How do i get started selling small group insurance?

senior-advisor-indiana

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Indiana
Do I have to go through a marketing organization or call the companies direct? I live in IN. Who do I want to stay away from. I have searched the web looking for marketing places and found very little.
 
http://benefitmall.com is a start. A lot depends on who your rep is. The local rep (Atlanta) leaves much to be desired but perhaps I am too demanding.

Perhaps?

You might find a local IMO that offers quotes for carriers like Time, IAC, Allied . . . or not. Generally the overrides for group are so low that most IMO's don't want to fool with it.

Start with BM and go from there.
 
Go to www.palmeragency.com and ask for Stephen Scarbrough. They represent Allied, IAC, and Assurant in the Small Group Market. Tell them Bob Levine sent you.

If Stephen is not available, ask for Christian Lauter. Both of these gentlemen are very well versed.

They are my FMO for Life and Health. I couldn't be more satisfied (see my post on another forum about this).

You might ask them if they know of an FMO in your area you could work with. The people at Palmer are excellent, and would have no reservations about referring you to someone closer.

They work with agents all over the U.S.
 
Go to www.palmeragency.com and ask for Stephen Scarbrough. They represent Allied, IAC, and Assurant in the Small Group Market. Tell them Bob Levine sent you.

If Stephen is not available, ask for Christian Lauter. Both of these gentlemen are very well versed.

They are my FMO for Life and Health. I couldn't be more satisfied (see my post on another forum about this).

You might ask them if they know of an FMO in your area you could work with. The people at Palmer are excellent, and would have no reservations about referring you to someone closer.

They work with agents all over the U.S.

In my opinion, you really need to have someone who understands the local market, for group health. In MD fr example, Allied, Assurant and IAC are all non-entities.

In Indiana, Humana, Blue, United and HTH are the big players.

What I have found is that states that do NOT have a local wholesaler for group health, that will not take a piece of your commission, are NOT profitable places to write group health. These include Washington, Mississippi, Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire Minnesota and the Dakotas. There may be a few others. From what I have seen, every other area has local imo's and wholesalers that will offer the best training, service, and local knowledge needed to help you be successful selling group.
 
I am a broker in an unprofitable state. Here is how the commissions work:

Group:
$19 per employee per month no matter what the plan

Individual:
Usually a flat dollar amount, somewhere near $35 per family per month or $15 individual dropping down to $22 and $8 respectively in the 3rd year OR 15% dropping to 3% in the 3rd year.

Is that bad compared to the rest of the nation? Is Wisconsin any better? I'm near the border and could probably pick up some plans on the other side if it was worth the time.
 
Do I have to go through a marketing organization or call the companies direct? I live in IN. Who do I want to stay away from. I have searched the web looking for marketing places and found very little.

Very good question, I find most Agencies a bit hard to swallow at least around here. I would suggest finding your core product. If that is going to be medical go direct with Assurant or whomever. Other products or all products can be placed on Voluntary Plans if the business doesn't want to offer Group Coverage. Now of course this is if you are going to be hitting small businesses.

Now, this is the kicker, just how involved to you want to be? This is how I been doing it, send out your introduction letters and follow up in person. Just walk on in and say, "Hi, I'm James and I'm here today to talk to you about your benefit offerings to your employees (or associates)". Or something of that effect, now of course you have to talk to the right person and that depends upon what business you are entering, you'll have to identify what businesses you want to prospect and finding the right person. Now you'll quickly find out if this is a prospect or not, with such responses as being told to leave or that they only offer this and not that, if they offer Medical and nothing else, suggest the Voluntary Products and that has no cost to them dollar wise. Of course to be succesful you have to get the business to participate in marketing the plan or plans you are offering to their associates, obviously.

The problem I'm having is getting them to seriously look at the option of offering Voluntary Plans. So now I'm in the progress of creating a Booklet (Company XX Voluntary Benefits Book), now this isn't that hard to do at all. I'm going back to my days as a Wedding Photographer for this idea plus talking to other Agents in the field, they do something quite similiar but more generic. Basically the only thing this encounters is picking your products and downloading the brochure for that product and then developing a cover page of your own information as an introduction to the book of brochures, the Employer and Employee can browse. What you do is simply have the brochures and covers design with the Company Name (Joe's Dinner Employee Benefit Book) and a of course your own letter of intro and have it all printed on double sided heavy stock paper then have Office Depot or whomever to bind it and have the covers laminated. Of course you have a master book of all your plans and the employer goes thru that book to find which products they want to offer such as STDI, Mini Meds, Life, LTC, LTDI etc etc plus you can throw in legal or any thing you like such as discounts to local Gym's or Resturants!

Now the printing is just normal printing expense which isn't much at all and the binding and lamination is a few dollars per book at most! So if you are hitting a small business of say 20 you'll need 25 books which will end up costing you about $100 to $200 at most, but you already have the owner or partners business or you should! Plus an agreement of the business promoting this and of course direct workplace entry, you get a name badge and go and visit the employees on the clock as the official Voluntary Benefits Guy or Gal. Now I would think depending upon what kind of business you are entering you'll have a mix of low and high compensation employees, some will buy the ultra cheap stuff such as limited DI and a mini med while one or more will choose a full blown DI with a HDHP plus Life or whatever. Then you have their spouses and cross sales plus referrals such as customers/clients of the business, such as when a client walks in and says, "hey who is the new guy?".

The basic idea is that they have no benefits in place, they don't want the cost of Group Coverage but do want something to offer their employees. You agree to basically handle the "Benefits" in exchange for direct access to their employees. In some cases you can actually charge for the handling of benefits depending on of course how well you can sell the idea and build a need to the business to offer benefits.
 
I find the best time to place voluntary or group benefits is in the midst of a group health sale. I show a pie chart in the fact finder that shows four segments: medical, work comp, "paycheck protection", and retirement plans. In the fact finder, I ask what they offer in each category, often times the last two are not covered at all (I work with smaller groups). Then it's a simple question, "Mr. Owner, if I can save you money on your health prremiums, would you be interested in using a portion of the savings to expand your benefits package?"

At this point, you can transition into either group or voluntary benefits (you now have 100% participation because the employer is contributing) and you just build the cost into the health insurance proposal. Everyone wins. The key is the find the money in the health premiums.
 
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