Scott Thompson
Scott Thompson

A Questionable Non-Compete? Leaving Your Agency With Your Book

So it happened!  You have decided that you want to leave your agency.  Congratulations – you just decided to enter the murky world of non-competes!  What should you do first?  Where should you look?  Below are some answers to your burning questions!

Scan your environment

This is the first thing you should do.  Find knowledgeable people in your environment – recruiters, mentors, spouses – and talk to them about making a move.  Find out what your options are.  50% of the producers I talk to ultimately decide not to make a move.  Why?  They find out that the grass isn’t really greener on the other side.  Typically, I’ve found that if the sole reason you are looking to leave is money then you aren’t going to make a move.  However, if there is another reason that is inhibiting you making money like service or philosophy then you will more than likely make a move. 

Look at your non-compete

I’m not a lawyer and since this is an insurance blog – you (probably) aren’t one too.  You need to take your non-compete to a lawyer for an honest assessment.  Don’t go in thinking that you are going to get out of your non-compete – you probably aren’t.  However, there might be some holes you can take advantage of.  Look for them and exploit them.  The fact of the matter is that most non-competes have something that you can exploit. 

Armed with this knowledge – Make a move!

Talk to different agencies and see if there is a home.  First, focus on fit.  Can you sell there?  Can you sell more there?  Will you be happier?  If the answer is yes – then talk about your non-compete and your options.  One way that I’ve seen people do this is to sign a safe harbor deal.  In this scenario you come up with a base salary and benefits that you can live with that can be jettisoned if your get your book to come over.  Be prepared – rarely do agencies pay you all that you were making to come over without a book.  The top dollar I see is typically in the range of 75% of your compensation with an opportunity to earn more. 

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