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Tips from the Insur­ance Pros with Katie Cumalat 

Matt

Hello, my name is Matt with Assurity. Welcome to the fourth episode of our “Tips from the Insurance Pros” podcast. We're excited to bring you conversations with sales pros as they share ideas and insights you can use today. Joining us today is Katie Cumalat, the vice president of sales and operations at Pinney Insurance. With 15 years of both insurance sales and management experience, she brings a broad view on succeeding in the women's market. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and while we see many campaigns driving home the need to buy life insurance around this time of year, there's a demographic that's often overlooked: women. According to a 2016 LIMRA report, 44% of women have no life insurance. And yet 42% of women of the primary breadwinners of U.S. households. How can we help to better educate this market? Katie, it's great having you with us here today. Welcome.

Katie

Thank you.

Matt

So, Katie, as we mentioned earlier, not many women have life insurance. Or if they do, they don't have enough of it. How is your organization tapping into this market and their needs?

Katie

At Pinney Insurance, we have an internal marketing team, which has created marketing pieces that are directly targeted at women with these marketing campaigns. They're accessible through our internal CRM platform called Insureio, and is actually available to both our internal sales agents as well as our brokerage agents that do utilize that system. Some of the marketing campaigns or pieces that we use are about helping women to take control their financial future. That helps provide tips such as protecting their paycheck with disability insurance, also supplementing their retirement through permanent life insurance products that offers some cash value. We do also do marketing campaigns for Breast Cancer Awareness Month that we do send out in October. That marketing campaign is titled “Think Pink and Protect the Women You Love.” One of our more successful campaigns is actually directed at moms, and it does discuss and go over why all moms, both stay-at-home and working, do need life insurance coverage.

Matt

Great. You talked about having targeted marketing pieces available. So how do brokers or producers use these in the sales process?

Katie

So, as I mentioned earlier, we have a CRM platform called Insureio, which is actually marketed through our brokerage agents, So those agents that utilize that system, it's easily accessible through that platform. And so, at any time they can enroll, however many clients, all of their clients, a specific set of clients into these marketing campaigns. These are email marketing campaigns, but what it does is it really gets that information out there, and then it helps that agent be able to follow up after those emails were sent for a follow-up phone call or schedule an appointment for the client to come in. But I think that's a really great starting point, just getting that out in front of them and getting that information out there.

Matt

So what do you think is the best way to approach women about their life insurance needs and why?

Katie

I believe life insurance is an emotional sale, and so many women have loved ones to protect that they can see the value in that product. I think education, as well as having just an honest, relatable conversation helps. An advisor really needs to be able to understand each women's unique circumstances. They need to be able to uncover that specific women's concerns and fears, as well as being able to discuss their current and future needs. I think the better an advisor can uncover these things, a better job they're going to do at giving her education as well as being able to recommend the products that are specific to that woman's need.

Matt

Excellent. Looking out for someone's well-being doesn't only mean their physical wellness. Do you have a story you can share with us about a time that you helped a female client become more financially fit?

Katie

Yeah. And as working mom myself, I actually find it easy to connect with other moms who are managing both their career as well as a family. Often it does make it easy to start a conversation. I have a son who plays multiple sports and it gives me the opportunity to meet many moms. About two years ago one of the moms had shared a story of someone she knew who had passed away unexpectedly, which began a conversation. We started talking about the importance of life insurance. She had mentioned she only had insurance that was provided by her employer and really had just assumed it was enough coverage – she really hadn't put any thought or considered what would happen to her family if she had passed away unexpectedly. So I just mentioned to her what I personally had for life insurance myself, and we were able to make plans to have a phone conversation. The next day I went through, you know, a much more in-depth conversation to find out what her current financial situation was, what her needs are, as well as concerns, and we actually did determine that she needed about 12 times more coverage than what she had currently had through her employer. And so, you know, she was able to go ahead and get an application submitted that day and took out a policy. \

Matt

It's a pretty significant gap. It's a good thing you were able to help her realize that she had these unmet needs.

