Are you interested in a possible insurance sales career with Senior Life Insurance Company?
Perhaps a Senior Life recruiter has contacted you. And you want more information on how they work from an “insider’s” perspective..
If you are looking for a fair and balanced review of Senior Life Insurance Company from the perspective of a licensed insurance agent, you have found the right article.
My job is to explain how a career with Senior Life is really like. That way you can decide for yourself if their insurance sales opportunity fits your desires.
Without further delay, let’s begin.
- More About David
- Am I Biased?
- About Senior Life
- The Final Expense Market
- Why Agents Work With Senior Life
- Is This A MLM Or Pyramid Scheme?
- Commission Levels
- My Opinion On Senior Life
- More Resources
Before describing Senior Life’s insurance sales opportunity, it’s important for transparency’s sake to tell you a little about myself.
Understand this: it’s vital to know the motives and possible biases of anyone expressing their opinions. Knowing where someone is coming from allows you to weigh their perspective accordingly.
I’m In The Business, Too
First of all, my experienced is NOT based on that of an agent with work history at Senior Life.
Instead, I have worked as an independent agent since 2011 in the final expense market as Senior Life does.
Additionally, since 2013, I transitioned to growing my insurance agency, where I train and recruit agents nationally to sell not only final expense, but also mortgage protection, Medicare products, and annuities.
I also own an insurance sales and marketing training YouTube channel with over 11,000 subscribers and a million-plus organic views as of January 2020.
Belief In The Independent Model
The biggest difference in my insurance sales strategy is I teach agents to sell according to the brokerage model.
Unlike working for one solitary insurance company, this means my agents represent multiple insurance carriers. I believe this provides better opportunity for helping more prospects with their insurance needs with better products at more competitive rates.
The same goes for selling final expense, too.
I believe having access to multiple final expense carriers is the best way to maximize your income.
Granted, not everyone agrees. And they’re right! Some agents experience more success in one-company only environments, much more than in the brokerage model.
Either way, your goal is to do your due-diligence to discover which insurance sales opportunity best fits your personal and professional goals. Whether I believe one approach is better than another doesn’t mean you’ll agree with me. And that’s fine.
In a sense, yes.
At the end of the day, Senior Life is a potential competitor to my agency building efforts.
However, that doesn’t change my commitment to being fair and balanced in my presentation of my competition.
In truth, I believe there is little to no competition among recruiting insurance agents.
There’s just so much opportunity in building an agency that there’s arguably too many agents to choose from.
While I know I’m not a good fit for a one-company product sales model, many agents are, meaning Senior Life may provide the best career opportunity.
All said and done, call me out if you think my analysis is not balanced. I appreciate constructive criticism. You can reach me here directly, or just leave a comment below.
Both were initially affiliated with Lincoln Heritage before deciding to make an exit and start their own insurance company.
Both Dale and Ron started their insurance careers selling final expense. This is highly unusual, as many insurance executives have little to no insurance sales experience, especially in the final expense field.
Senior Life is located out of Thomasville Georgia.
As you probably guessed, Senior Life’s primary market is targeting mostly senior citizens to help them with their final expense life insurance needs.
Let’s take a few minutes to describe how a career selling final expense works to better understand the the income earning opportunity.
Final Expense 101
Selling final expense insurance means you’re going to be targeting people typically lower income folks between 50 and 85 years old interested in funding their funeral or cremation costs.
Further, they don’t want their children to carry the burden, so they are interested in ways they can handle the expense themselves.
Many of our final expense prospects have little ability to save up enough money to pay funeral expenses out-of-pocket. They are simply too old and do not make enough to save up such a substantial sum of money.
That’s why final expense is such an appealing proposition to this market.
For a low monthly rate, we can eliminate the fear of not affording final expenses, providing instant peace of mind.
Simple To Get Leads
One of the best reasons to sell final expense is because it is simple to get a consistent flow of sales leads.
There are millions of prospects for this type of product all over the United States of America.
And because the market is so large, it makes life easier when generating leads.
What Are Leads?
Leads are the lifeblood to any insurance sales and marketing system. Leads are people who express interest in our product.
Without leads, you don’t have opportunities to sell. And without opportunities to sell in a straight-commission profession, you’re effectively unemployed!
Thankfully, this is not the case in final expense sales.
