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an IRA, point out to them that, with a traditional IRA, there is a required minimum distribution (RMD) that has to be withdrawn at retirement age, but they can convert their IRA into a Roth IRA through a Roth conversion.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.

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.

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.

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.

Using Data To Improve Your Clients’ Experience

If you have not been collecting data to help you improve your clients’ experience, you are probably doing your business a disservice, and are not growing it as much as you could be. Insurance is a competitive industry, so you need an edge to keep your customers – after all, they’re the lifeline of your business! You’ve got to make sure your customers are engaged and happy, but in order to do this you need to know exactly what it is that will keep them satisfied; the edge you need could be data-driven tools and data analytics that will help you improve customer experience. Find out just how data analysis can be used to improve customer experience and ultimately grow your business, as well as which data collecting platforms to consider.

Target the Right Customers

line or people next to each other with a target and arrow underneath them
80% of revenue comes from just 20% of customers, so you have to target the right ones!

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Or maybe you have heard of it as the 80/20 rule? Either way, it has a lot of applications, but you’ll probably be most interested in this one: according to this principle, 80% of revenue comes from just 20% of customers. That means it’s important to not only find your target market and get valuable leads, but also to determine which of your customers are the loyal 20% who will stick around and come back to you for help with their insurance needs.

You can use data collection to find the most profitable customers and prioritize them, as well as get information that will help you decide which products to cross-sell and up-sell to customers who are more willing to spend more money.

Get Insight Into How Customers View Your Brand

Satisfied customers will spread the good word about your business, which will help you grow, and will help make your brand appear more authoritative. How do you know what your customers are satisfied with, and what areas you need to improve on? You can collect formal surveys, look at social media contacts and any other exchanges between customers and your business, and analyze the quantity and quality of your feedback.

Focus Your Marketing Strategy

Collecting data helps you implement better marketing strategies, since you’ll be able to see the click-through rates of links in emails and on social media, meaning you’ll know what is working and what isn’t. Once you know who is viewing what, you can use data analysis to customize marketing campaigns based on factors such as:

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  • Which technology consumers prefer to use
  • Personal beliefs and interests
  • Average income and education level
  • Age, gender, and location

Data Platforms

You can examine all the data you collect to view the bigger picture of your marketing strategy, and then prioritize your most promising leads and customers and target them directly. Here are some of the most popular data collecting platforms to consider:

  • RiskMatch- Described as an insurance intelligence solution that provides agencies and brokerages with the data-driven insights they need to grow their business and stay competitive in an increasingly complex industry.
  • Tableau Insurance Analytics- Tableau makes visual insurance analytics available to anyone in your business. With this platform, you can explore in real time and react to change faster.
  • InsuredMine- A digital platform of integrated technologies enabling independent agents and carriers to offer an omni-channel experience to their clients. This platform claims that it can help you grow your business by converting more leads, engaging with more contacts, and retaining clients longer.
  • Domo– Lets you integrate data from any source, turn data into live visualizations, and extend Business Intelligence (BI) into apps that empower your team with data.
  • Apache Hadoop– An open-source framework that is used to efficiently store and process large datasets ranging in size from gigabytes to petabytes of data.
  • SpatialKey– a browser-based service that provides data-driven analyses. Geospatial data is used to provide effective business analytics. Users can see interactive analytics and easily create reports.

Using data to analyze your marketing strategy will help you improve customer relations, and ultimately grow your business. If done right, you will find new leads, boost your brand, and create a more effective marketing strategy. To get you started in using data analytics, we have listed some platforms to look into, but if you are looking for leads, Benepath can offer exclusive leads who are ready to buy. We provide you with real-time leads through a secured 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 below or call 866-368-0377.

How To Set Goals To Really Grow Your Business

More than likely, you’ve got big goals for your career and your business. And that’s great: goals are important because they help trigger new behaviors and keep you focused and driven; in fact, a Harvard Business study revealed that 14% of people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. But let’s back up. You might have big goals, but do you have clear, detailed goals for your business? Sure, we all want to make X dollars by the end of the year, or want to sell X amount of policies in a month, but how do you plan on getting there? What are your smaller, daily goals, and do you know what will bring you closer to your long-term goals? And which goals should you focus on first? Being able to answer these questions is vital to your business’ success.

