Why Do We Use Secure Email?

Authors: Chris Long and Dewayne Earwood

At the Milner Group, we have been implementing and enforcing security protocols diligently for years, in an ongoing effort to keep personal information safe for our advisors and their clients. When email was designed in the 1970s, security was largely an afterthought and unfortunately, email has not changed much since then. Personal information can be easily obtained by a ‘Man in the Middle’, who is spying on the communications as they are shared across the internet. Encryption of this private material is the best way to prevent you and your clients from being targeted by these criminals.

PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

Personally Identifiable Information, or PII, is information that can be tied to any individual’s account number. Criminals can use this information to hack into these accounts for the ultimate goal of obtaining items such as social security numbers, names, and dates of birth. This information is also valuable for resale on the black market for identity theft.

Medical Information (HIPAA and PHI)

Medical information is required to be kept private based on HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws. Criminals will use this information to blackmail people with potential embarrassing medical information or fraudulent insurance claims, to obtain prescription medications, and to advance identity theft. Information in this category will give criminals the most money on the black market, which makes it the most targeted information on the internet.

Bank Account and Routing Numbers

Financial institutions are required under the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, to control the way in which they share information related to personal financial information. Access to an individual’s financial information can grant criminals the ability to simply transfer money out of someone’s account to an offshore account completely draining their financial resources.

Trust is the most important aspect of the client/agent relationship. That trust needs to start with the assurance that all of a client’s confidential information is safe and out of the hands of criminals. The Milner Group will continue to ensure that the best security measures are taken and that confidential information remains just that, confidential.

Annuity – Industry Updates

March 1, 2021 – What is your current Long Term Care strategy?  There might be a new approach that brings more advantages and more choices with Annuities with Global Atlantic Forecare. Click Here to Find Out More

January 4, 2021Milner Introduces New Online Annuity Platform Firelight! Click Here to Find Out More

January 1, 2021 – American National New Training Requirements for Annuity Sales:

Newly Revised NAIC DOL Fiduciary Model 
The NAIC recently revised the DOL fiduciary model to establish a framework for an enhanced standard of conduct that is more than the model’s current suitability standard but not a fiduciary standard. Separately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a proposed rule package in May 2018, which included Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). The SEC finalized Reg BI in June 2019. The final Reg BI establishes a best interest standard of conduct for broker-dealers beyond the existing suitability obligation that applies to federally registered variable annuities.

► Current list of states that have adopted the revised model  
Effective January 1, 2021 the Following Training Is Required to Sell Annuities With American National: American National Annuity Product Training  Newly Appointed producers must take the IMG All-Encompassing Course located in your Learning Plan on 1/1/2021. Existing Producers who have already taken the IMG All-Encompassing Course satisfy the requirement with the review of the content in this email. Continuing Education Training  For producers in states that have adopted the Revised Model and have already taken the previous suitability model:

Producers who have already completed the original training requirement before January 1, 2021 must complete either a new one-time 4-hour course or an additional one-time 1-hour course before July 1, 2021.
  For producers in states that have adopted the Revised Model and have NOT already taken the previous suitability model:

Producers who have not taken the original training requirement before January 1, 2021 must complete the new one-time 4-hour course before selling annuities. Find the 1-hour and 4-hour CE courses on the RegEd website under the state you are licensed.  
Go to RegEd Website

August 12, 2020 – North American has released a great piece on how agents can better incorporate fixed index annuities into their toolbox. Included are testimonies from high-level producers and other simple tips that can help an agent increase their fixed annuity sales.  CLICK HERE to see the full piece. If you have any questions about how to better use FIA options with your clients, please feel free to reach out to Chris directly!
800.926.9206 x 132 / chris@milnergroup.com

July 8, 2020 – KKR is set to acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group. Click Here For Full Press Release.

