Insurance

Supplemental Insurance: What I learned from an AFLAC Employee Interview

I recently had the opportunity to talk to an District Sales Coordinator for AFLAC insurance. Posing as somebody interested in the associate job, I asked questions and gained a lot of information about the company and its services – Information I would not have otherwise If I was seeking insurance.

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Like many of you, I had no idea what AFLAC does or what it specializes in. Only that the quacking duck, helps with branding. While searching online I found out that AFLAC is in the business of Supplemental Insurance, well actually – they pioneered supplemental insurance in the 1950s. AFLAC is the leader in Supplemental Insurance and has over 40 Million customers worldwide.

How is Supplemental Insurance Different From Regular Insurance?

Supplemental Insurance is when consumers take additional insurance on Accident, Cancer and Life (the major ones) to compliment their existing medical or other insurance.  Supplemental Insurance, like AFLAC, then provides cash payment if you get hurt, have cancer or die (respectively). This is interesting, because they don’t actually pay any medical bills or doctor visits. They pay the insurance beneficiary cash. It is then, used at their discretion.

The very intriguing thing is that supplemental insurance is very cheap. The manager of the district, who oversees a few associates (insurance salesmen) says I could get accident insurance (again, their best seller) for only $6/Week. It seems almost too good to be true. But one thing that I realized is the payouts for something like a broken arm or a lost limb, could be very arbitrary. How do I know if my broken leg is worth $600, or if an airlift to the hospital is $1,500?

He goes on to say that your premium will never increase. As a product this type of insurance or assurance is more people living paycheck-to-paycheck, people who primarily pay the bills in the household and could go bankrupt if they had a severe accident.

Why Supplemental Insurance, therefore AFLAC, might be huge in 2013

Earlier in the interview he noted that AFLAC is really big in Japan, with approximatively 1 in 4 people owning a AFLAC insurance policy. He posits that because Japan switched from no healthcare to universal healthcare (with no step in between), and because he witnessed Japanese people wearing surgical masks – that Japans would buy additional insurance.

In buying insurance, according to the AFLAC District Sales Coordinator, the person would take the cash benefit and go pay to see a better doctor, in the case of an accident.

This might be relevant now because in 2013 when the Healthcare change will occur, according to the District Sales Coordinator, people might want to take additional insurance to hedge their health risk. Because it’s cheap people will pay for it. Since, Americans have had private healthcare we will know the difference between good and bad care and will pay for additional insurance.

How AFLAC Markets to People

Most people know that AFLAC brand (70%ish) but hardly anybody knows what they do (4%ish). So inorder to get people to buy insurance, they market through businesses sized 7-50 employees. They able to market through to businesses because by having their employees purchase additional insurance, businesses get to decreases their tax liability. Once they established an account through the company they proceed to meet with their employees one-on-one to sell them.  He goes on to say that overall (nationwide) AFLAC sells 60-70% once they get the employee face to face.

Interested in Working or Becoming  an Agent?

The job I interviewed for was a Insurance Salesmen. The job would be an independent Agent of the American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac), and hence not an official employee of Aflac. Because the job requires you to become a licensed Insurance salesmen, you had to go through the process and become licensed before the official training could start. After your training is over you shadow your recruiter and build a portfolio of clients.

He went on that the company is in A+ financial standing. Taking a very small hit in the whole mortgage fiasco. Raving about how many accolades the company has received – you get the picture. The job was strictly commission and its organizational structure was similar too that of an MLM company, with many different levels of seniority – all earning a piece of the person’s below policy.

Yet, I was impressed with the company. Doing some diligent research, I’ve found that this company was in great financial health and was an honest company. This opportunity would be great for somebody who is interested in launching a career with good-to-great earning potential. But for me, I don’t enjoy the idea of selling and I was looking for something more shorter term. Aflac has this 10-year plan for new salesmen, a goal to become financially free by your 10th year working as your own.

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