Why Create Goals?

a group of people around a table looking down
Having a set of goals for your business will help your teammates focus and increase productivity.

Brings Your Agency Together

Many studies have shown that goals make employees more motivated, happier in their position, and ultimately, more productive. Having goals set in place will:

  • Keep everyone accountable to themselves and to each other
  • Help you and your employees define a vision of where they want to be
  • Encourage employees to think about the meaning of their work, and give them ways to measure their accomplishments
  • Boost performance and motivation
  • Give a feeling that you are all on the same team

Creates A Sense of Accomplishment

Meeting any goal, whether it’s a weekly sales goal, or even just a daily goal of tackling customer questions/concerns, can give you a sense of accomplishment, which will keep you motivated and working toward your larger goals.

Gives You Something to Reach for

Even goals that you don’t achieve are valuable! Not reaching a goal that you set for yourself gives you something to work towards; instead of writing off these missed goals as failures, make them your “stretch goals,” or ones that you will eventually reach, but will need to stretch yourself to do so.

How to Set Your Goals

So how do you actually go about setting the right goals for yourself and your business? The best way is by using the SMART method, meaning you should set goals that are: smart goals spelled out

  • Specific– Your goals should be well-defined and clear.
  • Measurable– There should be specific criteria that measures your progress towards accomplishment.
  • Attainable– Don’t set goals that are impossible to achieve or attain.
  • Relevant– Make sure your goals are not only realistic and within reach, but they are also relevant to what you want to accomplish.
  • Time-bound– Give yourself a clearly defined timeline to create urgency, including a start date and target end date for your goals.

Goals to Focus On

So now you’ve got the method for setting goals, what specific kind of goals should you be focusing on for your business?

  • Sales Goals- When setting sales goals, think quantity and go from there: for example, do you want to focus on daily sales? Quarterly sales? How many returning and new weekly customers you have? Make sure you are following the SMART method and setting sales goals that are both measurable and attainable.
  • Marketing Goals– You should have strategic marketing goals that are based on your sales goals. Remember, these days social media is your best friend when trying to get noticed and get more customers, so your marketing goals should include a content strategy that spells out how many times you want to post a week, and on which social media platforms.
  • Operational Goals– These goals will focus on how well your business is operating, which is based on: your customer service, process consistency, team growth, and administrative efficiency. To improve your business’ function, you will need to create goals to boost these areas.

Goal Sequence

a person's hand holding a pen and writing in a notebook
It is better to break down your goals for the year, quarterly, weekly, and daily.

To keep yourself on top of your goals, stick to a well-sequenced timeline that breaks your goals down in the following ways:

  • Annually- Breaking down your annual goals will help you get started with your sales, marketing, and operational goals.
  • Quarterly– Once you’ve gotten started on your annual goals, reassess your progress every 90 days. Are you meeting your goals? Do you need to make adjustments?
  • Monthly– Create monthly goals to lay out what you will and will not work on for the month. Base this list off your quarterly list.
  • Weekly/Daily– Now break down your monthly goals and focus on what you need to do or accomplish each week or day to reach those larger goals.

Setting goals is a must for the long-term success of your business, but you have to know how to set the right kind of goals. Not only that, but you should be consistently revisiting your goals, so you can make any necessary changes each month. As you work on your goals, evaluate how the changes you make to them impacts your business, and you’ll eventually move closer to succeeding at reaching them.

If you are looking for more leads, Benepath can help: we offer you real-time exclusive leads who are ready to purchase an insurance plan. Not only do we offer exclusive real-time leads, but we will even create a thank you page for you, so your leads will know exactly who they are about to speak to before the call is transferred! To find out more, fill out your information on the bar to the side, or call 866-368-0377.

What To Know When Switching An Existing Medicare Supplement Plan For Your Customers

When it comes to health insurance plans, not everyone is going to end up happy with their choice, and this can include seniors and their Medicare Supplement Plans. A plan might seem perfect for someone initially, but situations, budgets or other variables can change, which can mean that your customer will want to change their plan. It’s more than likely that, at some point, a Medicare beneficiary will request your services to change their Medicare Supplement Plan, so you will need to be prepared – switching Medicare Supplement Plans takes some planning, digging, and explaining.