July 6, 2020 – North American Agent Loyalty Program is in Effect!
North American’s Exclusive Producers Connection is in effect for the rest of 2020.
You can earn anywhere from 0.50% to 1.50% additional compensation for
FIA production until 12/31/2020, and it is retroactive! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
For help, contact Milner Annuity Director, Chris Long at: 800.926.9206 x 132 / chris@milnergroup.com

June 10, 2020 – North American MYGA rate special change with deadline of June 16th. For MYGA change details Click Here.

June 8, 2020 – We have added Oceanview to our rate sheet and they have taken the top spot in the 3 and 5 year MYGA options.

June 2, 2020 Fidelity National Financial completes the acquisition of Fidelity & Guarantee.

May 26, 2020Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) has big news. Effective June 2, 2020, they’re increasing the Protected Income Value (PIV) premium bonuses on their top two selling fixed index annuities (FIAs): The Allianz 222® Annuity PIV premium bonus1 will increase from 10% to 15%. The Allianz Benefit ControlSM Annuity PIV premium2 bonus will increase from 6% to 10%

May 21, 2020 North American’s Versa Choice has introduced an enhanced participation rate of 200% on the two-year point-to-point (Fidelity Multifactor Yield 5% ER) and a 140% participation rate on the annual point-to-point (Fidelity Multifactor Yield 5% ER).

May 13, 2020 – F&G announcing rate increase effective May 18th! Click Here for Details.

May 7, 2020 – North American has increased premium bonuses on their Charter Plus 10 and 14 starting May 12th! Contact Chris Long for details at chris@milnergroup.com

May 4, 2020AIG announces they have opened up the ability to submit e-applications!   A faster and easier way to submit an application – The FireLight order entry platform is now available for select AIG Annuities on our Connext producer portal. Applications can now be submitted faster with a more streamlined and less complicated process. 
Products available include:  American Pathway® SolutionsMYG, American Pathway VisionMYG, Power Series of Index Annuities, Power Index 7® New York For details contact Chris Long at 770-558-8904 or by e-mail at chris@milnergroup.com

April 29, 2020 – Milner Group update with good news! For first time since the start of the quarantine, March 16th, 2020, all our carrier rates held steady on the multi-year guarantee annuities. This is a sign of positive things to come as carriers start to open up more opportunities on their fixed annuities. For details on the current state of the fixed annuity market and what options are available please reach out to Chris Long at 770-558-8904

April 15, 2020Equitrust is offering a 1% Commission Increase for a limited time on Index Annuities, ChoiceFour Annuity and Single Premium Life Products. No threshold, no hurdle, no waiting period. Based on application-received date, beginning April 15, 2020 and through June 1, 2020. Commission increase excludes Certainty Select and Confidence Income Annuities. They are also offering rate increases on all their annuity products.

April 13, 2020Lincoln is suspending sales on their Lincoln Lifetime Income Edge 2.0 and I4Life rider options on their FIAs starting on 4/13/2020.  Please reach out to Chris Long at chris@milnergroup.com to learn more about some great alternative FIA income rider options.

Life – Industry Updates

3.1.2021 – Protective Life has released their latest rate update for the Classic Choice Term NY products including the additional 35 and 40 year products. Please note that this update only affected the NY products. All other states remain unaffected. Please contact a member of the Milner Sales Team if you should need assistance with quoting these products. 800.926.9206 x 2000 / Sales@milnergroup.com

2.22.2021 – Prudential has released their latest rate update for the Term Elite and Term Essential products. Please note: All states have approved this update except DE and GU which will continue quoting the older products.Please contact a member of the Milner Sales Team if you should need assistance with quoting these products. 800.926.9206 x 2000 / Sales@milnergroup.com

1.28.2021 – John Hancock has increased the minimum face amount for all of their Protection Term, and Vitality Term products has been changed to $750,000.

