America’s Best Insurance Agencies to Work For

Competition between workplaces means good things for employees. Not only are the best agencies more visible, but they’re also having to step up their game to keep their staff. For insurance agents just now coming to the field, we have a comprehensive list of the best agencies to seek employment from, and exactly why you’d want to work for them.

For an overview, this list reflects the working conditions in these agencies. Overall, they scored high because they focused on benefits, wellness programs, and flexible work hours.

person playing chess for the best insurance
Choosing the right place to work is a strategic career move.

Higginbotham

This agency features an employee-first attitude, which probably was the biggest factor in Higginbotham topping the list. The company started 70 years ago, and since then has grown into one of the most influential independent insurance agencies in the US.

They also have a robust charity, with $1.8 million donated so far. Their CEO, Rusty Reid, emphasizes the service quality of the insurance industry, and that people should always be put first.

Ironside Insurance Group

While younger than the previous agency, Ironside has a reputation for growth. Employees pushed this company forward on the list through anonymous surveys. From the start, Ironside is a company focused on filling a need. The founders, Ryan Kent and Joshua Shotts, saw an opportunity in the insurance industry and leaped on it.

Prioritization here comes from two things: empowering employees and encouraging feedback. Without them, the company founders don’t think they would have gotten very far.

The Bulow Group

The Bulow Group believes in going against the grain. With a small group of 13 employees, every person can get their voice heard. Besides this, the company puts emphasis on communication so that every person gets a chance to succeed. These values are also encouraged with their customer interactions.

The Bulow Group has a reputation for thinking outside the box and strong teamwork. Stemming from a work/life balance and a focus on support, all the employees here feel the community. 

team of coworkers at best insurance agency
You want to work with a team that supports you. Don’t stop looking until you find that.

Hotchkiss Insurance

Hotchkiss’ employees enthusiastically nominated their company. These positive thoughts center on the agency’s focus on career growth and providing an engaging atmosphere.

“When our employees grow, we grow,” is the sentiment felt from the CEO’s words. They even have their own structure for employee behavior called “The Hotchkiss Way.” Employees have a weekly meeting, and they all address concerns and update their behavior to provide a solid system for interaction. 

Acentria Insurance

Like most of the other agencies on this list, Acentria works hard to have the employees feel like family. Most employees cite that their managing team members show genuine care for them as people.

This is amazing considering how large the company is, with over 500 employees in 50 locations. With a commitment to growth and open doors, it’s no wonder Acentria claims its “small business” feel. 

Snapp & Associates Insurance Services

The people at Snapp & Associates don’t mess around when it comes to excellent benefits. The company provides full education reimbursement and medical assistance. 

This agency’s claim to a top spot is hiring fresh eyes to the industry and one hundred percent supporting their growth as agents. Agents claim they had no experience before, and within a few years, became competent, successful employees

All of these places had a few things in common: support, encouragement, and most had community service. It goes to show that supporting your employees and communication truly sets a company apart. When one succeeds, all succeed.

 

How Else Can You Become a Creative Insurance Marketer?

Strive to create a positive emotional feeling such as joy. Emotional marketing has been around for years but it is still effective even today despite the wide range of brands in the marketplace and various other competitors. The main thing is that a positive emotion, even when thinking about various kinds of insurance, is extremely important to the retention and conversion process.

Surprise and joy instantly capture a viewer’s attention and ups the likelihood that they will share your campaign material with others, which is precisely what you want. One of the best vehicles for really creative insurance ads is an Internet video ad. Yes, they are a bit more expensive, but if they convert well, the expense is paid for very quickly.

Today everyone faces information overload and getting your message seen and heard is difficult. If you can deliver humor, joy and surprise to snag engagement, digital sharing of your campaign can take off in ways you never dreamed were possible. If you also mobile market your insurance agency, try using various GIFs to convey an emotional message.

The Difference Between AEP and OEP

Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Open Enrollment, Annual Enrollment.  There are so many buzz words associated with Medicare insurance sales that it is often difficult to differentiate what it all means.  One of the most confusing things to understand as an agent, let alone as a consumer, is what the difference between AEP and OEP is.

We are quickly approaching Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage plans, not to be confused with Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that is correlated with Medicare Supplement plans.  AEP is an 8 week period from October 15th through December 7th where consumers can sign up for Medicare Part D and/or Medicare Advantage plans.  

OEP and Medicare Supplement plans (aka Medigap) is a little more complicated than AEP. OEP is a six month period from the beginning of a consumer’s Part B effective date. This is when a consumer can receive coverage without any health questions being asked.  There are a few circumstances that would begin an OEP including:

  • -Particular circumstances for someone on disability before their 65th birthday
  • -An individual’s 65th birthday
  • -Retirement and therefore loss of current group health plan after the age of 65

Once an individual has timed out of the six month period, they forfeit the opportunity to buy a Medicare Supplement plan without any medical questions being asked.  A consumer can sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan after that six month period, but they will be subject to health questions that could disqualify them for coverage by some insurance companies.

This graphic from boomerbenefits.com easily explains the differences we have explained above.  We recommend using this to help engage and explain the difference with your clients searching for information on their Medicare options.

Medicare insurance is an incredible investment for new agents or agents looking to expand their product portfolio, but it is exactly that; an investment.

Through our research and discoveries with our long term clients, we have found that Medicare consumers are likely to remain on an agent’s books for upwards of 8 years.  Though forming a client book will happen over time, lead services are a great way to guide consumers your way over a local competitor. While the marketing costs may be higher than referrals, the volume of potential clients is immediate, and the return over that consumer lifecycle pays for itself. 

When you are ready to increase your typical Medicare Supplement volume with exclusive leads, give us a call, because together we succeed!

