How Identifying Insurance Carrier Niches Increased My Income 100% in 1 Year (and How You Can Too)
He would always respond, “Well, they’re all about the same.” 🙁
… and since agents ask me so much about carrier niches, I decided to share how I found which carrier was lenient on which health condition, so you too can begin building your cheat sheet and winning more sales.
Quick Article Guide:
- Why Niche Info is Important
- Example of a Niche Condition & Carrier
- How to Find Niche Carriers
- 10 of My Favorite Company Niches
Knowledge is power.
Once I had the inside track insurance carrier niches, I was able to quote some conditions at possible preferred by going to the “right carrier” when other agents were quoting Standard. I was able to quote some Standard when others were quoting Table 4.
I was able to tell people, “Oh, you’ll never get that rating with xyz company.”
… and they would apply with me instead!
My income more than doubled from 2009 to 2010 after putting some of the techniques below into practice and learning the tricks of the trade. (In full disclosure, I also got a boatload more leads in 2010 as I was getting Insurance Blog by Chris going, but early on, I took very few apps, even though I was getting leads. It wasn’t until I learned about impaired risk underwriting that I became a good salesperson. Then when I found SRS in 2010, and with their help became even more of an expert on niche areas, and my average premium jumped 82%.
On Ed Hinerman’s blog, he once wrote about possible preferred rates for type 2 diabetics, but only ING was offering it, and only under very unique circumstances, if the diabetic was over 60 years old, had a low a1c, had been diagnosed in the past 5 years, and was otherwise in preferred health.
Here’s the article: http://www.hinermangroup.com/blog/insurance/the-preferred-plus-type-2-diabetic/
Now THAT is a great example of a carrier niche… it’s a company who is willing to offer a better rate for the same condition as all the others.
Note: Ed’s post was written in 2010, I believe, so it’s a bit outdated. I’ve gotten preferred from ING on these exact cases, but rarely, and I’ve heard they’re not doing it anymore.
So how would one find out about these niches?
There are a few ways to find out about stuff like this:
- I recommend you read the company newsletters that get emailed to you, as sometimes they’ll contain gems about niches they are trying to target. You can usually get some good article ideas from these too. Other GA’s/IMO’s who are trying to recruit you may send you emails as well, and those are great to read thru too, because they’re trying to give you sales ideas. I recommend you set up a folder in your email inbox dedicated just for emails like these and take 10 minutes per week to peruse through for anything that looks interesting. Mine looks like this: (click to magnify)
- The second way we find out about stuff like this is the same way I did, by reading other agents’ blogs. (I’ve been following Ed Hinerman for over 5 years.)
- The third way is when you get a tough case, to put it out for a “quick quote” or trial offer… see www.insuranceblogbychris.com/trial-offer and you’ll find that some carriers consistently come back more aggressive on some conditions than others.
- You should keep a file with your special carriers, and keep it in an underwriting folder on your computer.
Besides the diabetics using ING, some of my other favorites I’ve found are:
- Met Life going up to pref best for military with current deployment orders
- Minnesota life going preferred non tobacco if you smoke 1-2 cigarettes per month,
- PRU approving people who got a DUI immediately after the DUI,
- PRU going non smoker plus for any form of tobacco except cigarettes
- PRU going Preferred for people with sleep apnea as long as they use a CPAP
- Protective going standard for people with bipolar disorder if working, no hospitalizations or suicide thoughts/attempts
- ING not asking about family history of cancer on their APP
- Genworth for people traveling to dangerous locations. They can usually answer no to the travel question since their app asks if they’re going on vacation for more than 4 consecutive weeks. So if they’re going to Afghanistan for 3 weeks, they can answer NO.
- Over age 60 or 65 a few carriers have special build charts like PRU and Genworth, making it really easy for overweight people to get Standard or better
- Genworth going up to 300 mg/dl total cholesterol for Preferred Plus as long as Chol/HDL ratio does not exceed 4.5 for men or 4.0 for women
(Disclosure: Some of these aren’t in the carriers’ published underwriting guidelines, and there are no guarantees your clients will get the rates mentioned above. I’ve personally compiled this list, and have found it to be accurate most of the time, but as always, each case is unique and the underwriters will look at multiple variables before making an offer.)
Share Your Tools
In the comments below share what carrier niches you’ve discovered. Do you agree with the ones I listed?
… and what other ways have you discovered niches that I haven’t mentioned above?