What Is an Independent Insurance Agent?

Most consumers realize that an insurance agent can be a tremendous asset both when they are searching for the right insurance policies for them and their family and when they actually experience an insurable incident and need to file a claim. But what many consumers do not realize is that there are two different types…

Most consumers realize that an insurance agent can be a tremendous asset both when they are searching for the right insurance policies for them and their family and when they actually experience an insurable incident and need to file a claim. But what many consumers do not realize is that there are two different types of insurance agents that may deal with-captive agents and independent insurance agents. Here is a brief description of each type of agent:

  • Captive agents are insurance agents who represent and write policies for just one insurance company. If the insurer that they are captive with has subsidiaries, the agent may be able to write policies for those affiliates as well, but they can not write insurance policies for insurance companies outside of that corporate family.
  • Independent insurance agents are not held captive to any single insurance company. This means they can write insurance policies with many different, completely unrelated, insurers and they can compare the rates and the policy types of many different insurance companies when helping you find a policy. This freedom gives them the ability to offer you a much wider selection of insurance options than a captive agent might be able to. And that's not just important when you initially shop for insurance, it can also come into play every year when certain types of policies need to be renewed, because policy renewals offer you another chance to compare rates and policies and make sure the one you renew still fits your needs.

Just because an agent is independent rather than captive, that does not mean that he or she can immediately sell the insurance policies of any insurer. An agent must be licensed and appointed with an insurer before they can sell their product. That means that if you ask an independent agent to give you the details about a certain policy you saw insurer A advertise during a television campaign, they may not be able to if they are not already licensed and appointed with that insurer. However, it is reliably easy for an independent agent to become appointed with another insurer, and your agent might be open to doing so if you can not offer you.

An independent agent is not just helpful in finding a variety of affordable premium rates for you; they can also help find the best combination of insurance policy benefits. For example:

  • There are many different riders and types of policies that an insurer can offer. Independent agents have a better opportunity to find a policy with riders that suit your needs.
  • Underwriting standards can differ by insurance company which can make certain insurers a better fit. As an example, let's think about life insurance. Some insurers consider everyone who has inhaled any tobacco product over the past two years to be a smoker, and charges them smoking rates. Some insurance companies, however, consider the occasional cigar smoker to be a non-smoker for purposes of promotions. These underwriting differences between companies do not just affect your promotions, they can make the different between a policy being approved or declined.
  • A captive agent is stuck with one insurer if they have a great rating through insurance rating company AM Best or a bad rating. An independent agent can avoid selling policies from financially unstable and poorly rated company.
  • Independent insurance agents are often involved in helping their clients get a claim check after an insurable incident. As such, they often know which companies make the claims process easy and pay quickly and which might be a little more difficult to navigate.

When choosing the agent that you want to buy insurance with, be sure to consider the differences between these captive and independent insurance agents. The decision to buy an insurance policy is an important one, and the choice of an agent can be as important a part of the process as picking the policy itself.

Convert Insurance Prospects to Policies in 3 Minutes or Less

Insurance is a tough business. With federal and state regulations it can be challenging to put the marketing into action that you really desire. The ease of the internet has enabled customers to shop rates in minutes. Why can not these people understand there is so much more to insurance than just the best price?…

Insurance is a tough business. With federal and state regulations it can be challenging to put the marketing into action that you really desire. The ease of the internet has enabled customers to shop rates in minutes. Why can not these people understand there is so much more to insurance than just the best price?

Do not they understand that they get what they pay for? Do not they understand that saving $ 20 annually could cost them $ 1,000's of dollars when it comes time to make a claim? With the national insurers throwing millions of dollars weekly on commercials it can seem challenging to convert prospects because they only ever seem concerned about price!

Instead of competitiveness on price or throwing your money away on building your “brand” I invite you to consider a different method. Do not let your prospects control the call anymore. Each lead that calls or emails you is valuable, when you have the right approach.

There are not good leads or bad leads, there are just leads. With the right scripts for your insurance prospects you will have them eager to sign up for home, auto and even life insurance policies. Transforming these prospects into policies does not involve the hard sell; it merely requires asking the right questions.