1.18.2021 – American General has released their latest rate update for the Select-A-Term products. Please contact a member of the Milner Sales Team if you should need assistance with quoting these products. 800.926.9206 x 2000 / Sales@milnergroup.com

1.11.2021 – Principal announces Important life insurance product updates: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

1.11.2020 – Lincoln LifeLife Elements and Term Accel updated: Life Elements Rate Update — Lincoln has released their latest rate update for the LifeElements products. Please note that this update was for all states except AR, MA, MD, MO, NY OR, PA. The unapproved states will continue to quote the older product rates. TermAccel Rate Update— Lincoln has released their latest rate update for the TermAccel products. Please note that this update was for all states except AR, MA, MD, MO, OR, PA. The unapproved states will continue to quote the older product rates.

1.11.2021 – Pacific Life: Promise GUL Data Update — The maximum face amount for the Pacific Life Promise GUL products has been increased to $5,000,000.

1.11.2021 – Protective: Classic Choice Term Rate Update — Protective has released their latest rate update for the Classic Choice Term products.

1.6.2021 – Banner/William Penn (LG America) has released updated rates for the Banner & William Penn OPTerm products. Contact your Milner Agent Relationship Manager should you need assistance with quoting these products. 800.926.9206 x 2000 / Sales@milnergroup.com

1.1.2021 – Popular Rider Return with Transamerica – Effective 1/1/2021, Transamerica has resumed accepting applications with Long Term Care (LTC) and Living Benefit Riders (LBRs) for insures age 56 to 75, subject to normal underwriting requirements*

* All IN-FLIGHT cases, or those not yet issued, will be eligible to add LBRs/LTC riders up to the time of issue with underwriter approval.

Click Here for Transamerica Underwriting Options, Procedures and FAQ

12.31.2020 – Symetra has discontinued the sale of their UL-G product effective close of business, December 31, 2020

12.14.2020 – Protective Life set a maximum premium of $500,000 on both their Lifetime Assurance UL product and their Advantage Choice UL products.

12.7.2020Nationwide CareMatters® II Product Update
 Nationwide is committed to carefully managing their life product portfolio to remain a strong, stable carrier you can rely on.  To keep this commitment – and in response to the sustained low-interest rate environment and regulatory updates – Nationwide will implement pricing updates to Nationwide CareMatters II. This is a change to premiums and Guaranteed Cash Value tables only. There are no changes to the product structure, contract language, forms, or types of benefits provided. There is no change to in-force policies because of this update.

 Product Changes – Nationwide took a surgical approach in determining premium changes to ensure they remain competitive in their target market. Within their target market, ages 40 to 65, Nationwide chose to remain very competitive on multi-pay premium policies, specifically those with 3% compound inflation protection.
 Effective January 11, 2021, for new business within their target market,
you can expect the following premium increases, on average:

 3% Compound                                                   No Inflation

 – Single Pay: 8%                                                          – Single Pay: 11%

 – Multi Pays: 11%                                                          – Multi Pays: 16%

**Couple, Nontobacco, Minimum Refund of Premium with Maximum LTC Benefit option** Premium changes outside of their target market will vary based on the characteristics of your case. They have also increased the Guaranteed Cash Value tables as a part of this product update.
 For new business, you can expect the following increases to
Guaranteed Cash Value tables, on average:

Policy Year 20           Policy Year 25         Policy Year 30
 –> 8%                             –> 6%                            –> 4%
 Increases will also vary by age and underwriting class. While current interest rates and economic conditions necessitate these changes, Nationwide is committed to offering competitive long-term care solutions for you and your clients.

Click Here for Nationwide Transition Guidelines For additional assistance, contact Kandi Williams at 800.926.9206 x 110 / kandi@milnergroup.com

10.19.2020 – Prudential releases new rates for their VUL Protector® product. Click Here for announcement and transition rules.

10.19.2020 – Protective’s Protective Advantage Choice UL 10-20 update. On Monday, October 19th, Protective released their Protective Advantage Choice UL 10-20, replacing their Protective Advantage Choice UL 12-19 product. On Wednesday, October 21st, rates were made available on the LifeTrends website.  An overview analysis is forthcoming. Click Here for transition rules.