Within a 50 mile radius of most agents’ homes, there’s plenty of final expense prospects to never run out of sales opportunity.
One Call Close
Unlike more advanced products that require multiple visits to close, final expense is rather simple. It’s a simple product that your clients will either understand and want, or just won’t be interested in.
That’s why selling final expense is a one call close sale system. You explain the product, as well as its advantages, then make an offer based on the client’s budget.
They either take it or not. There’s no examinations to do, and minimal underwriting to pull before determining a decision. Plus, we can get an underwriting decision with most final expense carriers in the first day.
If you just want to focus on selling activities above all else with little after-sale service work, final expense is right up your alley.
Senior Life offers strong perks when compared to other insurance marketing organizations. Let’s spend some time reviewing what they are and how they work.
As mentioned earlier, leads are paramount to success in selling final expense.
Senior Life understands, and has a well-designed lead system to keep you busy.
For example, you can purchase Direct Mail leads, Facebook leads, or TV leads.
More info on how the lead program works here.
Legacy Assurance Program
Senior Life partners with Legacy Assurance to offer a unique value-added program to help sell more insurance.
Legacy Assurance is a membership company that provides funeral products and funeral price negotiation service at the time of death. They offer discounted caskets, urns, monuments, and Burial Vaults.
Your client benefits as you not only insure your clients for coverage, but also reduce total final expense costs.
NOTE: You do NOT have to work with Senior Life to use Legacy Assurance. Any insurance agent can set up an account with Legacy and use them without working for Senior Life.
Senior Life offers an Innovative electronic application process that simplifies the sales process.
Called the SLICE App, it’s a web-based application submission process that allows you to eliminate the requirement for paperwork completion, while providing an instant underwriting decision shortly after application submission.
I can personally attest to the importance of eliminating paperwork. Many agents hate dealing with second or third appointments to gather missed signatures, dates, or to sell a higher rate.
Companies offering e-apps have better business quality than those that don’t. Senior Life is no different. With their e-app, you’ll keep more of the business you write. And that’s a good thing!
Senior Life offers the ability for agents to build their own sales team.
Utilizing Senior Life resources, interested agents with a background of success duplicate Senior Life’s recruiting model to build their own agency.
Telesales Or Face-To-Face
You can do either at Senior Life.
If you prefer to sell face-to-face, Senior Life is fine with that. I believe belly-to-belly presentations is the simplest and most effective way to sell final expense.
However, if you are a natural phone guy, Senior Life is fine with that, too. Leads are appropriate for telesales. Plus Senior Life helps out with its telesales-specific training.
Senior Life offers other benefits as well, including:
- Ride along opportunities
- Health insurance for agents
- Convention trip opportunities
- Executive mentorship
- And more
Many may wonder if the Senior Life opportunity is legit.
Perhaps you’re worried about joining a “rah-rah Kool-Aid dispensing” multi-level marketing opportunity.
First of all, make no bones about it…
Senior Life is a totally legitimate company.
Former face-to-face final expense agents started Senior Life. And they are serious about helping agents succeed in their organization.
Company Structure Concerns
If you’re new to insurance sales, here’s something that may surprise you.
Virtually all insurance sales organization hierarchies are structured similarly to common multi-level marketing companies.
Think of a pyramid.
The insurance company is at the top. Below, the insurance sales organizations. And at the bottom, smaller insurance agencies and writing agents.
If the idea of a “pyramid organization” scares you, fear not =).
This is the norm in the insurance business. Organizational hierarchy design by itself is not alarming.
In fact, it’s arguable most industries follow similar hierarchies when you think about it.
Multi-Level Marketing “Culture” – Watch Out
Most agents’ primary concern stems from concerns about company culture.
By culture, I mean what values do the insurance sales organization you’re joining extol?
Do they focus more on recruitment than producing? Is the “training” around pure motivation, or focused on sales skill development?
Senior Life’s level of multi-level marketing culture varies from affiliated agency to affiliated agency.
Some Senior Life affiliated agencies culturally are more your traditional multi-level marketing, focusing on mass-recruitment over personal production.
As a whole, recruitment over producing rubs me the wrong way. As we’ll discuss later, production experience first is more important than recruiting experience.
Bottom line, with ANY insurance sales organization, vet the agency to ensure the focus is on training top producers over mass recruitment.
With Senior Life, since affiliated agencies dictate commission levels, compensation varies wildly.
