Frequently Asked Questions


My Client Is Reluctant to Sign the Application. What Should I Do?

Overcoming Objections From ProspectsAs much as you would like to solve your prospects’ problems, there will be times when they resist your best efforts to assist them.

Your higher calling may be helping others live better lives.

However, your job is closing sales.

To become a top producer, you must deftly manage any resistance you encounter during the sales process.

By honing this skill, you can provide people in your community with valuable insurance products while increasing your income and growing your business.

Consider the following:

Many people think of objections as something you need to overcome. 

A better mindset is to think about an objection as feedback. 

It means you have not yet addressed or sufficiently answered a question that the prospect has.

When an agent is about to finalize a sale and their prospect balks, he or she will frequently offer one of the following reasons.

“I don’t need it”

Young adults believe they will live forever, so insurance can wait.

Find out if they have a mortgage, student loans or credit card balances.

It is unlikely they realize insurance can pay off those debts.

Older prospects may feel assets such as jewelry and property can serve the purpose of the life insurance you are offering.

Remind them they cannot easily convert these resources into quick cash, if or when an unanticipated situation arises.

“It costs too much”

Studies show over 60 percent of Americans believe life insurance is too expensive.

They also show over 80 percent overestimate the cost of life insurance.

This is an opportunity to educate prospects of all ages.

Focus on protecting those they care about and the freedom from worry insurance can provide.

Young adults are often able to lock in coverage at a lower rate because younger, healthier people pay less for life insurance policies.

“Let me think it over”

Say you are discussing Medicare with a newly eligible couple.

You have explained the alphabet soup that is our federal health care program for seniors.

You know you got through to them.

This couple not only understands the problems the insurance can solve, but also appreciates the value of your recommendations.

When the time comes to sign the application form, though, they say they want time to think about it before making a final decision.

Feel, felt, found

Here is how you can address their hesitation.

After you feel the pushback, acknowledge the reaction:

“I can appreciate that.”

Next, empathize with them: “I felt the same way.”

Finally, restate your purpose:

“What I have found is…” and share experiences where the insurance has helped other clients.

Prompting without pushing

There is a fine line between persuading someone to buy and pressuring them.

The hard-core and relentless sales tactics of the past are out of place today.

Let’s say you have been discussing insurance with a prospect, Jim Jones, at his home for an hour or so.

Jim voices concerns, which you counter with persuasive facts about the product.

You are feeling good at this point because you are closing a deal by helping someone meet a genuine need.

Then you indicate the signature line on the contract – and Jim declines to sign it.

Weighing your options

In situations like this, AmeriLife expects you to exercise your best judgment.

If you believe the possibility of a sale still exists, you can periodically follow up with Jim by phone or email.

Smile, shake his hand and thank him for his time as you leave.

Once in your car, cross Jim Jones off your list if it is obvious he is not interested in further contact.

Then jot down any insights you gained from this experience.

The information may prove useful when you meet with your next prospect – and on future appointments.

Helping Your Clients See the Benefits of Vision Insurance

If you are an experienced insurance agent working in the senior market, you know routine vision coverage is not included in Original Medicare.

However, a doctor can order eye care for a Medicare beneficiary if they consider it necessary to treat the person’s medical condition or an injury.

In addition, Medicare Part B will usually cover annual preventative exams for diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma is caused by fluid buildup in the eye that can damage the optic nerve; while diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by abnormally high blood sugar.

Preparing for the future

Even if your clients have perfect vision now, they are likely to develop conditions affecting their eye health as they age.

For these healthy individuals, there are Medicare Advantage plans incorporating so-called extras, including annual eye and vision exams.

Even basic coverage can help them protect their eyesight and avoid expensive treatments and procedures later on.

By raising this topic with your clients, you are sending them a powerful message that you are looking out for their interests.

When they speak, listen

Clients 65 and up may be anxious about the cost of vision insurance.

This is understandable. Many live on a fixed (and limited) income.

Take the time to empathize with their concerns. Then point out the following:

  • Diminished function or a total loss of eyesight is often preventable with regular exams and preventative care; and
  • Eye problems can affect their ability to carry out everyday tasks and even jeopardize the independence they and other seniors value so much.

Taking care of clients

Now is the time to demonstrate to your clients without vision insurance the ways they can incorporate its benefits into their wellness routine via Medicare Advantage.

