Transferring or selling a book of business can be tricky and time consuming. Our Contracting experts at Senior Marketing Specialists got together in a collaborative effort with our Sales Strategy Directors to come up with pertinent information and tips to help keep the process as simple and issue free as possible for you.
Things to keep in mind when transferring your book of business:
- Moving carriers to a new owner or successor can take 6 months to 1.5 years depending on the carriers and level of preparedness.
- Every carrier’s process is different and regularly changes.
- Carrier business transfers happen immediately. You cannot preemptively appoint someone for the future with the carriers. It is important that your attorney, estate owner, and successor knows your plans.
- Incorporating your business makes this process easier. Some carriers may not have a succession process for agents contracted as an individual, meaning the agent is bound to the client and commissions for the life of the policy or agent.
- Having a successor who is licensed and appointed at time of death is necessary for some carriers.
- Most carriers that do not require certification will pay to the estate, so it is vital that you define who is the estate owner is in your will.
- Regardless if you are selling or keeping your business until death, legal documentation is needed for any transfer. It’s imperative to talk with your attorney about your plans.
- Not all carriers allow Agent of Record changes and/or commission assignment.
Questions to ask when considering a transfer:
- Will you be buying or selling?
- Why are you buying/selling?
- Who is the other party involved?
- Is the other party a licensed life and health agent and are they calling within 30 days of the seller’s death if applicable?
- What carriers are involved?
- What is that date that the transfer will take place?
- Are you wanting an Agent of Record change, commission transfer, or both?
- Will you want to continue to write business after your block of business has transferred?
Documents you will need when selling a book of business:
- Bill of Sale
- The buyer is the signer on the checking account
- A list of clients with each carrier
- Letter of Intent written for each individual carrier:
- Must address downlines, commission renewals, and if you as an agent will continue to sell or if you are stepping away completely.
- Be specific on the new principal and their current writing number with each carrier.
- Include both yours and the successors signatures.
- Some carriers may need a list of your clients to make the transfer.
To start the process or get details on the book of business transfer call Senior Marketing Specialists at 800-689-2800.