Dave Ramsey still swears that Zander Insurance is the place to get the best deal on term life insurance. “Use Zander’s online quoting system to search for the most competitive term life insurance plans available”, Dave says.
I have a lot of respect for Dave Ramsey. His advice has changed my life personally and I have been blessed to be able to share it with others by presenting his Financial Peace University through our church twice now. I take Dave at his word that he recommends Zander because “Four generations and 80 years experience, unparalleled commitment to service, the best products on the market, and a principled commitment to debt free strategies, are just a few reasons I trust, use and strongly recommend Zander Insurance.” I believe that he truly believes his recommendation is well placed.
I had a blog discussion with Jeff Zander sometime back about the fact that their on line quote engine really doesn’t provide the best price in some cases. He explained that for administrative reasons they didn’t use some companies. After some discussion Mr Zander said they were considering adding one of the companies that I had noted was leaving them in the dust on preferred smoking term insurance rates. I went online today and plugged myself in as a test (no, I don’t smoke) and found that they never added the company and that on $500,000 of 20 year term insurance that left their best quote actually being the 6th best available and a full $1200 a year behind the best rate. One of those companies ahead of their American General quote is a captive company and administratively, being independent, neither Zander or Hinerman Group can do business with them.
But, just supposing they share Dave’s commitment to debt free strategies and low cost term insurance as stated, wouldn’t it seem more in line with that to seek out a Northwestern Mutual agent and offer to split the case with them to save your client $100 a month that could go toward building an emergency fund or paying off debt? When I jousted with Mr Zander over this before he also pointed out that smokers make a fairly small amount of their business. That is true industry wide, but when your best option is a bad one it’s probably fair to say that you’re not looking for that niche of business also.
Another example of that would be private pilots. For apparently administrative reasons Zander Insurance has chosen not to quote the three top companies for private pilot life insurance. Again using my birth date and assuming a non smoker $500,000 of 20 year term, Zander’s best option is almost $1100 a year above the industry best option. Again $100 a month to your emergency fund or paying off debt.
It’s interesting to see that a quick quote using Zander’s quote engine only yields 7 or so companies, all of which pay higher than average compensation to agencies. Try it out. Noticeably missing are companies that pay lower compensation but have excellent prices and underwriting such as Met Life, Prudental and AXA Equitable.
Bottom line. I’m not looking for a fight with Dave Ramsey or Zander Insurance, but if you don’t do what you claim to do, “unparalleled commitment to service, the best products on the market, and a principled commitment to debt free strategies”, who are you really in the business for, the customer or yourself?