I have heard of some Senior Life insurance agents recruited at a 80% commission level, while others at 110%.
But Senior Life compensation is more complex than presented above. For example, your actual commission rate changes if you do not sell a “value-added product” like the Legacy Assurance program.
To maximize first-year commission earnings, you must sell VAP products.
If not, your commission level drops precipitously. Plus you lose ALL of your renewal earning opportunity in years 2 through 10. See the attached commission grid for more details.
How To Increase Commission Levels
Make sure you discover up front how to increase your commission level prior to joining.
Some organizations factor recruiting quotas into any future commission increases.
But what if you don’t want to recruit?
What if you just want to sell insurance to make a great income?
If you’re apart of an insurance sales organization that ties compensation advancement to recruiting, you’re in big trouble if your focus is personal production.
Very quickly, you’ll tap out your earning opportunity that you could receive elsewhere without the pressure to recruit.
For example, I talked to a nice woman in Michigan the other day. She works for a multi-level marketing culture insurance sales organization.
She is writing around 10,000 to 12,000 monthly (a solid number), but is on a 65% contract with the requirement of paying hundreds of dollars weekly to pay for leads.
As you’ll see later, this is what I call “highway robbery.” There are great organizations that pay nearly double the commission.
Now that I’ve laid out how Senior Life Insurance works, I’ll now insert my perspective into this discussion.
As a reminder… my opinions stem from years of personally producing final expense on a face-to-face basis, as well as an agency builder who recruits and trains insurance agents.
The Problem With Selling Just One Product
While my “beef” isn’t with Senior Life as a company, it is with the philosophy behind selling only one product.
Senior Life is a great insurance company. They’ve helped countless families in their time of need.
However, I believe Senior Life’s sales strategy of singularly representing one carrier may adversely affect agent profitability as well as quality of coverage offered to the client.
Again, this is not a criticism of Senior Life specifically.
If an independent agent who may represent as many carriers as he wants decides to exclusively sell Mutual Of Omaha or any other final expense company, my opinion is equally valid in that circumstance, too.
Simply put, there is no one company that offers the best combination of competitive pricing and flexible underwriting.
Why? Because our prospects vary in health and age.
These two variables directly impact insurability, with some insurance carriers accepting certain conditions, while others many times do not.
If you single-handedly sell one final expense product, you are short-changing your clients in terms of value of coverage or competitiveness and rates.
Think if it was your mother.
Imagine if she’s hand-to-mouth and lives on a small Social Security check. Would you sell her a policy that was 25% to 50% more than you could buy elsewhere?
Or what if your mom had a chronic condition your one company rates up and limits coverage for, but not with another carrier? You’d sell the other carrier, right?
Hopefully, you see my point =).
Pretending like a lack of carrier options isn’t a concern spells certain doom for many agents.
Count on your clients to speak with another insurance agent within 6 months of you writing the policy on her.
If the agent is half-way decent, he’ll review your policy for underwriting weaknesses and pricing differences, and make an offer if possible for more coverage or a better price for coverage.
And if your client is anything like the Mother example above, odds are high you’ll lose the deal and experience a chargeback of commission.
It’s not personal. It’s just business! And the wise prepare accordingly.
If you sell Senior Life exclusively, this is the risk you’re going to run.
You leave a trail of replacement opportunity for another insurance agent to capitalize on, since many insurance companies offer better pricing, or may offer better quality of coverage depending on underwriting.
Admittedly, the degree that this happens varies. Some one company only final expense agents do just fine. Others experience a tremendous amount of policy lapses.
My point is this. After reading the above, if you believe offering multiple carriers is the way to go, consider selling insurance as an independent agent.
More About Independent Agents
Independent agents have access to multiple final expense carriers.
For example, I represent close to 20 carriers (although 90% of my business goes to 4 or 5 carriers tops). This gives me much fluidity in what I can offer depending on the circumstances.
When you can write MORE of your policies with quality coverage, and offer BETTER premium rates, this translates into higher sales call closing rates AND better first-year persistency (measurement of how many policies stay on the books for the first year).
There’s a couple of things I’ll point out with the commission schedule that are different than what other insurance carriers offer.
No Commission On Policy Fees
Policy fees are an additional fee tacked onto the clients policy that cover expected costs associated with customer service and administration costs.
