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Mining In-Force Life Insurance Business

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Cameron Jacox and James Hilton are a senior-to-be and a 2012 graduate of Babson College in Boston, respectively. In the past two years, they’ve built a startup technology firm, the Jacox-Hilton Corporation, with a CRM that mines life insurance producers’ in-force business and creates a flow of opportunities to lower costs for clients, scrap inefficient policies and improve commissions. (For more on Jacox and Hilton, see: College Students Ready to Shake Up Life Industry)

We recently asked them to tell us a little more about how their firm can help the average agent.

The value proposition

Here is how Cam Jacox and James Hilton describe the value proposition of their advisorAssist product, part of their lifeAssist suite of products:

“It hands advisors sales opportunities on a silver platter. Others have tried to do this, but the farthest they’ve gotten is identifying opportunities (e.g. here are term-10s that are renewing in 90 days). These calls to action or information aggregators have been around for a long time, in the form of renewal notices and loan notices from the carriers and even through most software vendors, but they’ve never worked to create large action that creates and sustains sales increases, so digitizing them won’t make advisors change their habits.

“We provide sales-packaged opportunities that are thoroughly prepared, quoted across every carrier that they have contracts with, and consist of logic on over 1,900 different policy structures, going back to 1950. The system knows the nuances of when certain contracts can convert, at what level, when permanent enhancements can and should be converted, etc. So advisors get a regular flow of analysis from their hard-earned client book, and their sales increase dramatically with little effort, while clients are so much better serviced. (In the meeting, advisors have a 90% closing ratio because the client is better off doing something than doing nothing.)

“Advisors can access the system easily; they collect their data from their carriers, they upload it and sign the appropriate agreements, then they get access to the (beautiful) interface and their flow of analyzed opportunities/leads begins.”

What is your book of business really worth?

In addition to the subscription-based lifeAssist web application, Jacox-Hilton also offers consulting services, including a comprehensive book valuation for agents looking to retire. “We’ve seen a lot more activity lately, but the biggest problem is that buyers just aren’t willing to pay more than 1x or 2x of renewals, and nobody in their right mind would sell for that, so advisors just sit on their books and this reduces opportunity for young people,” Jacox says.

He says perceptions need to change about what an agent’s book of business is really worth. “Imagine purchasing a guaranteed annuity that paid 50% of your purchase price for 10 years, before starting to go down, with no risk. That’s close to what people enjoy when buying a book of business at 2x trailers,” Jacox says. “There really isn’t much risk in attrition; it’s marginal. There’s no doubt that their money will be paid back. But for an agent who is selling his book, is this really fair? And if it isn’t, then why would he sell?

“Well, as you know, agents are not selling. Given industry demographics, we would expect a much larger volume of book transfers at this point, but we won’t see it unless agents are adequately compensated for the potential of their books; for the value that they could — or that the new agent will — capture from in-force client opportunities and trailers. When we value a book, we show the in-force opportunity waiting to be captured. We quantify it very clearly, and we’ve seen buyers pay more as a result.”

Helping orphans

Orphaned clients don’t get a lot of love from life insurance agents, as they all too often become invisible once their agent retires or leaves the business. How to work with orphaned clients is another area where Jacox-Hilton Corporation has a plan.

“Although we do work with active advisor’s blocks most often, our system works particularly well with large orphan blocks from which in-force opportunities need to be distributed to brokers (for a general agency or captive carrier),” Cam Jacox says. “Often, these orphan blocks have a higher percentage of opportunities (between 30%-35% of policies compared to 20%-25% for an active advisor’s book) because of the amount of time that the clients have gone without servicing.”

For more on young people in the life insurance industry, see:

Succeeding As an Advisor — at 23

College Students Ready to Shake Up Life Industry

Why I Chose A Career in Insurance


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