Susan Berger Abrams, MHA, is one of the top agents at California Long Term Care (CLTC), having placed over $1.5 million in premium with the BGA. She places her business with Craig Matesky at the Southern California office, and she works and lives in Newport Beach, Calif. Susan gets a third of her business from financial advisors, a third from other insurance agents, and a third from leads provided by California Long Term Care.
1. How many phone calls do you make a week to set appointments?
That is a good question. I would say probably 150 a week. Realistically I call 5 days a week, maybe like 8:15. I’m calling the leads that I get from CLTC.
2. How old were you when you bought your own LTCi?
48, when I started in the business. 13 years ago. My husband and I bought policies right before we got married, to protect our individual assets and income and remove any burden LTC might place on our 5 children from different marriages.
3. What’s YOUR LTC plan? (plan, not insurance)
My own mother has a live in companion 24-7. I told my two adult children that I want them to clone Agnes, take care of me, and my LTC plan will pay for it. I found Agnes for my mom, from word-of-mouth. I tell my clients that I know first-hand how incredible it is to not have to worry about the financial mechanism; it took a lot of the burden away.
4. What LTCi policy do you sell the most these days and why?
I sell Genworth LTC Choice Partnership if it’s partnership (it’s what we have in California); if it’s not partnership I sell Prudential LTC3, because of the restoration of benefits, cash benefit, optional 150% home care benefit, wonderful elimination period (day 1, even if in acute care).
5. How many claims have you seen?
12-15, more will be coming; my client base is getting older!
6. Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be then?
My bachelor’s is in health care education and my master’s is in health care administration.
So, I didn’t go too far afield, always wanted to do something in that field to improve people’s lives.
7. What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?
I love to exercise. Yoga, Zumba, exercise classes, spin classes. That’s my thing.
8. What is your favorite drink?
Peet’s coffee – every morning at 7:45 before I start making my calls. Large latte double flat (no foam) soy, 3 sugar in the raw. It’s a business expense – I can’t work without it.
9. What makes you happy?
I love to spend time with my husband, to travel, and be with my kids and my 2-year old grandson. It’s work, travel.
10. Can you share a resource, service, program, software, etc. or two that has been critical to your success?
Interestingly, I think the thing that has really helped me has been computer skills. Being able to do an Exel spreadsheet if I’m talking to someone in business… I can design it myself. I use Exel a lot. I also use Stratecision…and sometimes I bring the info from that program into Excel (I always show a pool of money vs. benefit years). Two years ago I started asking everyone for their email addresses – I now have 500-600 e-mails; my BGA has a newsletter that they send out for me. I use www.glance.com.
11. IPhone, Blackberry or other?
12. How many more years do you see yourself doing this?
Indefinitely. The good thing is I’m doing almost all of my business remotely. Most of the time my clients, in their 50s, are used to doing business on the computer; they are pretty happy not to see me. A year ago I would have had a different answer; now I am so much more efficient, with the remote sale, has changed my life.