Final expense insurance differs from standard term and whole life policies, which is why it’s often treated like the stepchild of the life insurance industry. These small policies are marketed, for the most part, to seniors and the disabled who have minimal savings and a dire need for funds to take care of funeral and burial expenses. Competition is stiff, but there’s always room for one more player committed to helping people obtain this important coverage.
Understand your market. Unlike standard whole life and term life insurance policies purchased for hundreds of thousands of dollars and disbursed after a death when probate matters are settled, final expense insurance policies promise immediate disbursal of funds with face values of between $5,000 and $20,000. Because payouts represent small sums to insurance companies, most don't require applicants to pass a medical exam to buy a policy, which is one of the biggest selling points of final expense coverage.
Acknowledge your competition. You’re entering a market that’s flooded with internationally recognized brands, including AIG, AARP, Guardian, John Hancock, Mass Mutual, Prudential and Met Life, all of which sell final expense insurance. These big names market to their base and enjoy a continual flow of prospects coming down the pike. You’ll most likely depend on cold calling to sell final expense insurance unless you have an existing database of potential clients.
Find candidates for final expense insurance in eclectic places. In addition to referrals solicited from friends, relatives and neighbors, find high concentrations of folks likely to buy this type of coverage at social clubs, senior residences, planned living communities, churches and recreational venues like golf courses. Offer a nice referral incentive to clients recommending others—a plastic magnifying glass printed with your contact information makes a great premium.
Develop answers to arguments you'll encounter when you broach the topic of final expense insurance to a potential client. Be prepared, for example, to refute myths that the one-time death benefit paid by Social Security will cover costs charged by funeral homes, the burial plot, headstone, transportation and auxiliary expenses. Stress the biggest benefits of a final expense policy: low premiums, no medical exams, and in many cases, policies can't be arbitrarily canceled by the insurer.
Offer a variety of payment options so your target audience can purchase final expense insurance on a financial schedule that suits its budget if underwriting rules and regulations of the company you represent allow this type of flexibility. Some seniors like being able to coordinate premiums with receipt of monthly Social Security checks while others prefer an annual, semiannual or quarterly payment schedule.
Borrow marketing strategies, tips and promotional ideas from the insurance industry and other resources. Brochures, postcards and premiums (calendars printed with your contact information, for example) are all helpful when you pitch final expense insurance, but if you use these marketing aids never forget your audience. Don't use small type (under 14 pt) or white text on a dark background, or you could sabotage all of your great sales efforts.