FAQ Table of Contents
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get from both new and experienced agents when it comes to the business of selling life insurance at Balanced Options Agency.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions on the financial aspects of selling life insurance. Sometimes the questions revolve around how much agents should expect to invest in their businesses. Other times these questions relate to earnings potential but by and large, the ones below are the questions that we hear the most often.
1. What business supplies should I buy before I start selling insurance?
You may want to get yourself a reliable network-enabled tablet or laptop, you might also want to order carrier-branded (usually available in your agent portal) or Balanced Options Agency-branded golf shirts.
2. Is there a base pay?
As a self-employed independent contractor selling life insurance, you get paid when you write policies or earn renewals, bonuses, or override commissions. But agents that go to work and follow the system can consistently out-earn their 9 to 5 counterparts.
3. How often are we paid?
Most of our carriers pay daily. So how often you get paid depends on how often you write new business.
4. Can you explain how to calculate the commission?
You take the annual premium (AP) on any policies you write and multiply that by your ‘comp rate’ for that product, then multiply that by 75% which represents the nine months most carriers advance us.
For example, the Sentinel New Vantage 1 product pays 100% of our Simple Options compensation.
So if you’re at an 100% comp and you write a policy with a $1200 AP then you do the following calculations to arrive at your $900 advanced commission: $1200 X 0.75 = $900 $900 X 1 = $900
5. How much can I make?
As an independent 1099 contractor with Balanced Options Agency, you can make as much as you want. The average income for a full-time agent at Balanced Options Agency is roughly $10,000 a month. However, we have numerous agents earning $20,000 to $30,000 plus per month – many of them new.
So, it all depends on your willingness to follow the system and go all-in.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions on what it takes to get started in the life insurance business. Sometimes the questions pertain to licensing or background checks. Other times these questions pertain to learning the products, but by far the ones below are the questions that we hear the most often.
1. How long does it take to get licensed?
On average it takes 10-14 days for agents to go through the pre-licensing course, then take and pass the exam. However, we have some agents that do it in a week.
2. Do you guys pay for the test?
Balanced Options Agency pays for the pre-licensing course and you – the agent – must cover the exam registration cost and fingerprinting, along with the licensing fees and your E&O insurance.
3. How much do I have to set aside for licensing and other related costs associated with readying myself for the field?
While it varies by state – a general rule of thumb is to set aside between $500-$600 to cover the cost of pre-licensing, exam registration, fingerprinting, licensing, and the down payment on your E&O coverage.
4. I’m new to life insurance, how am I supposed to learn all the products before my first appointment?
Most of us were new to insurance before joining Balanced Options Agency. You’re not supposed to know everything about all the products before getting into the field. In fact, as a new agent your primary job is to get in the home and complete the financial inventory worksheet – then call your manager upon completing it for help suggesting the right product.
5. Should I start with final expense or mortgage protection?
While most seasoned agents run a mix of mortgage protection and final expense appointments, as a brand new agent it’s easier to start with final expense coverage.
Most managers recommend this approach because the turnaround time on Facebook final expense leads orders usually only runs 2 to 3 days, whereas it could take 4 to 5 weeks for you to get your first leads from a mortgage protection lead order.
Add to that the lower lead costs, along with the ease of helping final expense clients compared to mortgage protection appointments and final expense appointments are a no brainer for new agents.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions on the contracting process at Balanced Options Agency. Sometimes the questions pertain to carriers or background checks. Other times these questions more so relate to ETAs, but by far the ones below are the questions that we hear the most often.
1. Can I get Foresters, Great Western, Sentinel?
Yes, you can. However, these carriers are also referred to as “just-in-time” carriers which means you must write and submit “new business” or a new application for coverage before beginning the appointment process.
2. How long does it take to get my writing numbers?
While on average it can take 2 to 3 weeks to get agent writing numbers, there’s no set answer as it varies by carrier, along with the agent’s situation.
For example, Some carriers can take upwards of a month. Likewise, agents who run into background check issues wrote business with another IMO before joining Balanced Options Agency or encountered some other extenuating circumstance can also expect longer contracting times.
