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New InsureMe Insurance Lead Monitoring Engine

August 24th, 2011 by admin

InsureMe is focused on providing unparalleled product solutions that drive superior returns for our agent base. A large part of that commitment is ensuring agents receive high quality leads.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce the launch of Bankrate Insurance Verified, a major milestone and multi-year investment. Since August, every lead will undergo a rigorous, multi-layered screening process to help drive industry-leading returns and close rates for our agents.

Learn how Bankrate Insurance Verified sets us apart from any other lead provider:

  1. Proprietary Content Validation System – blocks large numbers of suspicious leads before they reach our agent network. Bankrate has created the industry’s only proprietary system that integrates our exclusive data network with other reputable data validation services to identify and significantly reduce fraudulent leads. Dynamic business controls further ensure that we stay ahead of ever evolving trends.

  2. Proprietary Fraud Engine – Bankrate’s state of the art technology is the Industry’s most robust quality monitoring system. It uses real-time logic to automate lead rejections based on continuously evolving lead acceptance criteria. By learning and refining the system’s logic, agents will receive 24/7 protection against duplicitous and invalid leads.

  3. Highest Quality Sources – clearly defined quality control guidelines are applied to our pre-screened, reputable marketing and advertising partners. We enforce stringent partner probation and termination rules if quality standards are not met.

  4. Strict Form Requirements – ensures all pertinent quoting information is collected. Every lead is filtered based on risk and underwriting standards. Only fully complete applications are provided to our agents.

By combining the new Bankrate Insurance Verified solution with our extensive targeting capabilities, superior customer service, and innovative tools, we provide an unbeatable solution in helping agents grow their business. It doesn’t end here – look for exciting new updates as Bankrate Insurance Verified continues to revolutionize the Industry!

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Social Media a Must For Insurers

December 2nd, 2010 by Lori Reed

For years, businesses have been reaching out to consumers through technology. Now, social media websites and cell phone applications are just a couple of ways companies engage with clients.

Their strategy goes along with the notion that a business needs to be where the consumers are. As generation Y continues to age and earn more money, its insurance needs will grow. However, insurers may not be as savvy as some other industries in terms of using technology as a marketing tool.

A Reuters article by Ben Berkowitz recently discussed the importance of using technology to engage with consumers. The piece included interviews with several representatives from various insurance companies, including Allstate’s vice president of e-business, Bob Wasserman.

“A very significant number, up to a majority, of wireless users will have these devices with them and they expect to be able to interact with companies through these devices where they are,” said Wasserman. “You start to think about what this device can do and you build other capabilities.”
A number of auto insurance companies, for example, have developed phone applications which walk customers through the process of filing a claim. Others applications are more for fun and feature company mascots and games. While such actions are a step in the right direction, more can still be done.

Berkowitz points out that banks are generally friendly towards the technologically savvy consumer. Many institutions, he notes, offer online transaction options. Some banks exist purely online.

In September of this year, the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education developed a Facebook app and contest to help promote Life Insurance Awareness month. The app encouraged people to share stories of those who play an important role in their lives.
LIFE Foundation senior vice president and chief creative officer Jon Dressner says creating the app was a way to use social media to engage with clients.
“With more people turning to social media and the Internet for advice and information, the ‘What Matters Most to Me’ App and Contest provides producers with a fun and engaging way to get their clients and prospects thinking about their need for life insurance,” said Dressner.

The LIFE Foundation and Allstate are just a couple of examples of how social media can be used to make insurance something consumers can engage with just like any other product or brand.

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Healthcare Reform May Create Struggles for Industry

December 1st, 2010 by Lori Reed

The stakes are high for policymakers to make healthcare reform a success. As the changes get underway, it remains to be seen how they will affect insurers. A study conducted by Conning Research and Consulting reveals that the medical professional liability industry can expect its profit margin to shrink, as the result of more competition and tighter regulations.

Conning analyst Jeffrey Thompson says the future for medical professional liability insurance looks bleak.
“Two forces may drive this line of insurance back into unprofitable waters – competition and an increase in loss costs. Competition has begun already, with price-cutting, acquisitions, new entrants, and continued growth of self-insured vehicles,” says Thompson. “Loss cost growth has been slower to develop, but we believe a number of conditions are aligning for this to take off.”

The researchers at Conning assert insurers will have to rethink how they operate if they intend to be successful in the new age of insurance. At this point in time, only a handful of the new healthcare law provisions have been implemented. While President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, portions of the law will not take effect until 2015.

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More Health Insurance Customers May Need Allergy Specialists

October 22nd, 2010 by Lori Reed

Agents who want to provide a high level of customer service to clients may want to keep themselves aware of what kind of specialist services are covered under various health insurance plans.

One thing that agents should be aware of is the growing number of Americans who report suffering from food allergies, which can be highly dangerous and even fatal in some cases. According to new data from the National Institutes of Health, about 2.5 percent of the public – or 7.6 million people – have food allergies.

Researchers have also recently determined that males, non-Hispanic blacks, and children tend to be at the highest risk for food allergies. In fact, the odds of a black male child suffering from a food allergy were said to be 4.4 times higher than for an individual in the general population.

There also appears to be a connection between food allergies and severe asthma problems.

“This study provides further credence that food allergies may be contributing to severe asthma episodes, and suggests that people with a food allergy and asthma should closely monitor both conditions and be aware that they might be related,” said Dr. Andrew Liu, M.D., lead author of the paper.

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Sell Health Insurance as a Potential Life-saving Strategy

September 23rd, 2010 by Lori Reed

Insurance agents will commonly encounter prospective clients who are interested in buying health policies, but who find it unaffordable or simply too much for their budget.

