Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Professional Development: Does Your MGA Offer Insurance Lead Generation Training?

Whether you are new to the insurance industry or a maverick with years of experience, chances are you are well aware that one of the most difficult parts of your job is lead generation. Finding and securing clients is all part of the work that leads to success, and so being able to do so is crucial if you want to succeed.

Knowing this, how can you expand your insurance lead generation system? Professional development needs to be a serious part of any insurance advisor’s plan for success. With new programs being developed and released regularly, it is important to stay on top of changing trends and to be able to take advantage of all of the opportunities they represent. Lead generation is one such hurdle that needs to be surpassed, and the right MGA should be able to provide you with effective insurance lead generation training to help you get the job done.

Creating networks can be tough, but if you have the right support behind you and the right structured mentoring, establishing the networks you will need to be a successful is more than attainable. By teaching you how to connect to other professionals in related industries can enable you to build a strong portfolio without expensive direct-to-consumer marketing.

Insurance lead generation training should also focus on the opportunities that exist online. Firstly, if your MGA does not have a professional well put together website or established online presence you will not enjoy the brand recognition that others who work for MGAs do enjoy. If a client cannot find you on the internet or recognize your organization when they do you are at a disadvantage. Not being online is the virtual equivalent of not being in the phonebook, so make sure that your MGA offers access to online tools and resources that will enable you to generate leads online. Social media plays an important role in having online credibility, and your MGA needs to have presences that clients can visit and find. You also need to know how to control and utilize these channels, and so an MGA committed to training will show you how.

Innovative and unique approaches to insurance lead generation will keep you one step ahead of the competition. Using a diverse range of marketing strategies will make it much easier for you to build up your portfolio and a good MGA will provide you with the support you need to do it.

Think about it this way – there are MGAs out there that offer proven insurance lead generation training that garners real results – and if you are not taking advantage of them, someone else is. In order for your portfolio to grow, you need the contacts and clients to make that possible.  Make sure that your MGA offers insurance lead generation training to get you the results you need to be successful.

For more information about insurance lead generation training please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit www.joinifcg.com.



Wednesday, 22 May 2013

New to the Insurance Industry? Why an MGA Might be The Right Fit

Starting a new career is often accompanied by an overwhelming sense of choice. This is no different in the insurance industry and if you have just joined the advisor pool you are no doubt aware of the choices that exist. One of the most important choices that you will make, one that can dictate your entire career, is whether to join the right kind of organization.
As a new insurance advisor you have three choices:

1.      Work for insurance company which can provide you with an opportunity to be associated to a recognized brand but can come with many limitations.

2.      Work with a managing general agency which can result in incredible flexibility and opportunity if you choose the right managing general agency.

3.      Go on your own which is by far the steepest climb up.  
If you are keen on retaining your independence, keeping things flexible and also having the support of an established organization behind you, then the best choice may be joining an MGA. There are several great benefits to this – but you need to go forward prepared. You can’t just join the first MGA you stumble upon. Do your due diligence because you do not want to make the mistake of signing on with an MGA that is primarily concerned with their own needs is not going to equal solid career growth for you. 

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing an MGA as a newcomer to the insurance industry:

Reputation means everything. In insurance, if you can’t be trusted or relied upon, chances are pretty good that your portfolio is not going to be very strong. It is important to check out the MGA’s online presence, client reviews and contributions on professional social sites like LinkedIn.  

Is the MGA technology savvy? It is important to work with an MGA that gives the tools you need to be successful. When you are starting out every dollar counts so working with an MGA that provides you with your own website, CRM, resources to protect your client’s data and more will set the stage for you to compete in an age where almost everything is done digitally.    

Supported independence means not having to do everything on your own, and professional support is crucial if you want to succeed. Things like a professional office space provided by an MGA gives you the ability to bring clients into an office environment and schedule meetings in an atmosphere that is both professional and welcoming.
Speed matters. Your MGA should have a policy in place to expedite applications so that no clients are lost because of the process taking too long, and should give you access to underwriters instead of being blocked from them.

Continuous professional development through training provided by an MGA allows you to keep up to date with the newest technology and software. It also means that you can learn from others in the industry and gain their knowledge in a way that will help you perform. Training on sales tools and lead generation will help you garner sales and create relationships with clients.

Before you make the choice of whether to join an MGA or an insurance company, find out about the benefits that come with working with an agency that not only provides the tools to succeed but also to help you remain independent.

If you are new to the insurance industry and are thinking about working with an MGA, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group to find out more. Call 416-849-1653 or visit www.joinifcg.com.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Self-Employed in Toronto? Why Disability Insurance is So Important

Owning your own business, no matter the size, can be overwhelming. There are so many different things that self-employed individuals are expected to think about and deal with that never even cross the minds of those employed by someone else. If you are self-employed in Toronto, one of the most important things that you should be thinking about is disability insurance.

