Sales Tips for New Insurance Agents March 5th, 2014
Over the past few months we have been posting sales tips for those new to the insurance industry on our Facebook. Here are all the tips we’ve released so far so they can be found in an easy and convenient location. Please be sure to like our Facebook page if you’d like to continue to get sales and study tips.
- Dress more professionally! You will be taken more seriously and it will boost your confidence.
- Don’t sell products, provide solutions. Explain how you are offering something that will fix a current problem or one that may arise down the line. In order to do this, you must first listen to the customer and find out their needs, then provide the appropriate solutions.
- Always be prepared with company and product literature or at the very least a business card. That way if your customer needs more time or has questions they can get in touch with you.
- Find common ground with your prospective client. Ask questions, find a similarity. It will help you connect and build trust.
- If your potential customer is concerned about your lack of experience, highlight the combined experience of your company. They aren’t buying just from you but also from your company.
- Follow the stock market. It will help you relate to a more mature and professional client base. You don’t have to be an expert but being able to discuss some basics will help make you appear more experienced!
- Don’t focus too much on product features and instead shift your focus to the benefits. Only a few features may appeal to your potential customer. Ask questions and identify their needs then explain the features that will satisfy those needs.
- Set SMART goals for yourself. S-specific, M-measurable, A-attainable, R-relevant, and T-timed. So instead of saying your goal is to set more appointments it should be something like “I am going to set 15 appointments this week, 5 of which will result in a closing sale by the end of the month.”
- Learn something new! Set some time aside every day to work on improving and growing your sales knowledge. Read books or articles, listen to podcast or webinars. Make a conscious effort every day to learn something new in your field.
- Are you young and new to the industry? Use it to your advantage! Sell to other young people. You have a unique opportunity that gives you an in with a new and emerging market that is going through a ton of life changes.
Further Delays on Mandated Health Insurance for Medium-sized Businesses February 11th, 2014
On Monday, February 10th, the Obama Administration announced they would be further delaying the date by which medium-sized employers are mandated to provide their full-time employees with health insurance. Now employers with 50 – 99 workers have a grace period lasting until 2016 before they will be penalized for not providing health insurance. Originally these mandates were to go into effect Jan 1st, the same as for individuals, but was delayed until Jan 2015 and has now been delayed even further.
Many view this delay as an effort to avoid more controversy surrounding Obamacare. And while many in the business community are pleased with the delay other’s argue that it is unfair that business are being given preferential treatment over individuals.
According to administration officials they felt that the businesses “need a little more time to adjust to providing coverage.” They also announced that they will also be issuing rules for the kind and type of coverage a business must supply their employees. There is some confusion over what qualifies an employee as full time. For example, seasonal workers will typically not be considered full-time if they only work a half-year or less. And many companies are having problems figuring out hours of their employees, such as in the restaurant industry which is known for employees working odd and inconsistent schedules.
How do you feel about these delays? Is it fair to ask individuals to stick to a particular law when businesses are given an extended grace period? Do businesses need the extra time to implement the new laws? Let us know your thoughts!Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance | Tags: for ACA, business, government, mandate, obamacare, PPACA
The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB) February 5th, 2014
Posted on February 5th, 2014 as Insurance, Securities for agents, bill, brokers, Flood Insurance, government, Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, house, NAIC, NARAB, National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, senate
This past Thursday, January 30th, legislation passed the Senate which would create a non-profit entity, The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB). This change had been tacked onto the much discussed Flood Insurance Delay also known as the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.”
In the past the House has already passed a bill for NARAB three times, but the Senate, which was preoccupied with other issues, never followed through. Due to NARAB being attached to the Flood Insurance Delay bill the Senate is finally getting around to it.
NARAB aims to make it easier for agents and brokers to become licensed in other states than the one they currently reside. It will provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broken licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections, according to Robert Rusbuldt, Chief Executive Officer and President of Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.
NARAB appears to have overwhelming support from those in the insurance industry. It will keep the same strict guidelines but allow for a more streamlined system that should strengthen the licensing process. According to an issue brief by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) they “[recognize] the mechanics of non-resident producer licensing can be further streamlined by federal action, but this should not undermine state regulatory authorities to protect insurance consumers and take enforcement action against malfeasant producers.”
The NARAB board, under the most recent bill, will consist of 13 members, eight of which are state insurance commissioners appointed by the President. The remaining five will consist of insurance industry representatives.
For a more detailed article about NARAB hopes to accomplish and how check out this article from the Insurance Journal from October 3, 2013.Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance, Securities | Tags: for agents, bill, brokers, Flood Insurance, government, Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, house, NAIC, NARAB, National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, senate
Are you being SMART? January 29th, 2014
Have you been making SMART goals for yourself? S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Studies show that goals that follow these guidelines are more likely to be reached than broad opened ended goals with no deadline. For example, if you made a resolution to lose weight this year you are less likely to accomplish your goal than someone whose goal was to lose twenty pounds in three months. By giving yourself more rigid guidelines the goals are more concrete. Implementing this sort of goals into your professional life can make all the difference!
