Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Your MGA Must Keep You on Top of Current Marketing Trends Like Social Media Marketing or You Could be Left Behind

In the past ten years we have seen significant changes to the way that people communicate. This is true across every industry, the insurance industry included. Digital marketing has created the ability to network with others like never before, and it is crucial that the company you work for is ahead of digital marketing trends and that they are keeping you in the loop, especially given the competitive nature of the insurance industry. 

Digital marketing is essentially online marketing and is one of the most affordable and effective ways that an insurance advisor can market themselves in this day and age. Some forms of digital marketing are more expensive and complicated than others. Social Media Marketing is an example of digital marketing that is both affordable and easy to grasp, whether it is something that you do yourself or something that you hire a company to administer.

Social Media Marketing is not just about putting out content through blogs or tweeting or posting to your social media presence. Social Media represents significant benefits outside of the obvious goal to get your phone to ring. Some of these benefits include:

1.       Increasing online brand (you) awareness, credibility and authority - If you are constantly releasing strong content then those individuals in the networks where you post will begin to recognize you and your authority on the subject matter you release.

2.       Increased customer retention – In the insurance industry it is vital that you keep connected to your clients so that if life changes, you are only a click away. Because Social Media involves connecting to prospects or referral sources, once connected you can continue to market to them and remind them that you are there for them if they need you.

Well this all sounds great, but many insurance advisors still struggle with the learning curve associated with Social Media Marketing and that is why it is crucial to work with an MGA that is on top of emerging digital marketing trends and one who can give you the necessary insight.

The biggest problem that insurance advisors run into when trying to use this powerful networking medium is not knowing how to use it properly. Engaging in Social Media is about give and take. Some advisors use Social Media only to blast out self-promotion. This is one of the quickest ways to alienate an online community. Others have accounts but are not sure how to leverage them or find coming up with content to share challenging. Some advisors have no experience with Social Media at all and have not even gotten started.

If you are an insurance advisor who wants to engage in Social Media Marketing, your MGA should be equipped to provide you with training in this regard. In addition, your MGA should be engaging in Social Media Marketing themselves because this adds to your credibility. It is so affordable for your MGA to do so that you should expect it. Your MGA should have presences on the major social platforms and should be releasing blog content on their Social Media that you can in turn discuss within your own social networks.

Social Media Marketing is not like conventional marketing where you post an ad in the newspaper and then your phone rings. Engaging in Social Media Marketing takes time because it involves building up a vast network of prospects and referral sources. With good support from your MGA and a solid and consistent effort, you will find that Social Media Marketing will reduce your overall expenses and connect you to far more prospects and referral sources than ever before.

IFCG is hosting a FREE seminar, “Making Social Media Marketing Translate into ROI,” on October 12th from 12pm – 2pm. Courtney McElroy, CEO of Marketing Force, will be there to teach you how you can use Social Media to expand your networks and grow your portfolio. This session is open to all advisors no matter which company you work for and is intended to provide you with the basic tools and skill sets that will be needed to self-maintain your own Social Media Marketing campaign. You can register for the free seminar here and don’t forget to bring your laptop.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Long Term Care Insurance: What is it and How Will it Benefit You in the Future?

Planning for the future, whether by putting away savings for retirement or purchasing life insurance to help protect your loved ones, is incredibly important. Knowing what you will need for the future can be difficult, but proper and effective planning will allow you to relieve some of the stress that comes with getting older. One of the things that you can’t ignore when planning for the future is long term care and long term care insurance.
Once you have retired, you hope that your savings will be able to last and provide for you for as long as you need them to. However, this sometimes is not the case. What if your retirement planning did not plan for necessities such as long term care, either at home or, even more costly, in a long term care facility? How can you prepare for things such as this?
What is long term care insurance? Long term care insurance is a type of insurance that protects you in the case that you are no longer able to perform the types of activities that you enjoy on a regular basis, or if you require continuing supervision and care from someone.

What types of activities are included? Knowing how an insurance company assesses your ability/inability to perform your regular activities is important when contemplating purchasing long term care insurance. Things such as bathing, dressing and feeding are considered daily activities, and so if you are unable to complete these tasks without assistance, generally that is the point when an insurance company would begin to administer payments to you.
Long term care insurance plans cover all types of different services which you may require if you are no longer able to complete daily tasks on your own. These may include: in-home nursing care, therapy and rehabilitation, or personal and homecare services, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, cleaning and meal preparation.

If you and your family choose to have this care administered outside of the home, or if you choose to relocate to a live-in care facility, many of these services are also covered. This decision can be a costly one, so having long term care insurance can help alleviate many of these costs and get rid of some of the stress and tension that is unwanted in this situation.

What types of plans are offered? If you decide that long term care insurance is something that you feel is important for your future, it is a good idea to talk to an insurance advisor to discuss what options are available. Creating a customized plan allows you to take those things that are more important and leave out the things that are not.

