• Report: #35122

Complaint Review: Combined Insurance Comapny

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  • Submitted: Wed, November 13, 2002
  • Updated: Wed, August 02, 2006

  • Reported By:Turner OR
Combined Insurance Comapny
Illnois Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

Combined Insurance Comapny ripoff Chicago Illinois

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Tim in Minnesota - my experiences mostly match your posts.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: It's up to the agent whether or not Combined is an oppertunity.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Combined Ins Co: A company that should not be in business

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Combined is not an ethical company

*UPDATE Employee: Be accountable and quite whining

*Consumer Comment: missing the big picture here

*UPDATE Employee: I'm glad you brought that up

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Believe This May Interest You Also liscense and sales school expense money and such is handled differently from state to state

*Consumer Comment: Repeated Spam Email Won't Stop

*Consumer Comment: Can't Believe This Company

*UPDATE Employee: Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

*UPDATE Employee: Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

*UPDATE Employee: Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

*UPDATE Employee: If there's not to lose but trying, but a lot to gain if sucessful, then by all means....

*UPDATE Employee: You are all right about some things; but remember W. Clement Stone no longer runs CICA - it is not the same!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Combine Does lie to everyone including it's Agents

*UPDATE Employee: Combined then and now... jumping in with "blind faith"

*UPDATE Employee: the "Reality Show".... all of the things that I have read are accurate and true

*UPDATE Employee: unlicensed trainee, is lying

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: HOW IS YOUR PMA? I do not wish to defend Combined Insurance because the company is not perfect, but ..

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Ron in Laurel Montana

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Ron in Laurel Montana

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Ron in Laurel Montana

*UPDATE Employee: An opportunity, feed back I recieved from the policyholders was not alway's the best

*UPDATE Employee: Combined Seniors...Give us a year and we'll give you a career

*Consumer Comment: Answer To Tim, Branch Manager

*UPDATE Employee: Hey "Ex Agent" I think YOU need to give it a rest buddy.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Agent ..I've been cussed out so many times over customers being screwed and lied that I quit

*UPDATE Employee: Minnesota Branch Manager "Senior" Division

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Combined Insurance Company ....what a scam

*UPDATE Employee: I nor any other Agent to the best of my knowledge been instructed to Lie, Cheat, Steel or any other dishonest act.

*Author of original report: Response to Sales is Sales

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Sales is Sales

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I was hired by Combined Insurance Company and told I would receive a guranteed base salary during my 6 month training period. I was not told until after I had completed my insurance license training and quit my previous employment that I would recieve a gurantee after I had worked for the company for six months and if I did not earn in commission enough money to equal the guarantee. I was sent to a remote area and found my new boss had just quit his position. I worked long hours and traveled many miles before I quit in frustration. I was spending so much money in expensese that I was not making enough money to survive. This has happened to many other people also. The policies were difficult to sell because the comany was not paying their claims. They show the names of people they have paid money to but it is far less than the number of people that filed legitimate claims and never received compensation.

Linda
Eureka, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/13/2002 10:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Combined-Insurance-Comapny/Chicago-Illinois/Combined-Insurance-Comapny-ripoff-Chicago-Illinois-35122. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Tim in Minnesota - my experiences mostly match your posts.

AUTHOR: Susan - (U.S.A.)

Tim in Minnesota - my experiences mostly match your posts. I just found Rip-Off Report today. I have been looking for Combined-related postings for about a week, but this is the only site I found.

I was a rep for Combined Insurance (CLICNY) of New York in the early 90's. I saw some bad apples come and go. I also had the opportunity to work with one of the best companies I have ever worked for. The sales school and training was tremendous, I learned a lot and I loved my job.

I remember many back roads and small towns that didn't look promising, then finding the one house where I was able to hit my goal for the day. Awesome! I was always very surprised (though after reading some of these posts, maybe I shouldn't be) by the number of neighbors who had never been approached by our agents. Remember the T? Both next door neighbors, and the neighbor across the street. Yes, it is Hard but Rewarding Work!

I left CLICNY after about 6 months because I was expected my first child, and I wanted to focus on being a Mom first. The late hours and weekends at Combined just wouldn't have work for me. Now, my youngest is almost 14, and I am thinking I would like to return to the company in another 5-6 years after my husband and I become "empty nesters".

To the current and former Combined employees: If you are looking for something better elsewhere, know that you received the best sales training you could get, and you will be able to take your training with you to another company - IMHO. Remember, there are incompetant SMs and DMs in other companies.

I come away from reading all of these posts thinking I want to rejoin the company more than ever.

I did not notice any postings from CLICNY people. Any DMs, SMs, or Reps (former or current) want to chime in and report their experiences - I would appreciate it!

And yes, my PMA is still Great!

Susan
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

It's up to the agent whether or not Combined is an oppertunity.

AUTHOR: W - (U.S.A.)

I was with Combined from the late 1980s into the mid 1990s. Combined gave me an opportunity to turn my financial life around for the better. When I left Combined I had the money, the confidence, and the knowledge to start my own business. I don't know how I could have gone from where I was pre CICA to where I am now were it not for the opportunity CICA offered me.

I also know that Combined isn't for most people, and it can be fairly argued that in CICA's need for a large number of agents in the field many managers paint an inaccurate picture of the company in order to attract new bodies and put them in the field. BUT in our cynical world there are also many potential employees who refuse to believe what the can accomplish with CICA.

I joined CICA AFTER reading W. Clement Stone's book "The Sucess System that Never Fails", along with the books of an associate of Mr. Stone's, Napolean Hill. I sought out CICA after learning about it and discovering that Mr. Stone had created a company built around saleable ins products that b/c of their low price were accessible to most people AND which delivered good value between premium and benefit. Further the salesman recieved a fair comm on each unit sold. BECAUSE the products are priced so affordably and the margins so small, it is essential that the company write a lot of policies day in and day out, and Mr. Stone had provided by that by developing a very strong presentation that stressed the benefits of the protection and was created with a practical awareness of human psychology so as to resunate with the prospect.

I heard a lot of folks dissing sales school here - and I agree that something is very wrong where many people feel they were told one thing about compensation and such during it, then were subjected to else - misleading new agents is NO way to run a company . . . that said, I can't imagine why anyone should believe that CICA should pay them during sales school . . .Don't they understand that what they learn in sales school positions them to earn 6 figures in three yrs or sooner? For someone who makes use of what they're taught in sales school the lack of payw while attending is a moot point, or certainly should be.

The same can be said for all this yak about guarenteed training salary. Again, I don't approve of some of the things that are reported being said to mislead agents . . .but lets be real, if all someone wants in their first 10 wks with Combined is $5,200 they are in the wrong job . . .you don't joint CICA to make chump change, you join CICA to work your arse off to make real money. My first ten wks I made over $8,500 in 1989 dollars. CICA isn't the place to screw around for 400-500 a wk, either hump it high or stay home.

Perhaps the blame does rest with the company, perhaps there aren't enough people motivated to take advantage of the opportunities CICA offers so the company has to try to present itself as a nice little place to make 400-500 a wk starting out because there aren't enough people willing to commit to doing what they're taught and taking advantage of the oppertunity to make 800-1,000 a wk off the bat and far more down the road.

One more point, speaking of roads . . .yeah, in rural areas you're gonna travel, and I know CICA guys are hurting now with $3.00 a gallon gas, but part of this is b/c they're too busy crying to work the system . . there were many times I had to drive several miles to make one or two renewals of policy holders who'd been on the books for 5 plus yrs. My objective becaming making it worht the time by doing what I was trained to do, upselling the existing policy holder, adding family memebers, and working the T to present to 3 neighbors . . .turned out a lot of those folks hadn't even been prospected by the NMA guys who'd worked the renewal before me, I'd write 20-30 units on that little road and thereby turn a negative into a positive..

