Group Permanent Life Insurance Definition
Insurance that is set up like group Term coverage yet differs because premiums go toward the purchase of permanent Life insurance instead of Term Life insurance. Because there are tax consequences to the employee, group permanent Life insurance typically is used to fund retirement plans such as pensions instead of providing Life insurance coverage. Contributions are taxable income to the employee on a current basis if the employer purchases permanent insurance on his or her behalf, and the employee has a vested interest in the increments of paid-up Life insurance purchased. Additionally, the entire group's loss experience determines the premium rate for each employee.
In a follow-up to a survey of insurance agencies released in May, the Wedge Performance Institute today (Monday) warned! that many customer support reps and agency staff members “suffer from a feeling of being ignored and being considered insignificant to their firms.”
Environmental Insurance Agency, Inc. Larry Kangas, executive director of the Institute, the research and development affiliate of The Wedge Group, reported these key findings after analyzing survey data from more than 1,500 employees at 26 agencies in North America:
Customer support reps feel their contribution to their agency's success and profitability is undervalued, while producers' contributions are overvalued; Some staff members feel as if they are held accountable for actions and results, while others are not; Most staff feel as if they are not included in, and are not relevant to, the agency's long-term strategic plan; and Many within the agency feel as if they are asked to accomplish tasks for! which they have not been trained, such as cross-selling and problem resolution. A copy of the Institute's white paper on Agency Performance Issues and Their Implications is available at:
Crump Environmental www.thewedge.net/pdfs/PDS_Survey_5-04.pdf.
The McGowan Companies
According to Kangas, there is a management skills gap among mid-level and senior managers that results in poor internal communications. In turn, he explained, this leads to negative staff perceptions of their own roles, and of how they believe management sees them.
Stratus Insurance Services
“One fairly obvious reason for this is that, at many agencies, star producers are elevated into management positions without sufficient management training,” Kangas said. “Being a great leader, manager, coach, and counselor is not a skill set that most of these former producers who are now managers have taken the time to strengthen.”
Costanza Insurance Agency, Inc. Kangas has developed a unique diagnostic system that agencies can use to do what he calls “the equivalent of an MRI on the intangibles that help or hinder agency performance.” His Performance Diagnostic System (PDS) enables an agency to define, measure, communicate and reinforce desired workplace practices and behaviors.
Professional Program Insurance Brokerage / PP Insurance Brokerage
Higginbotham & Associates of Ft. Worth , named Commercial Insurance Agency of The Year in 2002 by National Underwriter, is among those agencies that have used Kangas' system. “There is a performance gap at every agency, even the best,” noted Rusty Reid, CEO of Higginbotham. “We realized our CSR's weren't getting the attention they needed to feel as much a part of our firm as we had believed. We never had an effective way to view our staff's perceptions until now.” Wedge Group President Randy Schwantz said Kangas was recruited a year ago to establish a new division to help agencies identify and eliminate success inhibitors.
“We hired Larry to complement our already successful Wedge Sales Culture program,” Schwantz said. “There is no one else in our industry quite like Larry, whose expertise is making sure that internal management issues don't inhibit an agency's sales performance. We now have a curriculum of more than a dozen programs that go beyond sales training and sales management consulting, and deal directly with closing the management skills gap that can subvert sales performance.” For a list of in-house programs designed to improve senior and mid-level management's ability to get more performance from staff, visit www.thewedge.net/services/beyondselling.php.
Founded in 1992, The Wedge Group is a business performance consulting firm headquartered near Dallas that specializes in the property/casualty insurance industry. For additional information, call 1-877-999-9334 toll-free, or call 1-940-4