Life Insurance

Confessions Of A Former Life Insurance Agent: Part 3

Kyle Fanthorpe | May 21, 2019

Josh Clark, a former life insurance agent, used to sell life insurance the old-fashioned way. The policies he was pushed to sell involved confusing terms, high costs, and required applicants to complete lots of paperwork. Now, he’s left that all behind. Josh joined Ethos as our Director of Customer Success to help bring the life insurance industry into the digital age.

Josh Clark, Ethos Director of Customer Success

In part three of our interview, Josh tells us what motivated him to join Ethos. You can also find part one and part two here.

Considering How Profitable Being An Agent Must Be, What Made You Decide To Leave?

At traditional carriers, my sales managers were more concerned with hitting their numbers every quarter instead of actually helping our customers. My clients trusted me to help, and I felt torn between the policies I was incentivized to sell and their needs.

For example, one of the co-founders of Ethos, was sold an expensive permanent policy while he was student even though he had no dependents. This is the norm at traditional carriers where sales managers are more interested in hitting their quarterly numbers than finding the policies people actually need. This dilemma kept me up at night, so I knew that I needed a change.

I’ve been interested in insurtech since I first learned about it. I knew adopting emerging technologies that disrupted other industries would eventually do the same to life insurance. Naturally, I wanted to be ahead of the curve.

How Did You Find Ethos?

I started researching companies and found that most were only really innovating in one part of the space—making the application process easier. Ethos caught my eye not only because they were making the process simpler, but they were also invested in making the consumer experience better, too. When Ethos' co-founder, Lingke Wang, shared his story of being upsold by an agent it really resonated with me.

I was a little cautious at first, half expecting the focus on serving customers to be an empty platitude. But after meeting the team, the decision was easy. They care deeply about making life insurance simple, protecting families, and putting customers first.

Is Lingke's Story That Typical?

Lingke’s experience is very common. You see it happen pretty often to new college graduates, especially ones with friends that go into insurance and finance as a profession. They’re sold terrible policies that make absolutely no sense from a cost or need standpoint. Sometimes, years go by before they realize they’re paying for something that isn’t a good fit. Many lapse with nothing to show for their money. That's exactly what happened to Lingke—he lost thousands of dollars on his policy.

This is the kind of insurer I wanted to get away from. I truly believe life insurance can be a one-of-a-kind product when you care about your customers. It’s peace of mind that anyone with people they care for can appreciate.

Let’s End With This—How Do You See Ethos Impacting The Insurance Industry?

By making purchasing life insurance accessible to everyone without incentivizing high-cost policies, Ethos keeps life insurance affordable for families. Because most people think life insurance is just for the wealthy, the ones that could benefit most from it never even consider it as an option. In reality, it’s everyday American families that have the greatest need for life insurance.

It’s exciting to be at Ethos where we’re continuing to innovate and grow. I know my work helps people and I can offer them something better than they can get anywhere else. And the best part is—I’m definitely sleeping better.

If you’ve missed anything, you can find the rest of our conversation with Josh here.

Confessions Of A Former Life Insurance Agent: Part 1

Confessions Of A Former Life Insurance Agent: Part 2