a formal letter that includes your certification and experiences, other benefits that can be gained by employing you, as well as your contact information and commission charges, to your preferred insurance carriers
- be sure to place advertisements about your services in newspapers as well as on radio and television stations
- create a website for your use; have your services and contacts listed and then implement seo strategies so that your website can rank high on search engines and allow you to be seen by potential clients
- make use of social media platforms like facebook, twitter, linkedin and google plus to vigorously market your insurance contractor business
- appear on popular forums and blogs not only to create posts that are educational and enlightening, but also to participate in the forum to raise awareness of your business and services
- attend insurance-related seminars, conferences, and events to network and get the attention of insurance companies that might hire you
- Place online ads on popular blogs and forums that have a lot of traffic to build awareness of your insurance contractor business
professional certifications are required
When trying to become a preferred contractor that will be sought after by businesses, it is best if your resume is rock solid and this means that you must have the necessary certifications and experience that will make insurance companies have faith in its capacity. to work on your behalf.
While it is highly necessary to obtain the necessary professional certifications in the niche you intend to enter, having experience is very important and therefore, in order to gain this experience, you are better off participating in similar projects on your own, even if you have to. work for little or no money to build up your resume and get insurance companies interested in you.
It is important to note that professional certifications vary depending on the niche you have chosen to participate in. That’s because the professional certifications you’d get if you were a niche construction contractor will be completely different than what you’d get if you wanted to specialize in auto claims or repairs.
There are several college degrees you can earn and then you could look into professional certifications offered by reputable associations and try to get those as well. To gain the necessary experience, you’ll need to work with a reputable organization that matches the niche you’re in, as that will help boost your profile with insurance companies.
4. Set up an office and acquire the necessary work tools
Although you can choose to operate this type of business from the comfort of your home without any problem, however, when the business starts to grow, you will need an office with few employees working for you. If you are sure of the success of the business from the beginning and have the financial capacity to rent an office space, do not hesitate to rent it.
As with all businesses, there are certain tools and equipment you’ll need to help you run your business as efficiently as possible. some of the tools may vary depending on the area you intend to specialize in your business.
However, there are standard tools that you will need no matter what niche area you are in. You will need to have a vehicle in which you can move, license, software (accounting and client), flashlight, gloves, tape, office supplies and then the tools that are applicable to the area of your business.
if you want to work as a construction contractor you will need to purchase construction work tools and equipment and also if you want to work as a car repair contractor then you will need to purchase car repair work tools and equipment. some of the tools can be used fairly if you are looking to save costs when starting your business.
5. make a list of insurance companies within your reach, review their contract conditions and fill out their contractor application forms
I’m sure there may be several insurance companies within your reach in your city or even in your country. what is expected of you is preferably to go online to make a list of insurance companies within your reach, take the time to review the terms and conditions of their contracts and fill out the contractor application forms that fit what you want. Looking For. in some cases, you may need to visit their office to speak with whoever is in charge.
6. if there is any need for an interview, make sure you are well prepared for it
Typically, before any insurance company hires you as a contractor, they will not only review your resume and proposal, but also invite you for an interview and have a conversation with you. Even if you have a fantastic resume and your pitch is out of this world, if you can’t stand up for them when you’re invited for an interview, chances are you won’t get a contract. if there is any need for an interview, make sure you are well prepared for it.
7. When assigned a contract job, make sure you do a thorough job
It’s one thing for the contract to start arriving; it’s another thing to keep the flow going. Any time you are assigned to investigate a claim as an independent investigator for an insurance company, or any time you are given a contract to rebuild damaged property or repair/fix a car, make sure you do a thorough job without cutting corners. One of the ways to stay in business is to continue to deliver quality products and services; with that you will usually get referrals from your clients.
8. create and execute impactful marketing and promotion strategies
every entrepreneur starting a business realizes how important it is to create awareness so that the intended target market can take notice. Knowledge of a target market allows the entrepreneur to convert a percentage of knowledge into income generation.
Realizing that you need to generate income is one thing, knowing how to generate this income is something else entirely. The definition of marketing states that an entrepreneur must not only know the need of the intended target market, but must also be able to plan to meet this need in order to ensure that satisfaction is achieved.