Brings us back to use of time . . .yeah, you can work crazy hours with CICA . .. many times I did, I'd decide at the morning meeting to write 50 new units that day, watch the faces of the NMA dudes when they said 'uh huh, sure', then I'd keep humping even if I had to go to some store and prospect the employees as they got off work at 9pm ... but I'd get my 50. OTHER times my goal was to just renew $500 and write 30 units . . I'd get on a roll and be done by noon. Then I'd call it a day and go home. My DM had no prob with that.

Thing about CICA is they'll love you if you produce . . .no DM or sub regional or anyone else jerks a producer around . . . when they know a guy or gal is good for a hundred call more often than not they leave you alone to do your magic . . .and anyone who sincerly wants to do 100 calls at will can do them, the comapany teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know, and no, none of what is taught is unethical . . .but you are taught to ACT . . .do the right thing b/c it is the right thing to do. DO it, as in ACTION, not set around talking about how nice it would be if, or how rotten things or, or this or that, get up and do something. Knock on doors instead of 'knocking' your situation.

Anyone with the want-to can go to Combined and make a ton of money . . .but if your goal is to just make a nice easy $25-35 a yr . . .stay away b/c that figure is HARDER to make with CICA than $60,000 . . . they system wasn't designed for half hearted commitment . . if you work the system you make bucks, if you cut corners you are better off working somewhere else because you'll do better elsewhere.

CICA is all about want to, attitude, outlook, motivation, and burning desire. From the sound of this thread there is so much crap in the company from disillusioned and disenchanted bums and crooks that it is all the more important for the new agent to focus on his goals and refuse to let the turkeys get them down. IF you don't have that drive, if you're just looking for one job among many, rather than a transformation in the quality of yourself and your life . . .maybe its wisest to stay away, because for anyone who commits to the company, it does represent a big gamble and you will fail miserably at CICA if you give it the same average effort that passes for commitment at way too many jobs, and you will fail if you believe you're too smart or too special or too fair minded or whatever and therefore thing you don't have to work the system and will still somehow make it.

MOST people who wash out of CICA are a lot like someone who goes to work at McDonalds and decides instead of frying the french fries he's gonna bake them . . .that person wouldn't last, neither do people who try bucking the system at CICA.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Combined Ins Co: A company that should not be in business

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

Combined lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit for a reason. OH- and their father company, AON, was sued for millions, and their CEO in Chicago was fired for fradulent activities.

They taught us how to make money off of the weakness of others. They also lied about how much money we would make. They promised that we would make a certain amount of money over the first 13 weeks of work. The only thing was that we had to sell a certain number of policies each week to old and new faces each.

They failed to inform us that in order to receive this gaunteed money, we had to wait until the end of the 13 weeks. If we fulfilled our sales, our total income was added and then the difference of what was promised and what was not earned was to be paid to us.

However, if we sold the policies(which was not easy), there was no difference to be paid.

I'm glad they got sued. I'm glad they have a bad name. Every negative comment made about this company is true. I've seen it.

For those who are upset about these reportings: You are lucky that you only see the good in this company. Leave the people alone who have suffered.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Combined is not an ethical company

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

I am a former agent in Minnesota, and I can attest from personal experience that Combined's sales team in Minnesota has had a great amount of turnover due to their well-deserved tawdry reputation in this state of dishonest sales tactics and the home office's unwillingness to pay valid claims

The company's reputation has never been very good in of the states they are allowed to do business.

I am now with an insurance company that I am proud to represent, which was not the case with Combined.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Be accountable and quite whining

AUTHOR: Gene - (U.S.A.)

I have worked for Combined for about six years and I can tell you one thing that is an absolute truth! If you are not willing to go to work, then look somewhere else. This company rewards hard work and strong goals. These people who are whining on this website are the same one's blaming McDonalds for getting fat or smokes for giving them cancer. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, was it me, or the company? I had a manager who was not the very ethical at all. But I did not put my career in her hands, I put it in mine. Take respnsibiity for youself! (Might be kind of scary) If you want something bad enough, you will do it the right way, and the ethical way. These people complaining really don't want to face the truth about themselves. They want to blame everyone else for THEIR failures. Make every excuse you want to, but people in the sales industry know you are hiding behind a mirage. We can see right through you. But go on blaming everyone else for the rest of your life, instead of facing the truth. We can compare retirement plans in 15 years. I earned my way to my position by "Doing The Right Thing Because It Is The Right Thing To Do".

I have the wonderful opportunity of being a sales trainer for Combined Insurance and their is not a greater job in the world. I love waking up and going to work. I have NEVER taught any high pressure sales tactics. I have the opportunity of teaching people a "System That Never Fails." If the people are smart enough to apply it, they will be successfull no matter what type of challenges they encounter. If the system did not work, then how can I go anywhere in the country and write a 100 call at will? It is called, self-discipline, P.M.A. having strong personal, family, and financial goals. If you have a great work ethic, and you have great ethics, come work for us. We don't deal with excuses just hard working people with the very realistic opportunity to earn $100,000 or more after 2 years with benefits.
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#6 Consumer Comment

missing the big picture here

AUTHOR: Mitch - (U.S.A.)

i use to work for combined for 7 years. so i have seen my fair share of things believe me lol.
i was upset like most of you, when i left. but now after 5 years have gone by i do think differently. here's why. we all know that you got to sell and sell alot to make the income. they want 100 calls and income strings, we just want to make good money. and yes if you arent selling they get on you, because all management has sales goals and hiring goals and they promised to deliver. everything is sales goals oriented. that puts pressure on everyone, and some can handle it and some cannot. pressure sales isnt taught in sales school, not giving up is. pressure sales come when we become desperate for sales and income. it isnt for everyone and certainly it wasnt for me. it was kinda funny, that past agents where ripping the company and
district managers defending it, because they do have hiring goals they have to meet and that certainly cant be helping there cause.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

I'm glad you brought that up

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

I love all the dribble being spewn on here by disgruntled "former" Combined Insurance Agents. As a manager in the SENIOR division here in MN, a large part of my job is recruiting. Let me say that when I interview Licensed Agents from other companies, they say the same thing as the blithering former agents on here...so it's always a he said/she said party. Anyone can get into a pissing contest on an issue but what does that solve? All I know is we always "do the right thing because it's the right thing to do" and do our best to hire quality people who we think will have a great shot at making big money. In Seniors, it's an obvious strategy to market the "age wave" with products they want and need like Long Term Care, Medicare Supplements, Critical Condition, Life Ins., and Rx Discount plans. It's good stuff folks. If you want to whine and wimper about your particular manager or your little problem, fix it. There are plenty of good managers and agents in my operation and I'm fully aware that in any sales industry there is turnover. I worked in a Call Center in the Telemarketing industry for 12 years prior to my coming to Combined 4 years ago, and we had the same challenge. Sales is hard, and if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Things worth having are worth working for...and with my AON stock, 401K, renewals, and overrides...it's a great opportunity and wonderfully flexible career. It's too bad that some of you were working for some hacks wherever you are...but here in Minnesota, the North Stars are shining.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Believe This May Interest You Also liscense and sales school expense money and such is handled differently from state to state

AUTHOR: Garry - (U.S.A.)

I sold for Combined in the late 1980's, encountered some of the same problems detailed here, but also had positive experiences that were light yrs removed from some of what I've read here. Beyond that, in management positions I've held since leaving Combined I've seen first hand how problems simular to the ones detailed here can happen without the immeidate awareness or consent of management. To sum it all up, I came to this site this morning as part of my efforts to learn what Combined is like in this decade as I'm considering returning to the company.

My story . . . first off, liscense and sales school expense money and such is handled differently from state to state. I cycled through the last sales school class of 1986, which b/c VA/NC/SC ea had smaller than normal classes were grouped together in Raleigh, NC. All of the VA students were quietly handed meal and mileage monies, NC students rec'd nothing, and SC students understood their motel costs would be deducted once they entered production. If you're considering a position with Combined, don't turn away b/c of experiences from a different state. . . but learn from what you see here to ask good questions (questions are the backbone of most selling efforts, no better time to learn that than now)

I'll also note that liscense school was excellant. Prior to joining Combined I'd been liscensed in AZ with a national Ins Co which enjoyed a stellar reputation. But their version of liscense school was to tell me three locations in Phoenix where I could buy study materials. Studying on my own I got an 84 on the AZ state exam. In the 80's VA and AZ had no recipricol agreement so I had to do full liscense exam and classrm to get a VA liscense. B/C of the EXCELLANT Combined program I 97'ed the VA state exam.

