Why Independent Agents Need to Cross-sell Life Insurance

Joe Fisher | July 6, 2020

From the Front Line

Joe Fisher, Executive Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Smart ChoiceIn today’s environment, many independent P&C agents are increasing their profitability by cross-selling life insurance. The additional revenue and higher customer retention are more important now than ever. They realize that someone is selling their customers life insurance, and if it’s not them, they are putting their P&C business at risk also.

At Smart Choice, our life insurance offering has evolved significantly from its inception over a decade ago. What began as a single direct relationship with one financial services company is now comprised of six unique life insurance platforms.

I’ll never forget meeting Choco Harwell who currently serves as Director of Smart Choice’s Life and Financial Services Division. At the time, he worked for Jefferson Pilot where he was charged with promoting their products to Smart Choice agents. I asked him what his greatest challenges were in his current role. His answer, while tongue-in-cheek, spoke volumes and was the catalyst for what Smart Choice’s life insurance offering has become today. With a subtle grin, he looked at me and said, “Joe, in a typical P&C shop, if someone walks in the door and asks about life insurance, every agent makes a break for the back door, and the slowest one is stuck having to talk about life insurance!”

Several years later, we hired Choco away from what was then Lincoln Financial to help develop and grow our life and financial services program. After interviewing countless agents, we saw two recurring themes:

  1. A lot of P&C agents were not comfortable promoting products they didn’t specialize in for fear of giving the wrong advice, or being “discovered” that they weren’t experts in that area/
  2. Many former captive agents in our program who were previously forced to sell life insurance, didn’t want to take time away from promoting their core products now that they were on the independent side of the business.

Our goal was to remove these inherent barriers by designing a program that appeals to both veteran life insurance agents and those who only want to sell an occasional policy. Whether you want to get paid by simply handing off life insurance leads to one of our partners to manage, or receive industry leading commission and fulfill all stages of the process, we are proud to offer a life insurance platform that will meet your needs.

Cover of 2020 Issue 4 Smart Choice Magazine titled "Agent Education: Adapting to Changing Needs in a Changing World"Agent Education: Adapting to Changing Needs in a Changing World

Being in the insurance industry, we've grown accustomed to navigating circumstances completely out of our control (such as weather and other natural disasters) — but the pandemic has really tested our resilience. For more on how agents can adapt to changing needs in a changing world while still providing exceptional service and products, check out the 2020 Issue 4 of Smart Choice Magazine.

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