Reasons Why a Medicare Beneficiary Might Want to Switch Plans

illustration of a blue wallet with money sticking out of it
Sometimes a Medicare beneficiary wants to change their Medicare Supplement Plan so they can save money.

Many seniors are overwhelmed and under informed when they first enroll in Medicare, and in the midst of all the confusion, they decide on a Medicare Supplement Plan that they think will work for them, only to realize later it doesn’t. Some of the reasons that they might want to switch Medicare Supplement Plans include:

  • They do not need all the benefits they are paying for.
  • They need more benefits.
  • They are not happy with their insurance company and want to switch companies.
  • They want a cheaper plan.

When They Can Switch Plans

In many cases, once a Medicare beneficiary purchases a Medicare Supplement Plan, they are locked into that plan. Very rarely will they have the opportunity to easily switch plans, since Medicare Supplement insurance companies have the option to deny or charge more if applicants do not pass underwriting.

However, your customer can switch plans without any problems if:

  • They have guaranteed issue rights.
  • Are in good enough health to pass underwriting.
  • Are within their 7-month Medicare Supplement Initial Enrollment Period.
  • Are still in the 30-day “free look period” of their current plan.

Switching Plans

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Once you’ve determined whether your customer can easily switch plans, you will need to understand exactly what your client is looking for so you can find the right plan for their needs. After you’ve spoken with them about this, take down all of their information and fill out an application for a new Medicare Supplement Plan, making sure to be clear that the plan will be a replacement for a current plan. During this process, it is important to ensure that your client won’t have a gap in coverage, so when applying, choose a start date for the first day of the following month. After the application is accepted, you can help your customer cancel the current policy effective the first day of the month.

If your client is thinking of switching plans during the “free look period” (30 days) of their current Medicare Supplement Plan, there are a few things to note. First, if your client decides to switch plans, they will need to pay the premiums of both plans for the free look period. Second, do not cancel the first Medicare Supplement Plan until they decide they want to keep the new one!

During your career, you will come across many Medicare beneficiaries who are not happy with their Medicare Supplement Plans, but you can help them switch to a plan that better suits their specific needs, as long as you know the rules surrounding how to do so. It’s as simple as gathering information, signing them up for a new plan, making sure to cancel their previous plan, and following up with your customer. After all, making sure they are satisfied with your service is the best way to grow your business! If you are interested in getting reliable, exclusive Medicare leads, call 866-368-0377.

Is TikTok A Good Idea For Insurance Agents?

Growing your business requires a solid marketing strategy, and nowadays that means heading online: you’ll need great content, a professional-looking website, and a strong presence on social media. But when it comes to social media, you have to keep up with the trends and know which demographic you should be speaking to on each platform; for example, Facebook tends to appeal to older users. So where should you go if you want to connect with a younger market? TikTok!

This platform, started in 2016, has taken the social media world by storm, with 5.5 million daily users, and over 800 million monthly active users – it’s so popular that some believe it will simply replace other social media networks someday. But before you jump on the TikTok bandwagon, you should know the ins and outs of using it to market your business: if you use it incorrectly, you could harm your brand, but if you use it correctly, you could significantly increase your revenue. So, where do you start?

Why Get on TikTok?illustratio an of a man in a suit walking up a green arrow going upwards

Multiple companies have reported how beneficial TikTok has been for their business: they’ve been able to reach thousands of followers, get millions of views, and achieve a higher conversion rate as compared to other social media platforms, simply because it is so wildly popular. For example, Rooster Insurance, which is a car insurance company, went viral on TikTok for how much they can save users on car insurance. Their app was downloaded more than 6,500 times, in just 48 hours due to the exposure! Insurance expert Robin Kiera worked with a German insurer, and tested TikTok for insurance sales. They found that focusing on business and relationship topics helped them reach almost 70,000 views a day. If this is not reason enough for you, here are some other reasons why you should consider using it:

Your Audience Is There

The breakdown of TikTok users by age is as follows:

  • 25% of users are aged 10-19
  • 22.4% of users are aged 20-29
  • 21.7% of users are aged 30-39
  • 20.3% of users are aged 40-49

We don’t have to tell you that these are the prime ages to target for health insurance leads! In fact, if you scroll through TikTok or type #healthinsurance in the search bar, you will find people posting content about their issues regarding health insurance, what they are looking for/need, and more. This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn what people on the app are looking for, and create content or ads that work towards a solution for them.

