Meet Mike Miller. Although he’s been in the insurance business for seven years, he’s only been a licensed health agent for a few months. Given the current landscape, getting your health insurance license might seem like a bad move – but Miller isn’t afraid of health care reform.
Q: Tell us about yourself. How long have you been involved in the insurance industry?
Mike Miller: I have a [bachelor's of business administration] from Ohio University in Athens, OH. After school, I took a position as a direct sales representative with Progressive Insurance in Cleveland, OH. After being with Progressive for six years, I had the opportunity to join a national insurance brokerage in St. Louis, MO. I’ve been in my position with Focus Financial Services now for about a year.
Q: What made you decide to get your health insurance license?
MM: With my role with Progressive, I did not have a need for a life or health license, so I never got it. My role with my new company gives me access to those products. That is why I got my life and health license.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face as a new health insurance agent?
MM: Being new to life and health, my biggest challenge is still getting familiar with each company’s systems, guidelines, and coverage offerings.
Q: Are you worried at all about how the health care reform bill will affect your sales opportunities? Why or why not?
MM: No. Customers generally want an agent that can handle all aspects of their insurance needs. There are already state-run pools for property and casualty insurance for high-risk customers. Those pools are rarely utilized by customers, and I see the health care reform bill as creating a similar situation. The bill is partly designed to bring affordable coverage to the uninsured. If that sector can be profitable, a private company will figure out a way to do that and bring it to market. But I still see the majority of Americans getting coverage the way they’ve always done.
Q: You’re involved in social media – Twitter, blogging, etc. How has that helped you in your insurance business?
MM: Social media has allowed me to connect with other colleagues regardless of geographic locations. I have set up a referral network with agents in other states. We utilize each other to help customers when they move to a state that individually we do not service. Social media allows me to “interview” potential agents that I want to work with, without investing a lot of time in the process. I’m able to quickly read their blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, etc. to figure out if the prospective agent has the knowledge and acumen that I would be willing to associate my personal brand with.
Q: Where do you think you’ll be 10 years from now?
MM: Running my own agency. I consider myself very fortunate that I’ve been brought into an independent agency model that allows me to own and grow my own book of business. Technology has made it easy to do business as a nonresident. Being an insurance agent gives me the freedom of owning my own business, and the technology gives me the flexibility of working from virtually anywhere.
Mike Miller is an independent agent with focus financial services. He can be reached at 636-449-2613 or [email protected]