What professions in the community come to mind first when you think of those who are considered trustworthy? Nurses? Teachers? Police officers? Insurance salespeople?
According to Gallup’s 2016 Honesty/Ethics in Professions Survey, nurses, teachers, and police officers rank right up there as being trustworthy. Insurance salespeople don’t do so well. Let’s face it, they really never have. The good news is that they’re not at the bottom of the list; that’s where our elected officials are.
If you think this is an accurate portrayal of insurance salespeople, it’s time to reconsider your perception. Sure, there’s a bad apple in every bunch regardless of profession. But the truth is that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people for almost 20 years. Some amazing life insurance salespeople.
When you ask the vast majority of folks who work in this profession, they’ll tell you they’re in it to help people, and they mean it. Better yet, they do it.
I know agents who have “adopted” families who lost a loved one; while the agent knew the family would be okay financially, they continued to check in regularly long after they delivered a check to ensure everyone was emotionally on solid ground.
I know agents who walk side by side with their clients as they deal with an illness, allowing them to focus on their health rather than their finances thanks to the living benefit riders their clients added on their policies.* One example will be profiled in our upcoming 2016 Annual Report.
And I know agents who live our own National Life values of Do good. Be good. Make good. They not only help their clients, they also help countless others in their communities. They have causes dear to their hearts and to recognize those efforts, for going above and beyond, we created the National Life Group Agent Do Good Award.
We had 95 nominations for the award. Not bad for our first year! Recently we awarded two agents with the Agent Do Good Award for their service to their communities. They each received a check for $7,500 that was donated to their nonprofit from the National Life Group Foundation. They also received the accolades they so deserved.
Carey Yukich is the co-founder of TrueWealth Advising in Crown Point, Indiana, and was the first agent to whom we presented the award. She and her husband John run the successful agency with a dedicated team that helps serve their clients. They all do much more, though.
Carey got involved with Meals on Wheels NW Indiana (MOW) a few years ago. Since then, she’s volunteered in many ways: delivering meals, as emergency call driver, with fundraising, on the development committee and more. She even inspired the rest of her agency to help, too. For example, John is on the “Grasshopper Crew,” which helps maintain the grounds at MOW, meaning the nonprofit can use the money they save on landscaping to help more people.
When we surprised Carey and showed up in her office with the donation and folks from MOW, she was overwhelmed with gratitude. The relationship her office and MOW has is genuine and evident. And her dedication to her cause and her profession came down to six simple words when we asked why she does what she does: “I just want to help people.”
Mark Serra was the second agent we presented the other Agent Do Good Award to. Mark has been a successful agent for years, helping his clients in the Clearwater, Florida, area protect their families. One family that was upended, though, was his own.
Mark’s son Matthew was a champion swimmer. After an injury, Matt was sidelined and prescribed Oxycodone for his pain. He developed an addiction to prescription drugs, one that eventually took his life. He was only 21 years old.
Five months after Matt’s death in 2009, Mark and his wife Laurie co-founded NOPE of Pinellas County, (Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education). Mark has dedicated countless hours to NOPE to ensure that tens of thousands of students understand that addiction or even one night of experimentation can lead to death, the signs of overdose, how important it is to call 911, seeking help for the individual showing any signs of overdose, and emphasizing how every choice made can impact the rest of your life.
We’re extremely proud of the work both Carey and Mark do not only for their clients but for their communities. The same can also be said for so many other agents we do business with. These are the trustworthy agents who will help change the misperception of insurance salespeople, one positive example at a time.
In photo above, Laurie and Mark Serra, center, stand with members of the NOPE of Pinellas County board.
* Living Benefits are provided by no additional premium Accelerated Benefit Riders. These riders allow a policy holder to access their death benefit while living in the event of a qualifying illness or injury. Payment of Accelerated Benefits will reduce the Cash Value and Death Benefit otherwise payable under the policy. Receipt of Accelerated Benefits may be a taxable event, may affect your eligibility for public assistance programs, and may reduce or eliminate other policy and rider benefits. Please consult your personal tax advisor to determine the tax status of any benefits paid under this rider and with social service agencies concerning how receipt of such a payment will affect you. Riders are supplemental benefits that can be added to a life insurance policy and are not suitable unless you also have a need for life insurance. Riders are optional, may require additional premium and may not be available in all states or on all products. This is not a solicitation of any specific insurance policy.
Carey Yukich is a Registered Representative of, and securities are offered solely by Equity Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 2560 Foxfield Rd., Suite 250, Saint Charles, IL 60174. 630-513-9588. Equity Services, Inc., is a Broker/Dealer affiliate of National Life Insurance Company. TrueWealth Advising Group, John Yukich, and all other entities and individuals are independent of Equity Services, Inc.