Thanks for your interest in the Duford Insurance Group!
Please review the most Frequently Asked Questions list below to answer many of your questions on partnering with Duford Insurance Group to sell final expense, Medicare Advantage, or annuities.
How do the insurance products DIG sells work?
Final expense is a simplified issue whole life insurance product designed to pay money to an insured’s beneficiary to cover final expenses like burial and cremation costs.
Further, whole life insurance provides peace of mind to our clients in the following ways:
- Policies never cancel due to age or health as long as premiums are paid.
- Premiums remain level, never increasing due to age or any arbitrary reason.
- If the client medically qualifies, coverage may start fully from the first premium payment for the entire coverage amount. If not, there are likely policies that will partially cover the client from the policy issue date. Or, worse case, provide guaranteed issue coverage with no health questions.
Also, “simplified issue” refers to how our insurance carriers underwrite the final expense product.
With final expense, there are no medical exams, specimen collections, or detailed medical information. Instead, a simple Medical Information Bureau check and Prescription check is done electronically at the time of sale, with our favored insurance carriers providing an instant decision of approval or decline.
The benefit to your client is easier-issuing coverage without the frustrating weeks – if not months – of waiting for a decision as with fully underwritten policies.
This means your client gets coverage fast (and you get paid fast).
You can learn more about selling final expense insurance in my informative article here.
Medicare Advantage are private-sector health insurance plans that take the place of Original Medicare.
The number of people with Medicare Advantage plans has doubled from 10.5 million in 2019 to 22 million in 2019.
Medicare Advantage “rearranges” Original Medicare benefits in a way that may better suit its policyholders. For example, Medicare Advantage policyholders enjoy low monthly premiums, low co-pays, low prescription costs, and strong physician networks.
At Duford Insurance Group, we target the “Special Election Period” market. This market consists of low-income seniors who qualify switching out their Medicare Advantage plans at any time during the year, given they qualify due to a special election.
We believe this is an under-served, highly lucrative market, of which we use our proprietary sales and marketing system to target.
You can learn more about the Medicare Advantage market in my detailed article here.
Annuities are life insurance products that eliminate the risk of principle loss on an insured’s money while exposing his money to gains in the market.
At DIG, we primarily market retirees for this using what’s known as a fixed index annuity, granting the retiree upside market gain potential while guaranteeing no risk of loss due to a bad stock market.
You can learn more about how annuity sales works in this detailed interview here.
Who is our target market?
Our target market for final expense, Medicare, and annuities is the Senior Citizen demographic.
Roughly, this refers to people 50 and older who have low to moderate levels of income. The vast majority of our market is either:
- Disabled and cannot work, or,
- Retired and chooses not to work.
We love this demographic because of its long-term fundamental strengths, and believe there exists decades of sales opportunity for agents who commit to it.
Some benefits of the Senior Citizen market include:
- 11,000 people turn 65 each DAY between 2020 and 2030.
- The 65 and older population will increase 50% from 2020 to 2040 (from approximately 50 million to 75 million).
- Social Security pays our prospects no matter what the economy does, providing sales opportunities to prospects with less income sensitivity compared to working people.
- Medicare supplemental insurance companies invest millions upon millions of dollars to promote purchasing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement policies, which conditions Medicare recipients into thinking buying an additional Medicare policy is a must-have purchase.
- Social Security and Medicare are political third rails. Few politicians will risk their careers attempting to reform either program as voters in older age brackets will vote them out if either program is even threatened.
Which insurance carriers do we offer?
Since DIG is an independent broker, we offer a variety of insurance carriers for agents to select from.
In most cases, agents start with 3 to 5 carriers.
How is Duford Insurance Group different from other insurance agency opportunities?
Duford Insurance Group is unique relative to other insurance sales opportunities for the following reasons:
1. Belief In The Independent Model Of Insurance Sales
We teach agents to sell multiple insurance carriers as opposed to a single carrier.
More carriers means more options, providing us better opportunities to help our clients with better premium rates and underwriting standards.
2. Producer-Oriented, Not Recruitment-Oriented
Bottom line, DIG is NOT an insurance MLM.
Our passion is in training you on the craft of SELLING insurance, and not recruiting agents.
Not to say we do not support agents recruiting (we do, agents need experience selling first), but our focus is on developing you into an insurance sales machine above all else.
