The Benefits of Tracking Commissions for Independent Medicare Agents
Independent agents should be spending the majority of their time in front of prospects and clients – that’s where the money is made! But the reality is there’s a lot of office work involved with maintaining a book of business.
You need to field phone calls, reply to emails, deliver policies, file paperwork, update your CRM, run reports, and track your commissions.
If I lost you at track your commissions, you’re not alone. I’d venture to say most independent insurance agents don’t track their commissions, and that’s a big mistake!
Here are a few important reasons you need to start paying closer attention to those incoming commission checks.
1. You may be missing commissions.
Mistakes happen—it’s as simple as that. Carriers can miss commission payments due to being behind on their payments, the time of year, or from a good old-fashioned mix-up.
If you’re keeping track of the policies you sell and when the commissions for those policies come in, you’ll quickly spot when you haven’t been paid.
And unfortunately, you may be leaving more money on the table than you care to reveal. According to AgencyBloc, some agencies have found tens of thousands of dollars in missed commissions during their first year of using the company’s software.
2. Some of your book may be earning zero commission.
One of our agents out of Indiana did an audit of his book of business, and he found out that 15% of his book was not making any commission.
In Indiana, after six years, most Medicare Supplement carriers give 0% commission. He had no idea how bad it was until he audited his book. That was a huge amount of money!
Even if you’re not in Indiana, most Med Supp carriers in most states drop your commission after six years pretty considerably.
Tracking your commissions isn’t just about finding carriers that missed payments – it may be uncovering business that’s no longer bringing in income. Rewrite that business to help your customer save money and to reset your commission cycle for another six years.
3. Your commission rate may be incorrect.
When you don’t pay much attention to your commission statements, you can miss simple entry errors, such as your commission rate being incorrect.
If you should be getting 21% commission but are only being paid 19% commission, it all adds up.
And if you happen to have any agents working for you and there are commission splits involved, checking for these silly mistakes is even more important.
4. You may be missing bonuses you’ve earned.
Many Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage carriers offer cash bonuses based on production. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a bonus for every issued policy, whereas other times, you need a specific percentage of underwritten business to earn the bonus.
In either case, you need to be tracking what you’ve sold to compare that to what you’re being paid in bonuses.
Sometimes, a single missed app could bump you down a whole pay tier, which could add up to thousands of dollars in missed income.
It’s also important to track bonuses during AEP. Many Medicare Advantage bonuses are not paid until after January 1st to ensure that business stays on the books. In these cases, you could be waiting over four months to be paid on a policy. If you’re not staying on top of it, there’s a chance the carrier isn’t, either.
5. You should be projecting your commissions to monitor growth.
When you’re seeing clients and selling policies, it’s easy to put your head down and never look up. You’re focused on working in your business, which makes it hard to take a step back and work on your business.
Tracking your commissions over time will allow you to make projections and set goals based on how you’re doing.
If you want to grow by 10% next year, you can actually set realistic goals based on how you did the previous year. We all know commissions will vary based on the time of year, so having that historical data is critical.
If you have a massive book of business with hundreds, or even over a thousand clients, it can feel literally impossible to track your commissions. You’re just trying to keep your head above water, and after all, you’re making money, right?
But if 5% of your commissions were missing, what would that do to your bottom line? What if it were 10% of your commissions that were not coming in correctly?
You’ll never know unless you start tracking them.
If you need help with tracking commissions, consider scheduling a demo of the AgencyBloc Commission Module. You may be surprised how easy it can be to start tracking commissions when you have software on your side.
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by Rebekah Parr on Tuesday, February 1, 2022