• opportunities landscape (intro image)

    Insurance agents have been struggling for quite some time to figure out a solution to their most nagging problem - not enough time. Not enough time in a day to travel and meet prospects while trying to follow-up on fresh leads to setup appointments and keep the pipeline filled up. This often results in dropping the ball on both fronts - distracted meetings with prospects and frenzied checking of voicemail & follow-up calls before scrambling on to meet with the next prospect. So, what is the solution?

    Outsourcing.  Outsourcing the tactical, low-value but critical task of appointment-setting.  Focusing on what you do best ­selling your products and services to prospects while meeting face-to-face; enabling yourself to be in the best state of mind while meeting prospects, with assured confidence that your appointments pipeline will be robust as it is handled by an experienced, service-oriented appointment-setting company.

    Most prospect appointments are a result of a two-step process:

    1. Lead Generation
    2. Lead Follow-up and Appointment Setting

     

    LEAD GENERATION

    In the insurance industry, getting a defined set of internet-generated leads is becoming the norm. In the present age of information overload for consumers, it is almost impossible and makes no economic sense to generate insurance leads the old way - mailers and outbound cold calling. Hence majority of the industry has signed up with one of the many internet-based lead generation companies to provide them with "live leads." Live Leads are ones that are sent to you the moment a consumer, on the internet, responds to a targeted ad with a request for a quote or more information.

     

    LEAD FOLLOW-UP AND APPOINTMENT SETTING

    Signing up with an internet-based lead generation company and getting a steady stream of leads, although not cheap, is the easiest in the two-step process.

    Properly targeted internet leads are mostly of good quality but come with two logistical issues:

    1. Internet leads can be generated round-the-clock - making the follow-up process nightmarish
    2. Internet leads tend to be hard to reach on the phone readily and hence need to be followed up with rigor and experience-based methods and processes

     

    Outsourcing lead follow-up and appointment setting to an experienced vendor will help not only in overcoming the logistical issues mentioned above but also enable you to focus on your core function of generating revenue. Doing this task yourself in an ad-hoc way or outsourcing to a poor quality vendor impacts you in two ways - poor pipeline of prospects and a waste of valuable and costly leads.

     

    So, how does this work? What should I look for in an appointment-setting company?

    Following are the critical capabilities that enable an appointment-setting company to provide you superior results.

    • Industry experience and target-market understanding
    • Rigorous process and flexible technology to provide customized solution that meets your unique needs
    • Cost-effective solution with superior client service

     

    Industry experience and target-market understanding

    It is important for the vendor to understand the insurance industry and its associated dynamics. The vendor's associates should have experience working with insurance products and an understanding of the target market, be it consumers or businesses.

     

    Rigorous process and flexible technology to provide customized solution that meets your unique needs

    In order to achieve effective results, the vendor needs to have a process that is not only rigorously implemented but also be adaptable based on feedback obtained in the marketplace. A rigorous system that is rigid is a sure recipe for disaster! The process should ensure that every single lead is pursued diligently and methodically.

    The vendor's technology should be flexible in providing you with details of the appointments setup, feedback from the leads and market intelligence using communication channels of your choice.

     

    Cost-effective solution with superior client service

    The vendor should have a culture of frugality and cost-consciousness but not at the cost of providing superior value and responsive client service. The vendor should work as a true and honest partner in providing suggestions and recommendations to continuously improve the effectiveness of the program.

  • probate collections (intro image)

    Does your business have delinquent accounts and you would like to improve your collections?
    Are you a collections agency or law firm with debt portfolio looking to get a better return?
    If you answered "Yes" to either question, then read on...

    Probate- or Estate-Collections is one of the most effective ways to collect on delinquent accounts of deceased debtors.

    What is Probate- or Estate-Collections?

    When a consumer debtor dies, claims against the deceased debtor are mostly governed by the probate/estate laws. Probate courts with relevant jurisdiction (mostly based on deceased's last residence or location of primary assets) administer the estates. The laws are geared for expedient resolution of creditor claims and issues so that the estate can be administered efficiently.

    Probate collections will continue to play an increasingly important role in debt collections for two main reasons:

    Inverse Growth: Population over 65 years of age between now and 2060 will almost double while the percentage of younger population will decrease.

    Increasing Debt: Continued increase in senior households with debt.

    INVERSE GROWTH: Demographic changes impacting debt collections

    Currently, middle-aged population, between the ages of 35 and 64 years, holds the highest average debt in the US (Source: Federal Reserve Bulletin, Sep 2017). However, the middle-aged population is projected to shrink in size from 25.8% to 24.7% between 2016 and 2060. In the same period, the senior population, 65 years and older, is the only segment growing and is projected to almost double in size from about 49 million to over 95 million.

    For the first time in US history, adults 65 and over, are expected to outnumber children by 2035. By 2030, people 65 and older, are estimated to be over 20% of the total US population (Source: National Census Bureau).


    INCREASING DEBT: Average debt held by seniors continues to increase

    People, 55 and older, are continuing to accumulate more debt. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, families with the oldest head-of-household are seeing the greatest increase. According to TransUnion, US consumers, 60 years and older, owed $615 billion of debt (credit cards, student loans, auto loans & personal loans) in 2017, a whopping 84% increase since 2010 and the most increase than any other age group.

    The average total debt owed by the 60 - 69 age segment (who owed student loans) increased from $23K in 2010 to almost $34K in 2016 (WSJ, Feb 2, 2019). For the 70 and older segment, the number jumped from $21K in 2010 to $27K in 2016.


    Probate collections is very effective. But how do you go about it?

    Broadly speaking, there are 3 steps:

    Step 1: Identify deceased debtors in your debt portfolio (or delinquent accounts)

    Step 2: Locate the estate (including details such as when it was filed, which county/court, file or case number, etc.) if filed

    Step 3: File the relevant paperwork with the appropriate court in a timely manner

     

    Step 1: Identify deceased debtors in your debt portfolio

    There are several ways to figure out which of your debtors are deceased. If your portfolio is small (# of delinquent accounts), calling the last known contact number may get you to the deceased's family. For bigger portfolios, there are several online tools and skip-tracing companies that provide this service for a fee.

     

    Step 2: Locate the estate

    If your business has customers in just one or a few geographic areas, the task of locating the estate, if filed, is easy. Usually, you can go to the local County Court (or the Court that handles probate matters in your county/ jurisdiction) and look up Court Records to obtain the necessary information.

    If your business spans larger geographic area covering multiple counties and states, the task starts becoming confusing and complex. This is because, laws vary widely on how the information can be accessed. Some courts require you to be physically present at the court to search their records while others make all this information available online with easy search tools.

    It is very important to file your claims in a timely manner as the clock starts counting down, once an estate is filed in the name of the deceased debtor. Most courts have firm deadlines varying from a few months to a couple of years.

    If you have delinquent accounts that are more than a few, and across multiple counties/states, it is better to seek the experts. Tens of thousands of estates are filed every year. These estates are filed in over 3,200 probate courts all over the country. Each court has unique rules and methods for accessing estate filing data. Estates are sometimes filed at the place of death and sometimes where the assets are located. Some collections agencies and law firms who specialize in probate/estate collections perform both step 2 and step 3.

     

    Step 3: File the relevant paperwork with the appropriate court in a timely manner

    If you only have a few delinquent accounts of deceased debtors and know the estate information, you can file claims yourself using the guidelines outlined by the court. However, if you have more than a few accounts and the estates are filed in different courts, it is cost-effective to outsource this task to a probate law firm or a probate collections agency.


     

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