Katie

Yeah, absolutely.

Matt

Being in the insurance business – a mostly male-dominant profession – what has been your key to success as a woman in this industry, especially as you sell to other women?

Katie

I think, for myself, truly believing in the importance and the need for life insurance has helped. I am an advocate for this product. I also think that just my drive and ambition have contributed to my success, and I think it's always helpful. Just have that ability to relate to both career-driven women, as well as a mom, has definitely been an added benefit.

Matt

You mentioned earlier that you focused specifically on women's issues, such as you mentioned breast cancer awareness. Are there any issues that you find tend to resonate more with your clients?

Katie

I think as far as our clients are concerned, I think what resonates the most is a marketing campaign that actually does have the most success – the one that is directed specifically at moms. It’s because that goes out to really all of our clients, both males and females. But I think it opens the eyes for the need of making sure that women are also getting life insurance coverage. And that goes for both those that are working moms and those bringing in an income, as well as really being able to put out there the importance of that stay-at-home mom and everything that she's responsible for, and what impact that would have on that family's life in the event something happened to them expectedly.

Matt

A lot of education, then.

Katie

Absolutely.

Matt

Can you talk a little bit more about what kind of education women are looking for?

Katie

I think most women are looking for education to where they can easily understand the product. They can easily understand what the benefit is for them and, you know, really, just to try to make that education uncomplicated. I think is what's gonna help women be able to move forward with, you know, their financial future and being able to know that they’re purchasing the right product.

Matt

Great. So for other brokers, how do you recommend going about opening the conversation with women about their concerns and fears?

Katie

We always recommend in the sale of life insurance is always to ask about the companion. So, primarily, they're dealing with the husband. It's part of that conversation to do a full, thorough needs analysis of that family unit and be able to make sure that they're recommending what's going to be the appropriate amount of coverage for both the husband as well as the wife. And as you mentioned earlier, more women these days are becoming the breadwinner in the family, and so I think that those women are really recognizing that they need to have coverage to help take care of their family in the event something happens.

Matt

Do you have any recommendations about working with female small business owners?

Katie

I mean, I would say again, with women who are small business owners, you want to talk through what got them into creating their own business. They're entrepreneurs. So they're, you know, usually driven. They are, I would say, financially savvy and talking to what would be their concerns. You have to have that conversation with them. Is that, do you have a plan in place if something were to happen to you? Whether that is, if something happened to you and you got injured and you need to talk through disability options, or if something happened to them and they passed away unexpectedly, would somebody be taking over that business? So just really being able to ask them questions in regards to maybe how they got to where they're at, what their plans are, if they have any. And if they don't, you want to really maybe help talk them through. You know, what are things that they may want to start thinking about?

Matt

Well, thank you, Katie, for your thoughts and insights. Today we appreciate you taking the time to spend a few minutes with us as we look into new ways to empower women to live their best life. One of those ways is being prepared for their future with a life insurance policy.

Katie
Yep, not a problem. Thank you.

Matt

And to our listeners, thanks for tuning in to episode four of Assurity’s podcast series: Tips from the Insurance Pros. Stay tuned for new podcasts coming next month focused on success with critical illness insurance. In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about Assurity’s life insurance products, head over to liam.assurity.com. You can also email us at podcast@assurity.com and we'd be happy to connect you with one of our regional reps in your area to take a deeper dive. Thanks for listening.

Disclaimer
For producer use only. Not for use with the general public. Not for use in New York.

Assurity is a marketing name for the mutual holding company Assurity Group Incorporated and its subsidiaries. Those subsidiaries include, but are not limited to, Assurity Life Insurance Company and Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York. Insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company in all states except New York. In New York, insurance products and services are offered by Assurity Life Insurance Company of New York, Albany, New York. Product availability, features and rates may vary by state.