How You Use Your Social Media Will Make or Break Your Insurance Sales

Social media can be fun to use, a good place to meet new people, find and share new ideas and even sell a thing or two. The thing is though it is not just a place to hang out if you have serious intentions of finding customers online who are interested in buying insurance. Social media is, also, not the place to lurk and pounce, immediately offering to sell someone an insurance policy. Nothing puts people off insurance agents like being asked to consider buying a policy when they do not know what you sell or who you are.

The best approach to selling insurance online can best be summed up as educating others. When selling insurance you have to first educate your audience about insurance and its benefits. This does not have to be a marathon novel relating to the intricacies of Medicare or other forms of insurance. It can instead be a short “5 Things You Did Not Know About Medicare.” At the end add in your name and contact information and offer to send further information or answer any questions people may have about your post.

A little goes a long way on social media. A little education mixed with a more personable approach of you offering to answer questions will help gain you leads. After all, a little bit of information that makes people want to know more catches people’s attention. A graph, chart or gif offers people an inside look at how Medicare works. The choices you make on what to post are up to you, but remember above all else, to market you as well.

Social media is an Ideal Marketing Vehicle to Sell Insurance

Of course using social media is fairly iconic in the digital age, but if you want to sell insurance that way, just which sites do you use? Tough question because the social media sites you choose tend to affect your level of success. For instance, some of the questions you might want to consider before choosing a social media platform are whether or not you want a social media site or a forum.

Choose carefully and you will see success in leads and sales. While it does not happen overnight, if you spend the time and effort to learn to use and interact with your chosen social media sites, you will likely see an uptick in business.

An important thing to consider before jumping into online marketing is to starts slow. When learning how to market yourself, your business and your product online, it is best to begin with one social media platform. Starting out attempting to master multiple unique social media platforms is a recipe for disaster and likely will cause unnecessary frustration.

Approach the chosen media niche with caution. Learn all you can about it. Master it and then use well before adding another platform.

How to Talk to New People About Insurance?

Sure, this happens to everyone. You have never met the people at the table where you are enjoying a business lunch with, and suddenly, the spotlight is on you the insurance agent with great policies to sell to those in attendance. While you may have never met the people at your table, other than to shake hands hello, do not speak to them as if you had never met. Now is the time to talk to them like you know them.

This does not mean launch into a hard sell for your favorite policy. It means treating everyone at your table and in the room like they are partners in a venture with you and you would sure like them to come along and learn a few things they may not know about A or B. Call it a moment of education about what insurance can do for people and its benefits. Selling softly is often the best way to open the door to previously reluctant buyers. Watch the room light up when you engage the people in it in a non-salesy way.

Marketing Needs and Customer Needs Do Not Always Align

It is inevitable that you and your customers will not have the same point of view on insurance. In fact, a large number of marketers do not understand the consumers’ point of view. The marketer’s point of view is selling insurance to grow a company and earn a good reputation. Consumers look at it from the point of view of their wants, interests and needs. Customers also look at the marketer and if they come across as being a product driven sales person. Most consumers switch off listening and ignore the pitch. They ignore it because it does not serve them and under those circumstances, a sale is not likely.

To avoid losing sales, you will need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Be your customer. If you were looking for insurance what would you want, need, prefer and would be interested in? Is it Medicare Advantage? The new plans coming for 2019? The new insurers coming online? The extra options that will be offered to Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries?

If you gain a better understanding of your customer needs, then you will be more successful in obtaining new customers.

Attracting Customers Through Relationship Marketing

Make no mistake, marketing insurance is more about marketing relationships than about straight marketing. Why? If someone searching to buy insurance decides they like what you and your agency have to offer — what you have to say, your expansive knowledge of the products and that your excellent customer service — they will likely buy an insurance policy from you.

We just covered the first three elements of relationship marketing, customer service, product knowledge and eloquent communication. Relationship marketing is all about communication. To do your best and sell your insurance policies, you need to let your personality shine through. Once people know you through talking to you, they will be more likely to buy your product. Establishing a connection will lead back customers to you when they need health or another type of insurance.

Before you spend hard earned marketing dollars, polish up your one-on-one customer skills and get to work.

Are You on the Lookout For Leads?

Are you always on the alert for leads during your day? Being alert to possible customers is one of the best ways to find new customers for your product. No one says you need to go out and stalk customers, but if you happen to be in a location and the subject of insurance comes up that is your chance to chime in and change the narrative.

Perhaps the man in line at the grocery store is saying that he feels he got ripped off with his new health insurance policy and does not understand what it covers and what it does not cover because the agent never explained it. This could be an opportunity to get involved in that conversation and offer up your card. It is important for all agents to carry with them updated business cards. While you may not get a sale right away, it is possible that the man will remember you and will tell others how you helped him. Word of mouth is a powerful form of marketing.

Be alert no matter where you are. There are chances around every corner to find leads. Remember to carry your business cards with you. All sales start with you.

Do You Have All the Training You Need?

While you may think you have all the training you need, the real question is do you still keep on training continuously to keep up with trends and changes in the industry? If the answer is no, then you may need to examine your approach to sales and marketing. Sales and marketing are not static fields. Often technology will dictate changes in marketing. Sales will change, as the audience changes. Staying aware of these changes will serve you and your agency well.

Moreover, the insurance field is constantly changing and developing. All insurance agents need to stay on top of all changes in insurance policy rules. If an agent is not aware of the latest changes and trends in the insurance agency, how well is the customer going to be served? While they may know about pricing changes, would they know that a particular clause or provision was changed or revoked, which may change the way a policy needs to be sold? Would they know the latest information and dates for registering for Medicare?

An agent really never has all the training they need because the industry changes so much, so quickly. However, this does not mean you can give up and stop learning. Always stay on top of the latest information – your business success relies on that.

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