So, I cycled out of sales school and hit the field. To this day I hold my DM (now retired) in high regard, he was both a good salesman and a good person. My sales manager, while sweating under the burden of pushing his career while being saddled with a lot of NMA guys in his team, never once instructed me or to my knowledge anyone else to do anything unethical and never once applied a level of pressure to make numbers such that someone felt it was the lessor of two evils to 'do whatever it takes, no matter how reprehensible' than to bring in less than the 50 new units he'd challenged us with for the first two days of the week.

DISPITE knowing the methods of these men I often worked territories behind someone - many times no longer with the company - who'd pulled all sorts of stunts 6 mos prior. At the time the 'half unit' sold for $20 and the 'full unit' sold for $40 (for 6 mos). On several territories I encountered what looked to be $40 renewals but was told by the policy owner that she'd paid "$40 for 12 mos of the half unit" Made for some bad experiences, and there were assignments where the company's rep was so bad that I had to fight to restore it and have my '20 day' but it is important to note that the guys I was following were no longer with the company. This wasn't the handywork of people then moving on to SM positions for doing wonderfully, but the desperate last wks of poor salesmen who'd never learned to do it right and were doing what desperate people often do.

Now, I also know that there were some problem SM's who jerked their teams around, handed posh assignments to people they liked, and crap to guys they'd given up on, but I've seen idiot mgrs in plenty of organizations. I've also seen human nature at work where a hurried pressued boss wont always look as closely as we might like him to at how his top performers are brining in business. I know, I've been on the 'rose colored glasses' side of the thing in other companies. I can't in fairness say 'Combined encuraged this' when I've inadvertantly fallen prey to it w/o being encuraged or cultured into it. It's not 'look the other way' so much as 'lets not look a gift horse in the mouth'. BUT with time I've learned that mgr's HAVE to do that to preserve the integrity of the organization and I'm not ready to smite Combined b/c a first yr sales mgr hadn't learned that.

My points, be leary of the concept that there is a company culture at Combined to shave corners. evaluate your prospective SM and DM as to their view of how to conduct business and proceed from there. Also keep in mind that you'll work w/o close supervison and you will have oppertunities do cut corners w/o your SM knowing it immediately. So, if at 10am you encounter a renewal situation where a policy holder chews you out for something that happened 6 mos ago, do not automatically mess up your day by presuming the incident was sanctioned by mgt.

My story continues. . . I left Combined as I learned more about myself and realized I'd joined the company for the wrong reasons. I'd left AZ where I was selling specialized health policies with a first yr comm of $200 to $300, but for reasons that made sense to me at the time I felt I'd be more effective during the high volumn Combined business in VA. If was a bigger adjustment than I'd anticipated and when a Mgt position opened in a non sales field I was ready for a move.

But over the yrs I've talked to a lot of regional and state level mgrs in other Insurance companies and been told time and time again that Combined offers the best pure sales training in the industry. I've learned that Combined experience can set a prospective hire out from the pack. I've also, as I've become more experienced in business, come to appreciate the pure genius in how Combine bundled its products and presentations. Although the day that I left Combined my expectation was the the standard presentation would fade from my mind in time, I've been blessed with a good memory and can still do the late 1980's version, replete with the McCabe nod and all the canned rebuttles word for word. They're things of beauty.

Which brings me back to the present. Having been inside Combined, having played 7's at morning meetings, felt happy healthy and terrific, and kinda chuckled at much of it while gnashing my teeth at the carp someone pulled on my assigment 6 or 12 mos ago, as I'm considering going back to a pure sales environment with the goal of moving into sales mgt PDQ I'm thinking seriously of Combined b/c I know of no company more 'sales friendly', no company where enthusiam and a willingness to plan my work and work my plan can translate to results faster. Lot easier to put a $$ goal on my sunvisor at the begining of the day and translate honest effort to that fig with Combined than any Co. I know of.

Combined is however HARD. You'll hear more 'nos' in a day of Combined than in a week of sales with some other companies. You'll move fast and make lots of presentations, you wont set around the office all afternoon b/c your one scheduled appt is two hours away and you've talked yourself out of prospecting. You also get immediate feedback (much of it negative) while someone doing B2B sales can call a prospect once a month, 6-8 times over, have nice little talks, never sell a darn thing, but feel good about it all because 'you're in an extended sales cycle'. Why give up all that? B/C with Combined you can go down any road or street and know 'everyone is a prospect'. Try doing that if you're specializing in rolling 401(k)'s into 7 yr index annuities (As I have) Oh yeah, b/c Combineds market isn't as upscale as some financial product's you don't get the snob appeal when you're hanging with the boys at the gym and one guy has just closed on a small group LTCi and another has just done a huge Roth IRA and all you've got to say is you did 100% retention on your renewals and had four '20 days'. BUT guess what, give Combined 4 yrs and you can be outearning the other guys.

As for other people within the company, keep in mind that if sales school is anything like what it once was, and if the products today are as relevant to todays market as they once were, you have everything you need to meet your objectives. Even bad sales mgrs want you to make money b/c that is how they make money, thus you don't catch flak from them until you're running way under quota. Now I know this is hard to gauge if you're young and new to the work force, but before sigining on, learn about the product, ask what quota you'll be carrying, decide for yourself if you think you can hit those numbers in ways you're comfortable with. Ask yourself where else in the work world might you have a better shot. Based on my experience, even if you find Combined to not be the product/niche mix you're best suited for, you will learn a ton from them. Even some of the respondents here who were subjected to horrid SM's and such mention that they're doing very well in other sales positions. It may be that some of them credit some of their Combined training for at least a part of that.

I'd also encurage any new agent to select his/her friends within their sales team carefully. Combined has a high wasout rate and a lot of negative sales agents spinning their wheels for mos before moving on. Yes, they can be great early warning systems for things you need to watch out for, but they will also turnout blame and excuses by the doz, all about how the company and its practices stand between them (and you) and big numbers. Approach with caution.

In respect to the one sales professional who was treated like anything other than a sales professional. I had expereinces with NC and VA mgt that were very different. In respect to race we had an african american on our team, one of the counties we worked had a LOT of racist rednecks. During that month the SM selected the most enlighted parts of the territory for the black man so that he would be unlikely to encounter problems. Once again, the company as a whole doesn't seem insensitive to blacks, but some real idiot mgrs have passed through the cracks. Do you due diligence.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Repeated Spam Email Won't Stop

AUTHOR: Rob - (U.S.A.)

I updated my resume on Monster.com today and shortly afterwards I got this business opportunity spam email from Combined Insurance Company. Why don't they learn that job seekers are looking for employment opportunities and not business opportunities?


=============
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hello.I just noticed your resume on Monster.com. You seem to possess many of the qualities that my organization looks for in a potential employee.

I'm the Regional Manager with Combined Insurance Company of America. We're currently enjoying our 85th year in business and looking forward to 85 more. Our division of Combined sells life, health and disability insurance. We spend the majority of our time, 80 percent, working with existing customers of the company. What that means is simple..NOT selling to friends and family.NOT making 100 phone calls a day.and NOT selling door to door. It actually means spending the majority of our time in selling situations.making sales.

We provide industry recognized classroom training followed by extensive in-field training. This is followed up with a Management Develoment Program.designed to take someone from Sales Rep to Sales Manager in as little as 6 months. This rapid advancement is based strictly on merit not on seniority.

Incomes are exciting.First year incomes average $40K-$50K with Sales Managers earning $75K+.Weekly pay with direct deposit is very unique in our industry. One huge benefit is the ability to build residual income, helping you create financial independence.

Because we're employees, we have tremendous benefits including 401K and Employee Stock Discount Purchase Plan..as well as the usual health, dental and disability benefits.

