Connexion

Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance Producers commonly have questions about how Connexion works. Here are answers to a few common questions.

What is a General Agency?
A general agency is an insurance agency that partners with various insurance carriers to market and distribute their products to producers and brokers. We are experts on various product portfolios, underwriting guidelines, eligibility, rates, and all other relevant carrier information. Technically, we are a producer entity in the state of Washington, where there is no statute for general agency. Another term for our structure is an Independent Marketing Organization or, from a carrier’s perspective,a Field Marketing Organization (FMO), providing carriers access to a field sales force (Connexion affiliated producers) in our market.

As a General Agency, what are you responsible for?
Our main responsibility is communication. Whether it is staying up-to-date on changes in benefits, underwriting or rating structure, our job is to get that information to you. We are also your resource for education and training for products or continuing education credits.

Services we provide:
• maintain appointments with multiple carriers
• provide quotes and proposals
• answer technical product questions
• assist producers with sales presentations and new policy implementation
• process the initial plan enrollment, keep the producer updated on the status, and negotiate with the carrier's underwriting team

How does Connexion make money?
In many cases, Connexion is compensated by the carrier in the form of an override on business sold through us. The general agency method is a cost-effective distribution system since the carrier does not have to pay for any of the above-mentioned services unless a group is sold and placed through the general agency. This override is completely separate from the producer's commission, and affiliated producers maintain Producer of Record status. In some cases, Connexion does not have a general agency appointment with the carrier and a small portion of the producer's commission will be taken out to help cover the cost of the general agency services.

What is my compensation?
Connexion offers competitive commissions with street-level commission rates offered on most carriers and products. As stated above, for carrier appointments with no general agency override, Connexion will retain a small portion of the producer's compensation to cover general agency costs for services we provide to you. At times we will have bonus programs where you can earn extra compensation for specific sales or performance.

Why shouldn't I get an appointment with a carrier directly?
In most cases, Connexion offers street-level commissions as if you were appointed directly but with extra service and sales support. Also, some carriers have minimum production requirements to allow a producer to maintain an appointment. This can limit the options you present to your clients. By using Connexion's appointment you are not subject to production requirements and are free to use a wider variety of carriers in your business. Connexion provides the administrative support that you wouldn't get with a direct appointment.

If I affiliate, what's in it for me?
Affiliate with Connexion and you can sell multiple lines of group and individual medical, life, disability and financial products. You can also offer products for Medicare, LTC, critical illness, voluntary and even certain human resource services. We'll get you up to speed on new products and services with our training, certification and ongoing education for product lines and service partners. Connexion also simplifies administration. Access our online system and management tools to help you coordinate workflows. By centralizing the quote and commission process for your business, you can focus your attention on sales and retention.

What is your relationship with Premera?
Connexion Insurance Solutions is a member of the Premera family of companies. We are not a licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield association and we are responsible for our own products and services. As a general agency, Connexion provides service to producers, much like Premera does. However, Connexion-affiliated producers have no minimum production requirements for Premera products and remain independent. Connexion’s agreements with other carriers prohibit us from sharing product or underwriting knowledge with Premera, and our agreement with Premera works in the same way.

What if Connexion doesn't offer a carrier appointment that I want to include in my business?
Connexion is willing to review the market's need for good carrier options for our producers. If you have a case that you would like to write with a carrier that is not on the Connexion Commission Schedule as posted on our web site, please contact Licensing@connexioninsurance.com or call 800-228-5798 to see if this is something that can run through Connexion.

What is your turnaround time for quotes?
Turnaround times vary widely depending on the product lines we have, but for the most part, we strive to turn quotes around within three business days. If a quote is expected to take longer, we let you know as soon as we know. Our GroupQuote system (launched October 2013 with Premera Blue Cross small group products) offers real-time access to carrier rating engines to allow you to input your group census and receive the fastest quotes possible in a self-service fashion. We periodically add new carriers/productsto the GroupQuote system.

What do I need to do to become affiliated?
Connexion can send you an affiliation packet through e-mail. You'll need a copy of your state producer's license, proof of $1 million E&O Insurance and a few forms to fill out including an agreement, a W-9 and an ACH form so we can pay you. We also need to pay the state a $20 fee for adding you to our agency. Our checklist helps step you through what is needed and you can contact us at Licensing@connexioninsurance.com with any questions. Once we receive your completed information, it takes up to 10 business days to complete.

Should I affiliate as an Individual Producer or an Entity Producer?
Generally, if you are the only producer working for your company, we recommend you affiliate as an Individual Producer. If there is more than one producer, we recommend affiliating as an Entity Producer.

How do I complete a Producer contract?
Individual Producer: The Producer Agreement and Exhibit B need to be set up in the individual producer's name. If you want commissions paid to the agency, then complete the W9 and ACH forms in the business name. Follow the checklist for additional items needed for affiliation.

Entity Producer: the Producer Agreement and Exhibit B need to be set up with the entity's (agency's) name. Exhibit A will need to be completed for each individual producer with the agency.

Is an ACH (automated clearing house payment processing) required to receive commission payments?
Yes, our business is conducted largely online and via electronic processes; there is no risk to you as the ACH is used only to pay commissions, and never to draw any monies.

What is involved with the Errors & Omissions (E&O) Requirement for affiliation?
Your documentation of your E&O Insurance needs to include your name as a producer on the contract or the contract needs to state that all employees of your agency are covered. The Producer Agreement contains more details about the E&O coverage requirements.

What happens once I send in a completed affiliation kit?
If you are accepted for affiliation, you will receive a welcome email from Connexion. At that time (if you didn't already have a direct appointment), you will immediately have the ability to write business with our affiliated companies for the state(s) in which you are licensed including WA, OR, ID, and AK. Immediate access includes Premera Blue Cross of WA, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, and USAble Life. Please note: Medicare and LTC sales require additional certifications.

You can then complete a checklist that is attached to the email and return it to Connexion, letting us know what other carriers you are interested in selling. We will then send you the additional contracting paperwork required for those appointments. If you have questions, you can contact Licensing@connexioninsurance.com or call us toll free at 800-228-5798