Avoya Travel recently launched a program where it will provide sales leads through a special internal program to agent members only if they operate as limited liability companies (LLC) and have their own errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
While Nexion president Jackie Friedman sees the value in separating out personal and business assets, and providing insurance coverage, she said that the host agency doesn’t see the reason to incentivize member agencies to do so. “We take a slightly different position. We certainly want agents to take an informed decision. We let them know what their options are and urge them to contact their professionals.”
For example, Nexion provides education on subjects like insurance and incorporation at its annual conference, she noted, and through other means.
Last month, Van Anderson, co-president and co-founder at Avoya, told TMR that years of data collection and analysis indicate that doing so correlates with an agency being more successful.
Friedman said Nexion hasn’t drawn the same conclusion through its observations. “I don’t necessarily see whether it leads to an agency being more professional,” she said. “Sometimes choices like incorporation are more about where an agent is in their travel career. They may want to be a sole proprietor. Over time they might switch. Sometimes, when they are new they might think they are ready for that.”
However, she believes that incorporating and obtaining insurance are smart choices. “If I were asked to make a personal recommendation, I would strongly urge an agent to separate their business from personal assets. But this is a complex decision,” she said.
Nexion does ”strongly recommend” its member obtain insurance. “We have partners who they can speak to,” she said.