How To Rebut Common Insurance Sales Objections

“I need to think about it.”

“I can’t afford it.”

“Maybe later.”

You have probably heard all of these common insurance sales objections when working with a lead, and it can be disheartening; after all, no insurance agent wants to hear “no,” and lose out on a sale! But the good news is there are ways to rebut these objections and turn the conversation around in your favor.

“I Need To Think About It”

illustration of man with finger on mouth and question marks around
If a lead says they need to think about it, dig a little deeper into the conversation and understand why they are saying this

“I need to think about it” is a common objection you’ll hear from leads, because many leads are unsure of what you’re selling, and are unwilling to commit right away. When you hear this objection, it’s important that you react in the right way, and not turn on the hard sell – this will only make your lead put up a wall as they get ready for a confrontation. A better way to deal with this objection is to try to dig a little deeper into the conversation and understand why they are saying this. Try responding with “That’s totally fine! When you say you need to think about it, how do you mean?”

By saying “it’s fine,” you are assuring the lead that you understand their struggle, and by asking how they mean it, you’ll let them know that you do want to understand them, which can help the lead open up about what the core issue is, giving you an opportunity to open the door for a sale.

“I Can’t Afford It”

Hesitation is totally normal when it comes to buying big ticket items, and buying insurance is no different. That means you’re sure to hear “I can’t afford it” from leads, to which your reply should be, “Besides affordability, is there any other reason you would not purchase a plan?” Sure, this question might get them thinking of another reason they don’t want to buy a plan, but more often than not, they will stick to affordability.

So if they say “No, that’s it,” you should respond, “I understand, I’ve got a family and bills to pay, so I get it. Is there any issue other than affordability that would prevent you from buying a plan today?” If the lead responds with a no, then you can work your magic!

And how do you work your magic? Avoid being arrogant or pushy, and always try to be compassionate and understanding. Present the situation in a way that shows that you hear their concerns and are open to finding ways to make things work for them: try saying, “Because budget is important to you, how about I begin looking at plans with less coverage and add more as we go on if you feel you need more? Having some form of insurance is better than having none, especially when you will need it most.”

“Maybe Later”

scheduling book open with writing in it and a pen on it
If you get “maybe later,” then try to see if you can schedule an appointment at a later time to talk.

You’ll also encounter leads who will try to put you off until a later date, claiming, “I just don’t need insurance right now,” or “It’s not important right now;” you might even get the classic “I don’t have time to talk right now.”

How to rebut this without being pushy, and further alienating the lead? Well, you have to respect your lead’s time, and if they say they don’t have time to talk, ask them if you can schedule an appointment with them at a time that would work for them. But if they say that insurance is not important to them or they don’t feel like they need it, then you can dig deeper. Ask them to elaborate, and work on helping them understand why insurance is important, and why they need it.

Selling insurance can be very rewarding, but you will have to face your leads’ objections and put in the work to turn “no’s” into “yes”. To make things easier on yourself, create a script that you can turn to when you need help once you have figured out what works for you, and adjust it with time. Being prepared for objections will help you better engage with leads and push them along in your sales process.

How You Can Prepare For Open Enrollment

The ACA Open Enrollment Period comes up fast, and can be a stressful time, not only for people shopping for plans, but also for agents selling policies. There is going to be a large number of people looking for health insurance this month and next, so you’ll need to be prepared! In order to have a smooth experience during this Open Enrollment Period, you will need to have the right resources and know what to expect, so check out our tips to help you save time, avoid mistakes, and sell more.

Make Sure You Are Registeredlaptop screen with a green checkmark in a box

Before you can make any sales during the Open Enrollment Period, you will have to be authorized to sell plans through healthcare.gov, so make sure that you have completed registration and training to become a federally facilitated Marketplace agent or broker.