  1. Stop Statement – It's natural for a prospect to ask about price. Price is the main item that people use to compare insurance companies. When they call asking for what the cost is for “X” type of insurance I invite you to stop them. Put yourself in control of the call by stopping them from asking questions. Although there are dozens of stop statements, you could use something as simple as “let me look up the price of X. While I look that up …” The quicker you stop them from asking the questions the quicker you will get the policy sale.
  2. First Question – Instead of using a tired insurance sales script that talks about protection or safety, ask a probing question. Ask a question that you reveal their level of expertise. Do not try to qualify the prospect, just ask a simple question that uncovers their need for insurance. It could be a simple interest piquing question like “Is this your first time shopping for insurance?” Keep it simple and keep control.
  3. Value Question – Most insurance agents get stuck and go into pitch mode after they ask their first question. Instead of telling the prospects about your different levels of coverage consider asking them a question that other agents would be scared to. Ask them a question that piques their interest and makes it irresistible for them to take the next step. It could be something as simple as “are you aware there is a $ 15 item that can save you money on your home insurance?” (Ie braided lines on washing machines result in a discount for many insurers).

Converting insurance prospects into policies will go quickly when you use stop statements, ask a powerful first question and ask an irresistible interest piquing question. Putting these three simple steps into action will have you selling more policies with each phone call.

Discover insurance sales scripts converted into interest piquing questions that get you the policy today. Free 5 day, video powered course to help you double your sales in just 5 days – www.QuestionsThatSell.com

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Insurance Agent

Waiting on the phone to ring and writing a good insurance package for your clients is not enough in today's world of competitive insurance companies. With just a few tips, you can easily rake in six figures with a plan, dedication to your profession and hard work. Education Perhaps your life has not always been…

Waiting on the phone to ring and writing a good insurance package for your clients is not enough in today's world of competitive insurance companies. With just a few tips, you can easily rake in six figures with a plan, dedication to your profession and hard work.

Education

Perhaps your life has not always been geared towards selling insurance but that does not mean that you can not be the best once this is the road you wish to take. Business classes and insurance seminars are a must to learn the business and to stay on top of the challenges that insurance companies face. Never stop studying and knowing what is coming down the road so you can make the best choices for your clients.

Select a Focus

Do not just offer a variety of homeowners, health, life or medical types of coverage but take one area and really hit it hard. Specializing in a particular insurance coverage will not only build a reputation among those that you have written but will also give you unlimited opportunities to educate the public and to pick up more business. Focus on professional organizations, offering free seminars and speaking to groups of employees and share your knowledge of what they need to know about your selected area of ​​insurance. Your students will always remember certain facts and know where to turn.

Marketing

A business card is nice but never let the fish get away! Jot down ideas throughout the month and deliver monthly newsletters to all of your prospects by email or brochures through the mail. Make your information entertaining and resourceful so that possible and existing clients will look forward to your presentation every month.

Offer Choices

Many individuals do not appreciate an insurance agent telling them that only one policy is right for them. People like to be involved in the process, especially with something as personal as insurance. Select three separate plans that are appropriate for your client and allow them to be a part of the final decision. They will walk away with a new plan and feel good about knowing that it is the best for their needs.

Get Personal

Insurance is a business that requires discretion and being able to win a client's trust. It is difficult for your insured to trust you with their needs when they never see you. Always have a planner and keep it filled with appointments to meet with your existing clients at least twice a year. If your schedule becomes overwhelming, make a phone call. Any type of personal contact is better than none.

Learn to stay involved with the people who are paying you for a service and they will send their friends and neighbors to you. Many businesses do not even have a face behind a policy today and soon wonder why clients are not loyal to good coverage from their insurance company.

If you follow the above tips, I have no doubt you will become a successful insurance agent. All that is left is for you to execute.

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Good Insurance Sales Strategies

Sales strategies in the insurance industry can be a tough game if you're new to the field. Selling insurance can be tough, because it's an intuitive product. And often, if it's life insurance, you're not even there to get the payout if a claim is made! Here are some of the top insurance sales strategies…

Sales strategies in the insurance industry can be a tough game if you're new to the field. Selling insurance can be tough, because it's an intuitive product. And often, if it's life insurance, you're not even there to get the payout if a claim is made!

