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Jun 02
Week In Review: June 1, 2023

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May 30
Week In Review: May 26, 2023

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May 23
Get To Know Murphy Riedl


Name: Murphy Riedl

Title: Assistant Underwriter​​

Responsibilities​: Although I am very new to this role within Big I CT, I assist our members with their personal lines book of business, focusing on umbrella policies.

What is one thing you wish members knew about Big I CT? If I could sing the praises of our awesome CE offerings from the rooftops, I would. There are some really neat topics to keep continuing education fun.

What would your ideal weekend look like? A sunny day with a long walk to the coffee shop, running errands with my son, then gardening in the backyard while he runs around. Dinner on the porch with a cocktail to end the day.

Contact Info: mriedl​ or 860-563-1950 Ext. 221.

May 18
Week In Review: May 18, 2023

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May 17
You're In Control


By: Carey Wallace

Over the past 18 months, we have experienced the highest interest rates since 2000, with them peaking at 7.08% in November of 2022. Over one-third of the independent insurance agencies in the U.S. anticipate a change in ownership in the next two years, which means that over 13,300 agencies will transition ownership according to the 2022 Agency Universe Study. Many agency owners plan to transition their ownership to family, children, or a current partner, and if a bank loan is involved the change in interest rates can have a significant impact on the price of their agency and their retirement. Now more than ever, it is important for agency owners that wish to maximize the value of their agency to focus on the things that they can control.

Get Informed

Take a close look at your agency's financial statement and get to know your numbers. Compare your agency's performance to the industry standards to determine the areas where you are lagging behind and the areas that you excel. When you are planning to sell,  a buyer will use these benchmarks to set their expectations on what it will take to run your agency and what profitability they can expect for an agency of your size. For those agencies that are outperforming the benchmarks, the benchmarks can create a discount for your agency. It is in your best interest to know your own proven performance and maximize that performance prior to selling your agency both internally and externally.


The best way to maximize the value of your agency when you are selling is to run your business like you're selling it tomorrow. By removing all discretionary expenses and investing those funds in the growth of your agency, you will position your agency to command the maximum value at the time of your ownership transition. This will allow you to fund the investment in the resources, infrastructure, and technology, and support your agency needs to operate efficiently and be positioned for growth and scale. Common investments can include people, training, technology, and the development of strong operating procedures.  

Transition time

Do not wait until you are ready to walk away to start planning to sell your agency. We are in a relationship business, so you are an important component in the transition of the ownership of your agency. By working through a transition plan to provide a warm handoff of your staff, customers, centers of influence, referral partners, and carrier partners, you will increase the likelihood that those key relationships will stay with the agency. Your recommendation and behavior will speak volumes to the people who have trusted you. They will look to both your actions and your words to determine if they want to continue to do business or work with your successor. If you are not willing to work with them, they may not want to either, and that would be detrimental to the retention of key staff, customers, and ultimately the value of your agency. Plan to spend this time to ensure that you are able to demonstrate your strong support to your successor.

Minimize Risk

Be aware of the risks inside your business and work to reduce those risks prior to your transition. There are three main types of risks: concentration, performance and culture. Consider the areas of your agency that are dependent on one person, one carrier, one relationship. This could be related to a specific area of expertise, risk appetite, or simply a responsibility that you have never opened up to anyone other than a key person inside your agency. Whenever possible look for ways to minimize that risk by exposing multiple people to the customer relationship, invest in training, and document the processes that are handled in all key roles to minimize the delay or confusion should any key employee no longer be part of the team.

Performance Risk

To address risk in performance, it is critical to know the key performance indicators that will impact the value of your agency. You should know what the growth, retention, new business, profitability, and efficiency expectations are for the key roles inside the agency. By knowing these standards, you can work to strengthen the areas of your agency that are weak, and highlight your agency's areas of strength. These performance indicators will serve as a guide for you to where to invest and also provide a way to measure the success of your investments. Too often when technology is implemented there is no way to measure the impact, which makes it hard to know the return on your investment. Think of these performance metrics as ways to measure your ROI.

Culture Risk

The last area of risk is culture. This is the area that many times is the most important as well as the hardest to mitigate. This encompasses how you run your agency, is your sales and service work clearly defined or is it blended roles inside your agency? How do you drive new business to your agency? Is it based solely on referrals, or do you have a well-defined strategy for attracting new clients with a content and marketing strategy? Do you have contracts in place with your staff, or are you at greater risk of losing business if they leave the agency? What is the level of expertise inside your agency when it comes to coverage, technology, automation, and innovation?  Have you created a culture of trust that allows you to embrace change, or do you have a culture in your agency that resists change? All of these factors are important to the continuity of your agency in a transition of ownership. How you lead your team can impact the value of your agency, so think about ways to foster a culture of trust. It will have a positive return.

The compensation structure as well as the benefits package that you provide for your staff is also an area that will impact the value of your agency. When another agency is looking to buy or when the next generation is looking to purchase the agency, the compensation structure will impact the cash flow of the agency. Compensation is the largest controllable expense inside any agency, so if your compensation structure is not in line with the industry standards, it may be difficult to continue and also provide you with the price you expect for your agency. If the incoming owner makes a change to the compensation structure they will be at risk of losing talent and staff that are critical to keeping the customers and relationships with referral partners and carriers. If you want to maximize the value of your agency, you need to embrace a strategy to move your staff to compensation plans that are tied to the growth of your agency long before you plan to transition the ownership of the agency. If you do not make this change inside your agency, and your compensation structure is not in line with industry standards, you need to be realistic in your expectations for the price of your agency.