10.8.2020 – Banner and William Penn announce New Term Rates! Give your clients the option to purchase simple, straightforward protection that can cover them into retirement and beyond. Our competitive, guaranteed level term OPTerm series comes in durations of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years! Click Here for Details

9.29.2020 – John Hancock released a new version of their accumulation specific indexed universal life (IUL) offering, the Accumulation IUL 20. This release primarily aims at bringing it into compliance with Actuarial Guideline (AG) 49-A1 , and they are the second company to explicitly do so. Illustrated performance is curbed back by significant levels with this update; however, their multiplier allocations continue to be available (see below for more info). It currently lands generally towards the middle or back of the pack as one of the first multiplier products to move into regulation compliance. We expect this market will see product positioning shift as more accumulation IULs move to AG 49-A. Read entire OVERVIEW. (Source for information – LifeTrends)

9.28.2020 – Prudential Announces LifeInsight – Even More Products Offered
We are continuing to enhance LifeInsight with the addition of innovative tools and products! Our most recent product addition is the refreshed Index Advantage UL. For more about LifeInsight and its differentiated capabilities, please reach out to your local Prudential wholesaler.

Click here →

8.12.2020 – Good News from Lincoln sharing Product and Underwriting Changes!

8.11.2020 – Banner/William Penn – OPTerm Rate Update!— LG America has released their latest rate update for the Banner/William Penn OPTerm products.

Sagicor – Sage Term Rate Update!— Sagicor has released their latest rate update for the Sage Term products.

7.22.2020 – Prudential released new rates for their PruLife® SVUL Protector(2020). Click Here to learn more.

7.21.2020 – Lincoln increases rates on LifeGuarantee SUL! Click Here to learn more.

7.20.2020 – Prudential Annouces 30yr term is back! Click Here to learn more.

7.6.2020 – Prudential has announced changes to both their product portfolio as well as their retention limit (see below), but we have you covered with the best solutions when you need them the most!
PruLife® Universal Protector Effective July 13, 2020, Prudential will be suspending new sales of PruLife Universal Protector.  
Learn more →
Solutions to consider:
  Prudential ‘s Founders Plus UL – With the Prudential’s expiring GUL would be the Prudential Founders Plus UL as it allows for lifetime guarantees as well as potential accumulation and is customizable to fit individual clients’ needs for either focus.
Learn More About Founders Plus UL Here
Prudential ‘s VUL Protector -This VUL provides cost-effective death benefit protection with a meaningful No-Lapse Guarantee and the potential for cash value accumulation. 
Learn More About VUL Protector Here
      Retention Limits Are Changing Effective July 7, is changing their maximum retention limit to $10 million on single and survivorship life insurance.
Learn more →

6.15.2020 – Lincoln Financial suspends their Table Reduction Program.

6.15.2020 – Securian Financial announces Pricing Update to SecureCare Universal Life/ LTC. Click here for details and transition rules.

6.15.2020 – Lincoln Financial MoneyGuard announcement: Given the industry’s historically low interest rate environment, and that insurance products with guarantees tend to be more sensitive to macroeconomic trends, Lincoln is making prudent and responsible business decisions to adjust the pricing of our products.

6.2.2020 – Principal announces permanent product price increase!

6.1.2020 – American National Signature GUL Reprice announced: Click here for details and transition rules.

5.21.2020 – Price Increase – North American announced permanent product price increase today.

