Looking for a Bankers Life review from the perspective of an insurance agent?
Are you doing your due diligence on whether or not a Bankers Life job is a good career choice in selling insurance?
Moreso, maybe you’ve heard that Bankers Life is a scam, MLM, pyramid scheme, and want more insight if that’s really the case.
If so, you found the right article!
In this article, I review exactly how a Bankers Life and Casualty career works for insurance sales agents interested in joining the company.
I’ll detail what to expect in a Bankers Life job regarding selling insurance and daily activity.
Also, I’ll describe how Bankers Life pays (hourly salary vs commission).
Finally, I’ll provide my perspective on working at Bankers Life.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
PS: Check out my insurance sales jobs reviews of other agencies for more information.
NOTE: Are you an aspiring or new insurance agent looking for more insight on how the insurance sales industry works? Check out my free New Insurance Agent Resource Guide to help answer many of your questions (as well as ones you didn’t know you had!).
How A Bankers Life Job Works
In this section, I review the basics about how Bankers Life and Casualty works.
You need an idea of how a Bankers Life job works, so you can decide if it’s right for you or not.
Bankers Life is a first-level subsidiary of CNO FInancial Group, established in 1879 in Chicago, Illinois.
Banker’s Life target market is the “senior market” or Baby Boomer market.
These are typically people age 60 and older who are near or at retirement. Average income is “blue collar,” ranging between $25,000 and $75,000 annually.
Bankers Life offers the following products to its prospects:
- Long-term care
- Life insurance
- Medicare (Supplements, Advantage Plans, Part D prescription drug coverage)
- Critical illness/specialized disease insurance.
- Vision/dental plans (partnership with Humana)
Bankers Life has over 320 offices throughout the United States, and more than 5,000 licensed insurance agents.
What To Expect
Here’s what to expect if you start a Bankers Life job as an insurance agent.
The initial Bankers Life job interview starts with a phone call due to sharing your resume on a job board.
You are asked to join a group interview session with other potential recruits.
In that meeting, Bankers Life explains the sales opportunity. Common discussion points include a deeper explanation of working the senior market, and how much money you can make in a Bankers Life career.
This first-time group meeting provides a first glimpse at whether or not a Bankers Life insurance agent position is a good fit.
Will You Get Hired?
In most cases, yes!
It’s likely by showing marginal interest that Bankers Life will hire you.
Why is it simple to get recruited?
My perception of Bankers Life (most insurance organizations are similar) is they prefer hiring agents in volume versus an in-depth screening for the most qualified applicants.
We’ll talk later about whether or not this “Shotgun” approach to hiring is good.
After You’re Hired
After joining Bankers Life, you must get your insurance license.
This requires studying material to pass the life and health insurance exam in your state. Bankers Life will provide that material to you.
Simultaneously, Bankers Life will send you to a regionally-located boot camp training event to teach new Bankers Life agents on product and sales systems.
How The Prospecting System Works
Bankers Life relies on new agents cold calling a list of potential prospects to set up face-to-face appointments.
In many offices, cold calling takes place all day twice a week. Then you run your appointments three days weekly.
On those appointment days with schedule gaps, Bankers Life requires you to door-knock a list of people turning 65 years old.
Despite the fact that cold calling is a grind, the market Bankers Life prospects are ripe for timely Medicare sales opportunities, in addition to final expense and annuity sales.
In the beginning, a trainer joins you on your appointments. His job is teaching and demonstrating the Bankers Life sales process in a real-life environment.
Bankers Life and Casualty is a commission-only opportunity. There are no opportunities for salaries as a Bankers Life sales agent.
All earnings are generated from selling new insurance policies.
I’m often asked whether or not certain insurance organizations are legitimate or are a scam, MLM, or pyramid scheme.
Here’s the truth…
It’s rare to find an outright scam in the insurance sales business. And Bankers Life is no different.
Despite negative reviews from disgruntled agents, Bankers Life is a legitimate company.
In fact, Bankers Life helps thousands of people every week with insurance products they need.
Why do people claim Bankers Life is a scam when it isn’t?
Culture Of Recruitment
The claim does not come from how the company is structured, but from the company’s culture of recruiting.
Understand this about insurance IMOs and the insurance sales business…
Almost all insurance organizations recruit following a multi-level marketing (MLM) strategy.
If you’re unfamiliar with multi-level marketing, a common thread between all insurance MLMs is hiring most everyone, then teaching them how to recruit to build a downline.
This strategy exponentially increases the opportunity to add more revenue (especially at the top of the downline).
Bankers Life operates very similarly.
In part, company growth depends on recruiting new insurance agents. Those new Bankers Life agents then find new prospects.
Of course, the company knows a percentage of agents will fail.
They attempt to overcome failure with a heavy emphasis on new agents recruiting within their circle of influence like friends, family, and business associates.
In this section, I provide my opinions about the Bankers Life and Casualty opportunity.