3. Do I need to wait until I’m fully contracted before I start writing policies?
No, in fact, we encourage you to begin helping clients with paper apps as soon as you submit your contract requests.
4. I haven’t heard from any of the carriers yet what should I do?
In the wake of COVID19, we’ve been seeing longer wait times from carriers when it comes to issuing writing numbers. However, if you’ve hit the 3 or 4-week mark and haven’t received emails from one or all of the carriers, you’re encouraged to call the carriers’ contracting departments and ask if they’ve received your paperwork.
5. The carrier said they haven’t gotten my paperwork – should I be concerned?
If your SuranceBay dashboard shows your contract status as “carrier” but the carrier says they haven’t received your contracting yet – it could be that they’re backlogged.
The best way to find out is to ask your team manager if there were any issues with your contracting paperwork. If after checking with corporate the team manager advises you no one has reported issues with your paperwork – you may just have to give it a little more time.
6. Do I really have to get E&O insurance?
Yes, all of Balanced Options Agency’s insurance carriers require you to obtain errors and omissions (E&O) coverage before appointing you. E&O coverage protects agents in the event a client takes legal action for mistakes or omissions you made while writing their policy.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions on life insurance leads. Sometimes the questions pertain to lead budgets or the various types of leads. Other times these questions pertain to lead flow, but by far the ones below are the questions that we hear the most often.
1. Do I have to buy leads?
Yes, we are a lead-driven business. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with talking with family or friends about getting life insurance coverage that’s simply not our business model.
Hence, we prefer our agents buy leads – weekly – as this lends itself to predictability in your business.
2. What types of leads do Balanced Options agents buy?
Most agents at Balanced Options Agency purchase direct mail final expense leads, direct mail mortgage protection leads, and/or Internet or Facebook final expense leads.
3. How much are leads?
Lead prices vary depending on the type of lead you’re looking at and the overall freshness of the lead. However, generally final expense leads are less than mortgage protection leads.
New mortgage protection mailers average $57 per lead. New final expense mailers run approximately $34 per lead. Telemarketing leads are roughly $11 per lead. And final expense Facebook leads average between $22 and $30 per lead.
Agents may also purchase second chance leads, which were already purchased by someone – before you. These range in prices from $4 per lead to roughly $7.00 per lead depending on the age.
4. What if I don’t have money for leads?
If you’re not in a position to purchase leads you should speak with your direct manager.
Sometimes your upline has leads they weren’t able to reach or close that he or she can help you with; other times your manager will match your lead budget dollar for dollar, and yet in other instances, they may purchase leads for you outright until you’ve built up a lead bank.
Either way, in these circumstances you can expect to cover the lead costs in the form of commission splits and/or a lower starting compensation. The key is to speak with your manager.
Over the years we’ve gotten tons of questions on best practices as it relates to hiring other life insurance agents. Sometimes the questions relate to what to say or how to say it. Other times these questions are about when an agent is ready to start hiring, but by far the ones below are the questions that we hear the most often.
1. I have someone who’d like to get started with us – what should I do?
The Balanced Options family of agencies uses a hiring intake form to initiate the onboarding process. If you’re in the Impact hierarchy you’d use https://cutt.ly/MondayIntake to begin your new hire’s onboarding.
Likewise, if you’re a part of any other Balanced Options agency you’d use https://cutt.ly/OnboardBO.
2. Do I need to be licensed to hire?
No, you do not need to be licensed to hire another agent. In fact, you’re encouraged to hire from day one – whether you’re licensed or not.
3. I just started, can I hire or do I need to wait?
Sometimes new agents express a certain level of hesitance when it comes to speaking with others about what they do.
However, keep in mind that we’re all still learning and you’re certainly not required to know everything before hiring. Furthermore, that’s part of why you have a support system – your direct upline, and their upline.
So, if ever you feel uneasy about starting a hiring conversation with someone – simply invite them to speak with your upline manager and let them do the heavy lifting for you.