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I used one general agency exclusively from 2010 to 2012, CPS-Special Risk Services in Littleton, CO, before I heard of Pinney Insurance.

During this time, my agents and I were selling 100% over the phone, and our application sent-to-received ratio was 62%.

… I’ll get to that 62% in a minute.

I have nothing but excellent things to say about CPS-Special Risk, and can tell you Rich and Tim Fuller over there have forgotten more about impaired risk life insurance than most agents will ever learn.

I never thought I’d leave SRS.

Enter Nic West – The “Silver Tongued Devil”

Pinney Insurance ReviewThen in early 2012 I met Nic West with Pinney Insurance.

I honestly can’t tell you where I first heard of Nic or Pinney… perhaps an insurance forum, but I can tell you I’m one of those guys who takes calls every week from GA/IMO’s soliciting my business, and I’d never even talk to them.  Remember, I was happy and there was no way I was leaving SRS.

Nic quickly showed me that I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know. (click here to see why I named him the “silver tongued devil)

An Impossible 180

5 factors led me to do a 180 and backflip even.  These were:

  • 1 page EZ app platform with Live Transfer to Pinney
  • They process your apps w/ no commission hit (this alone saves me $48,000 per year)
  • Electronic Signature with all their major carriers
  • Top IMO technology-wise
  • Nic West’s extensive knowledge of getting high volume lead generation agencies like mine streamlined for max sales (more on this here)

Let’s look at a couple more of these in detail, and at the end of the article, I’ll also explain how you can get my $500/month consulting package for free by getting contracted with Pinney.

One Page Life Insurance Application with Live Transfer to Pinney

 

EZLifeSales - 1 Page Life insurance application from Pinney

I’ve never seen a life insurance application I liked until I saw Pinney’s 1 page app through EZLifeSales.com.

I was awakened to the hard fact that while CPS-Special Risk Services excelled in customer service and special risk cases, there was a gleaming weakness in my agency sales funnel that they simply weren’t set up to address… that 62% app received rate.

The Problem – Here’s How We Used to Send Insurance Applications

Before Pinney, these were the steps I would take to send (and sometimes get back) an app:

  1. Collect all the pertinent info from the client in our CRM, VAMdB
  2. Have my assistant transfer the info from VAMdB to the application using a PDF editing software, PDFill
  3. My assistant would then usually have to call them to ask them something because half the time, I would miss something
  4. She would then fax or email them the app
  5. We would have to get them to sign and email or fax back the app

We also tested using iGoApp, as well as some carrier specific quick app programs such as Banner’s App Assist, but we never felt that we had control, with the details of our clients all over the place.  With EZLife, all your clients and statuses sit on a page for you to see where they all stand.  So easy.

Here’s How the Application Process Works with Pinney

With the client on the phone, I fill out a simple, one page application, which asks for:

  • personal and contact info,
  • who’s the owner and beneficiary/ies,
  • if it’s a replacement,
  • and asks for current insurance details
  • do they want temporary coverage?
  • pretty much the questions that EVERY insurance application asks

It looks like this:

ezlife_sample_1_page_life_insurance_application

With the client still on the phone, I call the EZLife Live Transfer Line, where Pinney has reps readily available to take “live transfers” from agents who are taking an application.  I almost always get an answer.

At this point, we are just a few steps, and maybe 10 to 15 minutes away from having a signed app in hand.  Here are the steps:

  1. Using a service from my phone company called Call Forward Disconnect, I leave my client in the capable hands of the EZLife rep
  2. My EZLife rep asks for any additional, carrier specific information no asked in the 1 page app
  3. Rep schedules their medical exam
  4. Rep emails their application which can be signed electronically (nothing for the client to print out or email or fax back… simple)
  5. Pinney follows up with the client until we’ve received the app, then handles everything during underwriting and even emails/mails the policy to the client once approved and collects the delivery requirements.

Could anything be easier?

What’s so wonderful is it’s not just easy – it absolutely works! 

I typically get the application back within the first day… sometimes within 10 to 15 minutes of me handing the call off to Pinney.

About 10% of the time it will come in after that, and the other 10% will fall out – “no longer interested”, “decided it was too expensive” or whatever.

You get status emails as this is going on.

How much does this cost?

So how much does Pinney charge for such a service?  Nothing.

“Well, Chris, surely they charge to use the EZLife platform then, right?”  Nope.

Ok, I get it… they don’t charge you, but they take points off your commission or offer super low compensation, right?  No, you’re wrong again.  Stop being such a pessimist.  🙂

If you’re contracted with Pinney, you’re free to use EZLife and get all your apps processed for free.