Here are some of the top insurance sales strategies in use these days. Use them to sell more insurance, or use them to be able to make sure the guys selling it do not sucker you into buying more than you need!

1. Use the phrase: “Check out these results” to get your clients attention, and show then evidence of your success with the product and other peoples testimonials.

2. Use the phrase: “This plan is designed specifically for you” to make it personal. Many insurance sales are made because the emotional buttons are targeted. Hit them on the head when you make it personal for each customer or client.

3. Use the phrase: “And this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are so many other ways you win” to make the deal seem like the best thing on earth. Hey, you can only talk so fast, so it stands to reason that if this thing is so good you've just got to choose some of the best stuff to tell your customer. This keeps them interested to hear more.

4. Say something like: “This product is backed by extensible research”. Keep your customers reassured by letting them know that the experts are on the job. If there's been good research done by leaders in the field you're sure to gain more credibility.

5. Tell a story about yourself. Say something like: “Based on my personal experience” and follow with an example of how things were bad for you, until you did something different and things worked out well. This encourages the person you're speaking with to see how you and he are the same in some way, and they bought to try something different because you did, and things worked out well!

6. Make sure to mention how you've been quoted in a famous location. Something like “As seen on TV” is a popular method. Or: “As seen on Oprah” is another one that's used frequently. Garner more authority by letting others think you've got an association with someone famous, or in the know.

You can make some great strategies by blending the above, and think of some of your own too. Happy selling!

Quality of Business Takes the Limelight

As with all Companies, the quality of trade is the most vital aspect in keeping high-quality trade. I see quality in three levels. Each one of these phases affects your profits, particularly your renewals. Stage 1 One of the most decay phase for an Agent's profitability is when the application is taken to the field.…

As with all Companies, the quality of trade is the most vital aspect in keeping high-quality trade. I see quality in three levels. Each one of these phases affects your profits, particularly your renewals.

Stage 1
One of the most decay phase for an Agent's profitability is when the application is taken to the field. No struggle is intense enough to salvage a deal that should not have been sold to begin with. This comes along to inexpensive needs-based selling. Do the services fit the needs of the applicable, plus are they inexpensive to the applicant? Take into account, while it may be reasonable in the beginning, the plan also needs to maintain value in the eyes of a policyholder in the foreseeable future as well. So, underselling can cause a belief that if ever the fee of a policy is inexpensive, maybe it holds less usefulness. The needs-based laptop display is targeted directly to sales agent profitability!

Important to quality is following appropriate processes. Has the paperwork been answered entirely, truthfully, and precisely? If required, were the proper questions submitted? Does the applicant understand the lifetime obligation to offer to the monthly payment? Do you think you're reviewing a specimen policy to help the applicant understand the deal when received? Did you prepare the applicant for the potential of being rated or denied? Managers and sales leaders, how often do you retrain the fundamentals and ideas of needs-based affordable sales?

Stage 2
Once the application is brought into an agency office, the second phase of the quality process begins. Is management reviewing the paperwork for correctness and completeness? Are mistakes made by other agents used in the training process for all to learn from? Are the sales managers reviewing the specifics of the presentation that occurred while in the home? Is the Agency office verification process set up to determine the eligibility, the affordability, the benefit knowledge, along with the long-term commitment of an applicable?

Stage 3
When the application is dispatched to Home Office, and assuming it completes the ongoing process, it becomes issued. We have now entered the third stage of this quality process. Does your agency possess a written policy on policy delivery? Have you been trained on handling rated cases? At the end of the work week, are you and your manager reviewing your advance report, and now have you been thoroughly engaged in reading and interpreting the action items? Action items are losses in the advance report, ie lapses, cancels, withdraws, incompletes, Declines and NTOs. Are you printing out any action items from the weekly advance report and contacting the policyholder that week to view what we could do to get the policy back on the books?

