Insurance Agency Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 3,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their insurance agencies. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an insurance agency business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Insurance Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your insurance agency as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Source of Funding for Insurance Agencies
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an insurance agency are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate the business.
The second most common form of funding for an insurance agency is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund an insurance agency unless it is based on a unique, scalable technology.
Your insurance agency business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of insurance agency business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an insurance agency that you would like to grow, or are you operating multiple insurance agency locations already.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the insurance agency industry. Discuss the type of insurance agency you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of insurance agency you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Direct Writer / Captive : this type of insurance agency only sells one insurance company’s products – like Allstate or State Farm
- Independent Insurance Agent : this type of insurance agency is privately-owned, and sells policies with may different insurance companies
In addition to explaining the type of insurance agency you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new location openings, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the insurance industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards weather-related policy purchases, it would be helpful to ensure your plans call for flood insurance options.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your insurance company business plan:
- How big is the insurance agency business (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key insurance carriers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your insurance agency. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your insurance agency business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, households, businesses, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of insurance agency you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want different pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than recent college graduates.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most insurance agencies primarily serve customers living in their same geographic region, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Direct competitors are other insurance agencies.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes self pay and public (Medicare, Medicaid in the case of health insurance) insurance or directly working with an insurance carrier. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who purchases insurance does so through an insurance agency.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other insurance agencies with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be insurance agencies located in your geographic region.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What products do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior insurance agency products/services?
- Will you provide insurance agency products that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an insurance agency business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of insurance agency that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products/services you will be offering. For example, in addition to P&C insurance, will you also offer life insurance?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu items you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your insurance agency. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your insurance agency located next to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a heavily populated office building, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.
Promotions : the final part of your insurance agency marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Making your insurance agency’s front store extra appealing to attract passing customers
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., auto dealerships or car rental stores)
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your insurance agency such as serving customers, procuring relationships with insurance carriers, negotiating with repair shops, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to acquire your 500th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.
To demonstrate your insurance agency’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the insurance agency business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in insurance agencies and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you acquire 20 new customers per month or 50? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your insurance agency location and/or website, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an insurance agency:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Marketing expenses
- Website development
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Insurance Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your insurance agency is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the insurance agency business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful insurance agency.
Download Our Insurance Business Plan PDF
You can download our insurance business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
Click here to finish your insurance business plan today.
OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.
Insurance Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my insurance business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Insurance Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Insurance Business Plan.
Where Can I Download an Insurance Business Plan PDF?
You can download our insurance business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Insurance Business Plan Template
Business Plan Outline
- Insurance Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Company Overview
- 3. Industry Analysis
- 4. Customer Analysis
- 5. Competitive Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
Insurance Agency Business Plan
You’ve come to the right place to create your own business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their insurance companies.
Essential Components of a Business Plan For an Insurance Agency
Below we describe what should be included in each section of a business plan for a successful insurance agency and links to a sample of each section:
- Executive Summary – In the Executive Summary, you will provide a high-level overview of your business plan. It should include your agency’s mission statement, as well as information on the products or services you offer, your target market, and your insurance agency’s goals and objectives.
- Company Overview – This section provides an in-depth company description, including information on your insurance agency’s history, ownership structure, and management team.
- Industry Analysis – Also called the Market Analysis, in this section, you will provide an overview of the industry in which your insurance agency will operate. You will discuss trends affecting the insurance industry, as well as your target market’s needs and buying habits.
- Customer Analysis – In this section, you will describe your target market and explain how you intend to reach them. You will also provide information on your customers’ needs and buying habits.
- Competitive Analysis – This section will provide an overview of your competition, including their strengths and weaknesses. It will also discuss your competitive advantage and how you intend to differentiate your insurance agency from the competition.
- Marketing Plan – In this section, you will detail your marketing strategy, including your advertising and promotion plans. You will also discuss your pricing strategy and how you intend to position your insurance agency in the market.
- Operations Plan – This section will provide an overview of your agency’s operations, including your office location, hours of operation, and staff. You will also discuss your business processes and procedures.
- Management Team – In this section, you will provide information on your insurance agency’s management team, including their experience and qualifications.
- Financial Plan – This section will detail your insurance agency’s financial statements, including your profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. It will also include information on your funding requirements and how you intend to use the funds.
Next Section: Executive Summary >
Insurance Agency Business Plan FAQs
What is an insurance agency business plan.
