Report: #552657

Complaint Review: Bankers Life and Casualty Company

  • Submitted: Mon, January 11, 2010
  • Updated: Tue, October 19, 2010
  • Reported By: Ron — Cedar Rapids Iowa United States of America
  • Bankers Life and Casualty Company
    4403 1st Ave SE Suite 501
    Cedar Rapids,, Iowa
    United States of America

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Hiring manager promised qualified leads of interested prospects if I finished training program only to find after finishing the training there were no qualifed leads available wasting five weeks. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

*General Comment: The Same Everywhere in the insurance Business

*UPDATE Employee: My Bankers Experience

*General Comment: Bankers Recruiting, and what to expect

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Hiring manager promises new agents qualified interested prospects from television promotions and reply mailers after you finish the company prescribed training.  However, after I finished the required company training, completed 16 hours of continuing education and went through a week long training class, there were not any qualified leads made available.  I have 15 years successful experience in the insurance industry and to have a hiring manager mislead new agents like this is simply unfair.  I would like to warn any new agents to be aware of the promises being made.  Also Bankers Life and Casualty requires you to be a captive agent.  I would be willing to take the severe cut in commissions and be a captive agent for the qualified leads, but not getting the leads just makes this a bad deal.

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 General Comment

The Same Everywhere in the insurance Business

AUTHOR: OHara - (United States of America)

I think what you're seeing is not just Bankers but the insurance industry as a whole.  I am a new agent with another company and I've seen much the same.

Back many moons ago, my ex father in law told me about this.  He told me the wash-out rate for new agents was 92%!  It seems to be about the same today.

Insurance companies recruit with a "warm bodies/get lucky" approach.  That is "get as many warm bodies in as you can and maybe you'll get lucky with one of them."  It doesn't appear any of them give any meaningful training for selling a very difficult product.  They make no investment in their employees so when they lose them, they have lost none of their investment.

I notice that some post page after page on job search sites.  Those are the ones I would avoid.  If they have that many openings, they must be losing agents at a horrible rate.

I was also told I would get training.  BS!  The training I got was riding with another agent.  I was never observed presenting to a prospect.  It has been like watching a football game on TV and expecting to go to the pro's and make it there.

I was also told I'd be getting more hot leads than I could handle.  I got exactly one warm lead in 3 months and they cancelled on me no sooner than I was out the door. The customer had gotten a mailer from the company.  In the mailer, it warned that Social Security only pays $255.00 for funeral expenses and to fill out the enclosed card to learn about "extra" death benefits.  No where in the material does it say anything about insurance!  When you show up at their door a couple of months later, they look at you like "Huh?"  I've even had them deny they requested such information.  When they see their signature on the card, they still deny it!

I was also told of the great earnings I would make.  I've been in sales for more than 30 years and have been THE top producer with every company I've been with.  I figured if anybody can do it, I can do it.  My last 3 paychecks were $12, $14 and $2.44.  If you don't have a stellar record of success in sales, how do you think you'll do?  Probably not much better!

Think very carefully before you decide on a career in insurance.  The industry is filled with liars and deceivers.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

My Bankers Experience

AUTHOR: gflo7 - (United States of America)

The op attacks Bankers Life & Casualty Co. as a whole and is off base in doing so.  Anyone who has insurance industry experience, especially 15 yrs, should know it is up to the agency to fulfill promises, not the home office.  I can attest that my experience with Bankers in Chicago has been a very different story.  The promises that were made to me were upheld.  

I was not provided with qualified leads from the start.  I had to earn them.  I proved I was serious, committed and hard working.  Since then, I have been given enough leads to build and grow my practice.  I am not a trainer or manager, just an agent.  At our branch, you get back what you put in. 
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#3 General Comment

Bankers Recruiting, and what to expect

AUTHOR: donotwastetime - (United States of America)

This organization, while rated as it is, is also responsible for the way branch offices operate.  The in house calling of Non-Responders is exactly as mentioned.

There are leads, but the "Hot Ones", most likely to result in a sale, are given to the trainiers.  New agents can expect as mentioned, to be assigned the task of contacting the Non-Responders.  Most often there is no phone number, and when researched such as using yellow pages, the non responders are on the Do Not Call List.

