What do you look for?

Aug 31, 2007

  1. Kimber
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    Kimber Super Genius

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    This is a great chance for me to get a perspective here. Something Frank said on one of the other threads made me curious. I am NOT looking to market to you, but any info you give could be helpful to my organization when it comes time to select new carriers.

    When you are considering signing with a new carrier, especially for med supp, what are your top few considerations? Since supplements are standardized, products are the same, so what else draws you to them in order of importance?

    Thanks for any input you may have.
     
    Kimber, Aug 31, 2007
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  2. midwestbroker
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    midwestbroker Guru

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    Money and leads
     
  3. Kimber
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    Kimber Super Genius

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    What about price? Is that a major or minor factor?
     
    Kimber, Aug 31, 2007
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  4. tommyk
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    tommyk Guru

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    Price is a factor most of the time, but not all. Good name recognition and reputation are very inportant. You may have the cheapest price, but, if no one has heard of you....they may not buy the cheaper is better idea.
    Competive rates in the area, then it is the service the agent provides that will make the final determination.

    AND LEADS.................:chatterbox::chatterbox:
     
    tommyk, Aug 31, 2007
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  5. senior-advisor-indiana
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    senior-advisor-indiana Guru

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    Price and commssion. Thats it. I would sell a med supp that is $5 more a month if they provded leads to me or helped out some. But I haven't seen an FMO yet that will help with leads. Pretty sad that they take atleast a 4% override and don't do anything for the agent.
     
  6. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Guru

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    I agree. With rare exceptions, FMOs do not add any value.

    I'm willing to take lower commisison in exchange for leads. Or better yet, free leads based upon production.

    And the overrides they get for MA plans is crazy!

    Rick
     
    GreenSky, Aug 31, 2007
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  7. senior-advisor-indiana
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    senior-advisor-indiana Guru

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    How much do they get?
     
  8. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Guru

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    This will vary by carrier, but if the street commission is $250, you can be reasonably sure the FMO gets about $500. You get half.

    There might be an IMO, MGA, SGA, GA in the hierarchy, but if the gross commission is $500, you should see $250-300 as an agent.

    And they are worth the dough because...?

    Rick
     
  9. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    The first thing I look at are the health questions on the app. I look for a company that has a lot of them. The fewer and easier the health questions are to answer the more people that have chronic illnesses will be insured.

    With Med Supp companies, premium increases are directly related to claims. Fed law states that each company must pay out at least 65% in claims of the premiums the company collects. If they pay out less than 65% they must either reduce premiums or issue a refund.

    United American use to be a great company in MO to sell for. They would accept almost anyone for a Med Supp policy. Their health questions amounted to, are you still breathing. In the late 90's they started getting hit with a tremendous amount of claims. This forced three years of 35% premium increases. Now they are all but out of the Med Supp business.

    I also look at the companies premium increase history. If they have had 25% to 40% increases in the past, they will probably have more just like that.

    I shy away from all new companies coming into the state for at least 18 to 24 months. Every company that has come to Missouri has had "great" rates when they started doing business. Also, every company that has moved into Missouri in the past several years is no longer competitive.

    United Teachers and Sterling are just two of the recent companies who had sizeable increases in the first 24 months. They are now "too high". I'm waiting for United World to announce their increase. I'm guessing it will happen around the middle of next year.

    I see little value in representing a company with "name recognition". Very few of the companies names are house hold words. The fact that a prospect hasn't heard of a company has never been a deterrent in my being able to sell a policy. (I don't sell insurance, I sell me.)

    Leads are not important to me. I've voiced my opinion on "leads" before. Commission isn't of major importance either. How often the company has had increases and how large those increases are tops my list of things to look for.

    Moving one's clients each year to the newest kid on the block and then moving them again and again because of huge increases is unproductive time spent. I put my clients with a stable company even if it is a couple of dollars more per month and explain to the prospect why.
     
  10. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Addendum to the above.

    When I said "commission isn't of major importance" I meant, as long as I am getting at least street commission that the company offers. I will not accept a substandard commission from some jerk off FMO, IMO, MGA, GA, FYA company. Currently all my commissions are above "street Level" that each of the companies I represent offer.

    What I mean is, if that commission is 15% or 25% I really don't care as long as the company isn't going to have huge increases every couple of years.

    I concentrate on writing apps, not how much commission I make on each one.