An insurance agency business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your insurance business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your insurance agency business plan using our Insurance Agency Business Plan Template here .
What Are the Main Types of Insurance Companies?
There are a few types of insurance agencies. Most companies provide life and health insurance for individuals and/or households. There are also agencies that specialize strictly in auto and home insurance. Other agencies focus strictly on businesses and provide a variety of liability insurance products to protect their operations.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for an Insurance Agency Business?
The primary source of revenue for insurance agencies are the fees and commissions paid by the client for the insurance products they choose.
The key expenses for an insurance agency business are the cost of purchasing the insurance, licensing, permitting, and payroll for the office staff. Other expenses are the overhead expenses for the business office, utilities, website maintenance, and any marketing or advertising fees.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Insurance Agency Business Plan?
Insurance agency businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Other options for funding are outside investors, angel investors, and crowdfunding sources. This is true for a business plan for insurance agent or an insurance company business plan.
What are the Steps To Start an Insurance Business?
Starting an insurance business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop An Insurance Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed insurance business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your insurance business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your insurance business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Insurance Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your insurance business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your insurance business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Insurance Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your insurance business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your insurance business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful insurance business:
- How to Start an Insurance Business
Where Can I Get an Insurance Business Plan PDF?
You can download our free insurance business plan template PDF here . This is a sample insurance business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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1. Become a licensed insurance agent
2. write a business plan, 3. choose a business structure, 4. register and license your business, 5. get business insurance, 6. form relationships with insurance companies, 7. grow your client base.
Starting an insurance agency is a lot like starting any business . You’ll need to choose a business structure, register and license your business, get insurance and more.
But you’ll also need to become a licensed insurance agent and learn how to navigate a highly regulated field.
Here’s how to get started.
You can get an insurance agent license in a matter of weeks or months, depending on the requirements in your state. Here are the steps to follow:
Learn about your state’s licensing process. The National Insurance Producer Registry or your state’s branch of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America can help you understand those specific requirements.
Decide what type of insurance to sell. You can be licensed to sell several different “lines of authority” or types of insurance. The most extensive lines of authority include:
Accident and health or sickness.
The names of these lines of authority may differ in your state. You can be licensed to sell multiple lines of authority. Life and health are often offered as one package, as are property and casualty.
In general, most types of business insurance are property or casualty policies. With a property and casualty license, you can sell personal and commercial insurance . Most agents choose to specialize in one or the other, though.
Take a pre-licensing class. Your coursework should focus on the type of insurance you choose to specialize in. Courses can be done in person or online in most states.
Schedule your licensing exam. These are usually administered at testing centers run by third-party testing companies, which may immediately inform you of the results.
Apply for your license. Submit your licensing application to your state’s governing body. You’ll need to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth and residency information, and pay any applicable fees. If your application is approved, you’ll be able to sell insurance products.
If you’re new to selling insurance, you may want to get some experience working for an insurance company or another brokerage before venturing out on your own.
Your business plan outlines what you want your business to look like and how you plan to get there. The process of writing it should force you to answer complex questions, like what unique value you’ll offer customers and how much money you’ll need to get started.
» MORE: NerdWallet's picks for the best business plan software
Your business structure determines how your business profits are taxed and how your personal and business assets are kept separate, among other things.
There’s also an insurance-specific question you’ll need to answer: Whether you want your insurance agency to work with one specific insurer or with many different providers.
Captive agents (agents who work with a particular insurance company) can benefit from brand recognition and don’t have to convince insurers to work with them. But, on the other hand, they can only sell a limited suite of insurance policies. For example, State Farm works with a network of independent contractor agents who run their agencies but only sell State Farm products.
Many other insurance agency owners are independent agents, selling products from multiple insurance companies. Independent agents might have to work harder to establish and market their brand to customers and insurers, but they can start relationships with many insurance providers.
Before running your business, you’ll need to register with your state, typically with the secretary of state’s office.
Most insurance businesses will probably need to apply for an employer identification number from the IRS. With an EIN, you can open a business checking account .
As part of this process, make sure to obtain a business license, a sales tax permit and any other documents your state or city requires.
Your business entity may also need a license from your state's insurance department. Check your state’s requirements to find out what you need.
» MORE: Everything you need to do to start a business
As an insurance agent, you already know how important it is for your customers to be fully insured. Get business insurance to protect your business assets.
Most insurance companies are likely to need professional liability insurance and general liability insurance . Depending on your agency’s size, location and day-to-day activities, you may also need commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and other types of business insurance.
