Report: #453725

Complaint Review: Combined Insurance Company Of America

  • Submitted: Wed, May 20, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, October 13, 2011
  • Reported By: P Pennsylvania
  • Combined Insurance Company Of America
    Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

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

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 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.

P, Pennsylvania

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I agree with you about Rob Schmidt

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

I agree with you regarding Rob Schmidt.  In all my years working he is the biggest liar/con-man I have had to work with.  I just recently left the company, in 2011, because of Rob Schmidt.  He is a Divisional Manager now and I don't understand how Combined can put a snake into that position.  Not only did he lie and mess with my income he did it to many others that i know about.  I believe he lies because he is extremely insecure.  When he says something wrong, which we all do from time to time but he does often, he hates....i mean hates to be corrected.  If you do, he will hold that against you and go out of his way to make life harder on you. 

I do disagree with you about the company as a whole.  I made good money and would have stayed if it wasn't for Rob.  Doug Wendt is great, Ralph Gaudio is awesome, and most everyone else has been outstanding.  The products are wonderful as is the PMA.  Like I said, my issue was with Rob Schmidt and his lies and his insecurities.  I don't think I am the only high producer to leave recently because of him.  When I left, many of the high producers were not producing well and they all had situations with Rob that left them dishearten. 

Bottom line....the company would be more successful without Rob Schmidt.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

My experience with Combined Insurance lol

AUTHOR: mjcanman - (Canada)

Wow I have read every post and it brought back alot of repressed memories lol!!! I had the pleasure of working for Combined Insurance for about 9 months back in 1992 when I was 20 years old. I worked in the province of Saskatchewan and my SM was a guy by the name of James Fuchs and the DM was a piece of rotting shite by the name of Rob Schmidt. What many of the posts are saying are quite accurate, as the higher the pole you went in the Combined chain the slimier the person became. Rob Schmidt was maybe one of the most dishonest idiots I ever worked for. I think the whole company structure attracted those who would sell their own children for $20 to succeed.

I can recall that many of the "renewals" from our brave DM simply did not exist lol. One of the final straws for both me and my SM was when we were given a so-called gravy list of renewals from our DM. We spent like 14 hours and around 90% of these renewals had told our DM they were cancelling their policies. I also noticed that many customers paid for years, then filed a claim. After this many would cancel their policies. The reason being was that they received pathetic payouts and the wording of these contracts often meant someone would have to be totally imobile to receive the FULL payment.

The 3 programs they sold (sorry can't remember all the policies names) were: a) a basic policy that I believe was $40 (for 6 months) and it paid you a certain amount for every day you were in the hospital due to an accident. b) the second was this horrible program that paid you for your recovery time. You could buy it again for 6 months for $25, $50 or $75. Depending on what level you bought you would receive some shitty amount while TOTALLING recovering. Most people who tried to collect on this program would end up cancelling their policies. You had to be literally incapable of moving to receive the full amount. Someone would for example break their arm and file a claim. By the time they paid the doctor and got like only 1/2 coverage for a week or two, because they were not completely imobile. They would receive some pathetice cheque and realize they had been had.

The only policy that I thought was any good was one called a SHIP policy. It paid a person for everyday they were in the hospital from sickness. The catch was it could not be a pre-existing condition. I actually was very good at selling these SHIP policies. I believe they were charged an amount each month based on their age. As an agent we collected the first 2 months premium and then we received 80% of this as a comission. I quickly discovered that it was very hard making any money cold-calling people and trying to sell them policy A. I believe each policy was worth 4 units and the company wanted you to sell 25 new policies or 100 units each week. I think in my best week in 9 months i might have sold like 13 or 14 new policies.

The ShIP policies could be added on when you were renewing someone. I took great effort to break down what they would get per day for a sickness based on what level they bought. I put these all down on flashcards and showed them how much $ they would make on the SHIP policy. I had a very sick mother at the time (who eventually passed away from diabetes) who was in and out of the hospital. I did a breakdown of how much money she would have received if she got the SHIP policy before she developed diabetes. I recall that on my best day I sold over 10 of these SHIP policies in one day.

I think on 2 or 3 occassions I made around $1000 per week. It became a company joke that I tried my best to make as much as I could in 3  days. They were pateint with me, because I sold more SHIP policies then anybody in the province. I probably made 600 or 700 most weeks. I did very little cold calling, but I found that your expenses ate up like over 50% of whatever you made. You were normally in some God-forsaken town, eating crap food and forced to room with bottom feeders. It seemed to attract shallow, uneducated people and the turn-over rate was incredibly high. My SM was a great guy who really believed in the company and was very honest. The DM was a slimey 2-bit conman, who would lie cheat and steal to reach his "goals". Both my SM and I became disillusioned and ended up leaving within months of each other.

I would not recommend this job to anyone who is married or who has dependents. My DM for all his lying and BS lived in a bad part of town and drove a junker. No one that I met ever looked like they ever made anything working for combined. If you are working for a reputable company they will 1) Pay for your expenses. 2) Give you a company vehicle. 3) Not have all this PMA propagnade forced down your throats. The company did not seem to value anyone and all of the SM's and DM's seemed to always be severly stressed. It also seemed that the real slimeballs were the one's who stuck with Combined and became DM's etc. Ironic because the whole motivating factor is $$, but yet no one I met in combined appeared to have anything.

If you want to attract quality people you have to treat them well. I am sure some of their insurance policies have changed, but they seem to have the same BS way of treating their employees. I feel fortunate after reading many of these posts as I was able to exist while working for CI. The last months I recieved around $100 per month from the residuals from all the SHIP policies I sold. Maybe if I would have stayed with combined and worked the mandatory 10 years (before you can quit and keep receiving your residuals) I would have been getting 2000-2500 per month. Instead I went back to University and received a degree. Now I work in the UAE, I pay no taxes and my employers give my family and I a free place to live. I get free medical for my entire family and for every year that I am over here I receive a 1 month bonus basd on my salary. I absolutley love my job and I am very good at what I do. I do not remember anyone at CI "loving" their job. The bonuses at CI were a joke and I really feel sorry for anyone who is middle-aged and is trying to support a family while working for CI. My advice to anyone who is looking at working for CI is "Don't do it". Go back to school or if you like sales only work for companies that will let you support your families. If you must do comission sales, sell cars, homes, motorhomes... You work just as hard, but you make LARGE comissions.


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#3 Consumer Comment

I agree

AUTHOR: StoneyStoner - (USA)

as well.  I would like to know if the original poster went to Atlanta for training. 

I did.  It was partyville.

When I got done, I made about 130.00 a week.  Fk Combined and they can shove the PMA BS rap. 

It's bogus.  You can die doing this job. 

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#4 UPDATE Employee

dont stay with combined

AUTHOR: Zero Balance - (U.S.A.)

Combined does not even pay when people achieve the sales goals....underwriters deny and lie.....regional managers deny and lie......tms deny and lie.....sales reps just get lied to.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I agree with this woman 100 percent

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

No rebuttal here I just agree
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