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Trust, commitment, communication, compatibility: They’re the building blocks for any relationship, whether it’s a friendship, marriage, or the unique bond between an independent agent or broker and the insurers they represent.

But as in any relationship, each partner’s idea of what’s important is different and evolves with time. Sure, it’s easy for an agent to be seduced by a hot commission level and sexy marketing materials. But real relationships survive adversity. How do carriers perform when claims comes through? Are they fickle–do they pull out of markets or regions when things get tough? Do they keep up to date with the latest technology?

Insurers have needs, too. They’re looking for someone with drive and goals, and a solid plan to reach them. Money isn’t everything. The quality of the business counts, too. And what about the future? Agencies with perpetuation plans are more attractive than agencies that just live for today.

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