Be Aware of Any Changes

Double-check with all of the insurance carriers you work with so you’re aware of any changes to plans for the coming year, and you know which carriers are entering or leaving your market. If you are contracted with a carrier, they will send you announcements around July or August, so make sure you’ve reviewed all of the information you received this summer.

Market Your Services

With so many people shopping for insurance plans during the OEP, now is the time to market your business and get your name out there as much as possible The best way to market yourself and your services is by producing guides, blog posts, advice, and more to help engage your audience, and provide them with the information they are looking for, so you can entice them to reach out for your assistance.

social media written in blocks next to a phone with facebook login page on the screen
Link your blog posts to your social media accounts to get yourself out there more.

Maintain Your Social Media Accounts

In addition to marketing your business through your site and blogs, one of the other ways that you can market yourself is through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. Link your blog posts to your social media accounts, engage in conversations about health insurance, and share important information.

Keep Up With The Industry

It’s important to stay on top of what’s going on in the health insurance industry so you can be better prepared for the Open Enrollment Period. Stay on top of eligibility requirements, and any updates or changes by reading any articles you come across.

Don’t Forget Your Current Clients!

silhouette of two people shaking hands
Take the time to contact your current clients and make sure they are happy with their current plan.

Check in with your current clients and make sure that the plans they have will still suit their needs for the next year. Take the time to contact them and ask them if they are happy with their current plan and make them aware of any changes coming to their plans. Paying attention to the needs of your customers and showing that you are dedicated to them in this way will ensure that they remain satisfied with your service.

In addition, make sure to engage with your customers year-round, not just during the Open Enrollment Period, in order to build more personal and solid relationships with them. This can also open the door to more cross-selling opportunities.

Selling during the Open Enrollment Period is an important part of growing your business, and the best way to make as many sales as possible during this busy time is to be prepared. Follow the tips presented to reach leads, convert them to clients, and further your knowledge of the industry. This will not only help you during the Open Enrollment Period, but throughout your whole career!

Replacing Your Paid Website Traffic With Organic Traffic

Paid traffic is a great way to grow your business, but after a while you might get tired of paying for leads. And we don’t blame you: not only is paid traffic a big investment, it’s not even guaranteed to work. For example, you can never be sure that people will want to click on an ad, and even if they do, you could still end up with irrelevant traffic.

However, there is a way to continue to grow your business and get noticed even more than you do with paid ads: organic traffic. How do you attract organic traffic? It’s simple: you need to create compelling content, like blogs and videos. Creating content is a great way to rank higher in Google searches, and to get more traffic and leads than you can with paid ads. Find out why organic traffic is better and how you can get started attracting it to your site.

Why Organic Traffic Is Better

laptop and cell phone with statistics and graph on them
Organic traffic is a way to get more leads, at no cost to you!

The best thing about organic traffic is that it doesn’t cost you a penny! That being said, the one thing you might want to spend a little bit of money on is learning best practices for search engine optimization, or SEO, so you know you’re on the right track when it comes to using keywords and local searches. But once you learn the basics of SEO for your content, the rest is free – and once you start creating good content with relevant keywords, the higher your ranking will be on Google, or the more you will pop up in social media feeds.

Aside from helping you save money, using organic traffic will also allow more people to find out about you and your business, and will build your brand awareness. Remember, paid ads can be limited by Google based on your set budget; once you reach your budget, you won’t get any more traffic. But if you’re focusing on SEO and you’ve got a solid content strategy, Google’s algorithm will begin to show your site to anyone who it is relevant to.

Lastly, there are a lot of people out there who just don’t trust or want to click on paid ads, so if you’re just relying on paid ads, you could be missing out. Focusing on your organic traffic can help you attract the right kind of people who are searching for insurance or something relevant to your business, and targeting the right audience will lead to an increase in conversions!

