By James Morris, Suitability Specialist
Suitability is the most important aspect of any sale. If you have any doubts, I offer you the following scenario:
After having met with a client or prospect several times over a period of days or weeks, your customer has agreed to purchase a fixed index annuity (FIA). You and the customer complete the application, you ensure that you are appointed correctly and your product training is complete. You may have to submit the application to your broker/dealer (B/D), if applicable, to await approval prior to sending to the carrier. If you are a registered representative and submitted the contract to your B/D, you are informed that it is approved by the B/D.
After several days, you are informed that the contract has been declined due to concerns from the carrier’s suitability department. You are now placed in the awkward situation of explaining to the customer that the carrier will not accept the business. You have wasted your own time and your customer’s with nothing to show for it. Could this entire situation have been avoided with a call to your IMO’s (independent marketing organization’s) suitability department?
All suitability departments are not created equal. Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange’s (AAAE) suitability department achieved the best SCOR* rating across all Allianz Preferred independent marketing organizations (IMOs) in 2016. What that means is that we are at the top of the list in helping you assess and resolve suitability matters in the timeliest manner.
When you call AAAE Suitability to discuss a potential FIA contract, we will gather all the relevant information and provide you with the most likely scenario based on our experience. We will educate you on specific carrier guidelines concerning percentage of annuities relative to net worth, purchase amount relative to net worth, enhanced suitability guidelines when working with seniors, liquidity guidelines, and other nuanced items such as source of premium issues and replacement scenarios.
Please bear in mind that the respective carrier will make the final suitability determination. However, we have the experience and communication channels to provide you with reasonable guidance to help ensure you are not placed in the aforementioned circumstance with your customer. When you are working with an IMO, your goals are product knowledge for your specific client needs and suitability know-how to help protect you and the customer. With so much riding on suitability, you owe it to yourself and your practice to work with the best.
Please give me a call to discuss any suitability questions.
James Morris | Suitability Specialist
Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange
Ph: 800.321.3924 x159 | Dir: 734.786.6159
* SCOR stands for suitability call-out ratio and is an internal scoring metric of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz); the goal is to have the lowest ratio month to month
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