While insurance agency mergers and acquisitions soared by more than 30 percent in 2017, so did agency partnerships for one nationwide network.
Smart Choice, a national network of insurance agencies, reports it grew by 1,160 agencies last year — more than it has in any year since its inception in 1994. Smart Choice now has more than 6,200 agency partners nationwide in 44 states.
The company said it also experienced gross revenue growth of more than 30 percent for the year, up from 18 percent revenue growth in 2016. This makes the third straight year of double digit growth for Smart Choice.
Smart Choice ranks among Insurance Journal’s Top 20 Agency Partnership. For 2016, it reported close to $70 million in revenues and about $570 million in premiums written.
“Thirty percent growth is something everyone here is extremely proud of – we worked really hard this year,” said Andrew Caldwell, president.
The growth spurt wasn’t entirely surprising as Smart Choice added more than 100 new agency partners and more than 20 percent growth in gross commission last January alone, its fastest start to a year ever, the company said.
To keep up, Smart Choice has added three new management positions in the home office, as well as additional staff and territory managers.
Smart Choice offers products and services to its partner agencies, including access to personal, commercial and life insurance markets and management products. It also offers Smart Start, an online platform agencies can use to access markets without an agency appointment. Smart Choice has partnered with 85 nationwide and local carriers.
Smart Choice is a wholly-owned program of Worldwide Insurance Network, Inc., headquartered in High Point, North Carolina.