Three things to ponder in the early days of spring…
Attending the annual meeting of the National Association of Fraternal Insurance Counselors (NAFIC) last week only reinforced my long-held belief that the greatest advocates for the fraternal system are the field representatives that sell and service your members. For all intents and purposes, they ARE the fraternal – at least in the minds of their clients. The really good ones – the type that attend the NAFIC annual meeting – understand and embrace their dual role of financial planner and community organizer. If the Alliance is going to expand its grassroots capabilities, increasing the engagement of field representatives in advocacy initiatives – from recruiting co-sponsors for our Congressional Resolutions to contacting state legislators about our fraternal solvency proposals – will be the most critical component of this effort.
I don’t think the need for outstanding field representatives will ever vanish entirely, but it is certainly going to change. Every industry conference I’ve attended over the last 18 months has featured one or more presentations on “Direct to Consumer” marketing. And while this transformation may take place sooner for the increasingly commoditized auto and homeowners markets, it is going to impact life insurance whether we like it or not. From my perspective, bringing new members in with the purchase of a simple term life policy through an online door should be embraced by fraternals and their field representatives. These individuals have shown that they see the value in purchasing life insurance and understand the values of purchasing it from a fraternal. The next step in the process – in which field representatives will play the key role – is to help them plan their financial journey and engage them in the society’s community service activities. Click HERE to read the interview with DTC life insurance pioneer Jamie Hale of Ladder to see how this transformative business model may affect your organization.
The “good old boys club” may be a thing of the past in California, at least when it comes to corporate boards of directors. A new state law requires publicly traded firms to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. The law does not apply to fraternals, but it wouldn’t matter if it did. Women are well represented on the boards of both California-domiciled Alliance members – Luso-American Financial and the Portuguese Fraternal Society of America.