How To Replace Ads With Organic Traffic

It might seem intimidating to figure out ways to grow your business organically, but it can be done. What you need to focus on (after creating your website) is publishing articles and other types of content. You will need to:hands typing on a laptop keyboard with WordPress blogging on the screen

  • Write blogs and create videos, and post them on your website.
  • Optimize your posts as much as possible by implementing a solid SEO strategy, including using keywords and local search terms.
  • Share your content on social media, focusing on the platforms that are most relevant to your customer base (for example, older customers are more likely to use Facebook, while younger ones are more likely to use Instagram or Tik Tok). Use hashtags or other organic ways to promote it.

Don’t get discouraged if attracting more organic traffic takes a while, after all, it can take months to create content and get it out there. But once it’s done, you can expect long-term gain from it: not only will you increase your brand awareness and your customer base, but you will also save money on advertising!

If you are looking for more ready-to-buy leads, you can rely on Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

Prospecting Ideas for Less Experienced Insurance Agents

Getting into the world of insurance sales is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Trying to establish yourself and your business takes time and a lot of commitment, but if you put the work in, you will thrive. A big part of establishing your business and getting yourself to the point where you are thriving is prospecting leads – and if you are not experienced at this, you might gravitate towards basic prospecting methods, such as using referrals and cold calling. Sure, these methods can work, but there are some other out-of-the-box prospecting ideas and strategies that you can use to make things easier on yourself, and to get bigger results.

Create A Planpapers lined up on a desk

The first thing that you need to do is research who your audience is and what their needs are. For example, Medicare beneficiaries have a lot of their medical needs already covered, so will mostly be looking to save money, while younger people looking for health insurance will want to save money but might also be looking for multiple coverage options, especially if they have a family. Create a strategic marketing plan that includes direct mail, newsletters, digital marketing and more that are targeted directly to your audience, so you can build relationships with prospects!

Use Social Media Correctly

It’s important to have a strong online presence and accounts on multiple social media platforms, but don’t just rely on posting pictures. For example, Instagram is a quick and easy way to promote your business for free, but if you just post random selfies, you can’t expect people to interact much with you. Instead, use Instagram or any other social media platform to show how enthusiastic you are about insurance, while still maintaining a personal approach. Take advantage of all the features of social media, by using hashtags that are relevant to your target audience, as well as by liking posts and pictures and starting conversations with people.

Create A Larger Networkstack of hands together on top of each other with a network in front of them

One important thing to do when you start out selling insurance is to create a network of other agents; having a network of agents can mean access to different carriers and products, and can help you stay on top of current market trends, developments, and opportunities that you might be missing. Find an event in your local area, and attend these events to expand your network. Be prepared with a pitch, a business card, and a smile.

Videos Are A Must

It probably comes as no surprise that many people prefer to watch an instructional video about a topic over reading about it, so video marketing is a great way to reach people and find out what they’re looking for. You can gain more exposure with the younger crowd by posting instructional videos on your social media accounts or website that show them the different kinds of plans that are out there, and how you can help them find an affordable plan that will save them money.

Invest In SEO

Creating content for your website is a great idea, but if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to pay attention to search engine optimization, or SEO. A solid SEO strategy will bring your page closer to the top of the list when people Google their insurance needs, so make sure you’re using the right keywords, and including using local search terms so that your name will pop up when people conduct searches for agents in your area.

Send Mailwhite mailbox with the number 20 on it in black

It might seem like it’s all about technology nowadays, but don’t forget about good old-fashioned snail mail! Email is great for getting in touch with people instantly, but going the extra mile and sending out direct mail will catch people’s eyes – think about it, when was the last time you got mail from anyone other than bill collectors? Hire a graphic designer to create an eye-catching piece of marketing material that has your insurance logo, a professional picture of you, information on how to reach you, and an enticing offer that will make them want to learn more.