New agents are assigned to go out with other new agents in a team effort. TALK ABOUT THE BLIND, LEADING THE BLIND. 

I was out with one trainer on two visits, and was thrown out of the customers house by what I would call extremely agressive sales practices.  One time, because the trainer refused, or ignored questions that could be answered even by me, the New Person, and the other when the subject changed and the customer wanted to continue to learn more about their options.

The New Agents are NEVER the Top Line in the sale, meaning, that even though the New Agent booked the sale, it is the trainer who is the official contact for that customer and that sale.  The new agent will receive half the commission, but should the new agent leave, the company only has to pay 1/2 of the commision to the trainer the following years known as renewal commission,

The organization mentions their need for new as well as career agents, however they lean more to the new agents.  Their turn over rate is remarkable.  I have seen 43 new agents leave in the time I have been there.  Frustration in their eyes. 

The phone calling method when a customer is reached, very often results in a term used called "Porched".  The called customer gets back, by not being home at the scheduled time or advises that they changed their mind, or plain does not answer the door or the phone.

The trainers get the leads for those serious, making the impression that it is possible.

I challenge the trainer to use the leads given to new agents and do the same. 

I have seen those who choose to be a career agent were given the ax or quit out of frustration. Talented people who could, with the proper support and guidance become superb agents.

You are not an employee of Bankers Life , but rather a self employed individual on contract. This means you receive a 1099 which is not the problem, nor the issue.

You may be licensed for the Entire State, but your territory is restricted to only a few counties.  You are not allowed to solicit outside that territory.  GO FIGURE

There are agents who live less then 500 feet from the borders who cannot engage potential customers.

Your access to outside sources for leads are restricted to but a few sources, unless you choose to ignore that.  The sources are not specified even when asked.

It starts like this.....

You will be called for an interview, which is more like a group seminar.  You will be told about the product groups.  You will be told that you may be called back (YOU WILL)

They will call you back saying you are an attractive candidate.  They will tell you that hard work is needed.  They will throw figures in the air.  You better believe that, because unless you are sucking up to someone, this will not be easy.  And should you anger someone, well you do the math.

You will need to take a state mandated course at your expense, and pass state exams at your expense.

You will not get paid for sales unless you are state authorized.

Do not go on any calls until you are.

You will be responsible for paying the fees to the state for your license which inlcudes the fees for fingerprinting.  Yes you will need to be fingerprinted.  A credit check is done too.

You will need to pass tests by the various ancilliary companies you represent, to be appointed by them, that is authorized to sell their products.  This happens each year.  You need to do this, because it opens up more that you can offer to potential customers.

Your best bet, is to get through the training process about 60-90 days and get out on your own. 

If you are scheduled to go out with a trainer after that, then it is best to let the trainer get the appointments.  

Let the Trainer Drive........  

Develop a customer base for renewals.   Learn about the products, but become good at two of them.   You pick it.

Forget about help from management at the branch,  and concentrate on being the best you can.  

Learn and try, remember that Perserverance seldom fails.

Once on your own after training, do not be afraid to make mistakes.  Admit them and correct them

Always call your customers back.

Pick your friends carefully.  NEVER REVEAL YOUR IDEAS TO ANYONE !!!!!!!!!

Above all, always think of the customer.  If you forget this, you will fail.  It is not about you.  

The most common complaints that I have encountered, are as follows.

1)  Two people coming to the house, intimidates the customer.  They feel that they are being ganged up on.  GET OUT ON YOUR OWN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  I have been involved in only a few sales with this scenario with most customers cancelling resulting in a loss of your commission.  

2)  The generation needing the products offered, are from the 60's and 70's and they are not stupid.  They know what they want, and prefer a contact.  They got us to the moon, developed computers, the internet and are skeptical of any agent who will not provide information about themselves.  (Where the Live, family, hobbies)

3)  Be an inovator, not an imitator.  Take parts of what you learn in training, and combine them to your style

4)  Dress professionally.  This generation is not stupid.

5) Be on time for appointments. Arrive 5 minutes early 

You need to develop trust.   Hard selling or scaring the hell out of people is not going to get you anywhere.

I have customers who are my friends, and I treat them as such.  Each is as important as the next. 

As a new agent, you will have it rough, but it is possible. 

Good Luck.


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