One Product Opportunity
As an independent agent representing multiple companies, one drawback with Bankers Life and Casualty is limited product diversity.
Here’s how I mean.
Like Bankers Life, I teach my agents about:
- selling annuities
What my agents and I commonly run into is that one-company operations like:
- Bankers Life,
- Senior Life, and others,
Usually have higher rates and sometimes tighter underwriting than other final expense carriers.
Because our senior market is on a fixed income, you risk losing your policy to a lapse or replacement if you cannot provide competitive pricing and flexible underwriting.
It’s hard to believe, but even saving a senior $20 a month motivates many to drop the higher-priced plan for mine.
Bottom line, if you’re selling life insurance with only 1 company (Bankers Life or not), you risk losing sales to replacements and higher sales closing ratios.
No singular insurance company has the best price and underwriting for ALL prospects.
What’s the alternative?
If you can’t beat them, join them!
Be an independent agent a sell for multiple carriers instead!
That way you have more options to close more business, while simultaneously enhancing persistency (percentage of policies that do not lapse).
I teach my agents to sell insurance this way as an independent broker agent.
Independent agent advantages
Personally, I’ve sold insurance this way since beginning my career in 2011.
With this approach to offering muliple insurance carriers, I think it’s the safest and most profitable route to closing (and keeping) insurance policy sales.
With more companies come more underwriting flexibility. Most independent agents convert more prospects into sales with access to multiple carriers.
And that means happier clients and potentially a better income!
Less A Business, More A Job
One benefit Bankers Life extols is the opportunity to build your own business, and to be your own boss.
For those who despise corporate America and dream of creating your business, this “franchise opportunity” Bankers Life provides sounds appealing.
Here’s the truth…
For some, working for Bankers Life is more like working in a job than it is having your own business.
What former Bankers Life agents have told me is there’s much micromanagement.
For example, you’re expected to show up at a certain time every day. You are given orders like an employee, even though you’re a 1099 independent contractor.
Some Need Micromanagement
Don’t get me wrong. Many people need this level of support.
But… there are others entrepreneurially-minded that will go psycho due to the high degree of over-the-shoulder attention.
As a born-and-bred entrepreneur, I wouldn’t last long working under constant supervision.
Just give me the training, then get out of my way so I can make some money!
However, this disposition is the rarity. In fact, it’s likely you’ve never had any entrepreneurial experience or urges.
So, despite the micromanagement level, you may benefit from a Bankers Life career as a new insurance agent.
Lower Starting Commission
While commissions along aren’t everything in partnering with an insurance organization, they do matter.
For example, who wants to work with an organization severely short-changning earning opportunities relative to similar agencies?
Based on my discussions with former Bankers Life agents, relative to other insurance sales opportunities, Bankers has lower starting commissions.
In fact, many agents who left Bankers Life for my national insurance agency literally doubled their commission moving to my organization!
Do The Math
Doubt the math works?
Let’s do the math together and compare.
Let’s say you write $100,000 with Bankers Life at a 55% life insurance contract in a year’s time..
That means you make $55,000 in commissions $100,000 x 55% = $55,000.
Now let’s compare it to an organization like mine that starts new insurance agents at an average 100% (sometimes higher) commission level.
100% x $100,000 equals $100,000 in commission.
Let’s factor in lead costs, too. Most insurance agencies require you to purchase insurance leads.
Let’s say lead costs for the year are $25,000. Although no one can guarantee anything, good agents generally return 4 times in commission above their lead bill.
Here’s the math: $100,000 – $25,000 = $75,000 net income.
In my example, you’ve earned an additional $20,000 more!
Over 10 years’ time, that’s an additional $200,000 in net income. That adds up quick!
Another advantage, it’s likely you’ll do less work purchasing and selling with a lead program versus cold calling.
Cold calling is a grind and takes a lot more sweat equity to make work relative to a strong lead generation strategy.
Which Is Best?
So, what path should you take?
Truly, there’s no right answer for everybody. I would be wrong to suggest a one-size-fits-all solution.
Personally, I’ve come to realize more insurance agencies offer similar benefits the big guys proclaim, yet with more commissionable upside.
And many times, the big organizations are run like MLM companies, and prefer training to recruit more agents over training to sell more insurance.
Bottom line, do your due diligence!
With careful research, you’ll find plenty of organizations offering not only high commissions but solid sales and prospecting training, strong lead programs, and support for new and experienced agents.
If You Quit, You May Lose Future Earnings
A moment ago, I was watching a YouTube video on a disgruntled Bankers Life agent in preparation for writing this article.
She discussed her experience working for a Bankers Life agency in North Carolina.
As she concluded her video, she added that Bankers Life does not allow full ownership of your book of business if you end up leaving.
Let me explain how this works as non-ownership of your clients and your book’s income stream is the insurance business’s “dirty little trick.”
The truth is many insurance sales organizations take ownership of your book of business and the income stream it pays if you leave the company before a certain point in time.
