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Someone You Should Know: Jill Larsen
Jill Larsen started in client services at The Bensman Group nine years ago, not long after graduating from Illinois State University. Now she is Underwriting Manager-Life Department, which means that she helps new clients through the underwriting process for life, disability and long-term care insurance.
Most of the applicants are seeking life insurance coverage. Jill does the preliminary work of getting and evaluating medical records, and then she works to find the best carrier for each applicant. Most applications are fairly straightforward, but occasionally an application can be more challenging -- for example, because of medical issues of the applicant or the amount of the coverage, among other things. That is when Jill’s matchmaking skills become very important.
“The carriers are the ones who actually make the final decision” about whether and how to underwrite and price a policy, she says. “I just try to figure out what carrier is most appropriate and help them make the best decision for our client.”
Jill is a member of an NFP Study Group, which includes people in similar positions at other agencies around the country that, like Bensman, use NFP Advisor Services, LLC as their broker-dealer. The group meets by phone once a month to talk about a wide variety of issues, and they usually meet in person a few times a year.
“It’s an excellent resource to have,” she says. “It’s very helpful to have other members of the group as a resource. And it is also good for my personal growth and education.”
Jill also is furthering her personal growth and education by working toward certification by the Academy of Life Underwriting. The certification involves passing four tests, and Jill has passed two of the four so far. She can take only one test a year, so she plans to finish in the next few years.
In addition to working and studying, she is juggling parenthood of a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. Bensman lets her work from home two days a week, and Jill says that makes her life much simpler.
“Flexible scheduling lets me keep close with my family,” she says. “It is absolutely wonderful, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this.”
Jill says that she enjoys her job because “every single day and every single case is different.” She gets particular satisfaction from helping clients use insurance to meet their financial goals.
“There’s always a challenge, and there’s always something new to learn,” she says.
You can reach Jill at 847-572-0804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.