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The Necessity of a Complete Portfolio

An article by Josh Kersey and Chalen Jackson, as featured in American Benefit Specialists magazine.

YOU MAY BE HAPPY WITH YOUR CURRENT PORTFOLIO, BUT ARE YOUR CLIENTS?

As an insurance agent, you provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if anything that happens to your client, they will be taken care of. This requires multiple product lines and the ability to speak about why and when each one is necessary.

A common thread among agents we have worked with seems to be: “Why should I take the time to offer all these products to my clients?” We want to leave you no doubt and an understanding of how to determine the products of best fit for your practice. The main question that we want you to walk away thinking about at the end of the day is: “You may be happy with your current portfolio, but are your clients?”

There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself before actually  deciding which product lines and carriers within those product lines to add:

  • Do you have the infrastructure to support adding a new product line?
  • Are you filling your portfolio with not only your clients’ future in mind, but also
    your agency’s future?
  • Does your portfolio match your agency and what you are telling clients that you do?
  • Do you have E&O and what are the requirements for you to contract with certain carriers?
  • Is your portfolio lean enough to be effective, yet full enough to make sure that you can handle any potential client that walks through your door?

These are questions that you should run through whenever you are considering adding a new product line, as well as when you are considering adding a particular carrier. For instance, most advisers build their business with an exit strategy in mind, be that a sale to a partner or third party or a plan of succession with their heirs. If this is your intention, then what products you add and what carriers you write those products with should absolutely be at the forefront of your mind. For example, a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement is something that is likely to meet a client’s needs for many years to come. Due to the savings your client will experience, the increase in care they will have access to, and the increase in retention your agency will see, this is going to be a very solid carrier to have in your portfolio.

The first product line that we would recommend looking at adding would be Medicare Supplements. When looking at Medicare Supplements, keep in mind that your portfolio should include carriers that are market-leading brands, as well as highly rated carriers that can meet specific underwriting or cost concerns. You should also be anticipating the most common needs that walk in your door. For example, one in three seniors has diabetes today. This means that a good percentage of your client base may have diabetes and you need to be looking at carriers that have better underwriting for diabetics and the issues this disease can cause. Medicare Supplements continue to show high levels of satisfaction among enrollees and while Medicare Advantage continues to receive an ever larger market share, Medicare Supplements remain one of the most common ways seniors access care. 

The next product line that we would recommend adding is Medicare Advantage. There has been a stigma for a long time that MA plans are only for clients who are less economically inclined, but this is just not the case in this day and age. We are seeing very strong plans from carriers across the board that are giving seniors the options to have low and, in some cases, no premium and still enjoy benefi ts such as portability and choices in care. MA has been gaining more and more popularity as we see coverage and availability continue to grow. Due to this modern approach, MA plans can be a good fi t for a wide range of clients.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage is a critical part of any Medicare portfolio to offer your clients because every client is going to have a different array of drugs they take and you need to be sure that you have a plan that is going to cover this array to the best of your ability. If you are offering Medicare Advantage and are branding your agency as being “Medicare advisers,” you owe it to your clients to have a wide range of prescription drug plans to cover your clients’ needs. While you will run across seniors who do not take any drugs, due to the Part D drug coverage requirement, it is still vital that you offer Prescription Drug Coverage to your clients. For your clients who do take drugs, once a month they are going to think to themselves, “I love my agent and all the money they are saving me on my prescriptions.” That’s a very good thing to have your clients thinking.

RETAINING AND DEVELOPING EXISTING CLIENTS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT TO YOUR SUCCESS AS NEW BUSINESS.

Retaining and developing existing clients is just as important to your success as new business. By adding ancillary product lines such as dental, hospital indemnity and critical illness, you have opportunities to meet client concerns while drastically increasing client retention —up to 30% for each line of business! While these product lines may not necessarily be your bread and butter, they are great ways to fill any potential gaps in your clients’ coverage and reduce their exposure as much as possible. Even if the products are not a fi t for all of your clients, simply knowing that you are Equipped to help them with any situation will give your clients peace of mind and lead to better retention and opportunity for referrals. For these reasons and the need that we are seeing for these products, you are going to be leaving potential gaps and exposure in their coverage by not offering these in addition to your core products. 

In conclusion, it is important that you evaluate your portfolio at least once a year, if not more frequently. In addition, regularly evaluate the internal systems you use to manage these products so you can ensure a consistent client experience. As long as you realistically evaluate all of these aspects on a yearly basis, your portfolio should be set up in the best way possible to service any current or potential clients you may have. Need a portfolio review? Contact your experts at Senior Marketing Specialists 1-800-689-2800.

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