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Final Expense Sales vs Traditional Life Insurance Sales

Final Expense Life Insurance Sales vs Term Life

Final Expense Sales vs Traditional Life Insurance Sales

Final expense sales is completely different than traditional life insurance sales. They don’t even come close in any comparison. I’m not just talking about one product being permanent and the other being temporary. One of the main differences is the quality of available leads for each market. Another difference is the renewals. Then there’s the target market! In this article “final expense sales vs traditional life insurance sales”, you will learn the difference between both markets so you can decide for yourself what life insurance products to sell. It’s important to understand the following.

Term Life Insurance Sales

The Dave Ramsey objection

Final Expense Sales

Universal Life Insurance

Burial Insurance vs Traditional Life Insurance

How leads are generated for different markets

How to sell final expense insurance

Mortgage Protection Insurance

My Bias to Final Expense Sales

Final Expense Leads vs Life Insurance Leads

It's easy to generate final expense leads

When it comes to leads, final expense sales is probably the easiest market to generate lots of leads in. At least, for less money than traditional life insurance sales! It’s very common for leads to be resold over and over. If you’re buying leads for a few dollars each, you are definitely working shared leads. As far as I’m concerned, it makes much more sense to work fresh leads that are never resold over pooled life insurance leads. There is a huge cost difference though. You see, the reason traditional life insurance leads are resold and pooled is because they are expensive to generate. The typical life insurance leads costs over $50-$85  each. It doesn’t matter if it’s generated online or as direct mail leads. The cost of final expense leads is a lot less, on average, as they are easier to generate.

This is partially why I target the final expense market over other more traditional life insurance sales and have done so for years. You see, we are able to generate final expense Facebook leads and final expense telemarketing leads for under $20 each. The national average for direct mail is around $30. It’s important to understand that the verbiage on all final expense leads is different. The clearer the verbiage is about buying final expense life insurance, the higher the cost of the leads are. This is why you will rarely see final expense direct mail leads or final expense Facebook leads that say, “affordable life insurance” on them. This type of clear verbiage tends to turn off the typical final expense sales market. Interesting enough, we actually have this type of verbiage available to all of our contracted agents.

Who is Dave Ramsey speaking to?

Dave Ramsey is not speaking to our clients

Sometimes you have to laugh. Unfortunately, as a life insurance agent I do get people that tell me how they hear Dave Ramsey say this and that. In my opinion this financial adviser missed the mark with 2 of his opinions. The first is his opinion on final expense sales vs traditional life insurance sales like term life or universal life insurance. He will tell you that whole life insurance is a bad investment. Buy term and invest the rest. Here’s the problem. The final expense market that I target, already missed the boat on this. They worked their whole lives and didn’t have extra money to invest. Therefore, they are now on a fixed social security income. At this point in time, these folks are only interested in making sure their family has money for their funeral. It’s too late for term insurance as they do not want to outlive that.

This may be a little off topic but since we are speaking about Dave Ramsey, I want to bring up his views on credit cards. Mr Ramsey will tell you that “he does not believe in credit cards at all and doesn’t see any reason for them”. Let’s assume most people are not responsible with credit cards like Dave says. Most people are not responsible with drugs so does he feel the same about medication? Look, I spend thousands and thousands of dollars running a business each month. Most of that spending goes on credit cards. We pay off my credit cards each month and have not paid a single penny on interest in over 10 years. Personally, I have gotten over $5,000 back this year, from using credit cards and am taking advantage of the miles and rewards received from credit card use. Credit cards make me money.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life Insurance builds lots of cash value

When we talk about final expense sales vs traditional life insurance sales, universal life insurance has to come in to play. UL is a more complex type of life insurance than term life insurance or whole life insurance. The typical universal life policy has more than just a face amount or death benefit. They tend to build large amounts of cash value at a fixed or guaranteed interest rate. The cash that accumulates in the policy can actually be used later and is tax deferred. One of if not the biggest advantages of a universal life policy is that they tend to be flexible. You can often change the face amount of the policy along with the monthly premium. So with universal life insurance, you have a life insurance policy that has investment options attached. This is a lot different than term life insurance and final expense life insurance.

It is important to have a strong understanding of how the universal life insurance policy works before just buying one as they are not for most people. These polices are all different and accumulate money in different ways. They are also the most expensive type of life insurance and are not marketed like final expense sales or traditional life insurance sales. Indexed universal life insurance policies are also very popular. This type of life insurance tends to follow the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq and are even more flexible. They usually have a maximum cap on the cash accumulation along with a base “floor” with a guaranteed interest rate attached. Again, these type of life insurance policies are not for most people. I find the universal life insurance products to be good for someone with a large cash flow who needs flexibility with their life insurance.

Mortgage Protection Sales

Selling final expense over traditional life insurance

There are a couple of things that I love about mortgage protection sales. When someone purchases a mortgage, it’s usually a good idea for them to insure it. You see, the need is very obvious. Let’s assume you have a couple running the house. It doesn’t matter if they both work or if they have children. If one of them dies, everything in that house will change and in most cases, there won’t be enough income to pay off the mortgage. This is why mortgage protection sales is so popular. These folks are usually responsible so they work. They are intelligent. As long as they don’t have insurance at work and can afford to pay for insurance, they are usually a fairly easy sale. At least if you’re a good salesperson. As far as final expense sales vs traditional life insurance sales, this is more of a traditional sale.