In some cases, it might make sense to emphasize that having a health insurance policy can actually help hold off financial disaster or even a premature death or serious illness in the long run. For example, those with insurance are typically more likely to keep regular appointments with a primary care physician, which improves their chances of having any emerging health problems detected at an early stage.

In contrast, those without insurance often end up waiting until they become ill enough to seek out medical treatment at their local emergency room.

According to the American Cancer Society, researchers recently determined that insurance status actually plays a significant role in the disease’s impact on prostate cancer patients because those without coverage are less likely to be tested regularly.

The announcement noted that when prostate cancer is detected early enough, there is a nearly 100 percent survival rate. However, as the disease advances, that rate tends to drop to around 30 percent

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Remind Customers to Consider Anti-Theft Protection Devices

September 22nd, 2010 by Lori Reed

It may be time for a frank discussion with your clients about the risk of theft and the various security features that can help keep criminals away.

This is especially true if your policy offers a discount for anti-theft features such as tracking systems, immobilizing devices and car alarms — even to old standbys like the Club. These features and advances in technology have helped reduced crime rates overall by making it all the more difficult to steal a car.

Generally, vehicle theft rates have fallen considerably in recent years. A recent announcement from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said that vehicle thefts have now fallen for six consecutive years. According to the government crime-fighting agency, motor vehicle thefts were down 17.1 percent in 2009, marking the largest such decrease across a variety of major crime categories. Other property crimes like burglary were also down.

However, some parts of the country continue to suffer from relatively high auto theft rates – and many of these areas happen to be located near the U.S. border where criminals can begin the process of sending stolen vehicles even further abroad.

According to the NICB, Laredo, Texas and Modesto, California were the two most vehicle theft-prone cities in the U.S., followed by Bakersfield and Stockton, California. In fact, out of the top 10 cities on the list, six were in California while New Mexico, Washington and Nevada each saw one of their cities make the list as well.

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Slip and Fall: Be Wary of Fraud

September 21st, 2010 by Lori Reed

Insurance fraud has become a growing problem in recent years because tough economic times have led more people to file false claims to rid themselves of unaffordable vehicle payments or to simply try to game the system for money.

We should remind people this is bad news for anyone who carries an insurance policy because this trend will keep some insurance rates higher than they need to be. With that in mind, insurance agents who are working with small business owners may want to remind their clients to be wary of slip and fall claims, which have been a big part of this increase in fraud.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, many small businesses may be too quick to hand out payments to people who claim to have slipped and been injured on their property, rather than performing due diligence against fraud.

“Our agents, working with insurance company investigators and law enforcement, are busy identifying and targeting organized criminal rings that make a good living staging slip and fall accidents,” noted NICB president Joe Wehrle.

The announcement also noted that there has been a 57 percent increase in referrals from NICB member companies for questionable insurance claims in the last two and a half years. The first half of 2010 alone reportedly saw 997 questionable slip and fall insurance claims.

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Wildfires Can Threaten Homes Almost Anywhere in U.S.

September 21st, 2010 by Lori Reed

Here in Colorado, InsureMe’s home state, we have seen weeks of devastating forest fires all September. The “Labor Day” fire will be the most expensive fire in Colorado’s history.
Many people may be inclined to associate wildfires with California and the Rocky Mountain states, but they can actually menace property in most parts of the U.S.

In fact, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recently helped illustrate this point by providing some data on state-by-state wildfire activity. All fifty states saw at least one wildfire last year, and many recorded hundreds or even thousands of such incidents.

For example, the III noted that Texas led the nation with 16,614 fires, which damaged more than 753,000 acres of land. Nationwide, nearly 79,000 wildfires were reported last year, damaging more than 5.9 million acres of land.

When it comes to wildfires and other potentially catastrophic events, insurance agents should remind their clients that they will need to carry enough coverage to cover the actual costs of rebuilding – not just for the property value itself. One Colorado resident stated he thought his agent might have talked him into too much coverage, but now he is very relieved to have a solid policy in place.

It may also be helpful to remind clients that the claims process tends to be easier if they have photographs and other records of their insured valuables. Finally, many homes in Colorado were saved because they had devised a ‘safe wall’ around their house, free of combustible shrubs and trees, and paved the areas surrounding their houses.

http://www.iii.org/facts/wildfires/

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Consider Selling Life Insurance

July 23rd, 2010 by Lori Reed

It could be because I finally got around to signing my will last week or because some of my best friends are out of work right now.  Never the less, I wanted to point out that insurance companies are ramping up on selling life insurance policies, and need agents to sell them.

 In my childhood, the traditional life insurance salesman went door to door and had a tainted reputation.  Before that, life insurance companies hadn’t been all the reliable and there was a certain mistrust about them. 

Fortunately, life insurance companies have much better reputations now, but life insurance has become more complex.  From my perspective, life insurance requires much interpersonal selling from the agent, unlike car or home insurance which seems to be migrating to online purchases.  Life insurance still requires the agent to explain the options and benefits, and in truth, encourage the person to make the decision to buy.

…which leads me to a recent Wall Street Journal article.  The article stated that life insurance companies are building up their ranks, “Some big insurers are adding thousands of agents and planning to sign up more. They’re taking advantage of the weak job market to scoop up former real-estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers and lawyers whose prospects have declined. “

What a lovely fact to read, during the middle of this employment crisis.

So, If you are looking for a 2nd career, a part time job or more products to sell as an insurance agent, consider selling life insurance.

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