If you put in the necessary hard work, you can grow your business and take it even further than you imagined. But prospecting isn’t easy when you’re just starting out, so if you find that you need some help finding leads, work with a reputable company like Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

Ways to Help Clients Avoid Medicare’s IRMAA Surcharges

If you’re working with Medicare beneficiaries whose income is above a certain level, they will have to pay a surcharge on their Parts B and D premiums, known as the Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). These surcharges are determined by the Social Security Administration; beneficiaries will receive a predetermination notice in the mail showing how it was calculated. Being hit with an IRMAA can be overwhelming for many clients, especially for those living on a fixed income, but what some beneficiaries are unaware of is that they can avoid these extra charges. One way that you can help your Medicare clients save some money is by understanding how Medicare’s IRMAA affects them, as well as by helping them avoid surcharges.

IRMAA Surchargescalculator with paper behind it on a desk

The income used to determine the IRMAA surcharge is the MAGI, or modified adjusted gross income, plus bond interest, from 2 years ago, meaning beneficiaries’ 2020 income will determine their IRMAA in 2022. So, if your client reports a higher MAGI in 2020, they will face the surcharge once the IRMAA brackets are released.

The Consumer Price index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U)

The good news for your clients is that legislation was passed in 2020 that will allow IRMAA brackets to be indexed to the consumer price index for urban consumers, or CPI-U, which means they will need to have a higher MAGI than in previous years to face the surcharges. The MAGIs for 2021 are $88,000 for individual filers, and $176,000 for joint filers, compared to 2020’s $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for joint filers.

With all that being said, it’s important to make clear to your clients that they shouldn’t overspend at the beginning of their retirement, because the IRMAA surcharges are calculated based on a 2-year look-back period. So, even if their income drops significantly, they will still face these surcharges based on their income from previous years.

Your Clients Can Avoid IRMAA Surcharges By…

Considering Roth Conversions

If your client has an IRA, point out to them that, with a traditional IRA, there is a required minimum distribution (RMD) that has to be withdrawn at retirement age, but they can convert their IRA into a Roth IRA through a Roth conversion. Doing this will mean they will have to pay more in taxes and IRMAA surcharges for a short period, but will ultimately help them avoid being bumped into a higher IRMAA bracket later on, especially if they expect to report a higher income after withdrawing the RMD from their retirement accounts.

Giving To Charitiesillustration of money ten a hand with money bag and then present

If your client has a risk of being charged higher surcharges after withdrawing their RMD, they can choose to donate some of that money to charity; this donation is then considered taxable income, meaning they will avoid an increase in their MAGI, or being bumped up to a higher IRMAA bracket.

Considering Tax-Free Income

If your clients need extra money for living expenses, there are ways they can get extra income without the IRMAA surcharges: for example, they can opt for a reverse mortgage, or a home equity conversion mortgage. Another way to get tax-free income is by purchasing a life insurance policy with cash value; they can withdraw the cash value tax-free, which will help them avoid the IRMAA surcharges.

Appealing The Assessment

marriage certificate being cut by scissors
You can help your client appeal an assessment if there is a life changing event, such as a divorce, that changes their income.

If your client’s income 2 years ago was higher because they were working and now their income is lower because they have retired, or if there is an error in the IRS data, they can appeal their IRMAA assessment. There are also life-changing events that can make them eligible for an appeal, including:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Marriage
  • Divorce or annulment
  • Work reduction
  • Work stoppage
  • Loss of income from income-producing property
  • Loss or reduction of certain kinds of pension income

As the Medicare AEP opens up, you can help your clients save money by signing them up for a Medicare Supplement Plan, but you can also help them save money in other ways, such as by steering them towards ways to avoid IRMAA surcharges. Your clients will thank you, and will spread the word about how you go above and beyond to help them save as much money as possible.

Twitter 101: A Quick Guide for Insurance Agents

Have you been thinking about marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, or are you already doing so? These are all great ways to reach customers in different age groups, but if there’s one platform you should definitely add into the mix, it’s Twitter. Twitter has been and continues to be one of the leading social media platforms for businesses, including insurance agents: after all, there are roughly 187 million users on Twitter, and reaching them could mean a major boost for your business! And while Twitter seems simple, since you’re limited to just a short 280 characters, you do have to know where to get started, and how to create or share a relatable tweet that grabs attention.