One of the most important factors to consider when marketing your insurance contractor business is your location. If you are located so far from the area where your intended target market customers are, then you must offer some benefits that the insurance company will get if they hire you as their contractor, or have set up an office near the center of the company’s target market. insurance company where you intend to become a contractor.
This will not only make it convenient for the insurance company in question, but also for you, as it will save you a long trip every time a complaint arises in the neighborhood where the insurance company has enough customers.
Although the goal of marketing is to generate revenue, it is a process that is all about penetrating the target market with the goal of gaining a fair share of the market and using it to compete with new and existing competitors. .
That is why it is necessary for every entrepreneur to come up with marketing ideas and strategies that are deliberate in nature and the only way this can be done is if a thorough market survey is done regarding the industry to find out what niche is more. beneficial, who is the target market, what are their identification characteristics and what to expect from them.
If you don’t know what marketing ideas will be effective for you, you can hire the services of an experienced marketing consultant who knows the industry you are in and who will create marketing strategies that will be highly effective for you to stand out. among others.
It is important to note that while some of the marketing strategies can be quite expensive, others may not cost as much. Regardless of how expensive some may or may not be, having a marketing budget is very important so that you don’t end up spending more than you should. In addition, the Internet has presented many ways in which entrepreneurs can easily attract the attention of the target market.
Some of the marketing and promotional strategies you may need to consider when seeking to gain the attention of insurance companies to become their preferred contractor are;
4 factors to consider when approaching an insurance company
When seeking to become an insurance company’s preferred contractor, your responsibility as a contractor is to verify certain factors. This is not to say that the factors used below in the insurance company analysis are sufficient or unique, but they do go a long way in providing the contractor with the necessary information that will help them make the right decision regarding which insurance company to work with. for.
When looking to be an insurance company’s preferred contractor, it’s important to review the company’s balance sheet for quality and strength. This is because insurers collect premiums and pay claims to policyholders every day, so check to see if the insurance company has the ability to pay claims to policyholders.
and therefore it is important that the insurance company in question is able to keep the leverage intact, which can be done by writing more insurance policies, relying on reinsurance but not too much, and also by making use of debt .
This is another factor to consider, as it is considered a litmus test of the insurer’s ability to meet its financial obligations. This means that the insurance company must have enough short-term assets that it can use to cover its liabilities without having to sell its inventory. the insurance company must also have cash flow that is considered positive.
The contractor should also consider other key factors, such as the investment grade of the insurance company’s bond portfolio, as a hint of instability could mean the company has too many medium- and high-risk bonds.
Like any other business, the main determinant of an insurance company is how profitable it is for you, the contractor, as well as for your clients. There are two components that you can use to decide the profitability of an insurance company and they are; subscription income and investment income.
Any income derived from the issuance of insurance policies may be referred to as subscription or premium income. You can determine how good a subscription income is by checking its average growth rate for the last few years. Most insurance company income comes from investments, and you should make sure the investments are in low-risk bonds, money market securities, or stocks.
d. interest rate fluctuations
Due to the fact that insurance companies typically invest the majority of their premiums collected, what a contractor needs to consider is the income generated from these investment activities which is often dependent on interest rate fluctuations .
If there is a decrease in interest rates, that means the insurance company has slower growth in income from its investments. It could also be said that fluctuations in interest rates affect the debts of the company. if the insurance company’s intention is to reprice your debts or take on more debt, then a high interest rate would mean that cash flow will be greatly affected.
Niche areas in which insurance contractors can specialize
according to a study conducted by independent insurance agents and brokers, contractors who specialize in niches and also focus more on improving technology, had a better chance than those who were not. The niche focus has made contractors increase their referrals and targeted leads, increase their competitiveness and also improve retention rates.
Average revenue growth, especially commissions and fees, has grown tremendously. Increased revenue also came as a result of social media marketing, search engine optimization, and improved producer accountability, thus leading to increased hiring.
