In 1776, there were countless actions of bravery that helped shaped the future direction of America. The Boston Tea Party, The Boston Massacre, The American Revolution, etc. Now you might be asking yourself why he is talking about the American Revolution in 1776. Let me explain, in 1776 the British were trying to exert control by using a series of repressive actions, such as “Taxation Without Representation” and behavioral modification by limiting or controlling the freedom of speech, ideas and movement. We are all students of history and know that in 1776 there was a movement to stand up as a united group and rebel against the unjust and unfair treatment of the day.
I would contend that there are similar parallels between 1776 and 2021, if you are a captive Farmers Agent. One could argue that the “Taxation without Representation” still exists today, if the word taxation is replaced by commission reduction, contract value reduction and loss of agent equity.
FGI inserted this ingenious little clause in the AAA that commissions are not guaranteed. FGI used to boast that was only in there because they wouldn’t ever be able to raise an agent’s commissions. Now color us stupid, as it hasn’t stopped them in lowering commissions, contract value or agent equity.
Stop and ask yourself a couple of questions. Why are there approximately 4 times as many Independent Agents appointed and licensed by the Exchanges than there are captive agents? Why are the Exchanges reducing or eliminating the exclusive agents across the United States? Why do you continue to see your commission rate, contract value and agency equity dimmish? Why does the new agent program exist where the new agent is a hunter with no office, staff, etc. If you really want an idea of where this is going just look at what is happening at Allstate. FGI won’t be too far behind. I strongly encourage everyone to read about Allstate’s actions towards their agency force. You will see what’s coming. But the Allstate Agent Association is being courageous and fighting back through a variety of options.
Another question is why do Zurich/FGI use Exchange funds to purchase additional companies that do not benefit the agent, Exchanges, or the policyholder? Why don’t they try to grow the Exchanges organically? Could it be that because the Exchanges are losing PIF, year after year, that it provides an additional income stream for Zurich/FGI?
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you ever hope to bring about change or make a difference then join the United Farmers Agents Association, because more voices are needed to effect change. If you think sitting back, doing nothing, and watching it unfold, it will get better you are mistaken. Some of you may not believe that greater numbers can change outcomes, but just look at the courageous individuals in 1776 and other periods of American history.