By Dave Donchey
The state of general affairs right now appears grim. At best, challenging. Life will eventually go back to normal. We just don’t know, yet, when that will be.
The good news for life insurance producers, however, is that you can do a lot right now to build your business and position yourself for growth. In fact, if you think that all of your sales activities must come to a grinding halt, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Now, if you were running a car repair shop, a restaurant or a salon, you’d be in a much more challenging position. As a life insurance producer, however, you have a unique advantage. You have many digital tools at your disposal that allow you to take applications and process cases – without being in physical contact with people.
Working Around Restrictions
Stay with me on this as I show you how you can continue your life insurance business during the coronavirus “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders. Right now, you have time to focus on planting seeds and keeping your pipeline full. And you should absolutely capitalize on this growth potential and maintain your momentum.
Step 1: Start Conversations
This is the time to keep clients engaged in conversations. In fact, consumers are very interested in buying life insurance right now, as the coronavirus is putting the need to have one’s financial affairs in order front and center. They’re even “panic buying” life insurance right now, so your prospects and clients are likely going to welcome the discussion, and in fact, need your expertise so they don’t buy the wrong product.
Here’s how to approach your clients:
- Create a list of prospects and clients who are due for a policy review.
- Reach out and start the conversation.
- Ask them, “When was the last time someone reviewed your life insurance policy?”
- Or, “We haven’t looked at life insurance lately. Since circumstances change over time, you might have a life insurance need that you haven’t thought of.”
- As the life insurance expert, you have insights and product knowledge that prospects and clients will value at this uncertain time, and you can walk them through the various options available and point them to the policy that best suits their needs.
- And be sure to tell them that the entire process can be done online – no in-person meetings required!
This last point may be the most important one. Normally, you’d have to physically stop and see clients, to sit and review options. But the process of purchasing life insurance can, in many cases, be performed entirely online.
Step 2: Use Electronic Processes
Electronic processes are your ticket to “business as usual” during the coronavirus. You definitely do not have to stop doing business when you have drop tickets and electronic applications available to process applications.
Here’s how to use e-applications and drop tickets so you can maintain business activity during COVID-19 restrictions.
This process works exactly like a paper application, but it all happens online. Here’s what it looks like:
- You complete the application via a computer.
- You email the application to the client, who will “e-sign” it.
- You also e-sign the application.
- Then, you submit the application to the carrier for processing.
Similar to the e-application process, drop tickets are another digital application tool you can use.
- Fill out and submit a client questionnaire. (10 minutes)
- The carrier will contact your client and perform a phone interview to complete the application. (30 minutes)
- The carrier submits the application and underwriting begins.
Step 3: Avoid In-Person Exams
There are also ways to avoid your clients needing an exam, labs and medical records – all parts of the life insurance application process that normally require face-to-face interaction. And these are the factors that make life producers think they have to halt business during this time. But that’s not necessarily true.
Some life carriers offer accelerated underwriting programs where your healthier clients may be able to forgo an exam, labs or the need for the carrier to order their medical records. Accelerated underwriting programs may offer up to $1 million of life insurance coverage, usually up to age 60. In fact, there are a couple of life carriers who may offer more coverage than that.
The key is that you have a prospect or client who is healthy. If they answer the telephone interview questions with favorable responses and pass certain background checks, they might see an approval in just a few days. When combined with e-policy delivery, accelerated underwriting can make it easy for you to sell life insurance with far less effort than by using a traditional paper and underwriting process.
Thriving During COVID-19
Keep in mind, you can use all of these strategies post-coronavirus, and you should. Employing these electronic tools will help you process applications quickly and more efficiently, saving you time and money.
COVID-19 will pass, and when it does, you won’t be starting from less than ground zero if you follow the tips above to keep your momentum going, building your pipeline, taking applications and closing cases.
is President and CEO of LWT Agency. A third-generation insurance agent, Dave spent 10 years in life insurance and long-term care insurance personal production and subsequently joined LWT in 1996 as a brokerage manager. He’s published numerous articles and has served as a member of several insurance industry field advisory councils. Dave handles the firm’s marketing efforts and is also a Life Sales brokerage manager. You can reach him at 626-304-1300 ext 111, email him at Dave.Donchey@lwtagency.com.