If you’re an independent agent, you’ll need to apply to work with any insurance companies whose products you want to sell. If they approve your application, they’ll grant you an appointment to sell their policies.
It can be challenging to start relationships with insurance companies directly without having several years of experience and a client base.
Joining a professional association, like the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, or an agent network like Smart Choice, can help you access insurance providers to sell their policies. These groups may also provide marketing materials, discounts on your business insurance policies, and other resources.
If you choose to start an independent agency, you may have to hustle for your first few clients. Start by joining your local Chamber of Commerce, attending networking events and advertising in your local market.
Having an online presence is essential, too. Make sure your website clearly outlines what kinds of insurance you sell and the customers you serve. Information about how to contact you should be easy to find.
If you start an agency affiliated with a particular insurance company, you might get referrals as customers seek out agents near them. However, you’ll probably need to do local marketing too.
On a similar note...
Agency Performance Partners
- How to Create an Insurance Agency Business Plan
Posted on November 6, 2023 by Kelly Donahue Piro
Wondering how to create an insurance agency business plan?
🏢 Are you an ambitious individual looking to grow your insurance agency but unsure where to begin? 🏢
📈 Whether you’re a seasoned insurance professional v someone passionate about insurance and financial services, our podcast is tailored to guide you through every step of the process.
🔍 **1. Understanding the Purpose of Your Business Plan**: We unravel the significance of a well-crafted business plan and how it serves as your roadmap to success. It’s not just a formality; it’s a dynamic tool that drives your agency towards growth and prosperity.
💡 **2. Identifying Your Target Market and Niche**: We discuss the importance of defining your target audience and finding a unique niche in the market. Differentiating yourself from the competition is crucial in the competitive landscape of insurance.
📊 **3. Conducting Market Research**: Learn how to analyze market trends, customer needs, and competitor strategies to make informed decisions for your insurance agency.
📝 **4. Crafting Your Agency’s Mission and Vision**: We explore how a compelling mission and vision statement can inspire your team, attract clients, and align your agency’s values with long-term goals.
💼 **5. Formulating Your Business Strategy**: Discover the key elements that should be included in your business strategy, covering marketing, sales, operations, and financial projections.
📈 **6. Setting Achievable Goals and Milestones**: Learn how to set realistic short-term and long-term goals to measure your agency’s progress effectively.
🗂️ **7. Organizing Your Business Structure**: Gain insights into the different business structures suitable for insurance agencies and how to choose the one that aligns with your vision.
👥 **8. Assembling Your Dream Team**: We discuss the importance of hiring and retaining the right talent to drive your agency forward and maintain a positive work culture.
🚀 **9. Developing a Solid Marketing Plan**: Explore various marketing strategies to promote your insurance agency effectively and reach your target audience.
💼 **10. Creating a Financial Plan**: Gain a clear understanding of the financial aspect of your business plan, including expenses, operational expenses, and projected revenue.
Tune in to our debut episode to gain practical tips, expert advice, and inspiration that will set you on the path to growing a successful insurance agency.
Let’s embark on this exciting journey of growing your agency! 🚀🏆
🔔Check out the blog associated with this video: Insurance Agency Business Plan: How to Get Started
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Insurance Agent Business Plan
If you have an aptitude for convincing people and can identify what insurance works for different customers, then an insurance agency business might work for you.
An insurance agency is not only profitable, but also requires lesser skills to get started. But at the same time, it attracts a lot of competition. Moreover, it is also a work that involves a lot of responsibility for managing insurance portfolios properly.
You can do all of the above and more smoothly, with the help of an insurance agent business plan .
If you are planning to be an insurance agent, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample insurance agent business plan created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.
Before you start writing your business plan , spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of insurance & finance-related business .
The insurance industry stood at a massive value of 1.28 trillion dollars in 2020 and isn’t about to slow down any time soon.
Life and home insurance make up the majority of the market share. The growth of the industry can be attributed to the increase in buying houses and getting the same insured.
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Things to Consider Before Writing an Insurance Agent business plan
Choose your legal structure.
Different legal structures come with different pros and cons. Also, each legal structure solves different purposes for a business. From the taxes, you’ll pay to the liability on your assets, the legal structure of your business decides everything.
Hence, you should go through all of your options and pick the one that fits your business needs the best.