First Things First..

When you open up a Twitter account, you will have to post a picture of yourself, or the logo of your company, as well as create your Twitter handle, or username. Choose wisely here: you want your Twitter handle to be professional and easy to remember, as well as able to make your business easier to find.

the @ sign in red with a blue background
It is important to pick a professional and trendy handle name in order to attract more attention.

When you’re ready to start tweeting, remember that the key to selling your business and services is to actually start by selling yourself and your personality, NOT by trying to make sales through your Twitter account. Nobody likes being aggressively sold to when they’re spending time on social media; they want relatable information that will help them, or just make them laugh, so start with some lighthearted tweets. As you get more customers following you, answer questions that you get from them, followed by a link to your website or blog

Different types of things you can tweet include:

  • Shared Content Tweet
  • Shared Content with Commentary Tweet
  • Retweet with Commentary
  • Problem & Solution Tweet
  • Stat or Fact Tweet
  • Photo Tweet

Follow Relevant Accounts

In order to be successful on Twitter, you have to engage with other users, and that includes following accounts that are relevant to your business: when you follow people, generally they follow you back. You should seek out and follow insurance influencers, news publications, businesses, and other agents – just be careful not to overdo it and follow a huge number of accounts just to get followers in return! This is a red flag that will violate Twitter’s guidelines, which will land you with a suspended account.

Keep It At A Minimum

In 2017, Twitter doubled the characters you can use from 140 to 280, but did you know that the most common length for a tweet is just 33 characters? That being said, research shows that tweets that have between 71 and 100 characters get the most retweets, and tweets that are shorter than 100 characters also get 17% higher engagement than those that are longer than 100 characters. In other words, just because you have 280 characters to use, that doesn’t mean you should constantly be hitting your limit.

Follow The Trend!

The next step is to get into what’s trending on Twitter and to capitalize on it by adding trending hashtags to your tweets, which can get you more exposure for your profile. To find trending topics, you can browse from your dashboard, or use a free tool to help you, such as Hashtagify.

white hashtag with a blue background
Use hashtags wisely: 1-2 hashtags have 21% more engagement than 3 or more.

Use Hashtags #

As mentioned above, to get in on trending topics, you should be using hashtags, which help to group and categorize tweets, and make it easier for people to search for information. Why use hashtags? Well, tweets that include them receive 2 times more engagement than those without them – but it’s important to know how many to use. Nothing is more annoying than seeing 15 hashtags under a picture or other content, and studies show that tweets with 1 or 2 hashtags have a 21% higher engagement rate than those with 3 or more.

Do Your Homework

Twitter is often used to see what’s happening in the world, so it’s the perfect platform for you to share relevant insurance news; there’s always something going on in the health insurance and Medicare world, so you can use that to your advantage. But, remember, before you share a tweet on a news article or topic, make sure to do our own research first! Know what’s happening, get the facts right, and then contribute to the topic.

Visuals Are A Must

People are drawn to images and pictures, and the same goes for tweets with images: in fact, tweets with images receive 313% more engagement than those without! You can use a picture, image, or even a GIF, just make sure not to use low-quality or generic stock images, since most people are turned off by generic pictures and are more drawn to original images.

Social media is your best friend in growing your business. Twitter is one of those social media platforms that can promise you success, as long as you use it correctly. Before diving in and crafting your first tweet, consider the tips mentioned, so you can #succeed.

How to Get Clients to Click Your Call-To-Action (CTA)

As an insurance agent, the success of your business is based not just on the strength of your customer service, but also on your ability to convert a lead into a client in the first place. One of the best ways to convert leads is by getting them to respond to your call-to-action, which isn’t always easy – after all, the average person gets about 88 emails a day! That’s a lot of noise to contend with, and can mean that yours might be just another email that they delete – so how do you make yourself stand out, and more importantly, how do you get leads to open your email and click on your call-to-action (CTA)?