We're looking for driven, determined and motivated people who want a career.not just a job. Individuals who want to move up in an orgazation based upon their own hard work and desire. If that's you.I'd like to extend an invitation for an immediate, confidential one on one interview. Please call our Branch Manager of South Texas, John Bishop, immediately at xxx-xxx-xxxx to schedule a convenient time.

I'm looking forward to meeting you very soon and here's to a great start in 2005.

Enthusiastically,

PhillipBromagen
Regional Manager
Combined Insurance Company of America
www.combined.com
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#10 Consumer Comment

Can't Believe This Company

AUTHOR: Rob - (U.S.A.)

I can't believe this company. I just updated my resume on Monster.com and guess who just happens to think I am good candidate for their sales scam, Combined Insurance Company of America. They have emailed me hundreds of this solicitations since I posted my resume there.

Here is the typical dribble:

=========
Hello.I just noticed your resume on Monster.com. You seem to possess many of
the qualities that my organization looks for in a potential employee.

I'm the Regional Manager with Combined Insurance Company of America. We're currently enjoying our 85th year in business and looking forward to 85 more. Our division of Combined sells life, health and disability insurance. We spend the majority of our time, 80 percent, working with existing customers of the company. What that means is simple..NOT selling to friends and family.NOT making 100 phone calls a day.and NOT selling door to door. It actually means spending the
majority of our time in selling situations.making sales.

We provide industry recognized classroom training followed by extensive in-field training. This is followed up with a Management Develoment Program.designed to take someone from Sales Rep to Sales Manager in as little as 6 months. This
rapid advancement is based strictly on merit not on seniority.

Incomes are exciting.First year incomes average $40K-$50K with Sales Managers earning $75K+.Weekly pay with direct deposit is very unique in our industry. One huge benefit is the ability to build residual income, helping you create financial independence.

Because we're employees, we have tremendous benefits including 401K and Employee Stock Discount Purchase Plan..as well as the usual health, dental and disability benefits.

We're looking for driven, determined and motivated people who want a career.not just a job. Individuals who want to move up in an orgazation based upon their own hard work and desire. If that's you.I'd like to extend an invitation for an
immediate, confidential one on one interview. Please call our Branch Manager of South Texas, John Bishop, immediately at 210-213-1163 to schedule a convenient time.

I'm looking forward to meeting you very soon and here's to a great start in 2005.

Enthusiastically,

PhillipBromagen
phillip_bromagen@cic.aon.com
Regional Manager
Combined Insurance Company of America
www.combined.com

=== End of message ===



Sorry, PhillipBromagen. I am not interested in insurance sales. If you really took a look at my resume, you would realize that I don't have any experience in sales nor does my resume indicate that I want to work in a sales job. When will your company learn not to use Monster.com to spam people with your useless dribble. I will be reporting your solicitation to Monster's Abuse department.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

I am currently working for Combined Insurance Company of America and what alot of you are saying is Sooooooo True. I am an agent in "training", a thirteen week course that you have to finish after you graduate from sales school in Chicago. It is a 2 week sales training school that you have to go to once you finish license training school for one week to obtain your license. You are under contract for 13 weeks and the contract states that you will make $?,???.OO during your 13 week training. If you don't make that much then they will give you the difference. In the contract it does say that you have to sell so many of certain types of policies. I will not make what the contract stated so they will have to give me some money next week. Will they??? Probably not! You see, I did extremely well during training. I had an 11 day application day string. (11 days in a row to sell a policy to a customer.) There was an award for app strings at the time. A 10 day string would get you a $750.00 Bonus. It has been 5 weeks and still no Bonus. I told my District manager about it as well as the State Regional manager and She said that I didn't qualify. Well BULL MILARKY !!!!! NOW, she went and pissed me off. I found the pamphlet that a regional manager gave me that told me that I qualified and to go out and sell, sell, sell. I did and all of the sudden, no bonus. This is against the labor relations laws. I still have the pamphlet and I told me DM that I better get my bonus or I was quitting and I will sue for it and more. I will win. After I won the bonus the regional manager had me call a big boss on the phone and give my good news, I had an 11 day app string going and had already won a 750.00 bonus. Boy, was he happy!!!!! That was just more money for him and made the regional manager look good. But when that was done and he got his glory and his nose wiped off, I dont get my bonus, so everybody in America that is reading this knows how I feel right now.....don't you? I am still employed and waiting for the bonus. So from now on, there is a new motto in America that I want everybody to learn and I want people to recite daily and check back at this page daily for an update, O.k.!! Here it is and be sure and recite it everyday. IF THEY PAY, JEFF WILL STAY! IF THEY JEW, JEFF WILL SUE! Be sure and check back for the answer late this week 11/08/04 or early next week to see what happens. Will combined pay Jeffs bonus? Will Combined pay the difference in Jeffs contract? Find out the answers to these questions soon. Will Jeff stay with the company or will he sue for his bonus that he earned? We will see.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

I am currently working for Combined Insurance Company of America and what alot of you are saying is Sooooooo True. I am an agent in "training", a thirteen week course that you have to finish after you graduate from sales school in Chicago. It is a 2 week sales training school that you have to go to once you finish license training school for one week to obtain your license. You are under contract for 13 weeks and the contract states that you will make $?,???.OO during your 13 week training. If you don't make that much then they will give you the difference. In the contract it does say that you have to sell so many of certain types of policies. I will not make what the contract stated so they will have to give me some money next week. Will they??? Probably not! You see, I did extremely well during training. I had an 11 day application day string. (11 days in a row to sell a policy to a customer.) There was an award for app strings at the time. A 10 day string would get you a $750.00 Bonus. It has been 5 weeks and still no Bonus. I told my District manager about it as well as the State Regional manager and She said that I didn't qualify. Well BULL MILARKY !!!!! NOW, she went and pissed me off. I found the pamphlet that a regional manager gave me that told me that I qualified and to go out and sell, sell, sell. I did and all of the sudden, no bonus. This is against the labor relations laws. I still have the pamphlet and I told me DM that I better get my bonus or I was quitting and I will sue for it and more. I will win. After I won the bonus the regional manager had me call a big boss on the phone and give my good news, I had an 11 day app string going and had already won a 750.00 bonus. Boy, was he happy!!!!! That was just more money for him and made the regional manager look good. But when that was done and he got his glory and his nose wiped off, I dont get my bonus, so everybody in America that is reading this knows how I feel right now.....don't you? I am still employed and waiting for the bonus. So from now on, there is a new motto in America that I want everybody to learn and I want people to recite daily and check back at this page daily for an update, O.k.!! Here it is and be sure and recite it everyday. IF THEY PAY, JEFF WILL STAY! IF THEY JEW, JEFF WILL SUE! Be sure and check back for the answer late this week 11/08/04 or early next week to see what happens. Will combined pay Jeffs bonus? Will Combined pay the difference in Jeffs contract? Find out the answers to these questions soon. Will Jeff stay with the company or will he sue for his bonus that he earned? We will see.
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Empty Promises "So Far": I will give them ONE more chance

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

I am currently working for Combined Insurance Company of America and what alot of you are saying is Sooooooo True. I am an agent in "training", a thirteen week course that you have to finish after you graduate from sales school in Chicago. It is a 2 week sales training school that you have to go to once you finish license training school for one week to obtain your license. You are under contract for 13 weeks and the contract states that you will make $?,???.OO during your 13 week training. If you don't make that much then they will give you the difference. In the contract it does say that you have to sell so many of certain types of policies. I will not make what the contract stated so they will have to give me some money next week. Will they??? Probably not! You see, I did extremely well during training. I had an 11 day application day string. (11 days in a row to sell a policy to a customer.) There was an award for app strings at the time. A 10 day string would get you a $750.00 Bonus. It has been 5 weeks and still no Bonus. I told my District manager about it as well as the State Regional manager and She said that I didn't qualify. Well BULL MILARKY !!!!! NOW, she went and pissed me off. I found the pamphlet that a regional manager gave me that told me that I qualified and to go out and sell, sell, sell. I did and all of the sudden, no bonus. This is against the labor relations laws. I still have the pamphlet and I told me DM that I better get my bonus or I was quitting and I will sue for it and more. I will win. After I won the bonus the regional manager had me call a big boss on the phone and give my good news, I had an 11 day app string going and had already won a 750.00 bonus. Boy, was he happy!!!!! That was just more money for him and made the regional manager look good. But when that was done and he got his glory and his nose wiped off, I dont get my bonus, so everybody in America that is reading this knows how I feel right now.....don't you? I am still employed and waiting for the bonus. So from now on, there is a new motto in America that I want everybody to learn and I want people to recite daily and check back at this page daily for an update, O.k.!! Here it is and be sure and recite it everyday. IF THEY PAY, JEFF WILL STAY! IF THEY JEW, JEFF WILL SUE! Be sure and check back for the answer late this week 11/08/04 or early next week to see what happens. Will combined pay Jeffs bonus? Will Combined pay the difference in Jeffs contract? Find out the answers to these questions soon. Will Jeff stay with the company or will he sue for his bonus that he earned? We will see.
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#14 UPDATE Employee

If there's not to lose but trying, but a lot to gain if sucessful, then by all means....

