Email Marketing Success for Insurance and Financial Agents

It is how we communicate with our friends and family members. It is also how we spread jokes and chain letters to our co-workers, but are we effectively using email as a way to increase our contacts with potential clients?

Many insurance agencies and financial firms still press upon their sales teams the importance of the phone; cold calling, referral calling, calling a book of business. But more and more people are “turned off” by phone calls.

Our modern times have become so impersonal that fewer and fewer business people will sit and chat on the phone, instead turning to email or instant message for a quick conversation without having to stop what they are doing and pay full attention. In addition, many homes have turned off their land lines, opting for cell phone plans for both cost and privacy. So, how do you reach your consumers?

Invariably, business owners, whether corporate, medical, legal, any type of business person really, has spent quite a bit of time and effort training their reception staff NOT to let anyone through who seems to be selling something. Those people we lovingly refer to as “gate-keepers”. The best thing you can do is accept that sometimes you will get through and sometimes you won’t.

It is still recommended that you ask for the business owner or person in charge of handling the company’s benefits when you call, however, don’t be disappointed if they tell you that person is busy. Leaving messages does payoff with some call backs.

After you leave your message with the receptionist, be sure to ask for an email address, even if a generic one. Send them a note with some information that they can respond to. You can even go as far as asking for the receptionist’s email and when the receptionist receives it they can forward it to intended target. More often than not, a receptionist will comply with that request as it seems simple enough and doesn’t come across as too pushy.

Depending on your market, many businesses will have a website which provides an email address. Because of that, there are lead companies who have collected that information and will sell you a list with your target audience’s information and contact emails. This might be a source for prospecting for you, however don’t rule out some good ol’ fashioned prospecting on your own. It may be beneficial to your sale to look at a business’s website to get a feel for their environment. It can only assist you when you make your appointment and visit with the owner or HR person.

Sending information and collecting data via email is one of the most used forms of communication. In this highly impersonal world, it may be your ticket to breaking through the gate keeper barrier and reaching your intended party. They may not respond necessarily to your phone calls, but may be more likely to an email they can read when they have a moment. We are all more comfortable asking questions or sharing personal information when the receiving party cannot see our faces or hear our voices. However, test your email marketing and use the best results to get your foot in the door.

After securing her position as a Top Seller in the Insurance and Financial Industry over the course of several years; Christee Fontanez shifted her focus several years ago to internet marketing and advertising. She combined both professions and now works to build results-driven marketing campaigns for the independent advisor. Having created her own system for generating business to business and business to consumer leads, she now shares her knowledge with those seeking to increase their profitability.

Types Of Life Insurance Policies – Which Is Right For You?

Term Life by definition is a life insurance policy which provides a stated benefit upon the holder’s death, provided that the death occurs within a certain specified time period. However, the policy does not provide any returns beyond the stated benefit, unlike an insurance policy which allows investors to share in returns from the insurance company’s investment portfolio.

Annually renewable term life.

Historically, a term life rate increased each year as the risk of death became greater. While unpopular, this type of life policy is still available and is commonly referred to as annually renewable term life (ART).

Guaranteed level term life.

Many companies now also offer level term life. This type of insurance policy has premiums that are designed to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years. Level term life policies have become extremely popular because they are very inexpensive and can provide relatively long term coverage. But, be careful! Most level term life insurance policies contain a guarantee of level premiums. However some policies don’t provide such guarantees. Without a guarantee, the insurance company can surprise you by raising your life insurance rate, even during the time in which you expected your premiums to remain level. Needless to say, it is important to make sure that you understand the terms of any life insurance policy you are considering.
Return of premium term life insurance

Return of premium term insurance (ROP) is a relatively new type of insurance policy that offers a guaranteed refund of the life insurance premiums at the end of the term period assuming the insured is still living. This type of term life insurance policy is a bit more expensive than regular term life insurance, but the premiums are designed to remain level. These returns of premium term life insurance policies are available in 15, 20, or 30-year term versions. Consumer interest in these plans has continued to grow each year, as they are often significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, yet, like many permanent plans, they still may offer cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance Policies

