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How to Become an Approved Vendor for Insurance Companies

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Insurance-company vendors provide insurers with everything from carpets to computers and from roof repairs to new vehicles. Like many large companies, the big insurers have procedures for picking vednors of services and products. As each company has its own process, you'll have to apply separately to each insurer you're interested in doing business with. Rather than waiting until there's a job to bid on, you're better off applying ahead of any jobs. Many insurers choose their vendors from a database of registered businesses. To be considered, you have to be in the database.

Contact the insurer you're interested in and learn the registration procedure. Allstate requires that you register online through Equifax, for example, while MetLife uses Ariba eSourcing. USAA has a proprietary registration system.

Complete the registration paperwork. To fill out forms for Aetna, for example, you need to enter your company name and the services you provide and your tax identification number. Aetna also wants to know whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or some other structure.

Present any qualifications you have to be considered under a diversity program. Many insurers make a point of giving extra consideration to minority-owned businesses or businesses run by women. To prove your status, you may be required to register with an organization such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council or the Small Business Administration.

Wait to hear from the company that it has an opening for you. The company may contact you directly and tell you that it's interested in buying what you have to sell. Alternatively, the insurer may contact you and ask you to submit a competitive bid for an upcoming job.