When someone purchases a mortgage, their information goes into a county database that can usually be purchased at the courthouse. Insurance companies and mortgage protection sales insurance marketing organizations buy these updated lists on a monthly and even weekly basis. These life insurance companies will send the prospects a card in the mail offering the insurance. When someone fills out the card you have your lead. This is awesome. There is nothing like having a prospect write their information down on a card and send it back to your office. When you call, they know exactly what you’re calling for. The direct mail lead is the strongest lead in the mortgage protection sales industry. Well, it’s not as good as a referral but you get the idea!

Final Expense Sales vs Traditional Life Insurance Sales – Marketing

Marketing Final Expense Insurance vs Traditional Life Insurance

With any type of product, some marketing works and some marketing doesn’t. It’s important to use the most cost effective and efficient type of marketing for each product. With final expense sales and traditional life insurance sales, they are both marketed differently. One of the things that I hear in common are the radio commercials. It’s all about the price. I love the Big Lou commercials that mention a monthly cost for a large amount of insurance. With final expense insurance sales, you often hear the term “pennies a day”. A good salesperson’s job is to take this lead and turn it into a sale. In most cases nothing is costing $9 a day or pennies a day. It’s up to the salesperson to build rapport and get the prospect to verbally acknowledge the need for the insurance. They must bring value to the equation.

We know that direct mail leads are great for targeting both final expense sales and mortgage protection sales. Final expense Facebook leads work great but mortgage protection leads are hard to generate through Facebook ads. The mortgage protection market and annuity markets are easy to target online, just not great for Facebook! As a final expense agent and a mortgage protection sales agent, it’s important to have the ability to target my markets. That’s why I love leads. Leads are always going to be available for purchase in both markets and in the annuity market. We’re generating more final expense Facebook leads than ever. I have agents working 40-50 Facebook leads every week and making more money than they’ve ever made in their lives. It’s all about the marketing.

The Final Expense Agent

Final Expense Agents

One of the things that I love about being a final expense agent is that our typical prospect is easier to sell than traditional life insurance sales. With final expense sales, the prospects are low income seniors. The folks tend to be pretty easy going for the most part. They’re usually laid back and it’s easy to build rapport with them. Whether you’re working final expense direct mail leads or final expense Facebook leads, it’s important to get good at calling to set appointments. I suggest calling through your stack of 50+ leads about 8-10 times a day. As many times as it takes to book your field days up. If you spend 3 days in the field and 3 days on the phone, you should be pretty busy. At least if you have leads coming in every single week. I recommend getting 30+ new leads a week.

During your office/phone days, you send up applications and check on your business. You service your clients and dial through your leads over and over again. On your field days you want to hit your appointments and knock on doors between appointments. If the prospect tells you off on the phone, you go door knock that lead a week later. Either way, I suggest you never toss a lead until they’ve thrown you off the property or buy the insurance. If you’re doing it right, you’re spending 9-12 hours working on your field days and 9-12 hours making phone calls during your office days. The more you work, the more money you make.

Final Expense Agents Carriers


When I compare final expense sales vs traditional life insurance sales, it’s easy to notice that final expense products are easier to get approved. The underwriting on final expense is a lot easier than with term life insurance sales or universal life insurance sales. Remember, final expense insurance is designed for older people with not so perfect health. With most final expense products you make the sale, do a phone interview while you’re with the prospect, and get the approval immediately. I like to write carriers that don’t require the phone interview. These carriers are pretty much all going to do a prescription background check and a medical information database check. With companies like Transamerica and Security National Life, I make sure to get the field underwriting right and don’t do a POS interview.

Field underwriting is pretty easy with final expense sales. It does take some time getting used to though. You need to make sure you know what medications the prospect is taking and what they are taking it for. You also need to know how long they’ve been taking each medication along with the timeline of any health incidents or occurrences. If the client had a stroke, you need to know when it happened. Some of the final expense carriers will consider the medications the client is taking a maintenance medication. So if the stroke or heart attack happened 2 years ago or longer, and they are still taking blood thinners or heart pills, this might not be considered a treatment. That means the carrier will give the client first day coverage with certain ailments that might otherwise be considered a knock out or graded product.

Insurance Sales Success

Selling final expense life insurance successfully

No matter how you slice it, life insurance sales is not for everyone. Whether we’re talking about traditional life insurance sales, final expense sales, mortgage protection sales, or annuity sales! Successful sales professionals have a certain something that most people don’t have. It all comes down to several things including a strong work ethic. There are a lot of moving parts of the life insurance industry. It also takes a certain personality type. Some are very smooth and clever. Some life insurance agents are just super pushy. They don’t give up until they’re kicked out of the prospects house or make the sale. Activity level is super important too. No matter what you sell, you have to stay active. You have to speak with a lot of people and you have to make a lot of presentations. More presentations mean more sales.

Patience in our industry is important too. It takes time to build rapport as the prospect has to trust you. Some agents do this during a one sit close. That would be me. Other final expense agents or life insurance agents build rapport through repeated contact. We have agents that sell final expense and other life insurance products by calling the client to sell them over the phone. They make contact and do a presentation. If they can’t do a one call close, they try not to be too pushy so they can call back a second time. By the third or fourth conversation, they will finally make the sale. No matter what, the most important thing for final expense success or success at any type of sales, is that you must never give up. The more persistent you are at learning and selling, the sooner you see success.


Douglas Massi

Douglas Massi has written more than $400,000 of AP in a single year. Accolades include Top Agent 2014 5 Star, Top Producer 2015 Security National Life, Top Producer 2016 Security National Life, Top Producer 2017 Security National Life