Working lapses the minute they surface in your advance report then getting the information reinstated results in your long-term profitability. The faster you speak to the policyholder, the more likely they're to reinstate. Many lapsed policies are purely due to bank moves. Set up an appointment to come to the policyholder's house to resell the policy, get new banking information, and / or gather the premium along with a good health statement. If you are unable to call the policyholder by phone, make use of the lapse as a “door knock.” You've a vastly good grounds to stop at the home, and be sure to demonstrate your honest concern for the welfare of the household in the event anything happens to the insured.

There are more facets involved in quality and its relationship with profitability. Still, probably the most important feature in your long term profitability is acceptable point-of-sale competency. Work well together with your manager plus State general agent, and then get ready for those (additional) renewals!

The Truth About The Insurance Broker

An insurance broker plays such a big role in our society and that is because over the last decade insurance and the business of insurance has really boomed. Insurance, which was an unheard of concept in the past, is now an everyday topic. Companies now offer cover for almost all aspects of our lives. From…

An insurance broker plays such a big role in our society and that is because over the last decade insurance and the business of insurance has really boomed. Insurance, which was an unheard of concept in the past, is now an everyday topic. Companies now offer cover for almost all aspects of our lives. From motor plans to health plans to the insurance of pets and even body parts, it seems that there is not an aspect of life that the insurance market has not managed to capitalize on. Now when the need for such extensive coverage is necessary is debatable, but it is true that selling of insurance does not serve as a major security blanket for millions of people. If you were ever in a car accident or if your house was burgled and you could claim against your insurance you would know what a relief it was to have that cover.

Now the broker is usually the face behind the insurance industry. These agents can be considered to be the middle man between the insured and the insurance provider, and their roles are many, at some moments acting as agents at other moments as facilitators and negotiators.

A broker may either work for an insurance company or independently for him- or herself. When an insurance broker works for a particular company, he is not, strictly speaking, a broker but an insurance agent. He sells different products which are on offer by the company for which he works. And he is only allowed to sell their products. An insurance broker on the other hand, works as an independent body, and who is an expert in the field. In this role, he will search the market and scout for an insurance product which best suits your needs from a number of different companies. He usually has a list of insurance companies with which he works, and then acts as a mediator and facilitator between you and the company.

An insurance broker is either paid a full salary by the company, or is paid a wage and a percentage in commission, or he is paid on a commission only basis. Broker fees can be high, depending on various factors, such as if he works independently etc.

How does the broker help you?

When you visit an insurance agent and you have the need to insure something, this person will obtain the best quotes of different policies on the market. He or she will then explain the benefits or disadvantages of the different policies, he has found for you. The agent will explain in detail what the fine print means before you buy a particular product.

Insurance brokers also have access to special rates and deals, which you as an individual will not be able to get for yourself. So in order to get the best deals and the best cover, speak to an insurance agent to get expert advice.

Why Do I Want To Use A Broker?

If you have ever been in the insurance business, either as a client or an employee, you will have heard about brokers and possibly even deal with them on a regular basis. Brokers seem to crop up all over the place, in banking, insurance, medical aids, pretty much anywhere where personal finance is involved. So…

If you have ever been in the insurance business, either as a client or an employee, you will have heard about brokers and possibly even deal with them on a regular basis. Brokers seem to crop up all over the place, in banking, insurance, medical aids, pretty much anywhere where personal finance is involved. So what are the advantages of doing your insurance through a broker?

They are professionals. This means that they deal with the ins and outs of finance every day, all day. Since they are constantly involved, they know all the loops and hoops that financial institutions can make you jump through to get what you need. So instead of having to re-attempt your registration or application half a dozen times because they neglected to ask you for a certain document that is absolutely vital for your application to be processed, you will get all the information from a broker at once and will be able to allow them to put in your application on your behalf.

They are experienced. Any brokers that have been in the finance game for any period of time will know about the loop holes that allow you to get a lower premium. They can also give you advice on how to make your risk profile as low as possible. The lower your risk profile, the lower your promotions after all. Brokers will be able to give you a list of things to have installed in your car to give it a less risky insurance profile and what type of security measures to install in your house that will have the same effect on your home risk profile.

