Three avenues to growth for MGAs
MGAs have three main avenues to increase revenue, each with separate pathways and unique considerations. Extracting more value out of current lines of business is the most direct avenue for growth, but the pathways of raising rates or writing more business may be unfeasible in certain cases. If rates increase too much, an MGA risks being underpriced by a competitor. For well-established lines, the market may be fully saturated, with no realistic potential to increase sales.
The second avenue for expansion centers on opening new lines of business with current carrier partners or entering new territories with their backing. For the third avenue—the most ambitious and intensive without the right guides to navigate—MGAs can also seek out new carriers with which to launch entirely new programs. To be attainable, these pathways require substantial preliminary research, and there are several considerations MGAs should be aware of before proceeding.
To help, this table illustrates the main considerations for MGAs thinking of expanding through new states, new lines of business, or new programs.
Considerations for MGAs exploring new growth opportunities
The process for MGAs preparing to expand
To open a new line of business or enter a new state, MGAs must do their research. They must scope out prospective competitors, determine how best to distinguish their offering, and identify carrier partners that can support a program in the target market with excellent coverage at competitive prices—and without channel conflicts. All of this must be completed before even writing the business plan.
Once the business plan is written, MGAs must examine their internal operations to ensure they have the right staff to sell, quote, underwrite, and service this new program business. If the team checks all these boxes, then it’s time to establish an agreement with a carrier. This work consists of defining coverage, rates, forms, carrier-specific underwriting needs, commissions, and all other pertinent information to include in the carrier agreement.
Once the carrier agreement is finalized, the work begins with agencies and brokerages. MGAs may need to scope out new or additional retail agencies. through sources such as Neilson Marketing or Program Business.