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

I've Been with CICA for over 7 Years. Combined is a great Company to work for. You learn more about life everyday. No day is the same and I always find myself learning more and more about everything every day. The First year I made 50K+ and increased it every year. Now my bills are paid for before I get out of bed because of my current HAPPY customers. The complaints I've seen have been due to lack of claim information or doctor mistakes. The main thing is that you have to be a Positive person. PMA is the key. I can see the hate and negativity in a few of the eairler post. I've your too lazy or need someone to stand over you saying "Time to lean, time to Clean.." then go flip burgers or be a robot at a Factory till it moves to Mexico. But it's not for everyone...
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#15 UPDATE Employee

You are all right about some things; but remember W. Clement Stone no longer runs CICA - it is not the same!

AUTHOR: Debbi - (U.S.A.)

I have read with much interest all of your comments; I too have reported to this web site my concerns and the things Combined has done. I was with the company for over 13+ years and was considered on of their top recruiters (and I never offered a guarantee because I knew it was impossible to make it).

I truly never treated people the way most managers do and after hiring over 500 people in 10 years, I am still friendly with most of them. You are right to say that you need to be a salesperson in order to survive this company and you are right to say CICA does NOT care how you sell, as long as you sell.

And specifically, to Don in Springfield, I know who you are and I know who you work with and I know that you are just a little "cash register" who will be appreciated as long as you produce and spout the PMA philosophy.

To those of you who realized that this company is immoral, I applaud you and suggest that you take your talents to a sales organization that will not use you, but appreciate you instead. There are many legit companies out there & one is in Cleveland, Ohio, where I went to work. The money is unbelievable and there is no pressure for l00-calls, for keeping agents who have left the company on report, no conference calls, and just simply wonderful, sincere, success-oriented people to work for.

All you others, be glad you had the good sense to leave this company and take W. Clement Stone's training and philosophy in life with you and you, too, will be a winner. Buy the book, Think and Grow Rich, written by Mr. Stone and live it to the fullest. You will be rewarded.
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#16 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Combine Does lie to everyone including it's Agents

AUTHOR: Charlie - (U.S.A.)

I worked for Combined and liked it for the first five months, Yes they took money out of my checks for stuff I never knew about, I ended up paying for the motels I stayed at for training, for my license, JET programs, PAL programs, and other programs. Reccived several awards for sells and did a type of crush week for sells over two hundred miles away from home,(beating every goal set in front of me)I was unstoppable.

The first few months where fine because I had no conscious of what I did, then soon after I saw the deceit of my ways to all the customers, and to myself, The policies I sold stated dropping from my pay but I keep selling, knocking on doors and giving the persentation over and over sometimes more that thirty times a day, working from 7am till 9pm at night(sometimes 11pm) 6 days a week.

I was earning close to 8, hundred dollars a week after taxes and their deductions, I was on top and doing good too. I was only one sell away from having a Gold Pal during training week, I got a silver, the only girl in my area that did not quit or give up. All the other girls gave up because of the high pressure and sells pushing, we where told to cold knock, drum up leads do what ever was necessary to get sells and meet your goals. I was even told when my sells slacked off to 4 hundred a week after deductions to wear shorter skirts and flirt with the men.

At a JET program I was made to be a butt of a joke too, with out my knowing I shared rooms with bisexual woman. Not knowing about this till everyone was laughing and carrying on about how they wish they were a fly on the wall in my room to see what went on. I thought that she was ok, and we had conversations like sisters and worked together on JET locations not understanding the whole buddy hugging and attention I was getting through the weeks time.

After being with someone a week to two weeks you tend to pal around and find out stuff you did not know, like the way she got to the sells position she was at in such a short time had nothing to do with her sells it was how well she sold her self to the people above her.I was never given the choice to my rights as a Heterosexual female, in some cases it could cross the line of rooming with a male. I was violated and so was my trust, I found out the last day after check out and closing meeting.

Late in the year I was pulling in around $150 a week in sells after they took all their deductions out of my pay and I had completed the JET level two program, it was hard! I was sent to places where the residents warned me about going with a black person, to places they would call White Only ville, KKK ville, and Arian town with a Black male to sell polices, He was nice and a manager but we still sold nothing and where followed all over the town with racial slurs and comments by the town folks, and with me being a white female with a black male I did not feel safe nor did he.

After that string of no sells I was pushed even harder to sell told my dresses needed to be shorter and more revealing. It was cold out side and mid October, during this time, while at work I was victim of a hit and run while working, they totaled my car and Combined forgot about me, the millions of times I called my manager and others above him for help, must of went unoticed, unlike the men who had no cars but still received promotions and recommendations, that went on to be managers making the big money off the sweat and frustrations of others. Unlike them I got no help, no partner to ride with. There was all males in my area now, even the ones I had to help in the being because they had no car to sell in,(and did very porely in sells)the manager never once offered to take me out to help me make an income while I had no car, but he did the male agents. Even at one time I was called in to help make a sell that went to a fellow agent because he could not collect and close the Hospital policy on one of my sells six months before. The sell when to him and I still got nothing for my efforts.

So when someone says Combine Insurance, I tell them I worked for them but never again, When I was on their time I had an accident they did not pay, It took four months to replace my car through my Insurance company, but by then Combine had swept me under the carpet with out a full repayment of my contract, while others who sold beneath me we promoted above me and beyond me because I was a white female in a Secret of Success male sales world. Forever in my head I will remember the Combined name and forever will I tell my truth of what happen.

So if you are a combined agent and a female watch out! If your just an agent doing your job make sure you do not sell on my door step, Or whatch out Combined you'll lose an agent everytime. Freedom of speech is our right and any one who deccides to stiffle the rights and ammendments of the People, especialy me, I have a lawyer who will eat you for lunch and spit you out. Whana try me? So if there is anyone out there who feels the need to vent or complain about Combined a part of the Aeon Corp. off of Wacker Blv. Chicago, Il. use your right as an American and do so, this is the best place I found to do so.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Combined then and now... jumping in with "blind faith"

AUTHOR: Matt - (U.S.A.)

I am a current employee with Combined and just finishing the first set of my employment with the company. I was told upfront how Sales School worked, how licensing worked, and they make you sign a contract that you know how it all works so you can't be tricked. All those who actually read what they sign will see what they are actually getting into instead of jumping in with "blind faith"

Most of those who complain I'm sure have every reason to do so, but as someone with the company now and moving up quickly...as long as you can sell you have a VERY VERY profitable career in front of you and as you can see from many of the managers now, profit comes in great numbers. As for the unethical mannaers in whichs a sale or an introduction is done...I don't agree with that at all. Getting in the door is the most important thing and if you just stopped tryin gon the first "No" then you are not only a crappy agent, but going to be a very poor one. Most people blame Combined because they suck at selling.

