The Brokerage Channel

It’s Easy to Get the Right Price on the Wrong Insurance Product

How Bramco is supporting today’s advisors deliver maximum value

by John Kuk

Mr. Kuk is Director of Strategy and Business Development for BRAMCO Financial Resources (BRAMCO). Connect with him by e-mail: [email protected]

It may surprise people to learn that insurance products are not created equally. Several economic, regulatory and product development factors exist today that often prevent the product pricing evaluation process from being comprehensive and completely satisfying a client’s long-term needs. Producers and their clients need insurance carriers and distributors they can count on for guidance and answers. MetLife is a carrier dedicated to quality, consumer-focused product development. The partners at BRAMCO Financial Resources (BRAMCO) are distributors focused on delivering required and relevant resources to producers that result in maximized consumer value. The common goal: The right price for the right insurance product.

Sales Diversions

Once the need for life insurance is established, factors such as income, current obligations and affordability are often the primary drivers in a clients buying decision. Less obvious, but equally significant influencers include insurance carrier mortality experience, expenses including sales and marketing and inherent profit margins; all of which factor into product development and pricing. Annual changes in the tax, estate planning and regulatory landscapes also play a role. Together, these pressures constantly tempt producers and clients to take the path of least resistance and simply place needed death benefit at the cheapest price. In that case the sales process is diverted to that of a spreadsheet and often results in the wrong product selection and reduced consumer value. “Over the years our marketplace has evolved to become commodity-focused” says Michael Hefferon, CEO of BRAMCO Financial Resources. “More than ever before there is a need for carriers, distributors and producers to work collaboratively to present superior alternatives to commodity-based plays that deliver the most comprehensive return for the consumer. It’s a practice that BRAMCO partners focus on with producers each and every day and one that MetLife is fully committed to.”

Carrier Overload                 

By recent count there were over 500 life insurance carriers in the United States alone of various sizes. It would be impossible for producers to know every product from over 500 carriers. There is however a need to identify the top three or four based on the unique situation of each client. “Without a full complement of relevant, consumer friendly choices presented by producers,” said Hefferon, “clients find themselves partial to satisfying their immediate need from any one carrier as inexpensively as possible.” That leads consumers and producers alike down a commoditized path that overlooks the most consumer-focused carriers and products for those with the cheapest price. “Every producer has an obligation to do the right thing and walk consumers down the path of value over price” Hefferon continues, “Only the most specialized brokerage organizations, like the partners of BRAMCO Financial Resources have done their homework and are adept at making sure that every producer is educated during the sales process.” In the end, producers are assured of offering products with the highest probability of long-term satisfaction, such as those offered by MetLife.

Product Sophistication

Every producer has an obligation to do the right thing and walk consumers down the path of value over price

Most insurance carriers are manufacturing products today that offer more than just basic life insurance coverage, commonly adding flexibility for future considerations like long term care, critical illness, supplemental retirement income, early cash value and more. While the short-term costs might be higher, long-term costs, benefits and peace of mind can be far superior depending on the situation.

So how does a producer these days make sure they are getting the right product at the right price for their client? A strong, consumer oriented product today may not be so tomorrow. “Client needs change” said Hefferon, “And which carriers can you count on not to chase the latest product design trend, but to consistently evolve and deliver products with the end consumer in mind? BRAMCO and BRAMCO partners have these important conversations with carriers and producers every day. If producers aren’t having them with their current outlets, they need to talk to us.” More than ever, producers are relying on highly experienced organizations like BRAMCO to navigate the marketplace and leverage their position in the industry to help influence consumer friendly product development from carriers like MetLife.

Beyond the Spreadsheet

BRAMCO Financial Resources’ many priorities include communicating with carriers, monitoring the marketplace, studying and knowing the competitive landscape better than anyone. “We provide competitive knowledge to our partner firms that they in turn share with producers with which they maintain a business relationship” Hefferon pointed out, “Collectively, we seek to look beyond price and search for other inherent values in insurance carrier contracts. We work closely with several highly-rated insurance carriers, like MetLife, who share a common philosophy of delivering products and services which not only meet client needs but provide comprehensive, long-term and cost effective solutions. And we believe our producers and their clients should benefit from that knowledge.”

BRAMCO and its partner firms are proficient at working with insurance producers and guiding them down the path of communicating value-added solutions to producers and their clients. “We want producers who are sure they’ve got the right price on an insurance product but don’t know if it’s the right product, to engage us because we can help” Hefferon stated, “In the end, everyone wins. A carrier like MetLife knows they’re providing a product of consumer value. Our partner agencies feel they’ve done the right thing in educating the producer about value beyond price, the producer knows they’ve done the right thing for the client and the client walks away with peace of mind knowing their short and long-term needs are well protected.”

So you think you’ve got the right price, but will your client have the right product? BRAMCO Financial Resources can help.