Build brand identity and image
Having a brand identity that makes you memorable to your customers is important. Constant marketing and branding efforts can help you achieve that.
Get your licenses and permits
Figuring out what licenses and permits you need as per the laws of your country and state is very important before getting started in the insurance industry.
But at the same time, keeping track of all the legal requirements can be difficult. Hence, it is a good practice to have a checklist at hand before you get started.
Look into your funding requirements
The cost of setting up an insurance company depends upon the location and size of your business. Hence, look into what would be your financial requirements to set up your firm and if you’ll need any funds or not.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of your aim. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
We have created this sample insurance agent business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect insurance agent business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Insurance Agent Business Plan Outline
This is the standard insurance agent business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Keys to Success
- 3 Year profit forecast
- Startup Cost
- Funding Required
- Company Ownership
- Competition and Buying Patterns
- Market Analysis
- Target Market Segment Strategy
- Competitive Edge
- Marketing Strategy
- Sales Forecast
- Sales Yearly
- Personnel Plan
- Startup Funding
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample insurance agent business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your insurance agent business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan
Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.
Download a sample insurance agent business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free insurance agent business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your insurance agent business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
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About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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November 1979 - September 2023
Crafting a Winning Business Plan for Your Insurance Agency
Whether you have experience as a captive insurance agent or you’re an independent agent looking to branch away from working for others, starting an insurance agency might make sense as your next career move.
And now’s as good a time as any to start. In fact, broker and agency revenue increased by 1.5% over the past five years —with growth expected to continue as the economy improves.
But with this growth and opportunity comes competition. The insurance industry is continuing to evolve, which means different companies—like those that use insurtech to blend insurance with technological innovations—are entering the fray and competing for market share .
To give your new agency the edge over its competition and make sure your company is viable, you need a plan—an insurance agency business plan. Let’s look at why you need this document, what it should include, and other things to consider before you present your plan and launch your agency.
What Is a Business Plan—and Why Do You Need One?
A business plan is a document that outlines your approach to starting and running your agency. This document serves as a roadmap to follow at each stage of business growth, from your initial planning stages to achieving your long-term goals .
It can include information about how to structure and fund your agency, financial projections and goals, and guidance for how to run the agency as it evolves and grows.
There are a number of reasons you should consider creating a plan for your insurance agency, including:
- Help your agency succeed: About 20% of startups fail within their first year. Though creating a business plan doesn’t guarantee your business will succeed, business owners who write out formal plans are 16% more likely to succeed than entrepreneurs who wing it without one. Why? Planning helps you lay a solid foundation for your business, giving you a step-by-step guide for how to reach your goals.
- Secure funding: Many lenders require you to provide a plan for your business if you apply for a business loan or investment. The reason? A plan can reveal how viable your business is—including if you (and your leadership) are qualified to run a successful agency, what your financial forecast is for hitting different milestones, and what your overall objectives are for achieving success. In other words, lenders and investors want to know the likelihood of you paying off your debt and earning a profit—and, if so, how soon you’ll hit both milestones. A business plan helps them get a better idea of that likelihood—information they can use to determine if they want to lend to or invest in your business.
- Inform your decisions over time: A business plan for an insurance agency is a roadmap that defines your goals and objectives—as well as how to achieve them. But as your business grows, it’s easy to lose track of your long-term plans. Being able to refer to a document that details your plans can help you remain committed, even as your team—and agency—grows.
What To Include in Your Insurance Agency Plan
Now that you know the importance of writing an insurance agency business plan, the next question is: what do you include in it?
When it comes to creating a plan for your insurance agency, there aren’t any hard requirements. In fact, your plan can be in any format you’d like (including a “lean plan,” which focuses only on key elements)—though, if you’re looking for a bank loan or investment, your plan should be as detailed as possible.
Elements you might want to consider including in a traditional business plan for insurance agencies include:
As its name implies, the executive summary is a brief overview of your plan. It should include general information about your insurance agency, though this information might change over time depending on how long your agency is operational.
For example, a startup insurance agency might include a brief mention of market competition and its planned growth strategy. On the other hand, an established agency might summarize past achievements and include information about employees.
Items to include in your executive summary are:
- Your agency name
- Your mission statement
- A high-level overview of the products or services you offer or plan to offer
- Background on you and your agency’s leadership team
- Information about your employees
- The location and market you operate or will operate in
- A brief description of your marketing plan
- Brief financial information and an overview of your growth plan, including projected costs (though you’ll expand on that later in the document)
Because your executive summary is a top-level overview of your insurance agency business plan, keep it concise and enticing.