5.11.2020 – AIG annouces rate increase nationwide –Secure Lifetime GUL 3 Effective May 30, 2020, premiums on Secure Lifetime GUL 3 (issued by AGL and USL) will see an increase as the result of recent declines in interest rates and increased market volatility. At AGL and USL, we are committed to providing competitive, attractive guaranteed life insurance products to your clients. Rate Changes Guaranteed premium to increase on average 15% varying by age and payment duration.
Differentiating Features
• Guaranteed Return of Premium: Built-in, no cost option to receive
50% end of year 20 or 100% end of year 25
• Partial withdrawal capability feature
• Optional Accelerated Access Solution® for chronic illness coverage
up to $3 million of client’s base policy
• Optional Lifestyle Income Solution ® that provides a guaranteed
income by accelerating the death benefit

Transition Rules
Paper Applications
New GUL rates are effective May 30, 2020.
Applications received on or after May 30, 2020 will receive the new rates.
• Starting 4:00 PM CDT on May 29, 2020 only the new rates will be available in WinFlex.
To receive the old rates, applications must be received on or before May 29, 2020.
• Reissue requests will not be honored. AG Quick Ticket
• New GUL rates are effective May 30, 2020.
Applications submitted via Quick Ticket by May 29, 2020 will receive the old rates if AIG receives the
application in good order by June 15, 2020.
Applications submitted via Quick Ticket by May 29, 2020 will receive the new rates if AIG receives the application in good order after June 15, 2020.
• Applications submitted to AIG via Quick Ticket on or after May 30, 2020 will automatically receive the new rates.
• Reissue Requests will not be honored.

5.11.2020 – Lincoln Announces Price Increase on Perm Product! Lock In Lower Rates For Your Clients Now!Pricing Update – Lincoln LifeGuarantee® UL (2019) – 05/11/20
Effective May 11, 2020, Lincoln is announcing pricing updates on Lincoln LifeGuarantee® UL (2019).  Lincoln LifeGuarantee® UL (2019) – 05/11/20 will replace Lincoln LifeGuarantee® UL (2019) – 11/11/19 for all states that are approved at rollout.

Pricing Changes
The following pricing updates apply:
• Premiums have increased 20% on average 3
• Target premiums have increased to be aligned with updated lifetime level premiums

Transition Guidelines
All states are automatically approved at rollout with the exception of New York (where the product is not currently available).

Transition period begins on May 11, 2020 and ends on May 22, 2020.

For the old product, formal applications must be signed, dated and received in-good-order in Lincoln’s home office by the end of the transition period to qualify.
For LincXpress® Tele-App Cases, a complete ticket and required solicitation forms must be received in Lincoln’s home office by the end of the transition period to qualify.
For pending business or policies already issued, Lincoln will accept a written request and a revised illustration to change to the Lincoln LifeGuarantee® UL (2019) – 05/11/20
• For policies already placed, normal internal replacement guidelines apply. Rewrites will not be allowed.
For cases with the owner listed as “Trust to be Established”, formal applications received in the Home Office by the end of the transition period and have been signed by the insured will still qualify as awaiting a trust to be set up is part of the normal course of business. The only paperwork that Lincoln will not require at submission is the executed Certification of Trustee Powers with the trustee/owner’s signature. It must be received prior to issue.
For formal applications that expire prior to Issue or have been closed out, a new Part I must be submitted, and the case will be subject to the rates available at that time.

Click here to view the Universal Life state availability.

5.4.2020 – AIG announces Select-a-Term updates: NEW, IMPROVED RATES! As of May 4, 2020 all bands of Select-a-Term just got even more competitive nationwide.

5.1.2020 – Effective May 4, 2020, Pacific Life is introducing premium increases for PL Promise GUL¹, a universal life insurance product with no-lapse guarantees. Premium increases reflect the continued low interest rate environment. Despite these changes, PL Promise GUL remains competitive for a wide variety of consumer combinations and still includes top rankings especially at low face amounts and age 90 guarantees. 

4.30.2020 – Prudential annouces IMPORTANT updates to their PruFast Track accelerated underwriting process! THey are increasing the face amount limit from $1million to $3 million… AND eleminating the medical exam and lab requirements, where possible for applicants 60 or younger for $3 million or less in face amount coverage!!