In fact, did I mention my comp when I started with Pinney was actually higher than at SRS where we did 100% of the processing?  Crazy, huh?

Pinney Processing – The One Job the Agent Has

Pinney’s case managers are top notch.  My personal case manager for my cases is Angela Demille, who is quite on top of things.

As mentioned, Pinney’s team takes over the processing at the moment they get the case and will be in charge of the following steps:

  • sending the app,
  • getting the app back, (this includes follow up calls and emails… they’re quite persistent)
  • scheduling the exam
  • forwards any questions from the underwriter to the client
  • sends policy upon receipt,
  • collects delivery requirements
  • sends d/r’s to carrier and confirms in force

The only job you’ll have as the agent is to notify the client of approval, which you would want to do anyway.

So in review, the 3 ways I increased my app back percentage were:

  1. Got contracted with Pinney
  2. Used their 1 page application on EZLifeSales.com
  3. Transferred 100% of my clients to a Pinney/EZLife Rep to complete the app

Oh, and I should also stress the electronic signature thing is HUGE for getting apps back quickly!

How Pinney saved me $48,000 per Year

I mentioned prior to switching to Pinney, we did 100% of our processing.  Well, actually, my assistant did.

I paid her around $3200 per month, but after payroll taxes, unemployment and payroll processing, I was paying $4000 per month total out of pocket for application processing.  This was probably a bit much to be paying an employee for processing, and that’s a story I’ll write about sometime here on ELT, but the bottom line is I was able to let her go and save $4000 per month for something Pinney does for free.

Seems like a pretty good business decision, right?  Now I’ve been increasing my virtual assistant’s hours, so I’m now able to pour more money into marketing for IBBC.

The Disadvantages of Working with Pinney

There are so many benefits that outweigh this one little negative, but still, if you’re an agent thinking about getting contracted with Pinney, I want to be fair and share both sides of the coin.

The ONLY disadvantage in working with Pinney is often it “feels” a bit hard to get a hold of people there.  One thing you have to understand if you work with Pinney is these people are busy – they’re always on the phone.  All of them are very good about getting back to you, but sometimes it’s not as quick as the average person might like or is used to.  That’s why I say it just “feels” like you can’t get a hold of them.  You can, just not usually at a moment’s notice.

For example, when I worked with CPS-Special Risk Services, I got the royal treatment.  If you call them up, there’s a 90% chance the owner will answer, “CPS Special Risk, this is Rich.”  And if you needed to talk to a case manager there, they were available most of the time, or would call you back typically within 15-30 minutes.

However, at Pinney, it’s not uncommon for Nic or Angela to get back to me several hours after I leave a message… usually on the same day, but that’s not always the case.  I’d say next day call backs are extremely rare, though.  Everyone there is also very good about responding to email, so if you’re comfortable with that, email is usually your best bet for a quick answer.  But if you’re the type who needs your hand held and needs call backs, like, yesterday, Pinney would not be the ideal IMO for you, and in that case, I’d highly recommend my friends at Special Risk.

… and while I maintain that SRS is better suited for 90% of life insurance agents, I have to give Pinney the edge to any agency dealing in high lead volume like us, due to their tools and technology.

Pinney and Technology

Pinney is always pushing the envelope with technology.  They have 3 full-time programmers, so that alone should tell you they’re committed to creating solutions for their agents.  Besides developing EZLifeSales.com, they have also helped me develop multiple functions within my website, and connected my VAMdB account directly to EZLifeSales, which is awesome.  This way I can just type in the applicant’s info into Vam, click a button, and their info transfers over to the 1 page EZLife app so I don’t have to write it twice.

Coming Soon – Dataraptor

Then Pinney has their own CRM coming out soon, which agents will be able to use for a monthly fee.  I’ve seen a sneak peak and it’s awesome.  Click here for more on Dataraptor.

How to Get Contracted with Pinney and Get Free Consulting from Chris

If you’re interested in getting contracted with Pinney, and can prove annual life insurance production of $75,000+, email me at consulting@elifetools.com, and we’ll schedule a phone meeting to see if you qualify to work with me.  If you get contracted under me, you’ll receive the same service I offer for $500 per month to other agents, but you’ll get it for free.  This includes:

  • 1 hour planning/consulting session every month to assist you in your online marketing strategy
  • plus email support
  • free access to my eLifeTools course, valued at over $1,000, coming soon
  • See full details…

Contact me if you have any questions.

Your Turn

What experience do you have with Pinney Insurance?  If you’re contracted with them, have you noticed an increase in your apps sent-received ratio?

{ 1 comment }
Chris Lalor September 25, 2014, 1:56 am

EZ Life is excellent! Really streamlines the application and administration process of selling life insurance.

Reply

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