Advice From Home Office Exec Doesnt Please This Producer

To The Editor:

Re: “Cross-Sell To Your Clients, But Dont Oversell Your Ability” by Charles R. Duncan.

As a home office executive, Charles R. Duncan offers advice to insurance and financial advisors (see NU, May 26, 2003). His words dont sit well with me.

As a 34-year Chartered Life Underwriter, LUTCF and Million Dollar Round Table life member, I discount his opinion. He advises agents to “stop and think before you rush to expand your knowledge base so that you can offer banking services and investment vehicles.”

It appears that Mr. Duncan thinks insurance and financial advisors are not able to render advice, or should not render advice, in matters of banking, investments and insurance. He says, “You offer the most value to your client–and avoid potential errors and omissions (E&O) issues–with a depth of knowledge on select topics, not with inch-deep, mile-wide knowledge of multiple topics.”

Mr. Duncan is not paid to interact with clients. That is precisely why I discount his advice in favor of solid, time-tested truths and wisdom from great life insurance agents like John Savage, CLU.

Fortunately, John put his thoughts in writing. “The Easy Sale” and “Its Getting Easier” were both published by The National Underwriter Company. Other books, such as “Savage on Selling” and “High Touch Selling” offer unusually perceptive and prophetic insights for advisors in todays environment of three converging industries (banking, investments and insurance).

John was aware of the odds against his living a normal life expectancy. He died in his early 60s after a five-year battle with acute leukemia. I am convinced that is why John decided to go beyond the written word and capture his wisdom on audio/video tapes.

From day one 30 years ago, (“The Easy Sale” was published in 1973), Mr. Savage encouraged life insurance agents to promote bank accounts with clients. He integrated investments and savings advice within the context of the life insurance sale so well that his advice revolutionized and simplified my professional life. His classic three circles (savings, investments, insurance) were, still are and always will be, right on target.

John Savage, CLU, acquired his knowledge as a practicing life insurance agent. What he acquired over the years was not “inch-deep and mile-wide.” He advised clients and taught agents on a wide range of topics in the field of personal economics. He did this extremely well.

When I need a home office executives opinion, Ill call a home office executive. When I need solid field advice from an experienced producer, I seek it out at the MDRT or read books like Johns.

Bob Coyle, CLU

Registered Principal

FSC Securities Corporation

Guilderland, N.Y.

To The Editor:

Re: “Carrier Study Reveals Many Positives in the Use of Tele-Underwriting,” April 28.

Having assisted over 100 law firms over the last 15 years in life and health claims disputes, two questions come to mind.

1. Does the applicant understand the importance of the telephone interview or are they focused on other things and not providing full disclosure?

2. Does the company (as some have) depend on the two-year contestable clause and get the APS at time of claim?

If the answer to #1 is no and the answer to #2 is yes, the number of litigated cases will increase.

Gordon K. Rose, CLU, ChFC

Kiawah Island, S.C.

‘When I need a home office executive’s opinion, I’ll call a home office exec; when I need solid field advice

from an experienced producer I seek it out at the MDRT’


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 30, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.