All claims I have seen have been paid except for pilicyholders who have not done the paperowkr properly. Those people of course have been denied. Read between the lines is my suggestion for everyone. I knew what i was getting into....and my check is proof what I'm getting out!
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#18 UPDATE Employee

the "Reality Show".... all of the things that I have read are accurate and true

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

I am an employee of the company, and do know that all of the things that I have read - at least to a degree- are accurate and true. Both the positive as well as the negative comments. In response to a fewof the comments so that people can see both sides of this issue.

First as to the issue of "guaranteed income". This is a sales occupation, so guarenteed income would actually be nothing more than an oximoron. The initial guatanteed contract is "sold" to you by an experienced salesperson. This must be sold so that you will take tis occupation. In order to recieve a gauranteed income you sign a contract that lists the requirements to recieve the guaranteed income.

Some of the conditions are: you must sell one to two specific policies in order to recieve the payout stated in te contract. Now that I have been with the company for at least 2 years I have seen no agent recieve the payout stated in this hiring tool. And if you do the math, if one were to sell one of each of the two required policies, they would, in most cases exceed the amount listed in the agreement - so in other words you will never recieve this "guarnateed income" this is why I call it nothing more than a tool in order to hire unsuspecting, in many cases naieve and ambitious kids or old job-hopping individuals that realize, once with the company that they can get away with just about anything and I do mean anything.

But all is rectified once you sell 100 units at any cost (even at the cost of the integrity of the company that the founder W.C. Stone worked so hard to build).

As far as loosing money beacuse other agents sell, and renew buisness in ways that do not follow the underwriting rules of the states or of the company. This is my take. As a manager you have the chance to train the people that are hired by the upper management. THis is a problem becasue they (upper mamgement) sell thse people on the company and all of it's benefits. So, we recieve people that have been lied to aboout guarantees and promised incomes.

Once the people realize that they do not reecieve an income (other than the income that you recieve on your PAL week) they are in many cases, ripped to the point of quitting. So once they quit the manager that inherited these pawns looses money due to charged back commissions and expenses incurred by the agen that quit.

MANWEEKS - not enough can be said about manweeeks- and nothing positive can be said about manweeks. A manweek is nothing more than an arbitrary number that signifies how many crooks are producing for the company. Since the turnover rate is sooooooooooooo high with combined, they cannot produce enough manweeks in order to not be scrutinized by thier bosses (you know who you are!!!) so they require district and sales managers to go out and make 100 dollars of income for soemone that in some cases quit anywhere form 1 week to a few months prior.

Of course people will be upset when they work for others so that sub regional and regional managers recieve bonuses at the end of the year.

Crooks ???? yes in many cases when you deal with combined you deal with people that may not be able to be hired by ohter reputable insurance companies. So combined recieves them with open arm, as if saying,"yes another fool hooked into believen that they can have a lucrative career selling only indemnity policies for 10 to 20 bucks a pop.

Now I can go on about other unethical, and in some cases outright illegal activities conducted by employees of the company. And can even give unlimited examples of claims nt paid. I have only one more negative impression of the company. That being the issue of in field premium.

Many of the poolicyholders that have had coverage over the last few decades and continue their coverage today is that the policies that many of them carry are very outdated. So when peole file claims on policies tht pay only $20 - 30 for hospital stays and $10 - 20 for doctor visits upsets some of these eople when they have paid the comany hundreds and even thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their policies. Well wouldn't you be mad?

The point being, is that the company does not allow an agent to adjust the benefits becasue of the large amounts of money the company recieves from their six month premiums. I believe that they obviosly car about their checkbooks, not the most important asset, the customer.

If the company is DETERMINED TO DOUBLE IN THE DECADE (this is the catch slogan of teh company) they must do so with quality representativs, nt any schmoe off the street that can pass a background check.

D TO D TO D pressures the middle managers to hire and retain people with flawed characters and those who have absolutely no concept of the "golden rule". The idea is to double, not run yourself out of buisness. And when approached bwith many of these issues, the company turns a shoulder and asks, HOW IS YOUR PMA.

My point, and it is a long one - yet much more could follow is that this is a buisness htat has tapped into the outrageous game of making money at all costs - evne integrity, honor and respect. I hope that the company honestly revamps its perspectives so that individuals, both policyholders and employees alike are not victimized when sold on combined careers and policies.

Lasly, I do believe that at one time the compnay was one of the best, it has been around for over 85 years and I do believe tht to be at testiment to Mr. Stone and his character not the current CEO or Mr. Determined to double.

There are many opportunities with the company, one can have a successful career, if they are allowed to work and produce for the custome, not the company. If you are able to sell any type of product, you still can be successful with combined, however, there are a many few that take advantage of the freedom and the opportunities that the company provides.

I do believe that is a choice we all make once employeed. Either one chooses to do the right thing becasue it is the right thing to do, or one can fall into a trap of propaganda and catch phrases and go out and replace, twist, misrepresent, steal, lie, cheat, and etc.

So please, if any of the people who can make a change, and turn around the mess created by some of the unethical employees - if not well good luck staying afloat. Ask yourself if it is important to double in the decade so that you make a name for yourself or to create a legacy, than to do what Mr. Stone hoped for and worked so hard for - all of his entire adult life, which is to help people and treat them with respect and dignity and stop allowing your agents and representatives lie, chet, and steal becasue if you do not people will continue to complain and treat the good agents poorly because they feel jaded.

Enough said, but I agree with all of the statements to a degree, but I still hope the company turns things around or else they jepordize the careers of them all.
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#19 UPDATE Employee

unlicensed trainee, is lying

AUTHOR: PH33R - (U.S.A.)

First off, students are licensed by the time they go to Chicago for training. So the person above claiming it is more then any other company will do for an unlicensed trainee, is lying. Second, I was promised 500 dollars a week for training. I later learned training wasn't sales school. When I got out in the field I learned that I would actually be payed 500 dollars a week after 13 weeks, to make up the difference for whatever I had earned. I know this is a sales job. I'm not expecting to make a single dollar off Combined at this point. They go out in the field telling people that it will pay in addition to whatever insurance they are already holding. What they fail to mention is the first thing you learn in licensing training... the other insurance you are holding won't pay. They do this so that you don't make a profit off of a claim. It's common knowledge to anyone who has gone through licensing training. If you took the state test... you know wtf I'm talking about. As for the sales manager who told me I would be paid 500 dollars a week and showed me pictures of that Mercedes he was working towards... he better not park that !@#$ in any parking lot near me. Ya know what I'm saying?
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#20 UPDATE EX-employee responds

HOW IS YOUR PMA? I do not wish to defend Combined Insurance because the company is not perfect, but ..

AUTHOR: Don - (U.S.A.)

I was with the organization for 4 years and moved up the ladder quite fast. Starting in the Health organization and then making the change to the Life/Health organization in 2001. I left the organization for some personal reasons, but I find it appaulling to hear some of these comments. I do not wish to defend Combined Insurance because the company is not perfect, but we all should have learned one thing from our experience with Combined and that is the PMA Philosophy, the true legacy of Mr. Stone. It is obviouc that some of you have a lot of negative energy built up and maybe you should be upset because of your situation, that does not mean it is the same all over the place. Within every organization there are some bad apples. Every insurance company has unpaid claims. That is that and it will never change. For every former agent with a bad experience there is another with a great experience. For every unpaid claim there is another claim paid that saved a family from financial ruin.

As for unethical sales tactics, I can attest that it is not taught in any of the organizations sales schools. I can not say what you saw in the field but not in school. As for what the client says it usually exagerated. For example, I sold a gentleman a poolicy and read him the complete policy brochure and left him the actual policy. A few months later he had a claim and it was not paid because of a rider on the policy (which he was aware of at the time of sale because I told him and he had to sign the rider). Well to make a long story short, a year later when i returned ot the house he was saying how this agent lied to him and he was going to take the comapny to court and all this other BS. He did not even realize I was the one who sold him the policy and when I confronted him on it, he recanted it all. Funny how a person will complain to you if you will listen.