When you plan for retirement you are often considering the costs associated with remaining in your own home and supporting yourself without the need for additional care. If however, you find yourself in a situation where these added costs are required, the impact to your retirement savings can be devastating, meaning financial strain for you and possibly your family. In order to protect those savings and have them stretch as far as you would like them to go, long term care insurance is an important consideration.
For more information on long term care insurance and its benefits, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at by calling 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Benefits of Personal Development: Does Your MGA Provide an Insurance Training Program?

Are you thinking about switching to an MGA but can’t decide what the real benefits are? Can’t decide whether or not to become an independent broker without the constricting ties of an insurance company? Although it may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be! Switching to an MGA should be an easy decision. Knowing the benefits that come with working with an MGA can help.
What are you getting by remaining with an insurance company? Job security? Support and assistance? All of these things should be offered by a good MGA – plus more! Access to a much more diversified portfolio of insurance companies, your clients vested to you immediately, and the independence and ability to choose your own path for the future are all the things that come with working with the right MGA.
What else should your MGA be offering you? The right MGA should allow for personal development and growth to help you achieve your own goals and be able to offer the best services to your clients. An important question that needs to be asked before switching, therefore, needs to be whether or not your MGA provides an insurance training program.

What type of training should you expect from your MGA? A structured insurance training program has many benefits. Working with a team of experienced advisors, with both the background and knowledge that you can add to and gain from, you should have access to an insurance training program which offers information on such topics as:

·         Proprietary selling systems

·         Pre-approach and prospecting systems

·         Referral Generating Programs 

·         Client presentation tools

·         Daily activity accountability

·         Practice management

·         Production monitoring

A good insurance training program will also help you develop your skills and understanding of sales prospecting strategies, direct marketing, and modern sales techniques. It should also help you increase your goal setting and business planning skills, as well as your time management and work/life balance skills.
Working with an MGA can give you the chance to expand your client list and grow your bottom line. Working with the right MGA that provides an effective insurance training program that delivers consistent, ongoing training can help you achieve this. These benefits should include:

·         The convenience of CE credit qualifying hours at your own office

·         Regular weekly sales concept and product training

·         Information on case consultation, case packaging, joint field calls (no commission splitting)

·         Information on competition specialists – knowing / researching the best product solution for your client’s needs

·         Training on custom spreadsheets, reports, presentations

·         Retail client seminars

Staying with your current insurance company may seem like an easier option – but is it really? Switching to the right MGA doesn’t have to be difficult, and in the end it can mean much more for you. Gaining your independence and taking control of your clients is very important. Working with the right MGA should give you the ability to provide the best service to your clients as well as getting the most from all of the hard work that you do. Give yourself the opportunity to get the most from an MGA by choosing one that provides a consistent and effective insurance training program.
Switching to an MGA that provides a valuable insurance training program will allow you to reach your current and future goals. For more information, please contact Gary Mandel at Independent Financial Concepts Group at by calling 416-849-1653 or visit

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Participating Life Insurance vs Non-Participating Life Insurance – Which One is Best For You?

Planning for your future can be both an exciting and a stressful time. Figuring out what you need to do to plan for the years ahead can be tough, and sifting through the countless different things you need to choose from in order to protect and plan for the future may seem daunting. Like many of these things, life insurance, a necessary purchase whatever your situation, is very important.
There are so many different types of insurance out there that choosing between plans can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome. However, understanding the differences between the diverse plans will allow you to make an informed decision and get the most from whichever policy you choose.
Two of the most common types of insurance are participating life insurance and non-participating life insurance. Both have many benefits, and choosing one over the other is really just a matter of asking yourself what you want from your insurance policy.
What is participating life insurance? A participating life insurance plan is a policy that combines an insurance policy with a low-maintenance investment plan. These plans offer you the benefits of both a whole life insurance policy, providing guaranteed, tax-free, death benefits PLUS regular investment dividends paid out to you. You get the freedom of investing through the policy while all of the leg work is left to the professionals. Little risk – great reward!

The dividends paid out to you are based on the financial results of the Canadian Participating Fund. This investment fund is set up and reserved for participating policyholders only. Carrying a guaranteed cash value that increases each year, your investments can only increase.
What is non-participating life insurance? A non-participating life insurance plan is basically a life insurance plan without all of the added frills. The main difference between a non-participating and a participating life insurance policy is that non-participating insurance has no cash value and doesn’t pay dividends to the policy holder.

Both of these policies can be held for life – meaning that instead of ending after a term, they remain guaranteed until age 100. This means that your family remains protected. Also important, with both, premiums are set for the life of the policy. Although the premiums are a bit higher for a whole life insurance policy than a term life insurance policy, the benefits in the end are often worth it.
When you are thinking about planning for the future, both participating and non-participating life insurance policies carry important benefits while still protecting you and your loved ones. Both participating life insurance and non-participating life insurance policies can be customized to meet your individual needs. Whatever your financial situation, there is a plan the fits your current and future needs and goals.

To find out more about both participating life insurance and non-participating life insurance, as well as all of the other insurance products offered by Independent Financial Concepts Group, please contact Gary Mandel at 416-849-1653 or visit