Sometimes it’s a year. Sometimes it’s two.
I know of one that takes 10 years before you fully own your book!
For example, if you quit because of discrepancies or disagreements, you risk losing access to future commissions you would have earned.
Further, most organizations that take ownership of your clients also enforce a multi-year non-compete contract, barring you from selling insurance to those clients.
Where It Hurts The Most
Where this hurts is not so much on first year commission driven products, but on renewal-commission driven products like Medicare.
And for most agents working with Bankers Life, this is a problem, as much of their income stream flows from Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage renewal income.
Examples Of Agents Losing Six-Figure Incomes
I have experienced countless examples of this happening with many organizations.
Recently, one insurance agent who had written over 3,000 Medicare supplement policies in his career had next to nothing to show for his effort.
Why? Because the agency owned the commission renewals!
Unlike the claim of many industries, selling the right insurance product allows the development of a passive income.
For most, it takes years to develop a high renewal-income. But with the right arrangement, it is definitely possible.
Bottom line, carefully consider ownership of your clients.
Is it worth joining an organization where you may lose everything that you’ve built?
How To Quit Bankers Life
There are many reasons you may want to quit Bankers Life, for example, you ran out of money to invest in leads, you ran out of prospects to sell to, or you simply found that the business of selling insurance wasn’t a good fit for you.
The good news is, quitting Bankers Life is easy.
Here’s how to do it.
First, start by doing your due diligence and find another insurance agency to work for. We recommend you review our Free Agent Resource Guide here for tips on finding a quality insurance agency to join.
Once you find a new agency or carrier to join, you can go ahead and switch your affiliations.
You should keep in mind that as an insurance agent, you are licensed by the state and not by the company. No insurance agency can prevent you from stopping your affiliation with it and doing business with another organization.
You may need to cancel the affiliation with Bankers Life. The termination usually needs to be filed within a 30 day window, however canceling affiliation is not always mandatory.
To become properly appointed with the new insurance carrier or agency, you simply complete contracting with the new insurance carrier.
Typically, the window for companies to process affiliations is very short, with most companies approving insurance agent carrier appointments within 1 to 2 weeks on average.
Bottom line, quitting Bankers Life is no big deal. Simply find another organization that’s better suited to your insurance sales career goals, submit contracting through the new organization, and within the next few weeks, you’re good to go and can stop doing business with Bankers Life.
Companies Like Bankers Life
Let’s take a look at some insurance agencies and companies similar to Bankers Life in case you’re interested in doing a comparison.
Symmetry Financial Group is an insurance marketing organization based out of Swannanoa, North Carolina.
SFG specializes in several life insurance markets, primarily the mortgage protection insurance market. The company also offers final expense insurance, a type of whole life insurance designed to cover medical bills and funeral expenses after the policyholder’s passing.
People Helping People (PHP)
People Helping People was established in 2009 in Northridge, California. The company serves the middle markets for insurance-based financial planning. It focuses on term insurance, index universal life insurance, and fixed indexed annuities.
American Income Life (AIL)
American Income Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Life Insurance, is a major provider of supplemental life insurance. The company was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Waco, Texas.
American Income Life’s core markets are labor unions, credit unions, and associations for insurance solicitation. Its insurance products include life insurance and supplemental health.
New York Life
New York Life established in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the country. It offers premium life insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement income insurance, and investment plans, including annuities, mutual funds, and ETF saving plans.
USHEALTH Advisors is a wholly-owned national sales and distribution subsidiary of USHEALTH Group, one of the largest employers of health insurance agents in the United States.
USHEALTH offers individual health coverage plans and a number of related supplementary products. It specializes in marketing innovative and affordable health coverage plans. The company is focused on providing healthcare solutions to individuals and families, as well as self-employed and small business owners.
Equis is a marketing organization for independent insurance agents and agency builders.
Its main product is mortgage protection life insurance, designed to reduce or eliminate the threat of foreclosure or eviction if the insured passes unexpectedly. The company also offers final expense, living benefits, and indexed universal life insurance products.
Freedom Equity Group
Freedom Equity Group, based in Arroyo Grande, California, is an independent marketing organization (IMO) that contracts with insurance companies to promote and distribute a range of life insurance products.
Freedom Equity Group focuses on selling life insurance and annuities. Its main product is indexed universal life insurance, a form of permanent coverage that provides a cash value in addition to life insurance.
Thanks so much for reading my review on Bankers Life and Casualty.
I hope this review article gives you perspective on what it’s really like to work in a Bankers Life sales job.
There’s still more due diligence that you should do.
I have included a list of different articles, review websites, and YouTube videos that are worth watching to get a better perspective about the Bankers Life and Casualty opportunity.
If you like to learn more about my agency and how I can help you become a top producer, please go here to learn how it works, what products I offer, and what my advantages are in working with my agency.
- Bankers Life Discussion On Reddit