What Is A Call-To-Action?

A call-to-action is a directive used in marketing campaigns to encourage customers or leads to visit your website or contact you. The main goal of your call-to-action is to keep potential customers, or leads, engaged and interested in your business, and clearly direct them what to do next to find out more information or to make a purchase.

A call to action can be:

  • A text link

    red subscribe button with a white bell

  • A button such as “Download Now,” “Subscribe,” or “Get More Information Here”
  • Plain text without a link

The right CTA can be extremely effective: did you know that 83-93% of post leads come from an internal CTA link? How about that emails with a CTA saw a 371% increase in clicks and a 1617% increase in sales? Those are very impressive and attractive numbers.

What Makes A Good Call-To-Action?

An effective call-to-action is interesting and engaging – after all, who wants to click on something that isn’t enticing or that doesn’t provide the answers to their questions? Here are some tips to consider when creating a killer CTA:

  1. Use strong actions wordsStart with a verb, followed by an adverb. A great example of this would be “Buy Now,” “Call Now,” or “Enter your email for a free quote.”
  2. Avoid using words that will create a negative response– Steer clear of words like “Stop” or “No.” This will scare away potential customers.
  3. Keep it short– Don’t confuse leads with a long call-to-action, instead keep it short so they understand what you are offering and the value of it. Your CTA should be between 90 and 150 characters.
  4. today only written on a yellow note
    When creating your CTA, create an urgency by using words such as today, and now.

    Go for an emotional response– Everyone loves to save money, especially when looking for an insurance plan, because let’s face it, they aren’t cheap. A great example of a CTA that evokes an emotional response might be “Click here to save $50!”

  5. Create urgency– The whole point of your call-to-action is to get a click. One way to do this is by creating a sense of urgency, which you can do by using the words “now” and “today.” Use CTAs such as “Get a free quote today!” or “Act now to lock in your discount.”
  6. Use contrasting colors to jump out at the viewer– Studies show that a red CTA button increased conversion rates by 21%, while orange increased other companies’ conversion rates by over 32.5%.
  7. Add images near the CTA– This can increase conversion rates up to 20%.

Make Sure They Can Find Your CTA

You need to think about how to make your CTA clear and effective, but you also need to think about proper placement of your CTA: according to Neil Patel, placing the CTA too early in your email or on your webpage decreases conversions by 17%. The most effective CTAs are placed after the fold, not in the beginning or the middle of a paragraph; in addition, don’t be tempted to have too many CTA buttons or links. Instead, stick to just 2 or 3 differently phrased CTAs within the email or webpage: you want to present the opportunity for them to take action, without pushing it down their throat.

Calls-to-action are important for your emails and website, because they are a great way to attract leads and convert them to clients. Just remember, after you’ve created what you feel is a compelling call-to-action, test it out! Test out the different types of CTAs, different placements, and different colors – this will ensure you find what works best for you.

How To Submit An Error Free Application

If you’ve never had a client’s health insurance or Medicare Supplement Plan application get delayed, consider yourself one of the lucky few. It happens to the best of us: you submit an application for your client that isn’t filled out completely or correctly, delaying their coverage – and not only that, but your commission also gets delayed! To avoid any mistakes that lead to these delays, do the following to ensure you submit applications that will not get flagged.

Take Your Time Filling Each Application Outclock with the time "7:00" on it

If you are submitting an application by hand, make sure you take your time filling it out as neatly as possible. If carriers have an issue reading anything on your application, you can expect it to get kicked back to you. So, make sure it is easy to read, and as straightforward as possible. Then review it with your client to make sure the information is correct, and your handwriting is clear.