Remember, Medicare Advantage plans that incorporate “extras” such as vision are becoming increasingly popular with beneficiaries.

This will not only help them meet an important need at an affordable cost but also boost your supplemental insurance sales strategy.

Getting Your Clients to Listen About Hearing Insurance

Most agents realize Medicare does not include coverage for vision, dental or hearing.

Even if your senior clients do not have any issues right now, according to the National Institutes of Health, people experience the greatest amount of hearing loss between the ages of 60 and 69.

And just as seniors tend to need vision and dental care as they age, they are more likely to require assistance with hearing.

Here are some symptoms of hearing loss identified by the Mayo Clinic. Have you noticed any of these in your prospects and clients?

  • Muffling of speech
  • Difficulty understanding words
  • Asking you to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
  • Trouble hearing consonants
  • Not participating in conversations
  • Turning up the volume of the TV, computer or radio

Age-related hearing loss

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of Americans 70 and older experience hearing impairment.

This fact alone is a good reason for your clients to consider coverage.

Yet here is one more:

Approximately 70 percent of older Americans with hearing loss in at least one ear could benefit from using a hearing aid – but do not.

Limited hearing benefits

While Medicare will not pay for hearing aids or fitting appointments, it will cover hearing and balance exams if a physician or other health care provider orders the exams to determine if the person needs medical treatment.

In this case, Medicare would pay 20 percent of the amount approved by Medicare, and the Part B deductible applies.

If the patient received hospital outpatient care, they would also have a copayment.

The Medicare Advantage

Since your clients are probably unaware of the various Medicare Advantage plans available through AmeriLife carriers, this is a good starting point for a conversation on this topic.

For instance, they may not know there are MA plans incorporating vision, dental and hearing; and that some even include wellness benefits.

Be an advocate for your clients by showing them the value of Medicare Advantage in general and telling them about its hearing benefits in particular.

 

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How Your Clients’ Medicare and VA Benefits Can Work Together

Because you are an agent focusing on the senior market, you will meet prospective clients who are Medicare-eligible military veterans.

Some will have benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA.

While they are completely separate federal healthcare programs, Medicare and VA can complement each other.

The VA strongly recommends eligible veterans sign up for Medicare – with good reason.

Not only have veterans earned Medicare benefits, but there is also the possibility their VA coverage could change in the future.

In addition to Medicare Part A and Part B, those with VA benefits can purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.

Also referred to as Medigap, a Med Supp plan can cover items Medicare Parts A and B do not, such as deductibles and copays.

Medicare Advantage and VA

At AmeriLife, we believe a Medicare Advantage plan is the ideal solution for this unique group of consumers.

Here are some reasons why:

  • MA provides access to a provider network including hospitals and physicians
  • Some MA plans incorporate Prescription Drug Program (Part D) benefits
  • Many seniors do not have to pay for Medicare Part A, but do for Part B. (MA plans may have a slight increase in premium – or no added cost at all.)
  • An MA plan will help reduce their out-of-pocket costs if they go to a non-VA facility for treatment

Informing your client

As you meet with prospects, keep in mind veterans may choose between using their VA benefits and their Medicare benefits.

However, Medicare and the VA will not pay for the same services or prescriptions.

It can be a challenge for the average person to figure out the maze that is Medicare, let alone which MA plan would best suit a veteran’s specialized needs. Many veterans also have a limited budget.

By educating prospects who are VA beneficiaries about Medicare Advantage, you demonstrate your appreciation for those who have honorably served our nation, help save them money, and grow your renewal income in the process.

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From Humble Beginnings, AmeriLife Market Leader Candice Wood Has Built a Career Helping Others

Candice Wood with her parents, Roy and LeVon Wood

Growing up on a farm in Sanford, N.C., Candice Wood saw her father awaken every day at 4:30 a.m. and put in a 13-hour day to provide for his family.

‘Honey, if you can make $40,000 a year, you can take care of yourself, and I will not have to worry about you,’ he would tell her. She turned the advice into her first career goal.

Today, Candice is a market leader and general manager of AmeriLife insurance offices in Greensboro, Cary, Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington, N.C. She has accomplished more than she could have ever imagined.

Encouraging others

Candice was reluctant at first to share her experiences at the 2018 Career Empowerment for Her seminar, organized annually by The Career Center of the Triad. This year’s event took place Sept. 22.