So how can you set SMART goals for yourself? Well first you have to answer a series of questions.
To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W”s:
Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why?
For example, a general goal would be to pass your insurance licensing exam. But a specific goal would be to pass your insurance licensing exam by studying for an hour every day.
To make it measurable you must decide on hard numbers to measure your progress by to help you stay on track. If you aren’t sure if your goal is measurable ask yourself questions like How much? How many? In the above specific example you have decided to study an hour every day, which is a measurable goal because you are able to follow your progress.
Attainability is more a frame of mind than anything. Do you really want this goal? Are you willing to put in the time and effort? Make sure you are realistic. Don’t claim you are going to study for 3 hours every day when you know you won’t be able to live up to that expectation, it is better to be realistic and able to meet your goals.
Is your goal relevant to what you want to achieve? Seems obvious but you want to make sure you aren’t being side-tracked by something that ultimately won’t help you in the long run. Why are you doing this? What is the end result and is that relevant to your overall desire for the goal in the first place?
The last is very important. You need to give yourself a deadline. Without a time frame you can always fool yourself into thinking you are working towards your goal when you really haven’t made any changes at all. A time frame causes a sense of urgency and importance. Don’t just make plans to pass your exam, but plan to pass it in a month’s time!
Now that you know how to make SMART goals, what are yours? Can TesTeachers help you achieve them? Check us out! We’ve been helping people pass their insurance and securities licensing exams on the first try for the past 40 years and you could be next!Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance, Securities | Tags: for exams, goals, insurance, license, licensing, professional growth, securities, SMART
Is the Insurance Industry Outdated? January 22nd, 2014
Lately there have been a string of articles about the use of technology (or lack-thereof) in the insurance industry. Many industries have struggled to keep up with the new digital age, and the insurance industry is no exception. Often adoption of new software and technology is difficult for agents who are set in their ways and are used to their tried and true systems. But with new agents everyday adoption rates should increase significantly over time. Beyond agents taking advantage of new systems, there is the issue of the industry, as a whole, not allowing for competitive rates to be quickly and easily viewed on the internet, other than with car and some health insurance. Imagine if the rates for things like life insurance were easily and readily available for consumers online instead of hidden behind a lot of paperwork and a sales call. Getting the information to the right people at the time they are looking for it is exactly what sales is about, and internet marketing allows for that in a way never offered before now. Internet marketing has become a key player in many businesses continued success. Why is it that the insurance industry seems delayed in their acceptance and implementation of new marketing strategies that have now been shown to be successful?
With such room for growth and advancement in this area there is also a lot of hope. There are many new and emerging trends in technology in relation to the insurance industry. Many articles can be found which reveal all of the new and innovative technological trends that are beginning to emerge. Some of these include optimizing sales and distribution of policies, the increase of mobile technology, and the implementation of telematics. A great site to keep up with all the new and developing technologies for the insurance industry can be found at Insurance & Technology.
The industry is attempting to keep up with the new digital age. What would you like to see happen in the next few years? How could the industry be improved? Have you seen a new system or methodology significantly help your sales and marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
At TesTeachers, we are clearly big adopters of technology, offering a large selection of online courses for securities and insurance licensing and insurance continuing education. Several of our online courses include: series 6, series 63, series 66, series 7, as well as insurance pre-licensing. We have been using technology to help students pass their life and health insurance exams and property and casualty insurance exams on the first attempt! We believe that technology is a large key in our success, as we would not be able to offer such a large selection of courses to people all across the country without it. It is our hope that we continue to advance with technology and are able to offer even more courses to more students and that the insurance industry will manage to keep up in this new and exciting era as well.Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance | Tags: for insurance, life and health exam, pre-licensing, property and casualty insurance exam, Series 6, Series 63, series 66, series 7, technology
New Year, New You! January 2nd, 2014
Happy 2014 from TesTeachers!
Do any of your resolutions this year involved becoming a licensed insurance agent? Perhaps you hope to further your career with Continuing Education courses? We are here to help you achieve your goals!
Be sure to check out and like our Facebook page for the special New Year, New You promotion. And don’t forget our Question of the Week, asked every Monday, which offers one lucky winner 20% off their next TesTeachers purchase.
Please note that discounts do not apply to our live schools in AZ and CO.Written by Theme Admin in: Promotion | Tags: for discount, facebook, insurance, new years, promotion, securities
California Licensing and Examination Fee Increase December 18th, 2013
On Monday, December 16th, the California Department of Insurance released a notice that effective March 17, 2014 fees for licensing and examination will be increased by 10 percent.
This increase affects all insurance producers, bail agents, insurance adjusters, and insurers operating in California.