They have contacts. Most brokers do not work for just one finance company. They will have relationships with a number of insurance companies, banks and medical aids. This means that you can consolidate your insurance under one roof. The advantage of this is that it often decreases your costs as you do not have to pay three or four debit orders (which banks charge you for). You can often get a lower rate by having all your personal finance consolidated as well.

They care. Brokers care about your wellbeing much more than a large company would be able to. They are able to develop a personal relationship with you and care for you needs. They will advise you on what you actually need, not what advertising would lead to believe you need, but is actually way more than you need. This tactic can also save you a lot of unnecessary expenditure.

In short, brokers can make your life a lot easier and less stressful by dealing with companies on your behalf. You can save yourself a lot of money by using brokers as they can advise you of what you actually need, not what personal finance companies would like you to think you need. Brokers can also help you develop a lower risk profile which in turn lowers your promotions, all you have to do is ask.

Cautions To Insurance Brokers

You must have often read about insurance companies and their insurance brokers. Everyone punts insurance brokers as a great way of getting insurance coverage that is suited to you. So being an insurance broker may be a very lucrative career option. What needs to be done to become an insurance broker? The one major requirement…

You must have often read about insurance companies and their insurance brokers. Everyone punts insurance brokers as a great way of getting insurance coverage that is suited to you. So being an insurance broker may be a very lucrative career option. What needs to be done to become an insurance broker?

The one major requirement is to have a matric or matric equivalence qualification. You do not need any special tertiary education though there are a few things that would help you along your way.

Insurance brokers are primarily salesmen. Taking a few courses in sales tactics may well help you to make the sales you need to make ends meet. This also means that you need to be an extrovert, you need to be a people's person. You need to be able to relate to people and empathise with their needs. You also need to be able to listen to what your potential clients are saying to you about what kind of insurance they need.

Insurance is also a financial field. This means that having a degree in economics or business can help you to understand people's needs with regard to insurance and financial security. Most insurance companies will not even consider hiring people as insurance brokers if they do not have a relevant degree. Having a degree is not the be all and end all, a degree mostly means that you are capable of learning and have a talent for business and finance.

According to law, any person who intends to offer financial advice to other people and be paid for it has to have a financial advisors license. You could be sued should someone you have advised to purchase certain insurance policies or stocks or follow any financial advice given by you and fallen prey to bankruptcy.

Insurance brokers should also give careful consideration to what insurance companies you offer insurance policies from. The companies should have a good reputation and will willing to pay out the claims made by your clients in a timeous manner. Should any client have a complaint about their insurance policies or the service received from their insurance company it is mostly up to you to sort out the problem to your client's satisfaction.

Any insurance broker worth their salt will take very good care of their client's needs and sort out their issues with their insurance companies on their behalf so that they do not have to go through the trouble of trying to wade through the red tape of sorting out problems with claims and changing of any details.

People who are considering looking to an insurance broker for financial advice on insurance policies should definitely check that the brokers that they investigate and consider as a professional partner in a financial relationship are well qualified for the job. They must be licensed financial advisor and have sound knowledge of finance and economics. They should only represent reputable insurance companies who pay claims fairly and timeously. Always take the time to do research on the people you intend to take financial advice of any kind from.

Medicare Supplement Leads Generation – Old Methods Versus Modern

Generating Medicare Supplement leads is perhaps the most crucial part of the business. Certain methods have been around for years and there are agents who claim that those methods still work. The reality is that while older methods may produce some small profit, modern methods of Medicare supplement leads generation are proving to be a…

Generating Medicare Supplement leads is perhaps the most crucial part of the business. Certain methods have been around for years and there are agents who claim that those methods still work. The reality is that while older methods may produce some small profit, modern methods of Medicare supplement leads generation are proving to be a better option.

Getting Medicare Leads The Old Way

Early on in the business, Medicare supplement leads included pretty much anyone who owned a home. The logic was that since all people who owned a home could potentially benefit from the protection that this insurance could provide, it was worth the try to get in touch with as many people as possible.

According to the old math and old statistics, approximately every 10 Medicare supplement leads could equal around three appointments. Out of approximately every three appointments, you should average about one sale. The old method of generating Medicare supplement leads including cold calling, obtaining referrals from friends or family, publishing ads, using direct mail, and networking with everyone you meet. It was a tiring and time-consuming process to earn a significant income that was then reinvested into marketing.