The idea is to encourage a reader to keep reading your business plan and learn more about your agency—especially if you’re looking for funding.
In other words, the executive summary should be just that: a summary that introduces ideas you’ll expand upon later in your plan. Limit yourself to a couple of short, brief sentences for each idea and save specifics for dedicated sections of the document.
Company Description/Business Summary
The second element to include in your plan for an insurance agency is a detailed description of your company. This is your opportunity to expand upon some of the ideas you introduced in the executive summary. Here are some things to discuss:
- Legal structure of your agency: Your agency’s form of business, like a sole proprietorship, limited liability company , partnership, or S-Corp. (Not sure which structure to choose? Make sure to read the next section.)
- Organizational chart: An organizational chart identifies your management team members and highlights their qualifications and expertise to determine who’s responsible for different aspects of running the agency. (You can attach resumes in an appendix to the business plan too).
- Target market: Who you plan to market to (such as individuals, businesses, or a mix of both).
- Business history: If your agency has already been established, what it’s achieved since it first opened.
- What sets you apart from the competition: For example, if you serve a wider (or more specific) target market or offer products other agencies don’t, or if you or your agents are uniquely qualified.
- SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis identifies your core Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to give you (and your plan’s readers) an accurate and objective insight into your agency to inform future decisions, like investing in your agency startup.
What is the Best Business Structure for an Insurance Agency?
Many insurance agencies structure their business as a limited liability company (LLC), as it provides certain tax benefits and helps to protect their personal assets.
That being said, the best structure for your business will depend on a variety of factors, including your goals, number of employees, and projected revenue.
If you’re not sure how to structure your business, consider talking to a business lawyer and/or tax professional with experience in the insurance industry.
An effective insurance agency business plan should include a comprehensive list of the products and services it offers or plans to offer. Include the lines of insurance you’ll sell—like personal lines or commercial lines —as well as the specific insurance policies you sell (or plan to), like workers’ comp , life insurance or professional liability insurance.
And don’t skimp out on details. Mention the benefits of the insurance products you plan to offer, premiums and pricing, and your sales projections for each product.
You should also include which insurance carriers your agency will represent—and which policies they’re responsible for underwriting. You might also want to provide a brief description of what appointment and representation means (or, in other words, which insurance carriers allow you to sell their products and represent their companies)—especially if you’ll be using your plan to secure funding for your agency since lenders might not be entirely familiar with the insurance industry.
A major reason for creating a plan for your insurance agency is to prove that your business idea is viable. In other words, you need to demonstrate that there’s a demand for the products you offer—and that you have a competitive advantage that lets you capture enough market share to turn a profit.
And the place to do that? The market analysis section.
In this section, include detailed information about your agency’s target clients. Try to determine if there’s room for your agency. If not, look for underserved niches that you might be able to fill. At the same time, look at your market’s demographics to make sure your potential offerings meet their demands for insurance products.
For example, if you plan on selling commercial insurance, will you market specifically to construction companies and contractors or businesses in general? You might also want to limit your marketing efforts to small businesses that earn up to a certain revenue (like businesses with annual revenue between $1 million and $2.5 million).
You should also include a competitive analysis that identifies your key competitors, including their market share, target customers, and the specific products and services they offer. From there, explain how your marketing strategy will be competitive.
For example, do you plan to partner with an insurtech company to attract leads and drive conversions? Hourly combines time tracking, payroll, and workers’ compensation insurance into one easy-to-use platform. Premiums are based on real-time payroll data, so your clients can say buh-bye to those nasty audit surprises.
Finally, include the demand for your proposed offers—and your sales strategy for how your insurance products meet the needs of your potential clients.
How your agency earns money—and when you can expect it to turn a profit—is crucial for securing lending and making sure you have a stable cash flow. Your financial plan should include your:
- Projected costs: How much will it cost initially to open your agency, purchase office furniture and supplies, and hire and train agents? How much will your ongoing expenses (like rent, advertising, health insurance and other employee benefits, and salaries and commissions) cost?
- Estimated cash flow: How much money do you expect your agency to generate and spend over time—and how much of that revenue is profit?
- Break-even analysis: What is the sales forecast for how many policies you need to sell before you’ve covered the cost of opening and running your insurance agency? At what point does your agency become profitable?