Click here for the announcement

4.29.2020 – Zurich announced the luanch of their NEW Survivor IUL April 13th. Highlights include: Competitive- Strong for both cash accumulation and death benefit sales – Extended Guarantees: Optional death benefit guarantee up to age 90 – Convert two Terms: Opportunity to convert Zurich Term into Survivor IUL.

Click here for the announcement

4.22.2020 – Protective Life introduces their new Assurance UL Product. Click link below for details.

4.21.2020 – Nationwide re-prices CareMatters II. Click link below for details and transition rules.

4.13.2020 – Prudential provides product, rate, and caps change details. Click link below for details and transition rules

Common Life Insurance Underwriting Myths

We are helping to offer underwriting insight to insurance agent by explaining today's most common life Insurance underwriting myths
Today’s Most Common Life Insurance Underwriting Myths Explained

As life insurance carriers continue to navigate through the COVID-19 environment, underwriting teams are evaluating guidelines constantly. Carriers and General Agencies are working together to exchange innovative ideas that offer new levels of digital underwriting solutions, continued affordable products, and ultimately give a peace of mind and protection to countless Americans.

Even with all the underwriting advancement done over the last few months, we are hearing from advisors who say their clients continue to have common life insurance underwriting misconceptions that are keeping them from applying for life insurance.

let’s demystify most common life insurance underwriting Myths most advisors are seeing:

~ MYTH: I’m taking blood pressure and or cholesterol medications. This will keep me from getting the best rate.

TRUTH: Someone with well-controlled blood pressure and/or cholesterol — regardless of whether medication is taken — may qualify for up to best class rates.

~ MYTH: I’ve had diabetes for about 20 years now. I will be declined for life insurance.

TRUTH: Most diabetics are insurable and can obtain very reasonable rates. Your client’s age, age at onset, along with the degree of diabetic control, medical compliance, and presence of complications will help determine insurability.

~ MYTH: Because I had cancer, I’m uninsurable.

TRUTH: Not all cancers are uninsurable. In fact, some clients with cancer history are approved for Standard or better rates! Your client’s age, age at onset, type of cancer, stage, and prognosis are all considered. Just because your client has had cancer does not automatically mean that he/she will not qualify for life insurance.

~ MYTH: I had a heart attack; I will not qualify for life insurance.

TRUTH: There’s typically a postpone period (6 months) then, depending on age, overall health, and the cause of the heart attack, there’s a very good possibility that your client is insurable.

~ MYTH: Most pilots are uninsurable.

TRUTH: Standard rates for student pilots and up to Select Preferred rates for experienced pilots with IFR (assuming they qualify otherwise) are available.   

Having someone on your side who knows how to navigate underwriting is key so that your client’s opportunity to get life insurance isn’t lost forever.

For more underwriting information, please contact a member of our team:

800.926.9206 x 2001 / Undewriting@milnergroup.com

We deliver over 100+ years of combined experience and are renowned for our legacy of deep expertise and personal- responsive service.

Covering Guaranteed Expenses

Author: Milner Annuity Director, Chris Long

The primary purpose of an annuity is to generate income for either a set period or for an individual’s (or two individuals’) lifetime. There are many alternative uses for annuities and over the years they have grown to be used effectively for more than their intended purpose, but annuities are still the only financial product that can guarantee a fixed amount for the lifetime of a person. I am asked frequently from agents what the best way to use an annuity to generate income is.

There are two ways for us to solve what an annuity can provide in income for a client.
The first way (which is most requested) is to illustrate what a client’s total retirement savings would generate in income for the desired time. This will show the client what the maximum income amount is that can be generated using their retirement savings. This will simply represent the highest possible guaranteed income for an individual based on the premium they would like to use. The second method, which I have called covering guaranteed expenses, is to determine all the expenses that the client is guaranteed to not outlive: water/power bill, cable, insurance premiums, etc. Once we have added all these expenses together, we work backward to determine what lump sum the client would need to generate lifetime income to cover the agreed-upon guaranteed expenses.

