If so, you’ve found the right article!
I’m going to share all the details you need to know about working with Northwestern Mutual, with the goal of helping you determine if the opportunity is right for you.
Also, having worked in the life insurance industry since 2011 as an independent agent (not associated with Northwestern), I’ll add my opinions of Northwestern Mutual to provide further perspective.
PS: Review more insurance sales job opportunities in my detailed round-up article here.
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Northwestern Mutual offers customers many product packages to suit their needs including life insurance coverage options, annuities, and disability insurance.
Term life insurance
The affordable term life insurance offered through Northwestern provides coverage for a set period, often for 10 or 20 years, during which clients maintain coverage.
This type of policy is for a short-term need, such as making sure mortgage payments don’t default to their children when something happens to them.
Many people feel they should upgrade to a more permanent policy once their term ends.
Whole life insurance
For coverage that lasts a lifetime with guaranteed fixed premiums, your clients may want to opt for whole life insurance.
These plans are guaranteed to increase in tax-deferred value, never decrease, and are always available for them to use in an emergency.
They can be used as a safety net for an investment, a way to pay for education, boost retirement income, or can be left to your client’s family when the client dies.
Universal life insurance
The flexible premium payments and death benefits of universal life insurance policies encourage people to upgrade.
Since clients control the payments, they can get life-long coverage at their own speed, to use the tax-deferred value of their coverage on anything they need.
Custom universal life plans are more flexible in terms of payment schedules and value accumulation while single premium policies are purchased with a single lump-sum payment.
Disability insurance is for people who need help with their income when an injury or illness keeps them from their jobs.
Northwestern disability insurance is a safety net for your client’s family when they can no longer provide for them.
Disability insurance for doctors and dentists
Disability insurance for doctors and dentists is a unique policy option with Northwestern Mutual.
It protects the lifestyle and the families of medical professionals who cannot maintain their practice because of a sickness or injury.
Long-term care includes insurance coverage options that many people think are covered through their Medicare plans.
Northwestern Mutual offers this supplemental coverage for those that need extra protection that isn’t covered by their normal insurance.
Long-term care includes helping with daily tasks like eating, bathing, and getting dressed.
It also covers costs that your clients may need for nursing homes, assisted living, live-in nurses, hospices, and other long-term needs for people who are advanced in age and need to prepare for when they can no longer take care of themselves.
Annuities allow clients to guarantee their retirement with money that they pay towards Northwestern Mutual’s coverage plan.
Clients can choose to make payments over time or pay as one sum. Annuities have less liquidity than other coverage plans, which means they have less access to the cash value of their coverage plan throughout their life.
Instead, annuities give them a plan for the future to fill in the gaps of their retirement income.
As Northwestern Mutual is the second-largest provider of deferred-income annuities in the United States, these plans are more popular than ever.
There’s more to creating a valid insurance timeline and planning your client’s future financial situation than just buying an insurance plan.
Another service offered by Northwestern Mutual is financial planning, where you will act as an advisor to help clients create a solid plan for their future that includes insurance coverage for their needs and investment strategies that will help them keep both liquid and invested assets secure for them and their family’s future.
Retirement planning is important even at a young age. As a Northwestern Mutual’s financial advisor, you will offer this program to help customers make a viable plan within their means so that they have a guaranteed income when they’re no longer working.
College savings plan
Northwestern Mutual financial advisors also offer help with plans to help clients afford college, to contribute to a dedicated account, work through tax exemptions, and help them make a plan for their unique situation.
A Coverdell Educational Savings Account is just one of the ways that Northwestern advisors help prospective students save for their education and plan for their future.
Private client services
As an employee of Northwestern Mutual, you may also be expected to provide planning services for large, special interest clients who want to make large investments of $1 million or more.
These solutions help wealthy individuals manage unique problems like merging their accounts, managing investments, maximizing taxes, and estate planning.
Estate planning may sound like a product that only people with huge estates or large amounts of wealth will use.
However, people need advice on their estates in even the smallest matters, since land and wealth redistribution is not as prevalent as issues of the deceased’s final wishes and the plans they make for whatever money or possessions they do have.
Agents at Northwestern Mutual earn 100% based on commission so they can set their own schedules and work with senior advisors when they choose to close their deals.
Northwestern Mutual is not a scam or insurance MLM.
The company has been around for decades and does a fantastic job for its clients and for those agents who are a good fit for their business model.
Now that you know a little more about how Northwestern Mutual works, here’s my thoughts on a career with the company as an independent insurance agent.
Comfortable Selling Friends And Family?
In its insurance sales training program, Northwestern teaches new agents to prospect using the Project 100/200 method.
This strategy leverages the agent’s sphere of influence, his personal contacts such as friends, family, and former business associates.
The agent is instructed to compile a list of all of these contacts. Then, with help from Northwestern, reach out to these prospects and solicit them for both insurance policies and referrals.
To some, this strategy is fine.
For many, it’s repulsive!
Bottom line, if you are not comfortable selling to your friends and family… if the idea makes you feel like you’d damage personal relationships with people important in your life…
You may want to look at other sales opportunities.
With that said, not all insurance sales jobs require working your friends and family for business.
Some offer insurance leads that you can purchase or are given to sell to instead.
That’s what I did when I first started. Like many, I hated the idea of selling to my family and friends.
And buying life insurance leads instead seemed much more approachable.
Captive Versus Independent
Another consideration to make…
- Do you want to sell insurance as a captive, one insurance company only agent, or,
- Is selling multiple insurance companies as an independent agent more appealing?
Working for Northwestern Mutual, you must solely sell their insurance product line-up.
And while Northwestern is a fantastic company, it won’t be the best choice in terms of pricing or underwriting for every single prospect you come across.
That’s why I chose to sell as an independent agent.
Having access to multiple carriers means I can sell more of my prospects a policy, and have a higher likelihood my coverage will grant them optimal underwriting terms and competitive premiums.
If being an independent agent is a new concept to you, continue to do your research. For some, it’s a great idea.
For others, even with product limitations, a captive insurance agency arrangement works best.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how an insurance agent career with Northwestern Mutual works.
If you’re still doing your due diligence on what insurance product to sell, I invite you to check out what I have to offer.
If you’d like more information about how my organization works, click the link here.