I've read many of the reports about Combined Insurance Company, and feel compelled to contribute my own. I worked for the company from August 2007-January 2009 and I can say without a doubt, it was the most unpleasant, soul-sucking experience of my life.
Straight out of a very expensive private college education, I was a very naive college graduate in the summer of 2007. I went to an excellent school, and like many of my fellow graduates, was surprised when employers weren't jumping for joy when I applied for jobs. Consequently, I put my resume on Monster.com. Within 12 hours of my posting, I received a call from a DM. After a whirlwind interview process, where I was surprised no one cared about my educational and extracurricular credentials, but instead only focused on "selling" the job to me, I accepted their offer. Desperate for a job and naive enough to be optimistic despite the warning bells going off in my head, I left for sales school at the end of July 2007.
Unlike many of the posters, I realized this was a SALES job, and I understood I would be paid only in commission. I suppose the RM who actually hired me was somewhat more honest in this aspect than most, though I later heard he starting selling the job as a "salaried" one, which it is NOT. I did sell a lot of insurance in my time with Combined, and quickly moved into the position of Sales Manager by November 2007.
I was unhappy before my "promotion," but assumed all the things I thought were strange--paying for my own gas, selling insurance in horrible areas, spending most of my life in a hotel room, and being harrassed by my managers, would decrease once I became a manager. Unfortunately, this was not true.
Additionally, I became increasingly aware of Combined's status as a strictly sales-oriented company. They do sell insurance, but good luck getting your claim paid unless you're lucky enough to have an agent such as myself to help you. Most of my co-workers flat out refused to help clients and only cared about smoking cigarettes, drinking, and selling enough "units" of insurance so they wouldn't be harrassed for a "bad day." When I was an agent, one sales manager went so far as to smoke marijuana in his car as he drove around aimlessly looking for clients.
The pressure in this job is unbelievable. My DM would call and text me throughout the day, regardless of my results. He would demean me and put me down, making feel, regardless of my intelligence and skill set, that I was doomed to be with Combined forever and wouldn't be able to get another job doing anything else. Current employees say ex-employees simply couldn't "hack it" or didn't have enough PMA. I currently sell securities, property and casualty insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, bank products and supplemental insurance for the biggest insurer in America and I can assure you the pressure you're under with Combined is abnormal and outrageous.
Additionally, the disorganization and old-fashioned methods of selling insurance (HELLO who uses rate books anymore?!), including going to client's homes, is ridiculous. I once was forced to sit in a house crawling with over 40 ferrets pooping all over the place simply to try to force a woman to buy a sickness policy she couldn't afford nor which she was qualified to purchase based on her health. I know other employees who were threatened with guns. Unfortunately, the response of upper-management to such things is to keep up your PMA--somehow they think this kind of work environment is normal. My DM had paper work scattered all over his house and I was often forced to do paperwork AT HIS HOME at midnight or later. RIDICULOUS and UNPROFESSIONAL.
I could go on and on about the horrible experiences I had with Combined, but will only mention two more in particular. First, I'm sick and tired of reading rebuttals from current employees who are still entrenched in the cult-like Combined mind state. Not everyone quits because they're negative or just can't hack it--some of us quit, because regardless of how successful we were (I made over $60,000 my first year but was forced to give away over 65% of it to people I was forced to field train), but because we finally wake up and realize how ridiculous and miserable the work situation is in which we find ourselves. Realizing I was broke all the time despite the accolades I got for good sales results made me question the legitimacy of their pay structure, which I determined to be ridiculous. I make significantly more money now without all the headaches or bs.
Second and finally, I cannot help but mention the sexual harrassment I experienced at Combined. I will be careful not to mention specific names (I don't fancy being accused of slander), but my DM tried on many occasions to sleep with me. He would often make comments about my looks, outfits, and smack my rear end in addition to actually telling me he wanted to f-me. Interestingly enough, this DM was the boyfriend of the DM in the neighboring district, who had no idea what was going on. He confided in me, telling me he once slept with one of his agents when he was the SM in his girlfriend's district. Unfortunately, this type of hanky-panky goes on all the time with this ridiculous excuse for a company. STAY AWAY, save your time, money and sanity.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Combined Insurance