Provide Details

Carriers want the full scoop on your customer before accepting the application. If your lead answers yes to any health questions, but does not provide any further details, the application will be flagged, so make sure to be as detailed as possible when submitting an application.

Be Compliant With SOA Rules

If you’re dealing with a Medicare customer, you will need to complete a Scope of Appointment (SOA) before even meeting up with them. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that you fill out this form, whether you make a sale or not, so you know exactly what the client wants to discuss with you; if at any point the client wants to talk about something else, like a different product or service, you should fill out another form. This will protect you and your agency, and help the application process go more smoothly.

Pick A Primary Care Physician

illustration of a faceless doctor
Make sure that you have the primary care physician listed for your applicant.

Some carriers and plans will require your customers to have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) when signing up for a plan so that they can be sure the doctor is in their network. Check to see if the carrier requires this information, and if they do, make sure an in-network PCP is on the application before submitting it, otherwise you can expect the application to be delayed. It is probably best to fill this section out regardless of whether it is needed or not, since getting into this practice can make things simpler.

Don’t Sign for Your Clients

Maybe you have innocently signed a form for a client at some point to get things moving, or have had others sign something for you when using your card, because you just want the application process to go as quickly as possible. But if you do this, not only will it get flagged, but you could get into serious trouble since it is illegal! You should always have your client sign the application, even if it means waiting a few days.

stop watch with the word deadline and the hand approaching it
Once the application is signed, you have 48 hours to submit it, or you will be penalized.

Submit The Application On Time

No brainer, right? But a lot of agents get so busy gathering all the necessary documents that they miss the deadline. Remember, once you and the client sign the application, the carrier needs to receive it within 48 hours; any later, and you will be penalized by the carrier, and your commission will be delayed. That means you need to get all the necessary documents in order before completing the application.

Selling insurance is what you do best, but mistakes can happen to anyone, which can mean delayed commissions and clients going without coverage. Whether it is your first time or 200th time filling out an application, make sure to go over the whole application, fill everything out completely and clearly, and have all the required documents ready. Taking your time will prevent any issues and make sure your client gets insured in a timely fashion, and you get your commission.

What To Do When A Client Wants To Cancel A Policy

As an insurance agent, you will most likely be faced at some point with a client who wants to cancel the policy that you sold them. Even if that does happen, though, it doesn’t mean that it’s all over: you still have the opportunity to keep that client by speaking with them and helping them to understand certain things about their policy. To keep your clients’ business, or to prevent them from canceling a policy in the first place, you will need to take the following steps so you can continue to grow your business.

Understand Why They Are Leaving

green phone icon with three curved lines
Reach out to your customers to understand why they want to cancel, and to see how you can help.

Clients don’t just wake up one day and decide that they no longer want an insurance plan; they usually spend time thinking it over, and they might have multiple reasons for wanting to cancel. They might be unhappy with your customer service or with the cost of the plan, or they could be going through a major life change, which means that the plan they have will no longer fit their needs. Take the time to talk with your customers and figure out the reason they have decided to cancel the plan you found for them.

Create Loyal Customers

Studies show that 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer experience; on the other hand, a customer who is not happy will generally not think twice about canceling their plan and will not come to you to find other options. This means that working to create loyal customers is hands-down the best way to avoid losing business: when someone is happy with your service, they will want to continue to work with you, and instead of immediately canceling their policy, they will be more willing to talk to you about finding a different plan.

Another great way to keep your customers happy is to check in with them on a regular basis with calls, text, or emails. This will show them that you care about them and their needs, and will make them feel more comfortable about reaching out to you with any issues they have, including doubts about their policy. After all, 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to companies that respond to and quickly resolve their complaints.

