Change is Good . . . You Go First!

Over the past decade I have seen many changes occur in the insurance industry, some good, some bad. And sometimes, the fall out agents felt was self inflicted. I’d like to share two stories that express a fear of change, one from the past, one from the present, but don’t worry, Jacob Marley isn’t paying you a visit tonight.

The Ghost of Insurance Past

I owned a small insurance agency with about 20 something agents and about a year before health reform hit, my gut told me that if we wanted to continue striving, we had to make a change. I advised my agents to start transitioning to `sell Medicare supplement plans over the phone. About half were on board and thought it was a good idea. The other half made excuses that included the following:

  • I’d have to learn a new product
  • Where will I find prospects?
  • I don’t understand what it’s about
  • Will people really sign up?
  • Is there a market for it?

We all know what happened. Health reform hit, commissions dropped and everyone’s residual income suffered. However, a year prior to the ACA being implemented, I had devised a script, crafted emails and voice mail messages and trained the willing agents in both product and sales skills, so that they were already off and running successfully. In fact, most of them are still in the business today. Those that decided to remain focused on health insurance had a very different outcome. Some lost their homes, some struggled for as along as they could and some found other employment outside of insurance.

The Ghost of Insurance Present

The winds are changing again in the health insurance market. it takes more time to earn less money, but a new insurance alternative has appeared or might I say, a savior? What is it? Health sharing programs.

Whether you like it or not, faith based health sharing is here to stay. They’re becoming so popular that eHealth is adding it to their portal and Quote-it is adding it to their tool. Coincidentally, as in the past, many agents don’t want to embrace it. What are the excuses?

  • I’d have to learn a new product
  • Where will I find prospects?
  • I don’t understand what it’s about
  • Will people really sign up?
  •  Is there a market for it?

Sound familiar? They (that choose not to offer health sharing) are missing the boat because it’s experiencing explosive growth, and with the rising costs of health insurance, and the slam dunk cross selling opportunity that allows you to double your commission, it’s becoming a go to product. Plus, there’s a groundbreaking service where you can offer any combination of health insurance and health sharing to employees at a church or small business. Whatever is best for each individual, you have them covered, literally. health sharing is gaining steam and will do so with no regard to who misses out the opportunity. To be fair, after scrutinizing all six of the available health sharing ministries, three of the six programs are reputable, solvent and have integrity, with one being the clear winner. The rest, well, I honestly wouldn’t invest my time in them, too many red flags and they’re unproven.

The Ghost of Insurance Future

It’s said that where there is no vision, people perish, and while no one knows what changes the future holds, you must be open to offering new or additional products or services to position yourself for growth, if, and when, changes occur. Don’t close your eyes to change, get ahead of it. Without future growth you will stagnate or regress. If you’re a faith based agent and you aren’t offering this alternative to your eligible clients or prospects, you’re doing them a disservice. If you’d like any advice on which direction to head in, you can feel free to email me, and remember, change is good, you go first, as in . . . lead the way!

Click here to register for my upcoming web class on August 3rd at 1 PM ET, “Designing the Most Effective Sales Presentation!”