Black lives are called Minorities here in the USA. In truth, the African American population makes up only 13.3% of the total population. However, the status of this minority group has been getting headline features in many media outlets. Americans are being forced to come to terms with some historic trends that are no longer tolerated.
Since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr.; there has been an upswing in public outcry for the condition of African Americans. The conversation is, they feel they have fewer rights and privileges of their white counterparts.
Many whites are agreeing with them and are joining their voices to bring a national call to action for change. This viral Tweet by Rashida Jones is a perfect example of this:
— Rashida Jones (@iamrashidajones) July 7, 2016
Black Lives Statistics
This conversation has also highlighted other plights of the minority African Americans who make up the majority of the prison population, the majority of those at the poverty line, and the majority of those failing to graduate high-school and college.
Since I am an observer of these facts, as an import from Jamaica who has become a Naturalized Citizen of the USA, I can be objective without emotion. As a person of mixed race myself, I intend to use my vantage point to highlight some other less discussed issues that I feel also warrant attention.
With poverty so high, and sudden, early deaths also being high, it seems more African American families should own and hold some form of life insurance coverage urgently.
Most life-insurance Agents are white, middle, and upper-middle class people who prefer not to go into the hood, understandably. When I realized this need, I raised the idea of finding a way to reach this market and my husband said the sale was not worth the risk of my life to venture into certain neighborhoods. While I will agree with this sentiment, it only highlighted the urgency of finding a way to reach this market.
Many Agents of color are also scared to go into the hood because the crime reality is very real, so minority families in the hood are rarely being visited by Agents looking to offer life coverage protection to a group that seems to need it most. If black lives matter, why isn’t the movement and those who serve it, not pushing for this population to own and hold more life insurance. Life insurance is not for the person buying the policy, but for the benefit of the lives that matter who are left behind when they die.
My Solution Attempt
So, I posted Commission Sales positions on job Boards. I was hoping to attract some candidates who live in the hood who would have no problem reaching this market. I interviewed about 15 whose home address would qualify as ‘the hood’. So far, I have only one person who seems to be willing to try to see if they could become an insurance agent.
The others I interviewed backed out of the idea of moving forward to get licensed. The reasons I was offered were:
- They want a job, not commission sales
- They had a criminal background and were not likely to pass the mandatory background check
- They did not feel they had the academic capacity to pass a state-issued exam
- They did not feel they would be well received or have a successful selling experience if they tried to sell insurance to white families
- The did not feel people in the hood had the money to buy any kind of insurance
- They assumed the cost of life insurance options was higher than the rates actually are.
This was a sad list I had accumulated and I finally felt compelled to write this post in hopes of extending my outreach.
Insurance is one of the most valuable strategies for transferring wealth to the next generation. The poverty situation of minorities keeps them thinking about survival now, rather than the future abundance of their children
Minorities that do own coverage have very little beyond covering funeral expenses, leaving the grieving family in a serious situation with the main breadwinner gone. If that family had Special Needs dependents, the situation is even worse for those left behind.
The Life Insurance Career is commission based but very lucrative to be in. Since this career is not a wage offer, minorities who are already struggling financially find it harder to embrace the unpredictability of the insurance income.
I believe insurance products should be offered to all families including the poor minorities living in the crime infested hood. With their lives in constant threat, you would think more families would buy insurance for themselves and their children.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a prospect minority family who hesitated on purchasing coverage because they had other financial priorities. However, they did mention in passing that they probably should buy a policy on their son, because the friends he had, and where they hung out, they feared their son being a statistic of their neighborhood. Interesting. They did not see a need to get coverage on themselves but thought it might be a good idea to get it on their son.
This is a very sad post. The implications of everything I wrote here are worrisome. I am making a strong call to action for those who can easily reach this underserved market, and are willing and able to get an insurance license to connect with me. Consider the schedule flexible, income unlimited field of insurance as a career. Training, encouragement, support and a solid income opportunity await you here.