Generally, your financial plan should cover at least three to five years. If your agency is already established, you should support your financial plan with balance sheets , cash flow statements, income statements , and other financial statements.
If your agency is a startup, you should include detailed estimates and projections supported by industry or competitor data.
Similarly, you might want to provide monthly or quarterly projections for your first year in business (vs. annual projections for the following years) to help explain and emphasize how viable your agency will be in its first year—as well as when you expect to break even or achieve profitability.
How Profitable are Insurance Agencies?
Insurance agencies may see a profit margin of about 10% or more, however that number can vary widely based on agency size, where you're located, what you sell, demand, and your efficiency.
If the purpose of your insurance agency business plan is to request funding, you need to specify how much cash you need—and what you need it for . Start by outlining the type of funding you need—like a bank loan or investment funds—and how long you need the funding to last. You should also outline your preferred structure—like debt or equity—and any repayment terms.
Then nail down the details. Create a budget that stipulates how the money will be used. Make sure to also tie your request into your overall financial plan. Ideally, funding should sustain your agency until it meets its break-even point and a stable cash flow—and how you plan to do that should be clearly outlined in your business plan.
Insurance Agency Business Plan Template
Creating a business plan can seem complex at first, especially if you’ve never done it before. The good news? You don’t need to start from scratch.
This customizable template can help you get started. Just use it as an outline, fill it in with details about your business, and voila! You’ve got your plan.
Text Copied to Clipboard
Products and services
Management team background
Brief marketing plan description
Brief financial information:
- Growth plan
- Target market
Product #1: Description, price, sales projections
Product #2: Description, price, sales projections
Competitive analysis: Competitor #1
- Market share
- Products offered
Estimated cash flow
- Balance sheet/projections
- Cash flow statement/projections
- Income statement/projections
- Other financial documentation
Amount of funding required
Reason(s) for funding
Type of funding requested
How long of a period funds needs to cover
Preferred funding structure
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Other Things to Do When Creating Your Plan
Now that you understand the importance and benefits of a business plan for your insurance agency, let’s jump into a few things to keep in mind while creating your plan to ensure that it sets the stage for launching a successful insurance agency:
- Define your brand identity: Your agency’s brand—its name, purpose, and values—helps it stand out from your competition and draw in new customers. Defining and committing to your agency’s identity helps you establish trustworthiness and reliability.
- Apply for licenses and permits: Small businesses are subject to local and state laws that might require you to obtain a business license, insurance coverage, and other types of licenses and permits. And because the insurance industry is so heavily regulated, check with your state’s insurance department to learn if you require any additional licenses or permits.
- Research potential funding options: When it comes to funding, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Compare and contrast different funding options—like self-funding, taking out a loan, looking for investors, or even crowdfunding—and choose what makes the most sense for your agency.
- Identify potential insurance companies to represent: Before you launch your agency, research potential insurance carrier partners to find those that align with your goals and values. Partner with insurance companies that offer the types of insurance products your ideal clients want—at the prices they’re willing to pay—and don’t dismiss the importance of exceptional customer service.
Tips for Presenting Your Business Plan
After you’ve drafted your business plan, the final step is to present it to interested lenders and investors. But how do you successfully present your plan for an insurance agency with confidence?
- Set up an in-person meeting: A face-to-face meeting helps humanize the people behind your plan—you and your management team. It also gives you a chance to establish and build credibility, field any questions, and demonstrate your excitement and passion for launching your new business. If meeting in person isn’t doable, set up a video conference to recreate the face-to-face experience.
- Use a clean, detailed, and professional layout: Your business plan should be legible, concise, and direct. Make sure it appears professional by proofreading it to correct any typos or misspellings. Include clear charts that support your claims and statements. Finally, make both digital and physical copies to distribute (and print extras—just in case!).
- Practice and rehearse your presentation: Come prepared to answer any questions that your business plan might not have covered or that a lender needs extra clarification about. That doesn’t mean you need to memorize your presentation word-for-word, but you should have a solid idea of your plan’s specifics and certain important details, like your break-even point or the amount of funding you’re requesting.
Plan to Set Yourself Up for Success
Starting a small business is hard. And in the competitive insurance space, you need every competitive advantage you can get to set yourself up for success when launching an insurance agency.
Writing an insurance agency business plan can help you outline—and commit to—your goals and objectives, giving you a clearly-defined path to success.
Ready to transform your business into a profit-pumping machine? Learn how with our monthly newsletter.