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I am about to go off on Selectquote again but let me show you the new kinder, gentler side of my opinionated self. Selectquote handles, from what I’ve heard, about 100,000 applications a year. They’ve been the king of the hill for quite a while so that tells me they probably aren’t messing up every application they process.

Having said that, I think it may be entirely possible that they are messing up the majority of the applications, at least if you consider not coming through with the best rate possible for a client messing up. There seems to be an assumption that because Selectquote is huge and so well branded, that doing the best thing for the customer is how they got there. Unfortunately the other way to get branded is to advertise yourself into orbit. With branding comes trust and customers let their guard down.

Let me just reference a case that we just got approved. The client had applied with Selectquote knowing that with sleep apnea life insurance was going to be something of a challenge. He had only been diagnosed a month before with mild to moderate sleep apnea and had not yet completed his follow up sleep study using the cpap. the Selectquote agent didn’t ask if he had done a follow up so he assumed it was not an issue. He had also been treated for mild depression for 5 years and was told that the combination of the sleep apnea and depression would be a best case standard rate. He applied and did the exam and was almost immediately told that the life insurance was declined because he hadn’t completed the follow up sleep study.

Selectquote was ready to leave it at that and move on to the next customer when the client asked the obvious, “What happens if I get the sleep study done?” Seems like that thought should have come from the agent. They said they could reopen the file at that time but it was still a best case standard using their company of choice, Genworth Life and Annuity, for his 30 year term at $962 a year. He scheduled the follow up and called me in the interim for a second opinion. I shopped it  and Pru came back with a better tentative offer, so he applied through me and today we got a preferred approval. $605 a year. $350 less per year than he was told he would be able to get anywhere. That’s $10,500 over the term of the policy. And that is acceptable to Selectquote.

Two things prevented Selectquote from salvaging this case and doing the right thing for the customer. First, shopping cases isn’t something they do. Too much time and energy. They want quick and easy and if things don’t turn out in your favor they will make an attempt at getting you to buy it anyway. If you don’t bite, they’re done with you. Second, and this just comes with the business model of mega agencies, they don’t want to use companies like I did that pay lower compensation. They are all about the highest commission and the path of least resistance. I made a decision 14 years ago to never look at my compensation schedules after the contract was signed.

It’s a shame. Selectquote and other big agencies like Zander Insurance really have the platform to help solve a huge issue in our country, the fact that far too many adults in positions of responsibility (parents, business owners, borrowers) are not insured. It’s too bad they can’t do the kind of volume they do and  incorporate a policy of doing the right thing for the customer also. But they don’t and so they do the kind of volume they do and a lot of people pay too much for their life insurance just because they chose to go with the big guys.

Again, to end on a softer, gentler note, at least a lot of people are getting out of the category where they aren’t insured. And in all fairness there are plenty of independent agents who will get by with as little work and as much comp as they can. I’ve found by doing the job right I have a high placement ratio and a very high referral rate. A person can make a good living taking the high road if they stay committed to it.

Bottom line. Dave Ramsey says when shopping for something you should always ask if that’s the best they (the seller) can do, and that’s good advice even though his favorite agency, Zander Insurance, doesn’t do the best they can do. So what’s a person to do? Never be shy about getting a second opinion. Always tell the agent or agency that you intend to apply two places and take the best approval. If you’re told that’s the best rate you can get and you need insurance in force, put it in force monthly and then call or email me directly. Let’s talk.