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Michael Miller | CEO | Brightway Insurance

The Changing Dynamics of Insurance Industry

“How insurance should be,” is how Michael Miller describes the company he co-founded, Brightway Insurance.
Along with his brother David, he founded Brightway and invented the “you sell, we service” model, empowering Agency Owners to be wildly successful by leveraging a holistic business platform that makes business ownership simple.
One part of that business platform is after-the-sale-service. In Personal Lines insurance, it’s estimated that the agent selling policies spends between 60 and 80 percent of their time servicing existing policies rather than selling new ones. Brightway takes that work away from agents, freeing them up to focus on taking the time to get to know each customer and customizing a package of policies that meets each customer’s unique needs. As a result, Brightway Agents consistently outsell the best independent insurance agents in the country two-to-one.
“While this is a huge leap forward in insurance distribution, we never stop thinking about how we can make insurance better for consumers and make it easier for our agents to sell,” said Miller.
After the introduction of its business model in 2008, the company has grown to become one of the largest Personal Lines Agencies in the U.S. with over 200 franchise locations around the country.
Miller said: “We set out to provide a business opportunity that provides the highest return on investment with the lowest risk in achieving it. Today, we offer insurance franchises throughout the country. Levering our system, our franchisees deliver expert consultation and more choice of insurance companies to every consumer they reach That unmatched value is what we set out to help people provide in their local communities.”
Agency Owners become the insurance experts in their communities and are backed by a growing team of over 250 talented individuals who support each aspect necessary to run a well-oiled independent agency. Brightway’s corporate staff provide expertise in areas including Customer Service, Accounting, Marketing, Distribution, Business Analytics, Carrier Appointments, Licensing, Onboarding, Training, Hiring, and Retaining personnel. The company’s signature after-the-sale service empowers franchise owners to focus on new business sales and provides their customers the personalized service they deserve.
Because of the business support provided to Brightway franchisees, insurance experience is not necessary to be extremely successful. In fact, 53% of Brightway locations are owned and operated by people with no prior insurance experience and four of the six largest Brightway locations are owned by business professionals with no prior insurance background.
Franchisee Michael Hatmaker said: “The Brightway system is designed to perform—and it’s been proven. When I started to follow the system, that’s when we really started to make real strides. The system allows us to grow at a pace that’s beyond anything most people in the insurance industry are used to. Most importantly, the system allows us to provide as much attention as needed to each customer’s needs. So value-added support services like the Service Center and administrative work are certainly key to our success.”
“The support we receive with Brightway is much better than anything we could do on our own.  The brand, while still young, is growing and expanding and that is exciting for all of us,” says Brightway franchisee Maz Ganim, who owns an agency in Cary, N.C.
The company’s latest investment in franchisees and consumers is the hiring of a Chief Technology Officer with over 20 years’ experience in driving innovation in Ecommerce. Bob Hitchcock, CTO, will guide the company’s next generation of technology development and implementation, continuing to improve the consumer and agent experience.
“While this is a business, I think of every franchisee as part of my family and I take their faith in us extremely seriously,” said Miller. “Our collective commitment to franchisees who placed their trust in us is to deliver back to them as much value as possible, helping them and their families achieve their dreams through Brightway agency ownership.”
About the Company
In November, Insights Success Magazine named Brightway one of “The 10 Best Franchises to Open in 2019” and in December, Franchise Business Review named the company a Top Innovative Franchise Brand in 2019, ranking No. 33 on its list of 100 franchise brands.