Being self-employed can be stressful and demanding and stress is known to cause a host of medical issues. Some self-employed individuals work in physically demanding jobs, jobs where they are more likely to suffer a work related injury.

How are you going to pay for the necessities of life and maintain your business if an unexpected illness or injury takes you offline?  Employed individuals are often protected through employer provided disability insurance, but if you are self-employed you don’t have that luxury. If an employed person suffers an injury or illness that takes away their ability to earn an income, their employer provided insurance may provide them with some income. If you are self-employed, you need to have a plan and resources in place to protect yourself and your business in case you have an accident or develop an illness.
How does disability insurance work when you are self-employed? If you are in an accident and are unable to work, or if you suffer from an illness that takes away your ability to earn an income, disability insurance will provide monthly payouts that allow you to continue providing for your family, allowing you to focus on rehabilitation. Instead of having to stress over how you will pay your bills, disability insurance gives you the chance to focus on your health. What can you use the funds for? Disability insurance payouts can be used for whatever you need. Monthly mortgage payments, household bills, child care, in-home medical care or medical expenses can all be covered by disability insurance.
Disability insurance is also an important consideration for those individuals employed by someone else. When you have an income coming in you can obtain your own disability insurance. Many people make the mistake of counting on employer covered disability insurance but if their employment ends so does their coverage and obtaining disability insurance is very limited and minimal. Also, premiums increase with age so those who enjoy stable employment for many years find themselves in a very expensive situation when they leave their employment and try to obtain their own coverage only to find that disability insurance coverage is less affordable than it would have been had they pursued it when they were in a younger and healthier condition.
The lifestyle you currently enjoy, your child’s post-secondary education, even homeownership depends on your ability to earn an income and be a provider. The success of your business also depends on this too and so making sure that you have put provisions in place just in case anything happens is a smart way to ensure that your company is protected. Disability insurance is one such provision. Don’t leave anything to chance.

For more information about why disability insurance is so important, especially if you are self-employed, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Big City Living: Why Torontonians Really Need Critical Illness Insurance

For some people, the lure of the big city with its hustle and bustle is undeniable and unavoidable. Access to the countless amenities and excitement makes it easy to forget the downsides - and with all of the great things that come with living in Toronto, there are a few major downsides, one of the most important being the stress of fast paced work environments, traffic and the “go, go, go” way of life.

For many Torontonians, stress is a common factor that contributes to overall health. For many individuals living in the ‘Big Smoke,’ stress at work, stress over finances, or stress at home is a given. For many, handling stress is just a normal everyday occurrence – but what about those unforeseen mental and physical consequences that accompany stress?

Well, a recent Toronto Star article says that it is a big deal. New research found that too much stress in your life can increase the risk of heart problems by up to 27%. The article revealed “chronic tension is as dangerous as smoking about two packs of cigarettes a week or having a 50-point spike in your LDL (lousy) cholesterol level.” Clearly most of us who live in the city just take stress as a part of life and don’t even realize the health implications – until they start to experience symptoms.

Knowing that managing your stress probably isn’t going to involve a move out of the big city, learning how to manage stress and also protect yourself in the future should be a key consideration. A critical illness insurance plan is something that you really should consider especially if you are the breadwinner in your household.

And stress isn’t the only reason to consider critical illness insurance. The numbers speak for themselves. Almost 65% of Canadians with kids at home don’t have critical illness insurance, but almost 50% of Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and 1.6 million Canadians who currently have heart disease have suffered a stroke in the past. With all of the advances in health care, survival rates after suffering a critical illness are high in many cases. Term life insurance for example will only financially protect loved ones in the event of death but what if the more likely scenario is surviving and recovering from a critical health event?

So what is critical illness insurance? Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers illnesses such as heart attack, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, blindness and stroke, and critical illness coverage can help support you financially with a lump sum payment. You can use it to pay your mortgage, keep a personal business going, or for medical treatment or child care.

Critical illness insurance can be purchased as a term or permanent or level premium policy and many whole policies provide a 100% rebate of your premiums after a pre-determined number of years if you don’t suffer a critical illness which is a real “win-win” because you can essentially bet on having good health. Level premiums, the cost to protect yourself and your family is very minimal as it’s just the after tax return of what you could have made with the same premium, which is very little in this low rate environment.

If you live in Toronto and have yet to consider the importance of critical illness insurance it is probably a good time to start. Planning ahead for yourself and your family is an essential step in ensuring financial protection no matter what happens in the future.

For more information about critical illness insurance, and why Torontonians really do need it, please contact Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653 or visit www.wecoveryou.ca.