I have decided to completely reverse my feeling about online mega agencies such as Selectquote and Accuquote. I have repeatedly inferred that they are the scum of the life insurance industry, that volume of business is more important than customer service, and that their appetite for signing contracts for the largest compensation deals is decidedly customer unfriendly.
I stand by all of that, but I’m here to tell you that it is great for my business. I won’t ever put 100,000 policies in force in a year like Selectquote, but I don’t need to. I don’t have the advertising overhead that the big boys have. In fact, because of them I don’t have any advertising overhead at all. Two reasons for that. 1. They mess up and I write about it and, what can I say, people want to know how they fix their bad experience and 2. It seems like all the big agencies are daftly in love with ING Reliastar right now. That’s good for me because ING is one of the slowest underwriting companies on the street right now and their aggressive underwriting of two years ago must have gone upstream to spawn and it died there.
No criticism here though. I’m not biting the hand that feeds me. Wait, I changed my mind. I’m working with a client that called Accuquote a few weeks ago. After explaining to them that he had been diagnosed with Bipolar II, the agent told him that he was not insurable and should probably just buy accidental death insurance. Unless the agent was a retired underwriter that has worked for every company out there how could he possibly conclude that someone is uninsurable over the phone due to something that is commonly approved?
So, why would an agent do that? Why would they essentially blow someone off and tell them they not only don’t want their business but they even want to waste their time talking about it. YOU ARE UNINSURABLE. CLICK. BUZZ The answer is really simple and we’ve all heard it hundreds if not thousands of times. Time is MONEY!!!! The reason that the mega agencies can write tens of thousand of applications a year is that they avoid anything that takes more than their allotted amount of time. If you can’t ask the questions and quote the person and be off the phone and done with them in so many minutes, it’s not cost effective. This client was a piece of work. Not uninsurable due to bipolar disorder, just more work than the average policy. Hey, I like this one. Mega agencies are into fast break slam dunks and not into running the clock down looking for 3 pointers.
So I am grateful for the role that these Sam’s Clubs of Life Insurance play in the world. They blast through all the easy business and leave a wide enough swath of dissatisfaction behind them to feed all the agents that really care about customers and really believe that there is something that is right and honorable about working hard and not giving up on customers.
Bottom line. Healthy or not there are definitely two kinds of experiences you can have when purchasing life insurance. One is akin to a ride on a conveyor belt to a customer service dumpster and the other…well, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.