FAQs

While we hope you've found all the answers you're looking for within this site, we realise that there are a few questions that don't naturally fall within any of the sections.

Being a self-employed Agent

Can I work part-time?

As you’ll be running your own business, how you manage your time is your own decision. However, the demands of the job dictate that the role is full time and is not suitable for somebody looking to work part-time hours. Please note, where relevant you will be expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per month for the relevant Farming Union.

I am already an insurance intermediary - can I run an NFU Mutual agency alongside my existing business?

No. NFU Mutual operates via a tied agency network through which our products and services are sold, and NFU Mutual members are supported.

In simple terms, what are the implications of being self-employed?

Self-employment means that your contractual relationship with NFU Mutual will be through an Agency Agreement. This clearly sets out both your responsibilities and those of NFU Mutual. Essentially you will be running your own business and be responsible for your tax liabilities. We would recommend that you discuss these aspects with a qualified accountant.

Is my level of income guaranteed?

No, as you would be self employed we cannot guarantee your income. The starting income advertised indicates the level that NFU Mutual would reasonably expect you to earn in the first year, based on the current renewal income of the agency. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll earn less than this in your first year, though it is not a guarantee. After this, your income will be as great as your ambition. It’s worth noting that the advertised income for Group Secretary roles includes the relevant farming union salary, which is based on working 20 hours per month at National Minimum Wage.

What about absences such as sickness or maternity?

As a self-employed person you will not receive maternity rights or sickness benefit. However, NFU Mutual does allow commissioned Agents to draw commission for 8 weeks (increasing to 12 weeks after 5 years service) where absent due to maternity or sickness. We recommend that our Agents make adequate arrangements for sickness and accident insurance.

What is the regulatory position under FCA?

As a commissioned Agent your agency business would be registered with the FCA as an Appointed Representative of NFU Mutual. You will be required to be registered with the FCA as an Approved Person. As such you would be required to meet the FCA Fit and Proper requirements of Integrity, Competency and Solvency. Before your appointment can be confirmed you will need to fill in an FCA questionnaire and complete a solvency check to ensure that your assets exceed your liabilities.

What support will I have from my Farming Union and NFU Mutual to succeed?

While we want you to run the agency as your own business, you will have the reassurance of being backed by NFU Mutual which has a clear intent to grow all aspects of its business within a defined target customer base. Support is on hand via a regional team of Sales Managers, Sales Development Consultants and Quality Development Consultants, as well as a raft of support from our Head Office in Stratford-upon-Avon.

In addition, you’ll be supported in your Farming Union responsibilities by regional farm policy advisers, membership and public relations staff, and by a County Advisor assigned to your office. There is also plentiful support available through the NFU Headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire; NFU Scotland Headquarters in Ingliston, Midlothian or Ulster Farms Union Headquarters in Belfast.

Within your first three months you will be expected to attend NFU Mutual’s New Agents Induction Workshop. This is an interactive and informative three-day workshop covering many business areas that you as a new Agent will find essential. It is hosted by business related speakers / Agents and takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon. It will outline the help and support that is available to you as you embark upon your new career. It’s also an excellent opportunity to build a network group with your fellow new Agents and to share ideas with each other.

Why does NFU Mutual operate through a self-employed commissioned network?

We believe that in order to drive our business forward, our Agents need to be in control of investing in and growing and developing a valuable local business in an entrepreneurial way. Your income will come from the commission earned by the agency and as this is unlimited you can increase your income in accordance with the growth of the agency business.

Will I need to recruit and be responsible for my own staff?

Most of NFU Mutual’s agencies are fully established offices with a current team of staff. When you’re appointed as an Agent, you take over the position as their employer under TUPE regulations. Going forward you will be responsible for recruiting and managing your team as their employer, including performance management and financial arrangements such as Pay as you earn (PAYE) and National Insurance (NI). We recommend that you discuss these aspects with a qualified accountant.

The role and its link with Farming Unions

How does the role of Agent and Farming Union Group Secretary / UFU Group Secretary fit together?

Alongside your appointment as a self-employed NFU Mutual Agent, in which you manage your Agency and sell insurance products and introduce financial services, many of our Agents also represent and champion British farming locally for the Farming Unions - it’s a partnership that is beneficial to farmers, to the Unions and to NFU Mutual.

In the role of Group Secretary or Group Manager for Northern Ireland, you will be employed by the Farming Union to support its members - informing, organising and acting as a champion for your local farming community.

You’ll make meaningful - and potentially profitable - connections with farmers, growers, stakeholders and the rural community at large. You’ll represent your local agricultural community, sharing expertise and standing up for the countryside, developing relationships, and playing a valuable role in sustaining the UK’s agricultural industry.

What will be my Farming Union responsibilities?

As a Group Secretary you’ll ensure that the Union connects in a relevant way with farmers, growers, stakeholders and the rural community. Building the Union’s profile, you’ll manage membership and the related potential membership income, attend meetings and events, and provide assistance and direction for members to help solve their farm business problems. You’ll gain and share knowledge and provide information on the Union’s policy priorities and membership services.

The recruitment process

I don’t have a farming background - can I still apply?

Experience of - or an affinity with farming and rural matters - puts you at a distinct advantage, especially when it comes to Agent roles that include a Group Secretary or Group Manager position.

However, if you feel you have the right skills and experience, why not apply? We are happy to consider applications from candidates who do not have a farming background. If you’re ready to join the rural community and can demonstrate your conviction, our comprehensive training and support programme will help you find your feet.

Of course, you’ll need to show that you’ve got the right combination of skills and experience for the role, and how you plan to keep learning beyond your farm familiarisation. After all, the role is centred on the farming industry and so a genuine understanding of how the industry operates is essential.

I don’t have any insurance experience, is it worth me applying?

Of course experience in insurance gives you a head start, and will make you stand out from the crowd. However, what’s more important is your ability to build strong relationships and manage your team. We welcome candidates with sales and sales management experience from any industry, as full insurance training will be provided.

What is the dress code for the assessment process?

Business dress. 

Will there be any group exercises during the assessment day?

No. Each element to the day is assessed individually. The day involves three individual exercises and a competency-based interview.