Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Marketing Long-Term Care Insurance To Affinity Groups

Members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance often submit questions via the organization's members only website. We solicit answers from leading industry experts and post them. I thought it would be valuable to post this one on our blog as well. As sales of long-term care insurance to associations and affinity groups grow, I believe you'll find this of value.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reached out to a leading national expert in the field, Joseph Pulitano of Advanced Resource Marketing, in Allston, MA.

The Question: I am agent of record for a large affinity group, and am debating whether to continue to use a mailback pro forma or to partner with an LTC specialty Managing General Agency (MGA). My question is, how many times more apps could I expect to receive by using the face to face process, vs the mailback process?

Joe Pulitano's reply: I don't have enough information on your group to give you a quantitative answer but I can certainly give some conceptual ones. In all of the associations and employer groups we market to we see participation rates much higher when the prospect is approached face to face with an agent.

The reasoning - Members/Employees have purchased life insurance and/or DI in the past and have perhaps purchased more than one policy. They tend to understand those products; the role they play in a person's overall financial plan and most people can adequately purchase them over the phone/mail/internet.

The people who have not purchased LTCi will hopefully only need to buy it once. For that to happen a well trained, competent agent who understands how to work affinity leads can guide a prospect through the role LTCi plays in a person's overall financial plan and help them purchase the right product at the right price.

Perhaps the best example of this is AARP. They have been offering LTCi to their membership for over 20 years strictly through over the phone and through the mail. Last year AARP contracted with a nationwide company of career agents to meet members at their homes and sell the product face to face. The results in most areas of the country have been phenomenal.

Yes, there are those prospects who do not want to sit with an agent and want to conduct business over the phone, internet, or through the mail, and as an MGA marketing to affinities we do accommodate those individuals with an on line education process and purchasing system.

When considering an LTCi MGA to handle your affinity there are several items you need to review:

1. What experience does the MGA have in affinity marketing?

2. Does the MGA have a regional of national base of agents who are experienced in working affinity leads?

3. What investment is the MGA willing to make to market to your affinity? Little or no investment means little or no leads.

4. Does the MGA have the ability to structure commissions to flow directly from the carrier to the affinity and the agent of record?

5. Does the MGA have an on line educational program Members can go to and get more information?

When an MGA is considering taking on this affinity project from you they may want to know:

1. What is the affinity between the association and the members?

2. Are other insurance products sold to affinity members?

3. What are the demographics of the affinity? There are some large affinities that will not be successful.

4. What is the retention rate of affinity members?

5. How long has LTCi been offered and what have the success rates been?

Affinity marketing of LTCi when marketed, sold, and administered correctly is a goldmine of opportunity.

Thanks Joe.

The Ask The Experts service is a benefit of membership in the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. To become a member, click here or type: into the address bar of your web browser.

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