3. Designed For The Entrepreneurial Agent
Duford Insurance Group is not right for everyone. To succeed, you must possess higher levels of self-responsibility and self-discipline than the average agent.
You MUST be a self-starter. This is NOT a babysitting, micromanaging agency. You truly run your own insurance sales business and are treated as an independent business owner.
4. Top Commissions
Since DIG is not an MLM agency with 10 people between you and the top of the company feeding off your production, DIG is able to extend more commission to its agents and remain lucrative.
This means agents are actually paid VERY good commissions relative to most agencies with the ability to grow commission rates with production history.
5. Top Quality Leads
DIG has relationships with top-quality lead vendors, connecting you to lead providers already proven to work.
Our preference are for vendors that sell you EXCLUSIVE and FRESH leads, not old and resold. This means fresher leads with more interest in buying.
6. A Fair And Balanced Agent-Agency Relationship
DIG founder David Duford knows exactly what it’s like as an agent. And the last thing he wants is to screw you over like so many other agencies do.
As an agent with DIG, we promise to do the following:
- Release upon request as long as you do not owe chargeback money.
- Fully vest 100% from the first day. You own your own book of business and continue to get paid into the future no matter your long-term working arrangements with DIG.
- You are paid directly from the insurance company.
7. Support For BOTH Face-To-Face And Telesales Agents
Whether you want to sell face-to-face or over the phone, Duford Insurance Group can help!
We have many agents successfully selling in both and can teach you the inner workings of which ever you choose is best-suited for your goals.
What kind of results do Duford Insurance Group agents get?
While results vary, we have documented dozens of success stories on agents:
- Selling final expense face-to-face
- Final expense sales by phone
- Medicare Advantage sales face-to-face,
- Selling Medicare Advantage over the phone, and,
- Successfully selling annuities.
Your success is our primary directive, and we want you to know many have come before you who have experienced success.
Please review our many Agent Success Stories here for more context on how we help agents become top producers.
How has Covid-19, Recessions/Depressions affected selling the Senior Citizen market?
Believe it or not, little to none!
In fact, some agents’ sales results have only improved since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Here’s a few reasons why pandemics, recessions, and Depressions have less impact in our market than others:
- Guaranteed Income. Almost all our clients receive Social Security income payments. The US Government has never been late paying Social Security at any time since its inception nearly 100 years ago. And this means when the economy goes bad and workers lose their jobs, our prospects continue to get paid, on time and without reduction. This translates into a business model with less swings up and down and more consistency.
- Gaps In Medicare Coverage. When a senior turns 65 and starts Medicare, most feel additional coverage is necessary to fill the gaps in their coverage. And naturally, being older and closer to life’s end, there is more concern (especially as we’ve seen during the pandemic) about having quality health insurance coverage than in earlier years.
- Business Model Flexibility. For final expense and Medicare, we can successfully sell either face-to-face or over the phone. If there is some sort of lockdown or restrictions face-to-face, it is within reason to sell over the phone with similar success.
What kind of experience is required to join Duford Insurance Group?
First, if you are a NEWLY licensed insurance agent, we welcome you to consider joining DIG. In fact, David Duford has always focused on recruiting and training new agents into top producers.
Experienced agents are welcome, too =).
Other than that, pedigree, resumes, and work history DO NOT MATTER.
All we care about is the following:
- An appetite for action
- Ability and willingness to invest in leads
- A can-do attitude
- Not a whiner/complainer
- Passion for helping people
- Significant work-ethic
If you possess these traits, it’s likely Duford Insurance Group is a perfect fit, no matter your work history.
All About Commissions
How does compensation work?
When you sell an insurance policy, most of our carriers pay you several days after the policy is approved.
Some will wait until the first draft is collected to pay your commission.
Generally, expect to get paid on average within a few days to a few weeks after the sale.
How does commission advancing work?
“Advancing” is another word for a loan.
When you sell an insurance policy, you are advanced money with the assumption the policy does not lapse.
Typically, your major carriers advance 75% of your entire first year commission. Some advance 50%, while only a handful pay “as-earned,” or only when the premium is collected for that month’s commission.
If a policy lapses, then you owe the part of the advance that was not collected.
For example, if the insurance company collected 3 months of commissions and you were advanced 75% (9 months) of your first year commission, then you owe back 6 months as a chargeback.
The good news is that you do not have to immediately pay back a chargeback.
Most companies give you enough time to either (a) write a new policy to cover the chargeback, or (b) cut a check to cover the advance.