And most insurance companies pay your commission rate on that policy fee dollar amount.
If your policy’s annualized premium is $600 which includes a $50 policy fee, you are paid your commission rate based off of the total $600, not off of $550. Make sense?
This is not the case with Senior Life.
Their commission grids state they do not pay a policy fee commission.
While I don’t have specifics on what Senior Life’s policy fee is, most insurance companies charge between 30 and $50 and policy fees a year.
For example, if you’re at an 80% contract with Senior Life, and the policy fee is $40 a month, you’re missing out on $32 in commission on each sale ($40 multiplied by 80% equals $32)!
Doesn’t sound like a big deal?
It is over the long-term.
What if you sell 200 policies in a year?
200 policies multiplied by $32 is $6,400 in annually lost commission other companies may pay you on!
$6,400 is a nice yearly vacation you can take with your family. Maybe it’s a down payment on a new vehicle.
Either way, it IS a significant amount of money that you need to consider.
Since the Legacy Assurance program is such a big deal to Senior Life Insurance company, they tie your actual commission to the sale of the Legacy Assurance program.
As long as you sell a value-added product like Legacy Assurance with your policy, you are paid the top-level commission along with renewals.
However, if the client decides to skip out on getting the Legacy Assurance program, your commission is lowered in addition to losing out on all of your renewal earning opportunities.
Needless to say, if you were going to sell for Senior Life Insurance Company, make sure that you sell the Legacy Assurance product on every single sale.
If you choose not to, it’s going to make a dramatic difference in your commission earning opportunity.
Chargebacks are repayments of advanced commission you received when a new policy is issued but lapses within a short time frame.
With most final expense companies, you keep the earned portion of your advance on chargebacks.
For example, if your client pays 5 months before lapsing, you keep those 5 months of earned commissions and only pay back 4 months of advancing.
Remember, an advance is another word for a loan. The policy acts as collateral for the advanced commission.
Like in any financing situation, the collateral must remain in place to uphold the advanced commission earning. If the collateral goes away, the advance goes away.
Senior Life has different chargeback provisions.
Using the example above, if your Senior Life client lapses within the first 6 months of the policy’s effective date, you must pay back 100% of the advance, even for the commission earned.
Why is this an issue? Relative to other options, this decreases your profitability as an agent.
Every single final expense agent loses clients. Many times, it’s within the first few months of the policy’s life.
Yes, it sucks, but it’s normal, even among talented agents. Some people just don’t keep their commitments.
And while it stinks to pay back unearned advances, it’s even more painful to not keep any commission if your client lapses within the first six months.
Selling Versus Recruiting
I think this point is worth re-emphasizing.
It’s vital for new insurance agents to focus on the craft of selling instead of the process of recruiting.
If you are responsible for recruiting, you’re also responsible for training, coaching, and mentorship.
And if you’re recruiting agents right out of the gate as a new agent, how can you earnestly provide any of that?
Your recruits are going to know that you’re inexperienced, and many of the good ones will leave you to find organizations focused on sales training.
Trust me, I know. I talk to agents all day long that complain about an organization’s focus on recruiting over producing.
Here’s my point…
There’s nothing wrong at all with recruiting.
Feel free to recruit after you put in the time and have first-hand, successful experience selling final expense face-to-face.
Some organizations at Senior Life will practice this type of strategy of recruiting overproducing. However, not all do, so don’t take this as an overarching criticism.
The bottom line is you have to do your due diligence to see if the organization fits the bill or not.
Thanks so much for reading my article on Senior Life Insurance Company.
I do hope you got some value out of learning how this company operates, as well as what its strengths and potential weaknesses are.
If you’d like to continue your research on Senior Life, Below I’ve provided some resources I think would be worth investigating.
If there’s anything I can do for you, please feel free to reach out to me here. Or just leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to respond.
- Click here to review Senior Life Insurance Company’s website. It’s very well designed and well-detailed on how their business model works.
- Review how the Legacy Assurance program works here, as it is pivotal for you to utilize this in your sales strategy if you want success at Senior Life.
- Read reviews of Senior Life on Indeed and Glassdoor.
- Read (mostly) anonymous opinions on Senior Life on the Insurance Forums. Note that the Insurance Forums is very independent-agent focused, so expect some critiques of Senior Life more than support.
- Learn more about the benefits of joining my national insurance agency here.