There are many things you can do to plan for the successful transition of your agency, and it starts with focusing on the factors that will impact the value of your agency that you can control. Well-run agencies will continue to command high multiples regardless of interest rate fluctuations and other factors that are not within our control. By knowing your numbers, focusing on driving profitability and performance inside your agency, and planning ahead, you will maximize your agency's value and be well-positioned when the time comes for you to transition the ownership of your agency.

For more information on how to best prepare for the future of your agency visit or email​

May 16
IMS Partners with Hippo Insurance


Or read on...

In a recent meeting, Independent Market Solutions, LLC (IMS) and Hippo Insurance Company joined forces to provide homeowners with an unparalleled insurance experience. The collaboration aims to revolutionize the way individuals safeguard their homes, combining advanced technology, swift policy processing, and comprehensive coverage. With a focus on specialization, efficiency, and cutting-edge solutions, Hippo Insurance is set to reshape the home insurance landscape. Your agency can sign up today at

Hippo has carved a niche for itself by specializing in one insurance policy the HO3. This specialized policy allows homeowners to protect their property, and possessions, with tailored coverage. By narrowing their focus, Hippo ensures that their offerings are finely tuned to meet the unique needs of homeowners in these specific areas.

One of the most impressive aspects of Hippo is their ability to provide quick and hassle-free quotes. In just 30 seconds, your agency can obtain an accurate quote for your customers' insurance needs. Furthermore, you can bind a policy in under 4 minutes, eliminating the typically lengthy process associated with obtaining coverage. This remarkable efficiency is a testament to Hippo's commitment to streamlining insurance for the modern homeowner. Hippo also recognizes the importance of seamless integration within the insurance ecosystem. They have proactively integrated with numerous Personal Lines Rating Platforms, allowing for easy accessibility and a seamless user experience. This integration empowers homeowners to effortlessly explore their insurance options and select the policy that best suits their needs.

During the meeting, Hippo revealed their targeted expansion plans, with Connecticut (CT) being identified as a state with significant growth potential. By expanding their reach into CT, Hippo aims to offer their innovative insurance solutions to a broader agency plant, enriching homeowners' lives with comprehensive coverage and cutting-edge technology.

One of the most significant advantages for consumers of Hippo is their integration of technology-based loss control. Hippo offers a free SimpliSafe system that utilizes advanced sensors to quickly identify water leaks, fires, and break-ins via the Smart Home endorsement. This technology-driven approach to loss control provides homeowners with an additional layer of security and peace of mind, knowing that their homes are being monitored around the clock.

Hippo Home Care is another standout feature offered to consumers. This innovative service provides homeowners with access to a network of trusted and skilled professionals who can address a range of home-related issues. Whether it's finding a reliable plumber or a qualified electrician, Hippo Home Care ensures that homeowners receive prompt and reliable assistance when needed most.

The partnership between IMS and Hippo marks a significant milestone in the realm of home insurance. With a focus on specialization, efficiency, and cutting-edge technology, Hippo is leading the way in transforming the insurance experience for homeowners and Agents. By offering swift quotes, integrating with rating platforms, leveraging advanced loss control technology, and providing comprehensive home care, Hippo has cemented its position as a trailblazer in the industry.

To embark on a seamless and convenient insurance journey with Hippo and IMS, your agency can sign up today at today. Take advantage of the extraordinary benefits offered by IMS and Hippo by safeguarding your clients' homes with confidence and peace of mind.

May 15
Get to Know Tim Dodge

Tim.jpgName: Tim Dodge

Title: AVP of Research & Information

Responsibilities​: I'm responsible for meeting the members' information needs regarding compliance, licensing, insurance coverages, and other insurance technical subjects. I also teach continuing education classes and create content for the Big I CT website.

What is one thing you wish members knew about Big I CT? The wealth of knowledge we have in-house.

What was your dream job growing up and why? To play guitar in a rock band. That's still what I want to do when I grow up. Music is more fun than insurance.

Contact Info: or 860-563-1950 Ext. 229.

May 12
Week In Review: May 12, 2023

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May 09
Get To Know Terri Yates

Terri.jpgName: Terri Yates

Title: Account Executive

Responsibilities​: I am responsible for the agent's errors and omissions (E&O) renewal process, including sending the agents their applications, quotes and policies. I process certificates of insurance for the agent's E&O. I can help answer questions the agents may have regarding their E&O policy. Also, I have cyber liability, employment practices liability insurance, and fiduciary liability options for the CT agents. I can help them through that application process and then, subsequently, through their renewal process.

What is one thing you wish members knew about Big I CT? The available coverages and markets available to agents through IMS. They have so many options to offer their clients and grown their agency book.

If someone paid you to write a book about anything, what would it be about? My story would be told with photos I would take. Perhaps a coffee table book of things that would tell a story, candid photos of people doing average, every day things.

Contact Info: or 860-563-1950 Ext. 245.

May 05
Week In Review: May 4, 2023

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