Let us take a look at a quick case study to explain the advantage of covering guaranteed expenses: Jim and his wife, Lucy, have worked hard throughout both of their careers and have managed to save up $500,000 towards their retirement. Jim will be retiring this year at age 65 and they want to know how much income they could create with an annuity that would cover both their lives. Using the first method, their agent shows them an illustration that shows a joint-life $500,000 single premium immediate annuity generating $2,000 in guaranteed monthly income for both of their lives. It seems fair, but Jim and his wife are both wary of placing their entire savings into a product in which they will have no access to the lump sum. In response to this concern, the agent then decides to use the covering guaranteed expenses strategy.

After gathering all the guaranteed lifetime expenses, the agent realizes that the guaranteed income needed to cover these expenses for Jim and Lucy is $1,000 per month. This means the agent can offer them an annuity using only half of their life savings ($250,000) and cover those expenses for the remainder of the clients’ lives. The remaining money can then be used for leisure activities, investing, or use in legacy planning.

The opposition that I receive on this strategy is, “What happens if the client’s savings aren’t enough to cover the guaranteed expenses?” This is an obvious issue, but it is not an issue that is caused by the annuity itself. If the client’s life savings do not cover the expenses in which they know they will not outlive, the client should know of this reality when entering retirement, as opposed to realizing this 10, 15, or 20 years down the road. This situation is an opportunity to work with the client on which goals are most important and what options they have. Options to solve the issue could include a combination of a certain period only immediate annuity that offers an income for a set period while investing the remaining assets into a vehicle more growth-oriented that they can access once a certain period is exhausted.

Annuities are the only product for a client to use a lump sum to generate guaranteed income which they cannot outlive, and the guaranteed expense method helps the client see a structured purpose for the annuity portion of their financial portfolio. Removing annoying and persistent expenses will help a client be more at ease entering retirement, knowing that these inevitable expenses will be taken care of.

To Learn More Contact: Annuity Director, Chris Long 800.926.9206 x 132 Chris@milnergroup.com or Milnergroup.com

Becoming a Virtual Advisor

Author: Milner Group Annuity Director, Chris Long

It goes without saying that the ability to conduct business remotely has become paramount since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Major tech companies like Alphabet Inc, Facebook, Spotify, Salesforce.com Inc, and Slack Technologies are anticipating their employees will be working remotely until 2021, at the earliest, according to a May 16, 2020 blog post from MarketWatch (Swartz, 2020).” Twitter has officially announced that they will likely have employees operating remotely permanently to some capacity.

Working remotely is not a 2020 concept. Many organizations have been constructing the capability for certain departments to work from home over the last decade. Although the stay-at-home orders will eventually be completely lifted and returning to a resemblance of ordinary, everyday life is inevitable, developing the ability to conduct business virtually will remain a vital skill in staying connected to your clients and making sure you are always available to serve them. It may seem like a daunting adjustment, but most agents do not even realize they have been developing these valuable skills over the last few years.

Agents have been scheduling appointments with their clients over the phone, monitoring policy values online through their agent portals and submitting applications electronically for years. The ability to get information to clients, and from the carriers, without any face-to-face to contact has been a normal aspect of an agent’s daily operations. It is reasonable to assume that moving forward, the ability to conduct business virtually as an agent will be a determining factor in gaining an advantage over their competition. After the last two months, clients know that most of the sales process can be done virtually; so moving forward agents will likely be encountering clients that will expect that type of service.

The Milner Group has been working diligently to enhance our online platforms, as well as our mobile application, to help our agents with marketing, case design, contracting, underwriting, new business, customer service, compensation, and much more. We want to make sure that our agents have all the tools available for them to be an effective virtual advisor. We have constructed our new agent onboarding process to be completely remote, so that agents who would like to partner with us can be contracted and ready to write business without ever having to leave their office.

