As a company that sits at the intersection of insurance and technology, we’ve often touted the benefits of insurance organizations new, old, large, and small taking a tech-forward mindset and thinking like a startup.
We also talk a lot about the importance of continuing professional education (CPE or CE) in the insurance industry. Not only is continuing education good for insurance professionals and insureds, it’s required as a condition of maintaining a producer license in every state – although the specifics of these requirements vary.
Naturally, as insurance geeks and techies, we get a bit excited when several spheres collide. For instance, when The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA) announced it was revamping its NAILBA Certified Case Manager website and online program.
Although we tend to focus on insurance agents and producers, along with the compliance teams that keep them functioning, life insurance case managers are another important role within the wide world of rewarding insurance careers. Despite their importance, little information exists about what exactly a life insurance case manager is, what they do, and what type of training they need.
What is a life insurance case manager?
A life insurance case manager is a central and necessary role within the life insurance distribution channel. While this person may not necessarily sell life insurance policies to consumers, they are responsible for much of the behind-the-scenes work required to get a life insurance policy in place.
Life insurance case managers can also play a large role within brokerage general agencies (BGAs), where they may serve as a link between financial advisors (who may or may not be able to place life insurance policies for their clients) and insurance carriers.
What are the duties of a life insurance case manager?
Life insurance case managers duties may include helping to gather applicant information, negotiating with carriers, and all around facilitating a quick and efficient life insurance placement process that benefits the insured and the life insurance broker.
Do life insurance case managers need insurance licenses?
Like almost everything in the insurance industry, it depends! Strictly speaking, a life insurance producer license is likely not required by the state to act as a life insurance case manager. It may, however, be requested or preferred by a particular company as a condition of getting a job as a life insurance case manager.
Given that the definition of who needs an insurance license is anyone who “sells, solicits, or negotiates” insurance, it could be erring on the safe side to have all life insurance case managers hold a valid life insurance producer license.
What is the NAILBA Certified Case Manager program?
Whether or not a life insurance case manager has (or needs) a life insurance producer license, continuing education is always important. The NAILBA Certified Case Manager (NCCM) program is a comprehensive training for both new and experienced life insurance case managers. NAILBA states that its program will both “train and develop new case managers” and “certify existing case managers on the key skills, responsibilities, and best practices that are essential for their role.”
The NCCM program is an online course available through NAILBA’s website. And, as we mentioned above, NAILBA says its Certified Case Manager website is new, improved, and more intuitive and user friendly than ever.
How does the industry benefit from highly trained case managers?
The insurance industry has a lot of moving pieces, and it sometimes feels like it takes an alignment of the stars – or an act of God – to get a complicated life insurance policy across the finish line. This is where life insurance case managers can help. And the better trained they are, the more valuable a role they play.
A few ways a highly trained life insurance case manager can benefit the entire industry from life insurance applicants to life insurance carriers include:
- Ensuring the applicant has the smoothest and most pleasant experience, which translates into higher customer satisfaction and retention for the life insurance broker and carrier.
- Collecting accurate and complete information from the applicant to present to the market, enabling a quicker and more efficient quoting process.
- Negotiating with life insurance carriers to obtain the most favorable policy terms for applicants.
- Providing expert assistance to professionals who want to place life insurance with clients but who are not licensed to facilitate the sale on their own, for example, financial advisors without insurance licenses.
Without someone specifically trained to perform the role of life insurance case manager, other insurance professionals within an agency, brokerage, or BGA will have to take on parts of the case manager duties. Most insurance agencies know it’s not in anyone’s best interest to have producers acting as case managers when their talents would be better served focusing on selling policies.
License compliance for life insurance case managers
With all these benefits, it appears that life insurance case managers are yet another unsung hero of the insurance industry.
For anyone who manages license compliance, whether that includes a cohort of life insurance case managers or any other type of licensed insurance professional, see how AgentSync can help automate and streamline compliance in all 50 states.