Question: What is the biggest change in life insurance production that you have noticed since joining MDRT and now?
“It is getting hard to sell to young people than it used to be. They don’t seem to want to plan for that protection. You have to educate them and convince them. They often come to the agency at the prompting of their parents, but all they want to do is open an investment portfolio. It wasn’t that way 18 years ago when I joined MDRT. There was more awareness then. I think parents today do not talk about life insurance and don’t teach it to them. Another reason could be that today’s family structures are different than 18 years ago. By the way, middle aged and older people need that education, too.”
--Glen E. Riesterer, of Riesterer Financial Services, Kiel, Wisc.
“Underwriting is more difficult than when I joined MDRT 17 years ago. Due to the medical advances, people get diagnosed with more ailments. People also go to the doctor more often, so there are more things being found. For example, I see a lot more cancers than 17 years ago. They range from skin cancer to others that are more dangerous to health. That doesn’t mean the companies automatically decline those cases, but they are more thorough. You can still get cases written, but it takes more work.
--Bill S. Van Ess of Spectrum Insurance Group, Green Bay, Wisc.
“When I started with MDRT eight years ago, I tried to be an expert in everything. Now, I focus on what I’m exceptionally good at, which is investments. One of my partners specializes in life insurance, and the other specializes in bringing in new business. This structure has allowed me to increase my production, from barely qualifying back then to Court of the Table now. The three of us work as a team, so we split everything, and all three of us qualify for MDRT, and at a high level. I still do some life production and bring in some business, but it’s a small amount.”
--Samuel Baldwin, of Spencer Financial, Sudbury, Mass.
“I am from New Zealand. Production in my country has improved in the 15 years since I joined MDRT. Producers are selling larger sums and using more sophisticated products for more sophisticated needs. A lot of this is because household debt and household income required to support the family have increased four-fold in the last decade. Average household debt is four times the household income, and both spouses typically work. The average home costs $300,000, and that’s for a small house, so incomes have to be reasonably high. That’s why the life insurance amounts have gone up so much.”
--Mark Solomon, of AllFinanz, Lower Hutt, New Zealand