Posts Tagged ‘Insurance’

It is often said, “your greatest prospects are your current clients”, and in today’s economy and increased competition from a multitude of distribution sources (Internet, direct response marketers, traditional agents, etc.) one could argue this comment was never more accurate. Acquisition marketing / sales, especially for those agencies or third party administrators engaged in direct response marketing is becoming more challenging and certainly more expensive.  Marketing pieces are competing for the recipients attention with stacks of other pieces arriving daily in the mailbox.  Response rates in many segments have been on the decline while postal expenses and printing and letter-shop services have increased in price.  Does this mean we should be abandoning the direct response model?  Certainly not, it just means we need to be smarter in our efforts and look for ways to increase the “wallet share” of individual insureds.

This post will be focusing on “welcome calls”, and is part 1 of a series of strategies and tactics that can help an agency or third party administrator maximize their revenue potential with each individual they insure. 

Welcome calls can be very effective way to cross sell additional products or services in a very non threatening way.  For those agencies and third party administrators that do not use a traditional sales force, this would be done telephonically.  Traditional agencies have used the delivery of the policy as a time and place to cross sell other products, therefore, this is similar is nature, but since it is being done telephonically, it is tactically different.

After the agency or third party administrator learns that an applicant has been approved for coverage, and they are ready to mail the fulfillment materials (policy/certificate and premium notice), a call should be made to the new insured notifying them that they have been approved and your call is to welcome them into the the plan and let the new insured know that the fulfillment materials are going to be sent and that a review of all the particulars are in order, i.e., coverage amounts, beneficiary information, mailing address, etc.  This should be done in a very non threatening way really focusing on the “welcome” portion of the call. 

Once all the information has been verified, the agent should then bring up a special offer for additional coverage or another product or service that is complimentary to the one that was just applied for and approved.  Guarantee issue products work best, since the transaction can take place over the phone supplemented by a fax/email for signature (if necessary).  The idea is to then notify the new insured, that you will be sending them the policy/certificate along with the original policy/certificate for which they were approved.  Keeping it as seamless as possible is key.

The following is a short list of potential cross sells that can work very well with welcome calls:

  1. AD&D to a New Life Insured: if policy limits allow-suggest Double Indemnity coverage;
  2. Accident Disability to a New Disability Insured: additional coverage to help close the gap in the issue and participation limits;
  3. Guarantee Issue Life to a New Disability Insured: work with your life carrier to allow you to offer a set amount e.g., $100,000 for a new Disability Insured with a simple attestation statement that the insureds health hasn’t changed since time of completing the Disability application;
  4. Hospital Income Protection (HIP) to New Disability Insured: position it as extra coverage during elimination period if insured is in the hospital;
  5. Additional Life Insurance to a New Life Insured: for example- if the new insured applied for and was approved for $300,000, but actually there was enough underwriting done to issue up to $500,000, a counter offer could be made on the spot offering the additional coverage.  This takes coordination with the underwriting company, but if it is positioned as: “based on your health background, you can qualify for up to $200,000 of additional insurance”, this can be highly successful as most people like to hear they are healthy and it can spark the impulse to buy additional coverage. 

Like any sales strategy, welcome calls will take time to hone, however, it is well worth the effort to begin implementing this process into your work flow.  If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us and would be happy to talk to you about this further.

Also, if you have any comments, suggestions, or success stories, please feel free to share.

George Bode

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.—-Andrew Carnegie

As insurance professionals we have a duty and obligation to ensure our clients are properly protected from risks that can have devastating impacts on themselves, their businesses and their families.  As consumers we are all very sensitive to insuring our, home, auto, health, and life, but all too often we do not consider insuring our ability to earn a living.  Insurance professionals have generally done a very good job at presenting and selling disability insurance either through the employer, the individual market, or the group association market.  While disability insurance helps to replace income when an individual cannot work due to a disability, this benefit is intended to provide a monthly benefit to cover the expenses of managing the household, groceries, mortgage payments, utilities etc. 

What happens if the individual is also a business owner or a partner in a business and they become disabled?  How is payroll met, rent and utlities paid, equipment leases paid?  These expenses do not suddenly disappear in the event of a disability, therefore, they must be paid, or the business could face bankruptcy.  There is a highly effective product called Business Overhead Expense coverage, which is in essence a disability policy to cover the expenses associated with running a business.  Physicians,  attorneys, dentists, CPAs, have traditionally been key professions that have seen the value in Business Overhead Expense.  Unfortunately, our experience indicates that insurance professionals have gotten away from selling this valuable product, and we are challenging the market to take a closer look and consider presenting and selling this valuable product again.

If you have book of individual or association group disability this is a great place to start with a fairly simple cross sell.  You need to explain the need to your customer  in the easiest of terms: you have insured your household in the event of a disability, you now need to ensure your business in the event of a disability.  Disability and Business Overhead are two separate and distinct policies that will cover the same disability and should be explained and treated as such.

Business Overhead Expense coverage is tax deductible in most cases making it even a greater value.

Are you currently offering Business Overhead Expense coverage?  What strategies are working?  We would like to hear from you.

If you are interested in learning more about Business Overhead Expense coverage including marketing and sales strategies, please contact us at Cranbury Professional Services

George Bode

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison

Why Web 2.0?

Cranbury Professional Services recognizes the value in a dynamic vs. static web presence in communicating and interacting with both clients and prospective clients. We look to educate and engage in meaningful dialogue leading to solutions based consulting.  We want to hear from you.

We seek insurance agencies and third party administrators looking for product and sales and marketing consultation.  We have a proven track record of working with 60+ insurance agencies and third party administrators who specialize in the group association and affinity insurance distribution and special risk marketplace.  Our clients have benefited from our experience and objective consultative advice.

We are active in both the Profssional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) and the American Institute of Professional Association Group Insurance Administrators (AIPAGIA) the premier organizations focusing on mass marketing of insurance products to the association/affinity marketplace.

We will be attending the AIPAGIA conference next week, and look forward to spending time with many of our clients exchanging ideas.

Please check back here as we will be posting new information relative to insurance ideas/products and sales and marketing strategies. But equally important we want to hear from you, so please click on the comments button below and share your thoughts or questions.

Cranbury Team

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