L&H Salesmen Are A Dying Breed


It’s common knowledge in the insurance world that there is a serous demographic issue among producers. The average age of an agent or broker, according to industry statistics, is pushing 60 years old.

By Bill Coffin – 11 November 2014

A recent LIMRA survey pegged the average life & health producer at 56 years old, while a white paper from McKinsey & Co. puts the average of insurance agents at 59 years old.

What’s more, this demographic problem is only growing worse. At the present rate by which the distribution system is aging, and given how many producers are likely to retire  or otherwise leave the industry over the next 10 years, the industry needs to bring in 60,000 new agents and brokers every single year just to maintain the current size of the distribution system. Given that industry recruiting is nowhere near those numbers, and given the extraordinarily high washout rate of new producers (as low as 10% make it through their first five years, regardless of age), it does not take an advanced degree in statistics to see that the insurance business is facing a significant change in manpower in the not-too-distant future unless things change drastically, and immediately.


Editor’s Note: L&H salesmen have many products to sell to fill a multitude of needs. Take simplified issued life insurance, for example.

Simplified Issue means that there is no blood test or long questionnaire to fill out.   4 simple questions and your basic information is all that is needed to give you a quote and submit your application.  Easy. 

These policies can be sold via list bill to employer groups through published rates:

Rate Example 

Age $10,000 $25,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000
30-34 7.64 13.10 22.21 27.77 33.33
35-39 8.79 15.98 27.96 35.27 42.58
40-44 10.39 19.98 35.96 45.71 55.46
45-49 12.39 24.98 45.96 58.75 71.54
50-54 14.96 31.40 58.79 75.50 92.21
55-59 19.19 41.98 79.96 103.13 126.29
60-64 26.79 60.98 117.96 152.71 187.46
65-69 35.18 81.94 159.88 207.42 254.96
70-74 48.79 115.98 227.96 296.27 364.58
75-79 83.88 203.71 403.42 525.23 647.04

First year commissions can be as high as 90% with renewal commissions at 5%. It doesn’t take long to earn more than a public school teacher just starting out from college.

Here’s the math:

200 policies sold via payroll deduction, average application $35 per month = $75,600 first year commission. A lazy salesman can work two months a year, play golf the remainder of the year while the rest of us work 12 months under supervision.

Another example how agents can earn big bucks – Final Expense Plan

So we wonder, why are there so few young newcomers to the business?