I’ve been working on a life insurance case that was recently approved. The client let me know that he had applied through another agent before he found my blog and decided to give me a shot. I am always certain that I’ve quoted the best price available so I have no issue with competition. If I get beat, well, I might learn something and the client gets the best deal.
So, both policies get approved and, while only by a few dollars a month, I came out on top. Actually the other policy was approved about a week before mine which is about the amount of time that application started ahead of mine. The policies were approved at a table 4 rating and is a situation I believe we can improve on in the next few years. One of those deals where the further you get from the event that caused the rating, the better the chance for a more favorable look. Anyway, the client let me know that I had come out on top, but…..
He said the other agent was really pushing for him to take his policy since he was first on the scene and it really wasn’t a lot of difference in premium. He actually tried to get him to put it in force before my application was approved but the client wanted to see how it shook out. When the client got the results he asked me why he should go with me when the other guy really was first on the scene and came through with the rate he quoted and was a nice young guy. First year in the business. A local agent.
I told the client to do whatever he felt was right and if he felt like helping this agent, a local guy, was the right thing to do, I wouldn’t fuss at him about it. I did remind him that when he came to me I shopped it and let him know I thought I could beat the other company, but not by much. I also told him that I was certain that I could offer better customer service since my business model is really built on that foundation. Just because someone is local doesn’t mean they’re going to give good service and, (I didn’t share this part with the client) 95% of all first year life insurance agents don’t make it to their second year so service could be non existent. I also laid out the plan that I had to shop his case every year until we knew we had the lowest possible rate in force. I explained that I felt I was a better value all around, but I was OK with whatever he decided.
A few days later he called back and let me know to go ahead and issue the policy, that he had decided to go with me. He called me several times over the next few days as the other agent fussed at him and tried to get him to change his mind. Each time he ended our conversation satisfied that he was making the right choice. Now all of this is a preface to my question about what part of this makes sense.
Today he called and said the local agent had called again, pretty sure he could get him a standard rate through another company. He wanted to know if I thought it was possible so I asked him what company. I looked up the trial quote I got from that company, also a table 4. all of the trial quotes had been table 4 to table 6. I told him I would call the underwriter and ask which I did. The underwriter told me there was no way, especially knowing that he already had two table 4 approvals. He said the best they would do is table 4 or worse, not better. I shared that with the customer and then I asked him what I thought was to me the question at hand. If this other agent thought he could get him a standard rate, why did he try to get him to take a table 4 and never once bring up the idea of shopping it in the future?
What part of that makes sense? If you can get someone a standard rate why would you try to push them to buy a table 4? I told him to tell the agent to have a go at it if he wanted to, but he needed to end the drama for me. Either shoot me and put me out of my misery and end it and put my policy in force.
Bottom line. I was a local agent 30 years ago and it’s tough. I can’t imagine being a local agent competing against the best independent impaired risk life insurance agents in the country. If you have any questions or are dealing with a local agent and you’re not sure you’re getting the best deal, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.