A permanent life insurance policy by definition is a policy that provides life insurance coverage throughout the insured’s lifetime ñ the policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, a permanent life insurance policy provides a savings element that builds cash value.
Universal Life

Life insurance which combines the low-cost protection of term life with a savings component that is invested in a tax-deferred account, the cash value of which may be available for a loan to the policyholder. Universal life was created to provide more flexibility than whole life by allowing the holder to shift money between the insurance and savings components of the policy. Additionally, the inner workings of the investment process are openly displayed to the holder, whereas details of whole life investments tend to be quite scarce. Premiums, which are variable, are broken down by the insurance company into insurance and savings. Therefore, the holder can adjust the proportions of the policy based on external conditions. If the savings are earning a poor return, they can be used to pay the premiums instead of injecting more money. If the holder remains insurable, more of the premium can be applied to insurance, increasing the death benefit. Unlike with whole life, the cash value investments grow at a variable rate that is adjusted monthly. There is usually a minimum rate of return. These changes to the interest scheme allow the holder to take advantage of rising interest rates. The danger is that falling interest rates may cause premiums to increase and even cause the policy to lapse if interest can no longer pay a portion of the insurance costs.

To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance

This type of life policy offers a guaranteed level premium to age 100, along with a guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most often, this is accomplished within a Universal Life policy, with the addition of a feature commonly known as a “no-lapse rider”. Some, but not all, of these plans also include an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the insured lives to age 100, having paid the “no-lapse” premiums each year, the full face amount of coverage will continue on a guaranteed basis at no charge thereafter.

Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance

A survivorship life policy, also called 2nd-to-die life, is a type of coverage that is generally offered either as universal or whole life and pays a death benefit at the later death of two insured individuals, usually a husband and wife. It has become extremely popular with wealthy individuals since the mid-1980’s as a method of discounting their inevitable future estate tax liabilities which can, in effect, confiscate an amount to over half of a family’s entire net worth!

Congress instituted an unlimited marital deduction in 1981. As a result, most individuals arrange their affairs in a manner such that they delay the payment of any estate taxes until the second insured’s death. A “2nd-to-die” life policy allows the insurance company to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s death, thereby creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes exactly when they are needed! This coverage is widely used because it is generally much less expensive than individual permanent life coverage on either spouse.

Variable Universal Life

A form of whole life which combines some features of universal life, such as premium and death benefit flexibility, with some features of variable life, such as more investment choices. Variable universal life adds to the flexibility of universal life by allowing the holder to choose among investment vehicles for the savings portion of the account. The differences between this arrangement and investing individually are the tax advantages and fees that accompany the insurance policy.

Whole Life

Insurance which provides coverage for an individual’s whole life, rather than a specified term. A savings component, called cash value or loan value, builds over time and can be used for wealth accumulation. Whole life is the most basic form of cash value insurance. The insurance company essentially makes all of the decisions regarding the policy. Regular premiums both pay insurance costs and cause equity to accrue in a savings account. A fixed death benefit is paid to the beneficiary along with the balance of the savings account. Premiums are fixed throughout the life of the policy even though the breakdown between insurance and savings swings toward the insurance over time. Management fees also eat up a portion of the premiums. The insurance company will invest money primarily in fixed-income securities, meaning that the savings investment will be subject to interest rate and inflation risk.

Life Carrier Direct was founded by managing partners with over 70 years of combined Life Insurance experience. Most people want life insurance to protect the ones they love from any unexpected death so that they will be protected financially to cover such things as loss of household income, funding for education, mortgage satisfaction, and other important financial considerations related to the sanctity of the family. Please visit [] for a quote comparison of all the major A rated life insurance carriers.