Getting Medicare Leads The Modern Way

There are two modern methods used today to gain Medicare Supplement leads. The first is to purchase Medicare leads and the second is to join an organization that provides agents with quality leads. Both methods can easily be done online. These may seem like similar approaches at first glance, but they are actually quite different.

Purchasing Medicare supplement leads will provide a list of prospects quickly and easily. Once you have the list, it is up to you to follow up on inquiries and requests for quotes. There is no other support, training or assistance and you are pretty much left to close sales on your own. You still need to market your business and establish credibility.

Joining a venture can improve your chances that your list of prospects is up to date. By teaming with an established company online, credibility is already established. Support and a refreshed source of Medicare supplement leads is provided on a regular basis. Most of the marketing is done for you so that you can spend most of your time on appointment setting and actually meeting with potential buyers.

What is the Best Way to Gain Medicare Leads?

In terms of time management, the age-old cold calling, friend referral method comes in third place compared to modern methods. It would take more than 50 hours a week to find Medicare supplement leads, set appointments and land enough sales to make any significant money at all.

Considering financial investment, the older methods come at last place as well. The money it cost for design work and copy writing on direct mail ads, newspaper ads, calling cards, can drain a good portion of commission income. Purchasing Medicare supplement leads can also be a financial strain, as you may need to continue to invest in updated lists in addition to traditional marketing methods.

Joining an existing network of agents can give you steady access to ready Medicare supplement leads on a consistent basis, and the money you would use on advertising will be dramatically reduced. Your time will be sent on appointment setting and meeting with potential buyers.

Clearly, modern is the way to go.

Medicare Supplement Leads Simplified

Finding Medicare supplement leads does not have to be complicated. There are generally two major methods of generating Medicare supplement leads that can turn into a profit. These are direct mail leads and Internet leads. By understanding how each one works you can determine which method will be more practical and effective for you. Types…

Finding Medicare supplement leads does not have to be complicated. There are generally two major methods of generating Medicare supplement leads that can turn into a profit. These are direct mail leads and Internet leads. By understanding how each one works you can determine which method will be more practical and effective for you.

Types of Leads

Direct mail is the traditional method used in generating Medicare supplement leads. With this method, bundles of cards are sent to people's mailboxes in a target area. Those homeowners who are interested in learning more about what you have to offer reply with updated contact information. It is then up to you, the salesperson, to follow up on these Medicare supplement leads and set up appointments that will hopefully end in sales. You must invest in the design, copy writing and postage for these cards if you hope to get a response.

Purchasing internet Medicare supplement leads is slightly different. When you register with a Medicare leads generation service, you gain access to a long list of prospects almost immediately. There is no need to wait for reply cards to be returned and there is no risk of precious Medicare leads getting lost in the mail. You are free to pursue those Medicare supplement leads and set appointments as soon as possible. There is a fee required for access to these hundreds of Medicare supplement leads, but you do not have to spend as much on marketing.

You can also become an affiliate agent of an online group that offers access to Medicare supplement leads. You can not only lean on the credibility of an established agency, but you can benefit from incentives. Training and support are available to help you succeed, and this is taking it a step further than simply handing Medicare supplement leads to you.

Investing in Online Leads

A direct mail Medicare leads campaign may be lucrative if you are ambitious enough and have exceptional marketing talents or a quality marketing team to execute the campaign. If you are determined to close sales at a more rapid pace, purchasing leads online is likely to be a better investment of your time and money.

Another reason why buying Medicare leads on the internet or joining an organization may work better for you is the fact that more and more people are paying less attention to registered mail and spend more time online. When it comes to insurance, prospects are more than likely to do some comparison shopping at the computer than they are to fill out a reply card and get send it back. Internet lead generators find these people for you and let you know who they are.

Doing things online is simply faster. It takes a lot less time from the moment a prospect expresses an interest and the time that you find out about their interest. Finding out about your Medicare supplement leads faster means that you can respond faster. Responding faster means setting more appointments. More appointments can mean a lot more closed sales.