MGAs: Be willing to teach new agents, or you’ll lose our business

Agency owner Carlos Castaner was displeased with some MGA comments in IBA’s recent look at the agent-MGA relationship.



When Insurance Business America sought MGA perspective on the agent-wholesaler relationship, several MGA representatives took the time to speak out on how agents can help decrease underwriting times.

Brent Wright, assistant vice president of MGA binding authority at Dallas-based Towerstone, noted that agents often don’t take the time to fill out a description of operations in the Acord 125 application, input important information onto umbrella applications, or provide information on underlying workers’ compensation or auto requirements. And that’s to their detriment.

“When I see submissions where agents don’t take the time to fill everything out, they go to the bottom of the pile,” Wright told

But Carlos Castaner, Vice President of Castaner Insurance Agency in Orlando, Fla., wrote into IBA to say that that attitude isn’t helpful to the many agents who may need help in proper protocol.

It is quite an eye-opener reading some of the comments from some of the MGAs. One in particular caught my attention. Brent Wright, Towerstone states “When I see submissions where agents don’t take the time to fill everything out, they go in the bottom of the pile”.


It’s that kind of attitude that forms a barrier between the agent and the MGA.  I would never send a piece of business to Brent just because of that comment and attitude.  Instead of burying it in the bottom of the pile maybe, just maybe, you could reach out to the agent at that point and help guide them to make the process more efficient for everyone involved.  
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 their willingness to provide the proper guidance in a timely manner when required.  

We also know which ones we will not do business with again. Maybe when Brent’s business starts drying up, he may opt for a more intellectual approach instead of sending it to the “bottom of the pile”.

Carlos Castaner is vice president of Castaner Insurance Ageny, an independent insurance agency offering both personal and commercial lines.

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