Agents debate role of MGAs

An opinion piece from independent agent Carlos Castaner provoked much comment from IBA readers this week.



With two in-depth looks at the relationship between independent agents and managing general agents (MGAs), Insurance Business America has managed to spark a conversation on the proper role both retail agents and MGAs ought to play in the business of insurance.

One comment, from MGA executive Brent Wright, caused particular ire for Castaner Insurance Agency Vice President Carlos Castaner. Castaner wrote into IBA to explain his frustration that Wright puts agent submissions “in the bottom of the pile” when the submission is not completely filled out.

“It’s that kind of attitude that forms a barrier between the agent and the MGA,” Castaner wrote. “It is challenging for a personal lines agency to try to get into the commercial side. There are a lot of things to learn and mistakes will be made. Fortunately for us, through trial and error, we know which MGAs to use because of our willingness to provide the proper guidance in a timely manner when required.”

Not all IBA readers agreed with Castaner, however. Reader George Dias wrote:

I totally disagree with Carlos Castaner. It is HIS responsibility as a retail agent to train his staff and assign properly qualified staff to handle business. He is one retailer I would not want to accept business from. I had found tat Florida agencies in particular have serious professionalism issues.

Similarly, Bob Jones commented:

You get a peek behind the curtain & not like it? I applaud Mr Wright for his candor. It is not that hard to put a description of operations on an app. Hard market or soft there is only so much hand holding any U/Wer can do.

Rob Owen backed up Castaner’s opinion, however. He wrote:

I couldn't agree more with Mr Castaner. We too have learned which MGA's are reliable with regards to Agency communications when they see a need to educate or clarify something associated with a submission. That's what I call "Professionalism", not to mention good business sense.

A big thanks to all our readers this four-day week!


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