PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS
Q: How long is the approval process?
A: The membership process normally takes 5 to 7 business days depending upon how long the background check takes - background check may be waived if you already have an appointment with one of our national carriers. We also require attendance in one of our online training classes which are held every Tuesday at 1:00 pm Central time. Agents are also required to submit a copy of their E&O declarations page (dec page), copies of your state licenses and a signed copy of the Producer Agreement.
Q: Do I really need three years of experience to get an appointment?
A: Yes. Exceptions may be requested and we will evaluate those requests on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Who owns the business?
A: You own the business by way of contract with InsureZone. The Producer Agreement you are asked to sign clearly spells this out.
Q: Can I write both Personal and Commercial Lines policies?
A: Yes, but there are experience requirements that must be met. Usually both lines of business can be accessed if your agency has the required experience in both commercial and personal lines.
Q: Can my agency write business through PIA Market Access in all 50 states?
A: Yes, your agency can write business with PIA Market Access in any state in which you hold a license.
Q: How many users can my agency have on this account?
A: If you are a Market Access or a Retail Commissions customer you are allowed up to five logins. Under the Best of Both Worlds service, you are charged per user per month.
Q: Is the PIA Market Access website available 24/ 7?
A: Yes, unless we are performing routine maintenance, which normally is done after 9PM Central Time, or on the weekends. Alerts are sent out in advance to notify customers of an availability change.
Q: What classes of business do you write in my state?
A: We write various Retail, Service, Office, Wholesale, Contractor, Manufacturing, Institutional, and Professional classes in most states. There may be territorial or coastal restrictions and not all lines of business are available in all of our 48 states. Please refer to the “Can We Write It?” tab on the home page for more details by carrier, state and line of business.
UNDERWRITING AND SALES
Q: How many quotes should I expect to receive on each submission?
A: PIA Market Access will provide an automated quote from all carriers on the platform that have an appetite for your risk. That normally means you will get three quotes on each submission. For tougher classes that require manual intervention by an underwriter, you may receive 1-2 quotes.
Q: Who decides which carriers will be quoted?
A: Carrier appetite and underwriting guidelines determine whether or not your risk will be quoted. PIA Market Access will provide a quote from each carrier that has an appetite for your risk. We do not decide which carriers to present.
Q: If I have appointments with some or all of your carriers, can you provide quotes under my producer codes?
A: Yes. We can use your producer codes with most carriers on our platform. Please see "Best of Both Worlds" under Program Options for more details. At its core, the InsureZone technology is a comparative rater. Our service is flexible enough to handle your needs when you are small with our Market Access program, as well as later on when your agency grows and just needs convenience and efficiencies of a comparative rater.
Q: How does the sold policy get delivered to the insured (who handles the mail)?
A: Our carriers mail the policy directly to your insured in most cases. We try to take the hassle out of the back office details. We provide you (the producing agent) with an electronic copy of the policy as well.
PREMIUM PAYMENTS & COMMISSIONS
Q: When will I receive my commissions on sold policies?
A: InsureZone is typically paid 30-45 days after the effective date of the policy. This is true in most instances regardless of when or how your customer made their premium payment to the carrier. InsureZone cuts checks on a weekly basis and your agency will be paid once each month if your agency is due commissions from InsureZone. We apply cash from most carriers via an electronic commission statement download the same day that the statement is received. InsureZone normally makes payments to its producers about two weeks after it receives payment from the carriers and has applied the cash. If you have opted in for ACH Direct Deposits, you will receive a deposit once per month. If you have not opted for Direct Deposit, commissions are processed and checks are issued once per quarter.
Q: Can I use my current premium finance company?
A: No, outside premium financing is prohibited. Most of our policies are “direct bill” but if premium financing is needed, InsureZone will provide the contract to your office.
Q: Does InsureZone charge brokerage fees or do you allow my agency to charge a fee?
A: InsureZone has never charged brokerage fees on the policies it sells. Certain states allow agencies to charge a brokerage fee. The PIA Market Access Producer Agreement states that if your agency decides to independently charge a brokerage fee, your agency will abide by all state insurance laws and will provide the required disclosure and will obtain the needed customer authorization, signatures and acknowledgement regarding fees charged.
Q: If I lost an appointment due to volume requirements, can you roll my book of business?
A: Yes. We have a simple process in place that requires minimal information from you or your customer. When you combine this service with our Retail Commission Program, a book of business you have today can easily earn 2-3 points more simply by switching to PIA Market Access.
Q. Can I roll my book of business to PIA Market Access at any time and vice versa?
A. Absolutely. We have staff specialists to aid you and your agency in rolling a book of business to PIA Market Access. Agents are also free to roll their book of business away from PIA Market Access as well, as the agent owns and controls the book entirely.
CARRIER LOGOS AND ADVERTISING
Q: Once appointed, can my agency use the PIA Market Access logo or the logos of the carriers that PIA Market Access represents?
A: Carrier logos may not be used without the express and written consent from each carrier. The PIA Market Access logo may be used only with written permission from PIA.
CAPTIVE AGENT QUESTIONS
Q. Who is the Agent of Record on the policies written through the PIA Market Access program?
A. InsureZone is the Agent of Record on all policies written under the PIA Market Access program. The Agent of Record will show on all Declarations Pages as "InsureZone.com of Texas, Inc."
Q. Will PIA Market Access report my name or relationship to my captive carrier?
A. No. All memberships and policies are private and proprietary to PIA Market Access.
Q. Does the state insurance department in my state know of my relationship with PIA Market Access?
A. It depends on the state. In the majority of the nation, no documentation is provided to the state departments of insurance. The only known exception is Washington State; we are required to disclose the relationship there.
Q. Will I have access to all carriers PIA Market Access has a relationship with or only a few?
A. As a member of PIA Market Access, you have access to all carriers on our platform, unless they are a comparative rating only carrier. In that instance you will need to have a direct contract with that carrier in order to receive quotes via PIA Market Access. In addition, not all carriers write insurance in each state. You will need to refer to the “Can We Write It?” tab for more details.
Q. How will I get quotes on business proposed to PIA Market Access’ carriers?
A. All quoting is handled online through the PIA Market Access Dashboard. Quotes are returned from our Comparative Rater from all available carriers in 2-7 minutes. The cost of the Comparative Rater is included with monthly membership fees.
Q. Does PIA Market Access require evidence of E&O Insurance?
A. Absolutely. Even though we are the Agent of Record, we require all of our producing agents to carry their own E&O Insurance with a limit of at least $1,000,000. PIA Market Access relies upon your E&O as a first line of defense in the event of an error that is the direct result of your agency’s action or inaction.
Q. Will the E&O Insurance I carry for my captive relationship suffice for PIA Market Access?
A. Possibly. Since agents are free to purchase E&O through any broker their captive carrier approves of, your E&O Insurance may work for your relationship with PIA Market Access. Check your declarations or contact your E&O carrier to see if it covers outside insurance activities or only insurance activity approved by the captive carrier. Many E&O policies will cover outside insurance relationships but have a different deductible for activity outside of the captive relationship.