Getting started in health insurance

Crabcake Johnny

5000 Post Club
I'm getting A LOT of emails asking how to get off the ground as an independent health insurance agent so maybe this can be made a sticky.

Unless you have at least 6 months of your household bills in the bank you'll need a commission advance. Companies that offer them are Assurant, Unicare, Golden Rule, Continental General, World and American Republic. (If I'm missing any just ask.) So your first step is to see if the companies that advance are competitive or even write business in your state.

Count on 4 to 6 full weeks before you start seeing regular checks. Also count on working a full 8 hours a day every day. If you put in 2 or 3 hours a day then failure is almost guaranteed.

Most of the agents I talk to don't have marketing money. That's fine because health insurance is one of the few products you can easily and successfully telemarket.

Get a list of small business owners - under 9 employees. You can use sources like Reference USA which is free or - single user account - which is $9.95 per month.

Cold call small business owners and say you'd like to send them information on the newest health insurance plans for individuals and families.

Unless you have a lot of money to play with I'm not a fan of spending a lot of money on marketing when you're new. The learning curve is bad enough without having hundreds of dollars a week in expenses.

Here are some numbers that you should be hitting:

*Calling 40 business owners per hour
*Generating 2 leads per hour
*Closing 1 out of 15 leads

Then you can do the math. Your commission will be 20% and the average annualized premium is $3,500 - that's $700 per deal.

If you're calling 3 hours a day that's 6 leads a day or 30 leads per week. That's two deals per week or $1,400 a week with zero lead cost. Once you're off the ground you can farm out the cold calling to telemarketers.

Be honest with yourself. If you're not gonna cold call yourself and you don't have money to market then I'd look into other jobs that pay a base.