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People are more likely to watch your short videos and react to them on TikTok than any other social media network.

You Can Get More Views and Go Viral More Quickly

Because the videos you post to TikTok are short (usually 15-60 seconds), people are more likely to watch them in their entirety than they are to watch a full YouTube video – remember, people have short attention spans! Users on this platform are also highly engaged and very likely to comment on and “like” videos they see. Because of all this, TikTok has an algorithm that makes it easier for videos to quickly go viral than do other social media platforms.

Tips For Using TikTok

TikTok can seem intimidating, but you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone if you want to use it to help grow your business. When making videos, you have to know what is trending, be tactical and create content that is engaging, funny, and helpful.

Be Authentic

The videos that do the best on TikTok are the ones in which the creator is doing something that feels authentic, and is showing their real side. This includes being fun, showing your true personality, and not only talking about your business and what you can do for customers. You first need to catch people’s eye by creating content that is engaging and trendy, and then throw in some information about your business and how you can help people save. Show some short clips explaining how insurance works or fun facts about insurance, or take part in hashtag challenges, which will surely get you noticed!

Connect With Influencers

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Connecting with influencers is a great way to spread your content more.

As with all social media platforms, TikTok has its own influencers who have thousands of followers, and to whom other users look to for the latest trends. To get yourself noticed, you should try to connect with these influencers so they can spread your content to their followers. Make sure to find one who is willing to market your brand, has a few thousand followers, and will talk about the importance of health insurance or how they saved so much money by working with your business. Everyone loves saving money!

TikTok is the latest social media trend, with clips from the app being shared all over Instagram and Facebook – so you should get on board, create some meaningful yet fun content, take part in some of the challenges, and get in touch with influencers. If you use TikTok correctly, you can reach thousands of people with only a little effort and grow your brand and sales!

Selling To Medicare Beneficiaries With Different Budgets

As an insurance agent, you know that some customers are on a tight budget – and seniors can have even less extra money than others to put towards their healthcare. The majority of seniors live on a fixed income, because they are no longer working and have to rely on their retirement savings to last for the rest of their lives. For this reason, they have to budget wisely; this is especially important when it comes to their healthcare expenses, since Medicare does not cover everything, and the cost of it continues to rise every year. That means that if you’re working with Medicare beneficiaries, they will be looking for ways to save as much money as they can! Medicare Supplement Plans will help them, but before you make your sales pitch to a Medicare beneficiary, you first have to understand how to work with customers who have different budgets.

Gather Information

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When trying to find out a client’s budget, bring it up casually in conversation so they feel comfortable.

No two clients will have the same needs or budget, so in order to best help your Medicare client, you will need to know what they can and cannot afford. It can be awkward to discuss their finances and budget, so you need to keep the conversation going in a professional manner: instead of hounding them with questions about it, casually bring it up in conversation and let them know that they can feel comfortable discussing their finances with you. Once you get a better understanding of what their finances look like, you can suggest either a more comprehensive Medicare Supplement Plan, like Plan N or G, or a more basic plan, like Plan A.

Compare Quotes

Everyone loves a deal, but everyone also loves to see side-by-side comparisons and breakdowns of their options. Once you’ve established what kind of budget your customer is working with, you can dive into comparing Medicare Supplement Plans and providing them with quotes. Remember, don’t make the mistake of only providing your customer with the top few plans that you think will work for them; provide them with all of their options and help them figure out which plan will fit into their specific budget.

Explain What Expenses To Expect

hand pointing at a calculator and the other pointing at a graph on a paper.
Go over all expenses of the Medicare Supplement Plan before signing them up.