What are agent contracting levels and how do they work?
Duford Insurance Group prides itself on offering strong commission levels to both new and experienced agents WITHOUT the need to recruit like most insurance MLMs.
Generally, agents new to final expense start between 100% to 1110% first-year commission, with experienced agents starting between 110% to 120% first-year commission.
For top-level producers, we have the ability to increase commissions up to 135% based on hitting production goals.
And for those interested in agency building, we have commission levels up to 140% based on production goals.
We are more than happy to clearly explain what the expectations are in hitting these levels on an introductory call.
All About Leads
How do leads work with DIG?
Leads are the lifeblood of your insurance sales business and are an absolute requirement for you to invest in joining Duford Insurance Group.
Without leads an agent has no business and no way to succeed.
Here’s a breakdown on what to expect with insurance leads partnering with DIG:
- DIG doesn’t sell leads. We make recommendations to quality third-party lead vendors proven to work for other agents. DIG does NOT make affiliate commissions for these recommendations. This is NOT the case with most insurance agencies as lead sales is another income stream for the agency, which may cloud their recommendation as the agency is posed for profit on the sale of the leads, regardless of whether or not they are quality.
- How many leads should I get? For part-time agents, we recommend 15 to 30. For full time, 25 to 50+. The large range depends on lead type and whether not you’re selling face-to-face or over the phone.
- What can I expect to pay for leads? Roughly, we ask DIG agents to commit to investing $400 to $800 weekly in one of our lead recommendations.
- How long does it take to become profitable? Most agents who do well will see success within the first week or two, selling enough policies to cover their investment and profit. It is HIGHLY unlikely that it’ll take more than 1 to 2 months to become profitable, which is why for new agents we ask you to give this business at LEAST a month to determine if it’s right for you or not.
- I can’t afford the weekly lead investment, are there other options? In short, no. You must buy leads. However, get creative. While not right for everyone, consider borrowing money from family. Do you have a credit line you can utilize? Do you have collectables you can sell? We’ve seen very successful agents (including David Duford) choose to finance leads in this manner, and without making one of these tough choices, never would have made it long-term.
You can learn more about how insurance leads work in my detailed article here.
What previous career paths work well with selling final expense, Medicare, and annuities?
Literally, everything and anything.
We do not recruit on work experience, instead focusing on character first and foremost.
Do I need a license? If so, what kind?
Yes! You do need to get licensed to sell insurance.
Here’s a breakdown on what’s necessary for each type of product we offer:
- Final expense: All you need is a life insurance license, although it’s recommended to test for the health and accident license, too.
- Medicare: First, you need a health and accident license. We recommend also testing for the life license, too. Second, you’ll need to take the AHIP Medicare Training test to sell Medicare Advantage products.
- Annuities: For the annuities we sell, in most states, all you need is a life insurance license. Some states require additional testing. You do NOT need a financial advisor certification as we do not sell variable annuities.
Click this link to get more specific directions on how to get your insurance license, and where to get pre-licensing started.
Expect this process of licensing to take 2 to 3 weeks for the average person.
What are the expected costs of licensing?
Expect to invest somewhere between $200 to $400 to become a licensed insurance agent.
This number consists of paying for pre-licensing, testing, finger-printing, and background checking.
Average income of a producing agent?
We hate to say it, but understand most insurance agents fail within their first 12 months of getting started. So average incomes aren’t that great.
However, for those that follow our system and work hard, we believe a first-year income of $50,000 to $75,000 is possible selling final expense, with the definite possibility of earning $100,000 to $200,000 in income in either the second or third year of selling final expense.
For Medicare sales, since the product is renewal-driven, the first few years pays less income than final expense. However, with consistent sales for the first 5 years, many times Medicare commissions far exceed final expense commissions.
For example, it is conceivable for an agent to have 1,000 Medicare Advantage clients in 3 to 5 years, which would pay $270,000 each year FOR LIFE, as long as the clients stay on the books.
What can a top producing agent make in the first 12 months? Long-term?
We’ve had top agents write $300,000 to $500,000 in their first full 12 months in the final expense business.
Long-term, coupling either agency-building or selling Medicare Advantage, it’s possible to earn incomes even higher.
Is this MLM, pyramid scheme?
NO, this is NOT a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme. You NEVER have to:
- Recruit other agents
- Sell your friends and family, or
- Attend annoying Kool-aid rah-rah conferences.