The Career Center provides programs for job seekers and employers in the 12-county region, which is home to 1.6 million people living in 62 municipalities in central North Carolina, including Greensboro.

Candice met Kim Harris, the center’s president, through recruiting for AmeriLife agents at the center’s job fairs, and the two women developed a good working relationship.

Giving back

Even so, Candice had turned down Kim’s invitation in 2017 because she dislikes public speaking. It was one of her agents, 27-year-old Omari Hunt, who persuaded her to participate in the event.

“Your story is amazing,” he told her. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

Not only did Candice agree to do it – giving back to women and to the community is important to her – AmeriLife became a vendor. Agents staffed a booth and offered information about our insurance and retirement solutions to guests.

Correcting her course

Like most people, Candice did not aspire to become an insurance sales professional.

Just two days before she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science, one of her professors encouraged students to find their passion in life. Happiness and money would follow, he told them.

“I wrote ‘passion’ at the top of my paper and then two words under that – kindergarten and seniors,” she recalled.

“In the center below, I wrote ‘helping others.”

Candice was about to earn a degree she would not put to use, but that did not bother her.

“I decided that day my passion was seniors, and I started my journey of insurance planning for retirees,” she said.

Forging her path

Candice was 22 when she first walked into the AmeriLife office in Greensboro in 2001. She saw 10 or more men in their 50s and 60s all dressed in suits and ties.

She remembers thinking, am I in the right place?  No one here is close to my age, and no one here looks like me.

Then she answered herself: I picked my passion, so AmeriLife is my place.

Once contracted as an agent, Candice steadily rose within the ranks. She was promoted to branch leader in 2005, to general manager in 2008 and to market leader in 2018.

“I went into a male-dominated industry,” she reflected. “Now, 18 years later, I have over 50 planners, and half of them are women.”

Left to right: mom LeVon, sister Brandy, dad Roy, Candice, and niece Allysah

Making a difference

These days, Candice is a Greensboro resident who likes spending her free time with her parents, sister, brothers and five nieces, all of whom live in her hometown of Sanford. In addition, she enjoys kickboxing and exercise and is active in her church.

She described her mom and dad as “beyond amazed” by what she has achieved.

“They are very happy and proud that I am serving so many clients in the community,” she said, “and that I get paid so well for doing what I love.”

Naturally, Candice shares her success with the entire family, who have enjoyed numerous vacation trips and cruises.

She has also been able to help her sister, a single mom with limited resources, in various ways, including taking her sister and her niece on an AmeriLife Disney cruise.

 

 

Living the dream

As someone who does insurance and retirement planning for a living, Candice follows her own advice. She does not want to work quite as hard as she does now, later in life.

At the same time, she is looking out for the interests of the people who work for her.

She would like them to be able to send their children to the schools of their choice; and to travel beyond the mountains and beaches of North Carolina, if they so desire.

And while money does not buy the happiness Candice’s college professor spoke of all those years ago, “it does help you gain the freedom to do what you want.”

Have You Considered Situations Where Long-Term Care Coverage May Benefit Your Clients?

Long Term Care

Do you have clients who work full-time, but their companies do not offer them voluntary benefits?

What about those enrolled in Medicare who are currently in good, or even excellent, health?

In both instances, a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy can provide clients with an added measure of security.

An LTC policy can include medical or non-medical assistance.

It offers a range of services and support features that may help your clients as they get older. It can also be bought in anticipation of future needs and challenges.

Here are key LTC policy benefits:

  • Provides a broad range of care
  • Covers assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing
  • May include assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, as well as home health and community organization care

Standard employee medical plans do not cover this type of extended care.

Meanwhile, Medicare will not cover a brief stay in a skilled nursing facility and limited at-home care, except under certain conditions.

Long-term care trends

According to an article earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), some interesting shifts are taking place within the long-term care industry.

One example is so-called “hybrid” products. These combine life insurance or annuities with long-term care benefits and are growing in popularity with consumers.

The NAIFA article references a report prepared by The Society of Actuaries about the potential of several insurance products. Two examples cited in the article are:

  • A term life policy with a benefit up to the age of 65 or retirement – when LTC benefits would kick in
  • A policy allowing tax-free accumulation for future LTC needs, with a piece that can be used to supplement the accrued savings if long-term care becomes necessary

Weighing the factors

Not surprisingly, an LTC policy is less expensive the younger and healthier your client is at the time of purchase.