I do not care what types of sales your in you have the good sales people and you have the bad ones. As far as pay goes I will agree that Combined could do more to help out with expenses and pay maybe a little more (especially with new agents). I can say this when I started with Combined we did not get any kind of guarantee, it was straight commission from the start, and I was fully aware of it going into it. In license and sales school all I got was $10 daily for food. They did provide me with all the books, the class, the airfare, the hotel cost (basically all my expenses) but it was all thoroughly explained during the closing(or spousal interview). I do not want to hear anyone complain about their income because as far as I know no sales rep in the organizaiton has a salary (they have a debit route, but not a salary). That is why it is a SALES Organization.

So in closing, I think we all should really take another look at Mr. Stone's PMA philosophy and learn from him. He and Combined really do stand for "Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do!". And if you are in a situation which is negative then you need to learn to "Keep your mind on the things you want and off those things you do not want". This goes for both those former agents and those current agents. To the current agents you have enough negativity being in sales, you do not need to be contaminated with more from those who could not turn their NMA talisman over and live the PMA Philosophy.

Thank you and "How is your PMA?"
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#21 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Ron in Laurel Montana

AUTHOR: Dennis - (U.S.A.)

Ron: I am not looking for the "perfect employer", and if I was, it wouldn't be Combined Insurance. Why didn't I stay and "make a difference" as you put it? For one, most agents were almost straving because the District Mgr was giving the good accounts and areas to his blond sweetheart and his other favorites. I have moved up in most companies I've worked in, but Combined Insurance is not a place I wanted to even try in. It sounds like you can't accept the fact that there are some bad apples in this company. Trust me, if you came to the area we worked you'd find MORE than a few ex-agents willingly to tell you the way it was.

As for me, I'm more than happy doing what I'm doing. Instead of trying to tear down those who offer constructive criticism, you might want to see if everything is so rosy elsewhere. There might just be people out there not telling you or others because they figure you don't want to hear it!
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#22 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Ron in Laurel Montana

AUTHOR: Dennis - (U.S.A.)

Ron: I am not looking for the "perfect employer", and if I was, it wouldn't be Combined Insurance. Why didn't I stay and "make a difference" as you put it? For one, most agents were almost straving because the District Mgr was giving the good accounts and areas to his blond sweetheart and his other favorites. I have moved up in most companies I've worked in, but Combined Insurance is not a place I wanted to even try in. It sounds like you can't accept the fact that there are some bad apples in this company. Trust me, if you came to the area we worked you'd find MORE than a few ex-agents willingly to tell you the way it was.

As for me, I'm more than happy doing what I'm doing. Instead of trying to tear down those who offer constructive criticism, you might want to see if everything is so rosy elsewhere. There might just be people out there not telling you or others because they figure you don't want to hear it!
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#23 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Ron in Laurel Montana

AUTHOR: Dennis - (U.S.A.)

Ron: I am not looking for the "perfect employer", and if I was, it wouldn't be Combined Insurance. Why didn't I stay and "make a difference" as you put it? For one, most agents were almost straving because the District Mgr was giving the good accounts and areas to his blond sweetheart and his other favorites. I have moved up in most companies I've worked in, but Combined Insurance is not a place I wanted to even try in. It sounds like you can't accept the fact that there are some bad apples in this company. Trust me, if you came to the area we worked you'd find MORE than a few ex-agents willingly to tell you the way it was.

As for me, I'm more than happy doing what I'm doing. Instead of trying to tear down those who offer constructive criticism, you might want to see if everything is so rosy elsewhere. There might just be people out there not telling you or others because they figure you don't want to hear it!
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#24 UPDATE Employee

An opportunity, feed back I recieved from the policyholders was not alway's the best

AUTHOR: Ron - (U.S.A.)

Dear Dennis,
I have been with this organization for 15 years. I also had the same type of experiences that you have described when I first hit the field. I did not respect my direct management, they also did not alway's do the right thing. The feed back I recieved from the policyholders was not alway's the best. Previous agent's had pressured them to purchase product's they did not need and also misrepresented the coverage. However I was sharp enough to realize that I had an opportunity to change things for the better. By making that decision to improve our reputation in my area I became a well respected agent in our community. Those agents who do not follow our company ethics are not tollerated and will be terminated. My advice to you is do not let other people determin your career. You were given an opportunity and chose not to make a difference, to bad for you. I have been promoted many times within this organization and am very proud to be part of a company that would allow a person with little education and no sales skills to achieve what I have achieved. Good luck looking for your perfect employer.
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#25 UPDATE Employee

Combined Seniors...Give us a year and we'll give you a career

AUTHOR: Timothy - (U.S.A.)

Dear Dennis,

The Senior Organization of Combined started about 3 or 4 years ago. There is the Accident Division (7e) Life/Health, Professional/Worksite, and Seniors. The Senior Hierarchy is made up of agents, sales managers, branch managers, and a managing directors. I have moved my way up from an agent to a branch and have Never done anything pressure-like, unethical, immoral, nor has anyone I've known. Quite the contrary. We have built an organization from the ground up, some agents came from life/health or accident, some started new in Seniors....main thing is that we all do "the right thing because it is the right thing to do" Combined wins award after award from the Better Business Bureau,....and many other foundations. Look at the record. Your experience is quite different from any I've ever seen or heard in this company and I left a very reputable company to come here, and I'm glad I did. I'd recommend Combined to my friends and family if they ever asked, and I have some policies myself. Too bad your experience is so far from any I've ever seen here in Minnesota. Combined is number 1 up here. Have a Great Day!
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#26 Consumer Comment

Answer To Tim, Branch Manager

AUTHOR: Dennis - (U.S.A.)

To Tim, the "Branch Manager" (I didn't know they had branches):

I didn't say I presurred anyone when selling; I said some of their agents did. Please read my rebutall carefully.

And don't slam people who work in fast-food places or sweep streets. You may end up doing it one day. Let's face it, there have been numerous complaints from former agents of Combined so that should tell you something.

I have sold other products and services before and did pretty doggone well, but with Combined Insurance the problem was their work in the field. The classroom training was fine (I made 98 on the state test), but they need to carefully watch the tactics some are using in the field. I know several ex-agents who sincerely tried to give it a go, but got tired of being cussed out due to dishonest agents.

Some even sold policies (health) to people on Medicaid! Instead of making excuses the top management need to re-evaluate their work out in the field. Another issue, at the time I sold policies, there wasn't even an 800 (toll-free number) customers could call with claims problems. Nothing was on the policy or paperwork.
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#27 UPDATE Employee

Hey "Ex Agent" I think YOU need to give it a rest buddy.

AUTHOR: Timothy Minnesota Branch -Manager Senior Division - (U.S.A.)

Hey "Ex Agent" I think YOU need to give it a rest buddy. You mentioned you have pressured people to do things. Why would you do that? In the Senior Division, commission is accelerated in some cases and if we get a cancel, guess what? WE HAVE TO PAY IT BACK!!..so we never pressure anyone to buy something. Not only is it unethical and immoral, but it doesn't support our motto, "Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do" I don't know what kind of organizational mess you others out there work for, but our organization in Minnesota Seniors is Top Brass. We walk away from policies all the time if it doesn't support the company, the policyholder, and the agent equally. It's called a win-win-win. Try it sometime. The only way I'll build my organization the right way is to be upfront, honest, caring, and with the utmost integrity. I suppose there are bad apples in every company in every business in every organization, but I'm proud to say thats just "not us". I hire with an eye for greatness, integrity, and yes, assertiveness...but never pushy or unethical. Sales is sales, and we do the right thing for the customer but we have to lead them through the door. If you don't like sales, flip burgers buddy...or sweep streets we need those too.
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#28 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Agent ..I've been cussed out so many times over customers being screwed and lied that I quit

AUTHOR: Dennis - (U.S.A.)

To Tim, the "Branch Manager" in Minnesota & Timothy, the ex-District Mgr: You guys need to give it a rest. I am an ex-agent for Combined and I've been cussed out so many times over customers being screwed and lied that I quit after six months!

Agents were pushed to do ANYTHING to sell, sell, sell! If we didn't sell we were bullied and raked over the coals for it.