When looking to enter a niche area, you need to make sure you have done the proper research regarding the business as some niche areas may not generate the amount of income that will make entering that niche worthwhile. . Furthermore, some niches are more popular in certain areas or regions and all of these should be taken into consideration by you. Some of the main niche areas you can get into are;
i. construction contractor
As a construction contractor, you may work on claims that occur on the property or homes of policyholders on behalf of insurance companies. It is pertinent that you have the necessary construction knowledge as you will not only be evaluating the repairs, but also making the repairs when and where necessary and submitting a bill to the insurance company.
ii. auto repair contractor
As with that of a construction contractor, you must also have knowledge about vehicles, their different types, and how to make repairs when and where necessary, except in areas where the vehicle has been damaged beyond repair. having a shop is necessary for this type of contractor as opposed to a construction contractor.
predominant limiting factors for insurance contractors
Any entrepreneur starting a business must be aware that there will be various challenges and threats that may arise during the course of starting the business and therefore must be prepared to have solutions to these challenges whenever they arise.
This is why it is necessary for an entrepreneur to have a business plan, as this would help them predict what challenges might arise during the process of starting or running the business so that the entrepreneur can act proactively when the time is right.
An independent contractor is one who has entered into an agreement with an insurance company to perform certain work or functions on behalf of the insurance company without the direct involvement of the insurance company.
While this may seem like such a joyous business for any entrepreneur with the right skills and abilities, it’s not all rosy being an insurance company contractor because insurance company customers who want their claims investigated they may not trust the contractor. sent by the insurance company due to the fact that these contractors are working in the interest of the insurance companies and not because of the complaint, so they usually prefer to hire their own contractor.
Another factor that could be limiting for someone looking to become a contractor is which niche will be most profitable based on the area or region they will be operating from. If you specialize in a niche that isn’t as popular, you may not generate enough income to grow your business and become a success.
However, if you choose a niche that is quite popular, you should be aware that you will face stiff competition from those already in the business, as well as new players who will also be looking to break into the same niche.
When starting out, you are literally unknown and this can be considered a limiting factor, especially since you have to participate in more advertising and publicity campaigns than already exist to get the attention of insurance companies.
This is regardless of how many professional certifications and experience you may claim to have, as insurance companies may prefer to stick with contractors they have been working with, especially if they have performed to the expectations of the insurance companies.
and so while sending a formal letter to certain insurance companies may be beneficial to you, letting them know what benefits they are likely to get from working with you could push the ball in your favor and ensure you become a contractor preferred for these insurance companies.
Insurance companies are strictly regulated by law not to directly provide property damage contracting services and therefore due to this regulation, insurance companies have partnered with vendors or contractors called brokers to help provide services on behalf of insurance companies at a greatly discounted price and to ensure that any repairs that are done are done at the lowest cost.
therefore, this means that these intermediaries work for the insurance companies and not for the insured. Due to the fact that most contractors always work for the benefit of the insurance companies and not the policyholders, there are a number of contractors who have chosen not to associate with the insurance companies and therefore work on behalf of the policyholders. insured.
The law provides that a policyholder may reject the insurance companies contractor and instead seek a provider to work on their behalf to ensure that the repairs made to their properties are carried out to standard .
As a contractor, it is important that you are properly insured to provide certain services, as statistics show that 90 percent of contractors in the United States (individuals or businesses) are not properly insured. If you’re looking to become a contractor trusted by policyholders, it’s essential that you have general liability and contractor pollution liability insurance coverage.
Becoming the preferred contractor is not easy because it would mean that these insurance companies are not only aware of your existence but also willing to retain your services and make you their preferred contractor in areas where they have clients but are not. physically present.
There are several attributes that you need to possess before this can happen and therefore it is essential that you do a thorough research on what you will need so that you are not seen as light-hearted by insurance companies when you approach them for work. on your behalf.
You need to know what niche you intend to enter and the intensity of competition you are likely to face when entering this niche so that you can properly prepare for them. Once you have identified the niche that will be most beneficial to you, you must obtain all the certifications that will allow these insurance companies to provide you with an audience and the necessary experience.
Once you’ve got everything you need, you should write to the insurance companies you’d like to work with and explain why they should work with you. Once you have been hired and your commission has been agreed upon, you must ensure that you diligently carry out your duties by working to ensure that you achieve the goals and objectives of the insurance companies and in this way, you can eventually become a preferred contractor for these companies. insurance.