Health agents told Celent they really want this

Producer data

Celent analysts wanted to know what people like, possibly, you think about insurers' agent support efforts. (Photo: Thinkstock) Celent analysts wanted to know what people like, possibly, you think about insurers' agent support efforts. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Health insurance agents may care a lot more about access to online compensation management tools than they care about contests.

Tom Scales, the Clearwater, Florida-based research director of Celent, has published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a recent survey of agents who sell ordinary major medical coverage, Medicare plans or supplemental health benefits. 

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Vertafore Inc., the parent of the BenefitPoint system and the My Agency Reports data reporting system, commissioned the survey to learn more about what agents are thinking, and it handled questionnaire distribution. That means Celent might have ended up with data for agents who are unusually interested in using online tools, and unusually uninterested in winning trips to beach resorts.

A participant count was not available. Only 9 percent of the participants said they were under 45.

Celent asked participants a wide range of questions about their characteristics, the factors they use to evaluate insurers, and what they think insurers should do next.

One of the questions was about compensation.

"Competitive commissions" ranked first: About 80 percent of the participants said competitive pay is a must-have.

The participants also rated the value of online compensation management tools, incentive bonus programs, preferred producer programs and contests.

About 60 percent of the participants rated online compensation tools as a must-have.

Only about 20 percent rated incentive bonus programs and preferred producer programs as must-haves. Roughly 60 percent classifies those types of programs as "nice to have."

Just 10 percent identified contests as must-haves, and about 40 percent classified contests as nice-to-have. About half of the participants said that, from their point of view, contests don't matter at all.

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