If he or she has a serious health issue or is a certain age, it could limit their choices. It depends on the criteria established by the carriers AmeriLife partners with.

For example, there are policies that exclude coverage for conditions such as drug abuse and Alzheimer’s disease.

Therefore, it is important you familiarize yourself with the details of our carriers’ LTC offerings prior to broaching the subject with a client.

Even then, before you get into a deep discussion about LTC, it is best to establish if they would be able to pay the premiums for the policy they would like to buy.

AARP cautions this coverage can become more expensive over time. What’s more, if the policyholder stops paying, they could lose everything they have invested.

Agent and advisor resources

In summary, consider how a long-term care plan or hybrid product might help your prospects and existing clients.

New agents, keep in mind LTC is included in the AmeriLife Fast Start incentive program, which is part of AmeriLife University. Your more experienced colleagues can give you insights on how to sell it.

You can also visit the NAIFA Solution Center for information that may aid you in addressing your clients’ potential requirements regarding long-term care insurance, along with their budgetary concerns.

Long Term Care Have You Considered Situations Where Long-Term Care Coverage May Benefit Your Clients?

Do you have clients who work full-time, but their companies do not offer them voluntary benefits?

What about those enrolled in Medicare who are currently in good, or even excellent, health?

In both instances, a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy can provide clients with an added measure of security.

An LTC policy can include medical or non-medical assistance.

It offers a range of services and support features that may help your clients as they get older. It can also be bought in anticipation of future needs and challenges.

Here are key LTC policy benefits:

  • Provides a broad range of care
  • Covers assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing
  • May include assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, as well as home health and community organization care

Standard employee medical plans do not cover this type of extended care.

Meanwhile, Medicare will not cover a brief stay in a skilled nursing facility and limited at-home care, except under certain conditions.

Long-term care trends

According to an article earlier this year by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), some interesting shifts are taking place within the long-term care industry.

One example is so-called “hybrid” products. These combine life insurance or annuities with long-term care benefits and are growing in popularity with consumers.

The NAIFA article references a report prepared by The Society of Actuaries about the potential of several insurance products. Two examples cited in the article are:

  • A term life policy with a benefit up to the age of 65 or retirement – when LTC benefits would kick in
  • A policy allowing tax-free accumulation for future LTC needs, with a piece that can be used to supplement the accrued savings if long-term care becomes necessary

Weighing the factors

Not surprisingly, an LTC policy is less expensive the younger and healthier your client is at the time of purchase.

If he or she has a serious health issue or is a certain age, it could limit their choices. It depends on the criteria established by the carriers AmeriLife partners with.

For example, there are policies that exclude coverage for conditions such as drug abuse and Alzheimer’s disease.

Therefore, it is important you familiarize yourself with the details of our carriers’ LTC offerings prior to broaching the subject with a client.

Even then, before you get into a deep discussion about LTC, it is best to establish if they would be able to pay the premiums for the policy they would like to buy.

AARP cautions this coverage can become more expensive over time. What’s more, if the policyholder stops paying, they could lose everything they have invested.

Agent and advisor resources

In summary, consider how a long-term care plan or hybrid product might help your prospects and existing clients.

New agents, keep in mind LTC is included in the AmeriLife Fast Start incentive program, which is part of AmeriLife University. Your more experienced colleagues can give you insights on how to sell it.

You can also visit the NAIFA Solution Center for information that may aid you in addressing your clients’ potential requirements regarding long-term care insurance, along with their budgetary concerns.

Clicking third-party links will open a new tab and will take you away from AmeriLife.com. AmeriLife does not control the linked sites’ content or link.

Are there career development and advancement opportunities?

Are there career development and advancement opportunities?

Yes. To help new agents gain their footing and get off to a promising start, we enroll them in AmeriLife University.

Because AmeriLife believes in promotion from within, successful agents will find opportunities to move into roles with increased responsibility and seniority, including salaried sales management positions. Nearly all of AmeriLife’s sales leaders began as entry-level agents and worked their way up the ranks.

What products will I sell?

What products will I sell?

Collaborating with 70+ carriers, we offer primarily affordable life and health insurance and annuity products. Between them are many coverage options, including the senior-focused Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. Discover our solutions.

Learn more about working with AmeriLife