After you’ve reviewed all plan options with your customer, make sure to go over all the expenses they should expect with their plan before they make their decision. You already know that each Medicare Supplement Plan offers different levels of coverage at different price points, but these plans are new to your customer, so it is important that you take the time to go over what they can expect to pay throughout the year. Remember to explain how much Medicare’s Part A and Part B deductibles, premiums, and coinsurance will cost them, so they can add these expenses to the price of the plan they’ve chosen; this will give them a better idea of how much they should budget for healthcare for the year. This is good for your customer and good for you – a customer who knows exactly what to expect is less likely to be unhappy with their plan.

It’s not always easy to talk to a customer about their finances, but it is important to do so, so that you can help them find a plan that fits their budget. If you don’t take the time to do this, you could end up losing a customer through disenrollment, which would also mean losing the commission for that sale. Instead, through conversations with your client, make it clear that by understanding their expenses for the year, you will both be better equipped to choose a budget-friendly plan. Just remember to go over what they can expect, and go that extra mile to make sure the plan is right for them, so you don’t both lose out in the end.

Selling Insurance Before & After A Storm

Hurricanes and other types of storms can be a problem for people in many areas of our country; those who are directly affected by them, especially multiple times a year, will want to protect their home, business, and assets. In order to do this, they will want to buy property insurance, flood insurance, and homeowners insurance. While insurance companies will not sell policies right before a storm, during a storm, or directly after a storm, there are multiple opportunities for you to sell insurance products and help customers who are affected by major weather events.

Flood Insurance

houses with water rising in a large red triangle sign
Homeowner’s insurance does not cover floods, clients will need a separate policy for that.

Floods can happen almost anywhere in the U.S. at any time, even in houses that have never flooded before. Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, which is why your customers will need a separate flood insurance policy. The problem is, though, that you cannot sell a flood insurance policy right before a storm because the policy will take 30 days to go into effect. If your clients are interested in flood insurance, make it clear to them that the policy will not cover any damage until the 30 days have passed.

Selling Before A Storm

There is one thing you can do for your customers before a storm. If your customers have any existing policies before a storm hits, you can increase their limits and help them save money that way. As long as you are compassionate and tactful, you can use this time to upsell and help your customers get through the tough time after the storm. If a major storm hits, the damages could exceed their limits, meaning they’ll have to pay more money out-of-pocket to make repairs and replace damaged items. If you upsell their policy, they would end up saving money because their increased limits would cover them if they needed to go to a hotel while their house is being repaired, or if they needed to temporarily close or relocate their business.

Keep in mind, though, that insurers will stop selling additional coverage if there’s a hurricane watch, which will typically be announced 48 hours prior to the storm.

Another way you can help customers is by cross-selling in order to make sure they have comprehensive coverage for all types of damage. For example, if they have homeowners insurance, check if they have coverage for wind damage; if they do not, add it, and increase their coverage limits for their home and belongings. The same goes for a business: make sure they have enough property insurance in their BOP, and add professional liability in case they are unable to render their services or need to break contracts because of a storm.

Be Transparent

two hands shaking Your customers will be dealing with many emotions with a storm coming their way, especially if it looks like a major storm. In order to keep your customers, and win new ones, you have to be transparent with them. Tell them what they can expect with any new policies, and if you cannot sign them up in time, make sure they know that. Make sure they know if a policy will not go into effect immediately. And most importantly, show them that you have their best interest at heart by providing them with the coverage they really need, and that you are not just trying to make a commission. You know the insurance companies’ rules and regulations surrounding storms, so make sure you provide your customers with all the correct and truthful information.

Selling After A Storm

Some states will not sell certain policies weeks after a catastrophe happens, so you need to be clear with your customers about this. When the time comes that you can add insurance to their policy again, you can discuss options and price, and help guide them to what they will need should another storm or flood hit. Offer to bundle flood or wind damage insurance and add it to their homeowners policy to help them save money. If their current carrier won’t do this, take the opportunity to find another insurance company for them with the same plans and better rates.

Depending on where you live, storms can be catastrophic. Some customers might be unprepared for a major storm that causes damage to their home or business. This can leave them feeling lost and hopeless, but as a good agent, you can change that. You can provide your clients with enough coverage so they are prepared before a storm happens. Make sure you convey to your clients the importance of having enough insurance before a storm actually hits, so they can save money and not lose everything they worked so hard for. Remember, it’s not about the commission, but about compassion.

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