3 Aug 2020
12 Tips for Selling Health Insurance in the COVID-19 ERA
By Andres Galvez, Vice President of Sales Individual Health, Pan-American Life Insurance Group
Estimated read time: 3 minutes, 47 seconds
We are living in a unique moment in time. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the health insurance market. As a result, consumers are viewing health insurance through fresh eyes—and, in response; agents and brokers must quickly adopt new talk tracks and strategies.
Although the health insurance landscape continues to evolve, there is much that we have learned since the crisis began. Based on our observations, we’ve assembled a dozen sales tips and ideas for producers. Because, despite everything, there are plenty opportunities for those ready to seize them.
- Know that Demand for Health Insurance Is Up
In the past, you may have had to educate your prospects—particularly young, healthy ones—on the need for health insurance. Due to COVID-19, most people acutely understand that they, too, may have an unexpected medical crisis at any time. While you don’t have to belabor the point, it’s key to leverage this reality with prospects.
- Calibrate Your Pitch to Educated Consumers
Because of COVID-19, many individuals have become more knowledgeable healthcare consumers. They understand plan designs; they want to review and compare benefits. Gauge each prospect’s level of understanding and modify your pitch accordingly.
- Help Your Clients Keep their Health Plans
People desperately want to keep their health insurance—as evidenced by Pan-American Life high renewal rates. If your clients are experiencing financial challenges, offer them alternatives for making premiums more affordable, such as raising plan deductibles or modifying model pay schedules.
- Take Advantage of Prospects’ Greater Availability
Thanks to widespread lockdowns, more prospects are available during the day for meetings. In the past, the sales process often took longer because only one spouse/partner could attend, and buy-in from the other had to come separately. Now, it’s more likely that both can be on a call, speeding the sales process. Seize the moment.
- Keep Improving Your Videoconferencing Skills
While videoconferencing has advantages—such as making us more productive—recreating that face-to-face connection is an ongoing challenge. One common complaint: it’s hard to keep a prospect’s attention when they’re in a room full of distractions. The solution: be more concise. Use more visual tools. Dress and act professionally. And keep sharpening those videoconferencing skills.
- Tackle COVID-19 Head on
Prospects want to know if/how carriers cover COVID-19 related claims. Pan-American Life Insurance Group offers health insurance in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Healthcare coverage across the Americas varies by country and policy. For more information on PALIG's COVID-19 repsonse visit your country COVID-19 page.
- Emphasize Pan-American Life’s Strength
More than ever, people want to do business with quality carriers. Let them know that Pan-American Life has been a leading life and health insurance provider for more than 110 years. Share our consistently high ratings (“A” (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best and an “A” rating from Fitch Ratings) and our track record of providing attentive customer service.
- Promote Our Products’ Extensive Coverage
Beyond COVID-19, people are still getting sick…still getting cancer…still requiring surgery, therapy, and medication. Stress how our policies offer extensive health insurance protection that will protect insureds long after the current crisis.
- Highlight Our Provider Networks
In the past, some buyers—who were planning to travel—were focused on our out-of-network benefits. Now, of course, people are staying put. That means local provider networks matter more. Pan-American Life has built strong doctor and hospital networks in 22 markets. Assuming your’s is one of them; make this part of your story.
- Look for New Selling Opportunities
Workers who’ve lost their jobs—and their group insurance—are hungry for individual coverage. Reach out to those who’ve turned to gig work or entrepreneurial opportunities and offer them affordable solutions. Even those who are still employed may seek a second-tier backup policy. Don’t underestimate the power of offering solid, basic coverage from a major carrier.
- But Don’t Assume Everyone Needs a Budget Plan
Despite the financial downturn, some folks are doing well. And even those of modest means may have reprioritized their spending. Never assume that someone is seeking the most affordable plan; take the time to find out what they have in mind.
- Offer Peace of Mind
These are difficult times. People are isolated; anxiety is running high. Every day, we’re bombarded with alarming news of hot spots, infection rates and mortality rates. So, take the time to be compassionate. To listen. Quality health insurance brings peace of mind. So does working with financial professionals who are caring as well as knowledgeable.
About the author: Andrés Gálvez is PALIG’s Vice President for Individual Health Sales. In his role, he is responsible for leading the international health business in both Latin American and the Caribbean. With more than 20 years of deep experience in the health insurance industry, Andrés has a strong passion for aggressive sales growth – showing this in his past regional roles in Guatemala as well as his experience in senior sales roles at Bupa and Amedex Insurance Company.