If anything, the Duford Insurance Group is the “anti-MLM” agency.
How do I grow in my career?
The vast majority of agents with Duford Insurance Group start their career selling final expense.
As time progresses, they either:
- Choose to build an agency, or,
- Cross-sell Medicare Advantage plans and the occasional annuity to their clientele.
Either way, we support whatever direction you want in your insurance career, and will help you grow as big as you want!
Can I recruit from Day 1?
No. While recruiting is great, it does not make sense until you’ve developed “street cred.”
We recommend 6 to 12 months of consistent success selling insurance before recruiting.
Newly recruited agents require your attention and wisdom, and if you cannot provide it, they will understandably leave.
However, if you have existing experience selling insurance when you join DIG, then recruiting is OK.
How does residual income work?
Both final expense and Medicare products pay a renewal/residual income. This is income that’s paid to you well after your first year commissions are paid.
This is nice as you are paid on work you completed sometimes years ago.
However, understand that while both products pay a renewal income, final expense is NOT geared towards significant renewal income, while Medicare Advantage IS.
What happens with most agents is that they start selling insurance with final expense, then around a year in, start cross-selling Medicare Advantage.
This provides the best of both worlds, with a high first-year commission selling final expense, along with a long-term renewal income stream developed from selling Medicare Advantage.
Hours In the Field Weekly?
We want you working as much as possible.
Selling our products is primarily a game of numbers, meaning the more time in the field with prospects, the more likely you’ll make sales.
Nevertheless, this is YOUR insurance sales business, so you have full discretion over how many hours daily and days weekly you want to work.
David Duford’s recommendations are for full-time agents new to final expense to work 5 to 6 days with a few of those days late nights, and part-time agents to work multiple days during the week and all-day Saturday.
Do you work with part-time agents?
Yes! DIG founder David Duford started selling final expense part-time in 2011.
Part-time DEFINITELY works, but you need to have a FULL-TIME mentality to make it work optimally.
All About Numbers
How many sales presentations weekly should I do?
We recommend full-time face-to-face agents strive for 15 COMPLETED appointments weekly, and telesales agents strive for 20 COMPLETED appointments weekly.
Part-time agents should start with cutting those numbers in half.
What’s the average closing ratio?
For each completed presentation, we expect 50% to buy. Some agents only sell 40%, which is typically workable.
The best agents consistently sell 65% to 70% of completed presentations.
Return on investment goal?
Our goal for our final expense agents is to return a minimum of $3 in commission for every dollar spent on marketing.
Optimally, we want to see a 4:1 return on investment or better. In other words, if you invest $50,000 into your final expense lead generation, we want you to commission between $150,000 to $200,000, giving you a net income of $100,000 to $200,000.
What’s the average case size?
The average final expense case pays a monthly premium of $50. Some agents average less, some average more.
What’s the average commission per case?
Generally, between $400 and $700, depending on what type of product sold.
Quality of business?
If you follow our sales training advice while offering multiple insurance products, we expect 80% or more of your final expense and Medicare clients to stay on the books after the first year.
How does training work?
Here’s how training works at Duford Insurance Group:
- Interactive Training Website. We have a training website that houses every conceivable training resource you’d ever need to master final expense, Medicare, and annuity sales. Scripts, classroom training modules, live sales call analysis recordings, carrier cheat sheets, quoters, and on and on. If anything, there are TOO MUCH training resources.
- Daily Live Training Conferences. We host daily training calls on all sorts of different subjects including script role-playing, live sales call analysis, carrier training, new agent onboarding, agency building, etc.
- One-on-one coaching. You have access to David Duford and can schedule a coaching call anytime with him to discuss anything at all you need help with.
- Field training opportunities. We have a network of agents nationally that are willing to take new agents on 1-day ride-alongs to learn more and observe how the business is done.
- In-person boot camps. We host boot camps in various parts of the country on final expense, annuities, Medicare, and telesales.
- Direct access to David Duford. As a DIG agent, you’ll get David Duford’s personal cell phone whenever you need help with anything. Just call and/or text and David is at your service.
How do agents scale up to make $250k+ annually?
Bottom line, they buy a LOT of leads, and run a LOT of appointments. Our highest income-earning agents regularly buy 80 to 120 leads WEEKLY, running 30 to 40 appointments weekly. We’ll teach you how to get there =).
Interested in learning more about joining Duford Insurance Group? Click the link here to start the process.