Addressing Common Reasons For Cancellation

Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing that you can do when a customer wants to cancel a policy. It happens, so don’t take it personally, but knowing the common reasons clients cancel can help you better address these issues. The main reasons include:illustration of a man in a suit holding a for sale sign in front of a building

  • Change in assets– A business owner or an individual might want to cancel a policy because they are closing their business, downsizing, or selling their property. Notify your clients that you can make changes to their current insurance policy to better fit their needs and budget; you can offer to reduce their coverage, or even add new coverages if need be.
  • Prices went up- This happens all too often: an insurance company raises their prices, and your clients want to cancel their policy and find a cheaper one. Remind them that you can help them find a better plan when you compare quotes and policies, and reassure them that you will do your best to find a plan that matches their needs, and is in the same price range as their original plan.

Notify Them Of The Risks

Many clients are probably unaware that they will be harming themselves by cancelling a policy and not having a new one ready. There are risks that come with cancellations, not least of which is that stopping and starting coverage is a red flag for many insurance companies, meaning your client could end up paying more for a new plan. Not only that, but if they are cancelling a commercial insurance policy, they could risk losing their business licenses and permits, and will also be fully financially responsible for any damages or theft that could occur while they are uninsured.

Inform your clients about any and all risks they might face – not to scare them, but to show concern for them, and to make clear the repercussions they could face for going uninsured. But in the event that they still choose to go, how you handle it can make a friend or foe: if you handle the situation with grace, you can stay on good terms and keep an open line of communication with the client. In that case, you will be able to ask them about their experience with you, and what you can do to improve your customer service. Knowing how you can change or what you can do to help can make all the difference to your business – and remember, a client wanting to cancel their policy is not the end of the world, so take a deep breath, and proceed with turning a cancellation into an opportunity.

The Largest Jump in ‘Cost Of Living’ (COLA) Adjustments In Over a Decade

Every year, Social Security beneficiaries receive a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, which usually bumps up their payments by a percentage point or two. For 2022, though, beneficiaries could be in for a much bigger than usual COLA: in 2021, the COLA was 1.3%, but for 2022, the COLA is expected to jump 5.3% – the largest jump in over a decade, when it hit 5.8% in 2009! The COLA can affect Medicare Part B premiums; such a large increase could mean that Medicare Part B premiums will also rise, resulting in more beneficiaries looking to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan to help keep their medical expenses in check.

What Is COLA?coins stacked going upwards and a clock in the background

The COLA is an annual increase in the amount of money Social Security beneficiaries receive; it is based on the increase in cost-of-living, calculated from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CIP-W, which is set by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The COLA is never a negative number, because benefits are not reduced even if the cost of living decreases.

Why Such A Large Increase?

In 2021, Social Security beneficiaries received a 1.3% increase to their monthly checks, which was about $20 per month for most. But for 2022, the COLA is expected to rise more dramatically because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has driven up prices for necessities like groceries and gas, and therefore has increased the cost of living.

money coins going up with a red arrow above
Whenever there is an increase in the Cost Of Living Adjustment, Medicare Part B premiums generally go up too.

Medicare Part B Premiums

Whenever there is a rise in the COLA, there is almost always a rise in Medicare Part B premium prices, as well. The huge jump in the COLA next year could actually end up being problematic for some Medicare beneficiaries, because an increase in Part B premiums could cancel out any increase in their Social Security benefits. According to Mary Johnson of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), “Medicare premiums are increasing three to four times faster than the annual [COLA].”

The good news, though, for the majority (roughly 70%) of Medicare beneficiaries is that there is a “hold harmless” clause in Medicare, which says that no increase in Part B premiums can reduce a Social Security recipient’s monthly check below what it was in the previous year. And because next year’s COLA is anticipated to be so large, and inflation is projected to go down, seniors with the “hold harmless” clause will actually have more money in their wallet, giving them more purchasing power when it comes to Medicare Supplement Plans.

The final COLA number will be announced this October, after more data is gathered. As an agent, it is important to know this number so you can better be prepared to help Medicare beneficiaries find a plan that will make the most of their benefits, as well as offset increased Medicare prices.

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