Many state insurance agent licensing programs have started to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many are still functioning poorly.
Glenn Williams, the chief executive officer of Primerica, talked about the problems at agent licensing programs last week, during a conference call the company held to go over its third-quarter results with securities analysts.
- A link to a recording of Primerica’s third-quarter conference call is available here.
- An article that summarizes Primerica’s third-quarter results is available here.
Primerica focuses on selling term life insurance, annuities and other financial services products to middle-income consumers through a large network of agents.
The third quarter started July 1 and ended Sept. 30.
Primerica reported $112 million in net income for the third quarter on $568 million in revenue, compared with $96 million in net income on $521 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2019.
COVID-19 helped Primerica sell more life insurance and recruit more agents, Williams said during the conference call, which was streamed live on the web.
But “the pandemic is also creating headwinds,” Williams said. One of those headwinds, he said, is getting the newly recruited agents licensed as insurance agents.
Executives from other life insurers also have mentioned COVID-19-related problems with agent licensing during their companies’ recent earnings calls, but, partly because Primerica’s strategy involves recruiting large numbers of new agents every quarter, its executives talked more about agent licensing than executives from most other life insurers.
The number of new Primerica agent recruits increased 41%, to 101,861, but the number of newly licensed agents increased just 4%, to 13,138.
Eleven states still are coping with the effects of COVID-19 on training and testing programs by providing temporary agent licenses, rather than having new agents meet full licensing requirements, Williams said.