I was a branch manager for a national auto insurance company for fifteen unhappy months.
I had originally interviewed simply to be an agent, but was offered the branch manager position on my first day of work. The branch manger who interviewed me had quit. This should have been an warning to me, but I was too excited to notice.
My experience was to be a textbook example of how not to run a business. I struggled from the very first day in this position. The sign-up and renewal processes were not automated. The other agents and I had to fill out all paper work by hand. We specialized in no exam life insurance and there was a lot many more forms to fill out for this type of policy than for most others.
It was an very slow and frustrating experience for the agents and the customers. There were times when we had long lines of angry complaining customers. Many times they would get up, leave and never come back. Management never got the message that this rapid and massive customer flight was the fault of the company. They had failed to invest in the technology that would make the customer experience quick and painless.
Despite all of this turmoil, My branch did receive an award for having the greatest number of new sign-ups in a month on three different occasions.
And the lesson is? Do your research on any insurance company that you are interested in working for or doing business with. Go to the company as a prospective customer to see how they actually do business on a day to day basis. Talk to their customers to see if they are happy doing business with the company. Talk to the employees to see if they are happy and if the working conditions are good. Talk to the manager to see if you can stand working for him.
You want to get as clear a picture as possible before you sign-up with an insurance company as agent or as a client. This is the best insurance against a bad insurance experience You sanity depends on it.