Combined may be a decent place in some ways, but they need to clean up their act out in the field where the selling and servicing is done.

And Timothy, you need to really watch your grammer!
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#29 UPDATE Employee

Minnesota Branch Manager "Senior" Division

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

I have been with Combined for about 3 years. The acts I have seen posted on here are nothing I've ever seen or experienced. None of the agents I have working for my team, nor me when I was an agent, ever pressure anyone or do ANYTHING unethical. Our motto is "Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do" We walk away from writing applications if it doesn't support the customer/company/agent equally. Look at all the awards from the Better Business Bureau, and the Illinois Dept. of Commerce that Combined has received and you will know, that the dirt on here suspiciously sounds like sour grapes to me. I could have any job I want, and I stand proud and say that the integrity of all the agents I know in Minnesota is second to none. We do whats right for the customer and we help people and never pressure anyone to do anything. Using a needs analysis approach and relationship selling has allowed all of us in the Senior Division of Combined to truly become, personal permanent agents. Not fly by night people who are here one day and gone the next. Two of my managers have been with Combined over 20 years and we are strong ethically, morally, and know what we're talking about. Our training is outstanding and life-long and I'm offended of some of the comments I've seen on here. It's NOT the story up in the North Star state.
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#30 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Combined Insurance Company ....what a scam

AUTHOR: Donna - (Albania)

I too am an ex-employee of the company (off and on for 7 years). Call it temporary insanity but I did go back to them twice.Accident/Sicness division and recently up until 2 weeks ago Health /Life division. The problems experienced south of the border is no different than what we have experienced up here. As an agent you are taught high pressure tactics and are borderline unethical. Their "RA-RA" PMA meetings and training sessions everyweek condition you to do so!! Get in the door no matter what. The company does not care about how you get the business as long as you get it. I will agree that some of the policies are good ones however the way they treat their agents and their business tactics leave little to be desired.

I have personally seen and have followed MANY agents who have lied and used highly unethical practises to get the policies. When these agents have been reported to the Branch manager and Head Office, your slapped on the wrist and their dirt is swept under the rug. I have also seen many claims denied as a result of this. Many agents have sold policies to clients who have serious illnesses and when they make a claim....they are denied. Does the agent who sold them the policy get repromanded? Of course not! I have also seen legitamate claims that are denied. When I have called head office to find out what the problems where, I was repromanded as we are not allowed to do that. Just get the money and run and never mind about what the clients needs are. When you walk into a small community 6 months later to collect premium or upgrade?? Guess what...your screwed.

As far as the schooling goes its a joke. I was informed about the guarantee. Did I get it? Of course not. All of a sudden it was not available. The ex-recruiter who made a rebuttle that claimed that this company is the only one who pays a traning allowance....he obviously has not had a real job, with a real insurance company. Combined pays NOTHING buddy!!I'm starting shortly with a REPUTABLE company that pays $500 per week for training, hotel is fully paid for, travelling allowance and expenses fully paid for....all in writing and no hidden clauses! Did I get a training allowance with Combined as promised? Yes I did....$50 per day out of which $40 per day was deducted for my motel room which I had to share with another student. Was I informed about this? Not until they handed me a cheque for $50 for the week than told me about the deductions!! That $10 per day goes a long way towards expenses I'll tell ya!

I have been in Sales and Marketing for 15 years and have been sucessful at my job. My problem is I have a high code of work ethics " do the right thing for the client". I will not screw the customer to line my pocket book which seems to be the motto of this company. I have never seen agents treated so poorly by an employer as I have with this company. I know MANY out there who would say the same. Combined has a reputation second to none. They pull niave 20 year olds off the street, fill them full of false promises, send them to school and condition them to their sales techniques than throw them to the wolves. Older veterans like myself are fooled as well. Its a regular assembly line.

Advice from me as a veteran who went back twice to the same B.S would be: If your an agent "spinning your wheels" and going broke in the mean time by doing the right thing....get out while you can and get a real job where you can sleep at night. If you see an agent come knocking at your door....beware!If you have a policy....read it front to back and if you feel you are getting screwed, call the ombudsman and report it.
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#31 UPDATE Employee

I nor any other Agent to the best of my knowledge been instructed to Lie, Cheat, Steel or any other dishonest act.

AUTHOR: Timothy - (U.S.A.)

I've been an employee of this company off and on for over 15 years and never have I nor any other Agent to the best of my knowledge been instructed to Lie, Cheat, Steel or any other dishonest act.

I've been a recruiter for Combined Insurance and if the recruite will be honest,They was given and most of the time read to them the Guarntee and explained all condition of this guarntee. As to the school and not been paid while in school,lets tell the whole story Combined Pays the recruites Motel,Classroom Trainer, Books, Supplies and even supplied a Food Allowance. That is more than any other company will do for a non License recruite.

As for the pay and the travel, you get what you work for and we don't pay for poeple to drive around site seeing and telling every one how bad everyone is to them. I've been very successful with this company and now my wife works with me and my children are very proud of both of us.
Thank you for your time and letting me tell the other side of the story.

Ex-District Manager
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#32 Author of original report

Response to Sales is Sales

AUTHOR: Linda - (U.S.A.)

It is true Combined Insurance says they offer a begining salary. However, during the time you attend insurance school you are unpaid, the On the Job Training program time is unpaid, and the goals they set are not always reachable.

If the company has oversaturated the area where you work, sent in unprofessional, dishonest, and unethical sales people, or has a history of numerous legitimate claims going unpaid, then the companies poor reputation spreads rapidly, creating a dramatic loss of prospects.

The so called salary is supposed to be paid at the end of six months if you meet their sales goals. An agent is not likely to meet their goals in that type of environment, and if an agent is selling enough to reach their goals, then the commission they earn will exceed the salary.

The information in the contracts, varies from state to state, because insurance is regulated by state.

The contract does not clearly state you don't get any salary for six months. In an area where there are many unpaid, legitimate claims, the amount of time, and effort, you invest in servicing accounts increases, and this decreases your time available to sell.

I have been very successful in insurance sales, and earned awards from a number of other companises, with achievable goals, and a good reputation. Traveling was not the issue, nor was investment of my time, or lack of ambition. However, traveling expenses add up, and if the company has not done their part, the commision you earn during that six month period, is an inadequate amount to pay your expenses plus monthly household bills.

I assure you the claims I am referring to had been filed correctly. Many customers had photo copies of their original claim form and receipts verifying they were current on their premiums at the time the claim was submitted. Claims that I reviewed, and were reviewed by the District Agent, prior to being forwarded to home office, also went unpaid.

In the past the Combined Insurance Company had paid claims fairly, and promptly. My Grandfather had been in an accident which resulted in him spending over one month in the hospital. The payments he received, during that time, were very helpful, because he was self employed. This prior experience was one of the reasons I was willing to represent them as an agent.

However, my experience is not an isolated incident, there are other former agents who had the same problems. This company does offer benefits that can help people if the company stands behind their claims. The company needs to make more of an effort to improve in the area of timely claim payments, agent compensation, and customer service.

I find it interesting that you are commited to defending their reputation but are no longer an agent for their company.
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#33 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sales is Sales

AUTHOR: Faith - (U.S.A.)

Combined Insurance Company offers a competative begining salary which you get after completion of school, OTJ training and reaching goals. This information is printed on the contract signed prior to starting school. Because this is sales, not all people will make the same amount of money. I for one made $500-$1,000 each and every week for 3 years. Sales is not for everyone. In addition, the miles can add up. This is not a position for those not willing to put in the time, investment and work.

In response to the company not paying claims. I have never had a problem for a client with this. Usually if one came up, it was easily corrected and in most cases it was because the client did not following filing procedure. I have renewed a lot of families who did recieve benefits and in some cases these benefits saved their families from finanical ruin. There are always those who will complain, and always those who file incorrectly. And in some cases there are still oversights within companies as well. But on the whole, although I no longer work for the company for other reasons, I think these policies are the best offered to the public and the company is a reputable company.
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