Non-Profit Insurance Agency
I am new to the community but have an idea that I would like to get feedback on. I am a licensed insurance agent and financial adviser (Series 7&66). I started an independent insurance agency a little less than a year ago mainly because I feel that the industry was in need of a more ethical approach. My goal is to also start a connected RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) but I have not gotten that together yet. Both insurance and money management can be highly lucrative endeavors and , as such, tend to attract individuals that are motivated by making a lot of money. I definitely do not mean to imply that everyone in these fields are unethical but it has been my experience that many are.
My initial focus has been on helping seniors navigate the Medicare system and to help them enroll in the the most competitive Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan available for their particular need. Seniors are often bombarded with a ton of information from carriers and brokers—much of which is misleading and typically endorsing whatever plan is in the carrier/agents financial best interest as opposed to that of the client. While there is a fair amount of nuance in this field, I believe that it is possible to develop a well run online platform focused on transparency that could consolidate a significant portion of the industry.
As an independent agency, I can contract with pretty much every carrier that offers these plans and can thus show clients all of the choices available in their area. For my services, I get paid a commission from the carrier my clients end up choosing. I also receive a commission every year that the client renews their plan (or for a set amount of years depending on the product). This residual structure can lead to what many agents dream of -significant passive income for maintaining your book of business over time. While I am currently focused on health insurance, this basic idea is also true for other forms of insurance as well as money management.
Now that I’ve bored you with the basics of how selling insurance works, let me now get to the point of why I am posting this on the EA forum. I am strongly considering turning my agency into a non-profit and funneling the gains into charities. This appeals to me because it would essentially mean siphoning off the commissions from the insurance and financial and putting them to use helping people. The problem is I know nothing about setting up a non-profit.
While I am currently in my first year of business and, truthfully, struggling to cover my own overhead I believe that I will be able to generate a significant amount of money over time. Frankly, many successful agencies and/or money managers generate incomes far in access of what I feel I need to live a happy life. I have never been an especially money hungry person and landed in this field due to a combination of chance and necessity. But, given that this is now what I do I figure I might as well figure out a way to derive meaning for myself and other.
Another aspect of this that I find compelling is most people are skeptical about brokers and money managers because of their high commissions and fees and are often left wondering whose interests they are actually focused on. Because of this, I think that a non profit agency would be a great ‘selling point’.
Taking the high commissions and fees inherent in the structure of the industry and using them to enhance the health and well being of others I think is a cool idea. That being said, I would love any feedback, recommendations or interests that could help me turn this dream into a reality.