Other Income Activities
The Company does not approve of Other Income Activities that compete with our financial related products.
Multi-level marketing businesses are not approved for ‘Committed’ Members. A ‘Non-Committed’ Member can participate in a multi-level non-competing products company, until they reach level 20 (VP). Level 20 (VP) and above are considered ‘Committed’.
Ethical Guidelines for Your Business Practice
As a licensed insurance agent (“agent” or “you”) at The Company, you have certain ethical, professional and legal responsibilities to perform daily with all clients. Every client has unique individual needs. Maintaining structured, consistent and ethical conduct in servicing your clients and prospects may lead to long term business success.
In addition to The Company Members Manual, product providers should be examined to check if they have any specific policies and procedures that are needed to be followed in the sale of their services or products.
In advance of you Making a Sales Call or Scheduling a Meeting with a Client
- Complete your homework. Understand your responsibilities as an insurance professional and make doing business the correct way your priority.
- Make certain you’re properly licensed and appointed with the correct state(s). Solely offer products that you’re authorized to distribute. Many states require special training in indexed products, annuities, and LTC products before an agent may sell such products.
- Don’t use professional designations that imply or indicate that you have special certification or training in such a way that it may mislead people.
- Make certain you know your product and offer only those products that you have sufficient knowledge, training and experience in.
- Before making solicitation, phone calls check the State, National, and Company specific Don’t Call Lists.
When you Meet with a Prospect or Client
Be prompt and properly identify yourself as a life insurance agent and your affiliation with BSG/AAG.
Know the Client
Knowing who your client is and their needs is imperative. You should always follow a thorough fact-finding and needs analysis process to understand your client’s insurable needs and financial goals and objectives.
Presentations and Proposals
- Agents must put the needs of the client first. Base any recommendations on the client’s circumstances and objectives. Make certain to maintain notes and other documentation supporting your recommendation(s).
- Use solely carrier approved sales material.
- Use words, terms, and symbols that accurately describe the features, options, benefits and limitations of the products you’re licensed and appointed to sell. Avoid all incomplete, misleading statements, or prohibited words.
- Disclose all relevant information about products or services that you advocate accurately and comprehensively.
- Explain a product’s benefits, fees, features, loads, limitations, and any charges in a fair and balanced way.
- Fully explain the hypothetical nature of illustrations. Point out their limitations and their assumptions. Be certain to explain guaranteed and non-guaranteed elements of the policy. Don’t imply a guarantee or a product feature unless it is specifically built into the product that the client chooses.
- Policy replacements should only be recommended after you have performed a careful, thorough and well-documented analysis comparing short and long-term advantages and disadvantages to the client. Be familiar with the replacement requirements where you’re licensed and conduct business.
While Conducting a Meeting
- Reconfirm the client’s reason(s) for purchasing the product. Reconfirm the financial objective the product addresses and the explicit insurance need it satisfies.
- Provide the client with a copy of any sales illustration(s) you present. Have the client sign a copy of the illustration that can be kept in your file.
- At the appropriate time during the sales process provide the client with any buyer guides, state mandated notices, and other required notices or receipts.
- As part of the sales process review with the client any state mandated, or otherwise required, or optional disclosure forms verifying that you have discussed all relevant information with the client. Obtain client signatures where appropriate.
- The agent must make certain the client carefully and thoroughly answers all questions on the application. If you must record answers, the best practice is to read each question to the client out loud and make a note in your client notes to this effect.
- Without deviation instruct the client to make any check payable to the life insurance company. Don’t accept checks made payable to The Company or you. Checks made payable to The Company or the agent must be returned to the client.
Following the Meeting:
- Promptly and without undo delay submit the policy application, if applicable, the replacement forms and premium to the insurance company.
- Provide copies of the application, replacement and any other pertinent forms to the client.
- Promptly deliver the policy to the client in person and re-review the main features and terms of the policy. Obtain a signed policy delivery receipt and a signed copy of any required amendments, if applicable. Keep copies of the documents by scanning and uploading them into the document section of the client tracker on your back office for your records and forward originals to the insurance company. If it is necessary to mail the policy to the owner, you should send it return receipt requested through certified mail. Once you receive the receipt back from the post office, scan and upload it into the document section of the client tracker on your back office also send a copy to the insurance company.
- As a best practice, you should follow up with a letter to the client or communication expressing gratitude to the client for their purchase and restating the client’s reasons for buying the policy and the needs and objectives it helps meet.
- Maintain a complete file for each client on The Client Tracker on your back office and be aware of any compliance related policies and procedures of The Company and any insurance companies with which you’re appointed.
- Always make your best effort to respond to clients in a timely and professional manner. Provide any written complaints or grievances immediately to your Vice President (VP) and/or The Company Compliance as soon as you receive them.
Founding the Sale on Your Client’s Financial Objectives and Needs
- As a The Company insurance agent, you need to put clients first. It is your ethical and professional responsibility to know your clients. It is important to understand the needs of the client and their unique circumstances. Only after understanding your client’s circumstances and needs should you begin to discuss how an appropriate product may work in meeting their objectives and needs.
- Developing the relationship with the client and focusing on their needs will help develop better expectations, greater understanding and trust, lead to higher persistency and renewals, and establish the framework from which you can continue to build a successful practice.
Some of the factors to consider as you’re getting to know your client include:
- Understanding the client’s financial status and circumstances: This would include age, occupation, marital status, dependents, annual gross income, future earnings expectations, income and estate tax status, discretionary income, assets, liabilities, budget or expenses, value of portfolio, net worth, emergency reserves, retirement savings, etc.
- Insurance needs: Amount(s) of any existing insurance, health status, amount of death benefit protection, cash value for estate liquidity, mortgage, family income, education, business planning, retirement, accelerated death benefits, etc.
- Investment objectives: Determine the client’s investment objective (e.g., income, tax deferral, accumulation, retirement savings, etc.).
- Time horizon for investment: When does the client expect to need access to the investment (e.g., immediately, 1-3 years, 3-5 years, greater than 5 years, etc.).
- Risk tolerance: Determine how much risk the client’s willing to accept with his/her investment. For clients who are seeking capital appreciation or growth, an equity indexed annuity may not be the appropriate investment vehicle.
- Affordability of premium: Whether the client can afford the required or planned premium and whether the client has sufficient discretionary income or assets to sustain payments over the long term without lapsing the policy.
- While working with clients you will gather a lot of information about them. Agents are required to document and record clients’ responses and maintain such information in your client file. Agents should make note of the clients’ needs, products discussed, products recommended, the basis for any recommendation(s), and whether or not the recommendation was followed.