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6 Tips for Cross-Selling Life Insurance to Clients

October 19, 2022

Life insurance can make a big difference to your clients and their family members. Clients want to buy life insurance from someone they know and trust, so make sure you ask.

Without the proper amount of life insurance, households can suffer a significant financial impact from losing a primary wage earner. The emotional trauma experienced from losing a loved one is more than enough to handle without the financial impact also weighing on mourners.

Cross-selling life insurance is also great for your business. Your agency could see increased client retention and revenue as a response. As you already know, revenue grows with the improved retention that helps you keep more auto and home premiums.

To help increase your life insurance sales, licensed life insurance agents can use these tips to learn more about cross-selling insurance policies.

1. Engage your non-life licensed Customer Service Representatives

  • The strategy at a glance:
    • While customer service representatives (CSRs) can’t discuss life insurance with customers, non-life-licensed CSRs can help identify customers who have a life insurance need. CSRs and staff members who interact with customers when they visit or call your office may be able to help gather basic information and pass that on to a life-licensed agent for review and follow-up
  • To put your plan in place:
    • Encourage non-licensed CSRs and staff members to ask every customer who comes into the office to fill out fact-finding forms so you have the most current information1
    • Thank customers for taking the time to fill out the forms and let them know that someone may follow up with them
    • Pass the completed forms to a life-licensed professional for review and follow-up2
    • Tip: Consider offering a reward to the staff member who turns in the most completed forms3

2. Bring up life insurance in every conversation

  • The strategy at a glance:
    • Develop the habit of cross-selling by mentioning life insurance and its benefits to every customer and prospect, and encourage staff members to work life insurance into every conversation
  • Choose conversation starters that suit you and use them as you talk with customers:
    • “Do we handle your life insurance here, or do you have a policy with another agency?”
    • “By the way, when does your life insurance expire?”
    • “When’s the last time our agency reviewed your life insurance coverage?”
    • “Once we have your [auto/homeowner] policy quote, let me give you a quick proposal for life insurance to see what kind of price we can get you.”
    • “It only takes a few minutes for me to generate a life insurance quote to give you an idea of cost. Can I run one for you?”
    • “I want to be sure we take the time to talk about the most important policy my agency offers: It’s the policy that helps protect your family’s future.”
    • “As a part of our agency’s commitment to your family, we want to make sure they are protected if something ever happened to you.”
    • If you have a brief real-life story about life insurance, consider telling it to your customer: “Ever since XXXX happened to my XXXX, I’m committed to making sure that I at least offer life insurance to all of my customers. Can I run a quick quote for you to see what you’d be looking at in terms of a monthly cost?”
  • Share these conversation starters with non-licensed staff members:
    • “Do you have a plan in place to handle unexpected financial challenges? If not, we have an agent who can help you get started. Would you be interested in setting up an appointment with (life-licensed staff member’s name) to find out more?”
    • “If something happens to you or your spouse, would you like a way to pay off your car loan and mortgage? If this is a concern and you do not have a plan, may I recommend setting up an appointment with (life-licensed staff member’s name)? Is it OK if I have him/her call you to set something up?”
    • “I know you’re in a hurry now, but I’d like to ask that you’ll let [life-licensed staff member’s name] review your life insurance coverage. It’s important to me that we take the time to do that for our customers.”
    • “Before I forget, [life-licensed staff member’s name] would like to talk with you about your life insurance — it will only take a few minutes, but it’s a service we feel strongly about providing.”

3. Discuss life insurance during a P&C (property & casualty insurance) sale

  • The strategy at a glance:
    • Make a quick and easy transition to a discussion about life insurance in the course of quoting or submitting P&C business
  • To put your plan in place:
    • Ask the customer if they would like to put life insurance protection in place today along with their P&C policy

4. Follow up with new customers

  • The strategy at a glance:
    • Contact new customers shortly after their P&C policies are set up. It’s a natural opportunity to thank them for their business and answer questions that may have come up, as well as bring up life insurance in a low-key way
  • Using the life insurance sales script below to help with the conversation, ask if you could meet for a complimentary, no-obligation life insurance review:
    • “Thank you again for allowing us to help you protect your family. You know, as a full-service agency, we can help you with all of your insurance needs.”
    • “When was the last time you reviewed your life insurance needs?”
    • “We offer no-obligation life insurance reviews, which many of our customers appreciate. Would [date/time] be convenient for you to meet?”

5. Give customers a quick life insurance quote4

  • The strategy at a glance:
    • Offer customers a quick idea of how much life insurance may cost. A fast quote helps educate customers on their options, and many people have no idea how much life insurance might cost them.
    • Tip: Many customers prefer the monthly premium made since payments may be more manageable. In these cases, be sure to quote an accurate monthly modal premium—it’s not necessarily the annual premium divided by 12.

6. Focus on specialized topics/programs to help drive the conversation

  • Annual policy reviews: An excellent way to maintain regular contact with your customers
    • By taking the time to review their coverage, you can make sure that it’s right for their situation and remind them of your personalized service and concern for their best interests
    • Target audience:
      • Existing P&C customers who don’t have life insurance through you or your agency
      • Existing customers who have life insurance — through you or through someone else — who have recently experienced life events like marriage, a new child or a new home
  • Mortgage payoff: Life insurance may help surviving family members to stay in their home in the event of an unexpected death
    • Customers don’t hesitate to insure their home against loss; in addition to helping them protect the material goods in their life, you can help them plan for their family’s well-being for years to come
    • Target audience:
      • New and existing homeowners
  • Term conversion: A term conversion allows customers to convert their term policies into permanent life insurance
    • Term insurance provides valuable, basic protection, but premiums can increase significantly at the end of the term and potentially leave people without coverage
  • Life events: The events that happen in everyone’s lives give you a great opportunity to stay in touch with your customers
    • Common life events can lead to the need for more life insurance; maintaining contact with your customers shows your concern for their well-being, deepens your relationship with them and can even lead to referrals.

We hope you and your agency find these tips and strategies helpful as you continue to protect people, businesses, and futures with extraordinary care.



    All protections and guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

    Be sure to choose a product that meets long-term life insurance needs, especially if personal situations change — for example, marriage, birth of a child or job promotion. Weigh the costs of the policy and understand that life insurance has fees and charges that vary with sex, health, age and tobacco use. Riders that customize a policy to fit individual needs usually carry an additional charge.

    Products are issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company or Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio.

    Nationwide, Nationwide Financial Network, Nationwide is on your side, the Nationwide N and Eagle and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2022 Nationwide

  • 1

    Consider consulting your agency’s attorney to determine the permissible functions of a non-licensed CSR as this may be considered the unlawful solicitation of insurance by a non-licensed CSR in some states; depending upon the content of the form. This is an issue that should be discussed with your agency attorney.

  • 2

    Ensure that they have permission to contact the potential client.

  • 3

    This could also lead to regulatory violations for paying a non-licensed individual for the sale, solicitation and negotiation of insurance.  Again, this is something the agency should discuss with their attorney to set up an appropriate process.

  • 4

    If appropriate licenses are in place.