The notice can be viewed in whole along with the fee changes here.Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance, Uncategorized | Tags: for california, examination, fees, insurance, licening
Happy Holidays from TesTeachers! December 11th, 2013
TesTeachers is here to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season!
While Christmas tree fires aren’t terribly common, when they do occur they often cause serious injury – one of every 40 home fires started by a Christmas tree resulted in a death. How does this happen? Well, one of three Christmas tree fires are related to electrical problems while roughly one in six are related to a heat source being left too close to a tree. December is also the peak time of year for fires started by candles.
Here are a few safety tips we have gathered for you and your family:
- When picking a tree make sure it has nice fresh green needles which stay attached to the tree
- If you have an artificial tree check to make sure it is fire retardant
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source
- Do not block an exit with the tree
- Make sure to water your tree daily – a wet healthy tree won’t go up in flames
- Use lights which are marked for indoor use
- Never use a lit candle to decorate a tree
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed
- Opt for using battery-operated flameless candles in your home
- Avoid using candles in bedrooms or sleeping areas
- Extinguish candles before going to bed
- Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn
- Never leave burning candles unattended
And of course, make sure you are your family are covered in case something happens. If you are concerned, be sure to speak to your local insurance agent. They will be happy to help you have peace of mind this holiday season.
Sources:Written by Theme Admin in: Uncategorized | Tags: for fire, holiday, safety
TesTeachers #1 in Colorado! November 7th, 2013
Reports are in from Pearson Vue!
From June 1st through October 11th, of this year, TesTeachers has the highest first time pass ratio in Colorado with 72%
The proof is in the pudding, be sure to sign up with TesTeachers for your next exam to receive the best support possible for passing your test on the first go!
Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance, Securities | Tags: for Colorado, First Time Pass, TesTeachers
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) “Obamacare” October 24th, 2013
There has been much confusion over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” as it is a highly politically charged topic. Many “facts” have been thrown around from both political parties only furthering the confusion over the bill. Removing politics and media spin, here is what you really need to understand about this new health insurance law.
Beginning in 2014, every citizen of the United States will now be required to purchase health insurance or they will pay a penalty. Many find this coverage mandate both intrusive and unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court ruled that as long as the penalty is considered a tax then the bill is constitutional. The tax is set to start fairly low in 2014, and increase with each subsequent year, thereby encouraging more and more people to purchase health insurance coverage.
How does the ACA affect the American people? If you already have health insurance, you will likely be able to continue on your current plan and should not experience major changes. But if you haven’t been able to qualify for health insurance previously due a pre-existing medical condition, you can now get insurance. As of 1/1/14, health insurance plans cannot deny any person coverage based upon a pre-existing condition, and a person’s rates cannot be based upon health. Also, under the ACA, children are allowed to remain on their parent’s plan, regardless of dependency, marital status or school status, until the age of 26. The ACA includes coverage for “essential health benefits”. The ACA also removes lifetime limits and annual limits on benefits.
What if you can’t afford health insurance? When enrolling through a health insurance “exchange” a person will learn whether or not they are Medicaid eligible. If they are not Medicaid eligible, then they may qualify for tax-subsidies towards their purchase of health insurance coverage. The success of the launch of the state health insurance “exchanges” on October 1st, 2013 has been mixed. Some states chose to put together their own marketplaces, and other chose to offer these mandated coverages through the federal exchange. There are still many kinks to be worked out of most of the “exchange” systems.
One thing that is clear is that the ACA will affect the United State’s citizens, economy and businesses. Exactly how it will play out long-term, no one can say for certain. Currently, many businesses are finding that their healthcare costs are rapidly rising. The ACA also includes a medical device tax of 2.3% that applies to clinical medical devices that are sold to U.S. health care providers, like stents, catheters and defibrillators. The tax does not apply to devices purchased directly by U.S. consumers such as hearing aids, walkers and wheelchairs. Companies experiencing higher costs often choose to cut expenses by lowering hours, or laying off employees. Some U.S. businesses may decide to discontinue or refuse to offer health insurance coverage altogether, choosing to pay the penalty instead.
Some pros and cons of Obamacare? Well, it has the potential to lower health care costs overall because the pool of enrolled persons will now be much greater than before. If the system can encourage enough healthy and young people to enroll, that will have a positive effect of premiums charged. If only sick persons enroll, with the young and healthy choosing to pay the penalty instead, premiums may go up. Persons with health insurance coverage are generally more likely to go the Dr. for a minor ailment, versus persons without coverage who often wait until the condition has become serious and end up in the costly emergency room. Overall the ACA expands coverage to those who could not be covered before, either because their employer did not offer coverage, they could not afford it or they could not qualify based upon health conditions.
Exactly what the future of health care will look like here in the United States is an unknown. It will look different from today, that is certain. The goal of the ACA is to make health insurance coverage available to all. Whether or not it will work, only time will tell.Written by Theme Admin in: Insurance | Tags: for ACA, obamacare, PPACA