We are embracing the importance of offering a virtual solution to all our agent and client needs. The future is uncertain, maybe more so now than ever. One of the things we take pride in at The Milner Group is our ability to adapt to the current environment and provide our agents with everything they need to succeed. In 1979, we hired computer programmers to design the first brokerage-specific, multi-company application processing system. 41 years later, we are still making efforts to enhance the virtual capabilities of our organization and making sure our agents can assist their clients as effectively and efficiently as possible.


Swartz, J. (2020, May 16). Internet/Online Services. Retrieved from MarketWatch: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/work-from-home-productivity-gain-has-tech-ceos-predicting-many-workers-will-never-come-back-to-the-office-2020-05-15

Agent Event: Prospecting strategies have changed in the world of insurance

Join us 10:00am (EDT), Thursday, May 21st as we come together to discuss the art of prospecting after the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act aka the CARES Act.  Our featured speaker will be providing valuable prospecting insight and information that you will not want to miss.

At The Milner Group, we value relationships.
Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business!



Possible Benefits that Could be Available to You with the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a.k.a. the CARES Act, is a law developed to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.A.

With time being of the essence and limited relief available, we felt it important to provide resources to as many of our valued professional partners as possible.

We encourage you to review the resources we’ve compiled to find information regarding the stimulus bill and how you could get the relief and benefits possibly needed for your business during this national challenge.

Our goal is to share information that may be helpful, however, you should contact your CPA and/or SBA-approved lenders for guidance to determine whether one of these time-sensitive options may be right for you and your business.

We’re here to support you so please do not hesitate to reach out to Milner Group Director of Agent Relations, Matt Carter, should you have further questions. Matt can be reached via email at mattc@milnergroup.com or by phone 770.558.8910.

CARES Act – Reference guide

Review of Benefits for Small Business and Independent Contractors

NAILBA PowerPoint and presentation

Recorded Webinar

Slide Deck

Useful information on the PPP, Emergency Economic Injury Grant (EEIG), etc. that a small business (insurance agency) might qualify for.

AALU/GAMA PowerPoint and presentation (both available to the public)

Recorded webinar

Slide Deck

Provides info and eight examples of small businesses on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  This presentation includes info about sole proprietor/independent contractor options (example 4).

CARES Act Assistance for Small Businesses 

Additional Resources For Review

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act – from Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

PPP Calculator – Provided by SBA to help in figuring out what your business can apply for.

State-Specific Resources


  • Guidance from GA DOL website on filing for unemployment, mandatory filing by employers for partial claims, and reemployment service.

Do your clients understand the impact of COVID-19 and/or The CARES Act?

Staying in touch with clients matters––especially in this unprecedented time of world crisis. The $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package presents an opportunity to reach out to them to help ensure they’re aware of the benefits it created for individuals and businesses.

Use the below CARES Act flyer  from Prudential to spark conversations with them. The Act may hold provisions that are critical to their financial wellness and, for those who are business owners, their livelihoods.
Access CARES Act Flyer from Prudential Here

   At The Milner Group, we value relationships and want to thank you for the opportunity to earn your business!

Contact Us For Help Today!

Prudential Announces Expansion In PruFast Track Parameters

During Tough Times, We’re Making Things Easier
During these uncertain times, Prudential remains committed to making it as easy as possible for you to continue to build your business and ensure clients have access to the life insurance coverage they need.

That’s why we’re introducing two important updates to PruFast Track, our accelerated underwriting process.
For a limited time, we are:
Increasing the face amount limit of eligible policies from $1 million to $3 million. Eliminating the medical exam and lab requirements, where possible, for applicants age 60 or younger, applying for $3 million or less in face amount coverage.

These changes represent an opportunity for you to deliver life insurance solutions to more clients in a way that may not have been possible before. So if you’ve been on the fence about PruFast Track, now’s the time to give it a try. Simply eSubmit* your next life insurance application and Prudential will take care of the rest.
Learn More About PruFast Track