Top 10 Misunderstood Things About Car Insurance

After spending many years in the insurance industry we have come up with a top 10 list of most misunderstood things about car insurance. These car insurance myths are some of the most common questions that most people have about direct car insurance either buying or reviewing their auto insurance coverage. Its better to find out now before you have a claim and it’s too late.

I just got my 1st speeding ticket my insurance rates are going to go way up.

Reality: If this is your first ticket your rates probably won’t even change. Most direct car insurance providers will give you a pass if you don’t have any other tickets or claims in the past 3 to 5 years depending on the company.

That new Plasma TV I bought last year won’t affect my Car Insurance

Reality: If you didn’t pay the credit card you charged it on then it just might. Almost all insurance companies now use some form of credit scoring when determining not only if you will qualify for insurance, but also what you will pay. There can easily be 50% difference in rates for a person with excellent credit to someone with poor credit.

I just slammed my car door into my lawnmower parked in my garage, my homeowners policy will cover it

Reality: Your homeowner’s coverage has nothing to do with covering your car. The only way your car will be covered is if you have Comprehensive (Comp) coverage for your car. And then only after you pay you deductible.

I just cracked up my friends car and I tell him don’t worry my insurance will cover it

Reality: It will but only after your friends policy pays first. So let’s say your friend has a $500 collision deductible and you have a $250 deductible. You would have to give your friend the $500 for his deductible as his insurance company is Primary. Meaning your insurance will only pay after his policy limits are exhausted. So just remember in this scenario your deductible does not matter its going to be based on your friends.

If you’re riding your bicycle and get hit by a car your car insurance won’t get involved

Reality: If you get hurt or killed while riding your bike or even walking down the street you maybe surprised to learn that you may be covered by your direct car insurance policy. If the person driving the car didn’t have any insurance or not enough insurance to cover your injuries, your Uninsured or Underinsured coverage would pay for your claim.

Someone just broke into my car and stole all of my personal belongings out of it i.e. Cd’s, Cell phone, Christmas Presents, my car insurance will pay for it.

Reality: Your car insurance does not cover your personal belongings left inside the car. You are going to have to file a claim with your Homeowners or Renters insurance policy to be compensated for these items. The general rule of thumb is your car insurance will only pay for items that are attached to the vehicle

I am going to be charged more for my Car Insurance because my car is red, blue, black, pink…

Reality: The color of your car has absolutely nothing to do with your rates. If you like red buy a red car, if you like black buy a black car. Don’t ever let this silly nonsense stop you from buying a car.

I didn’t have a car for the last 2 years, this won’t affect my rates.

Reality: Not having continuous car insurance is frowned upon by most direct car insurance companies now a day’s. Some companies won’t penalize you for not having prior insurance. If you don’t have prior insurance make sure you have a good excuse like you took the bus, or you were in the military, or some other legitimate reason. Oh and by the way I couldn’t afford my insurance is not on that list

Telling a little white lie on my insurance application won’t affect my coverage if I ever have a claim

Reality: This is one of the worst things a person can do. If you lie on your insurance application there is a good chance you won’t have any coverage when you need it the most. You think they won’t find out? Remember these 2 things when insurance company is on the hook for a ton of money. #1 They are going to start asking questions and the first thing they look at is your application. Wouldn’t you if you were them? And reason #2, the insurance companies have more money than god and they have people working full time to find this stuff out.

Buying a cheaper more reasonable car will be less to insure the a more expensive car.

Reality: There are a lot of different factors insurance companies use to determine rates, however there are many times were the rate for the more expensive car is less than the cheaper car. One of the biggest factors for the Comp & Collision coverage’s are how much do replacement parts cost. Sometimes on those cheaper cars or the more exotic cars the replacement parts can cost a lot to replace.

So just remember the next time your online looking for a cheaper insurance policy, to consider some of your options. There are hundred’s of direct auto insurance companies out there looking to get in your pocket, just make sure when the time comes you can get into theirs.