How to Take on an Upset Client in the Insurance Industry

At least once in your sales career, you may meet an insurance client who had a negative experience with another agent, plan, or insurance in general. While these bad experiences were out of your control, you have the ability to make their next experience a positive one!

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When working with a “jaded” client, remember that they still need assistance, and it’s your job to provide it. Follow the tips and tricks laid out in this article so you and your client can have a smooth transition into finding coverage that works for them.

Apologize for Their Poor Experience

If your client opens up to you about their unhappy past, whether they feel like their needs weren’t met, their opinions weren’t heard, or their concerns weren’t validated, you can let them know that you‘re sorry for that experience.

First, let’s look at some statistics. Several studies have found that consumers are hesitant to trust their insurance agents for a variety of reasons. In fact, one study’s results said that only 27 percent of consumers consider insurers to be trustworthy. A second study from Deloitte found that only 11 percent of people have “strong trust” in insurance agents and brokers. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers said that the insurance industry uses wording that is difficult to understand. However, when you dive a little deeper into these studies, you realize they are generalizing insurance agents as an entire group of people. When individuals were asked about their personal insurance agents, the trustworthiness was on a much higher scale.

So what does this mean for you? It’s possible your client’s past agent used too much industry lingo or didn’t take the time to make sure they comprehended their coverage, meaning your client might have some skepticism when it comes to the insurance industry. If you can show them that you are their agent, and not necessarily representative of the industry as a whole, it might help put them at ease. You can also help them feel good about their plan by giving them the Medicare Star Rating and letting them know when and how they can switch plans if they are unsatisfied with their coverage.

Even though the negative experience your client had before you came into the picture wasn’t your fault, apologizing for it is still the polite thing to do. It’s very possible the party at fault never gave them an apology, so you can be the bigger person by listening and validating their feelings, and then telling them you’re sorry. Your clients are sure to appreciate this and hopefully trust you moving forward. A little humility and understanding can go a long way!

Provide Support and Reassurance

Now that your client has you for guidance, you are their go-to person when it comes to their insurance coverage and finding a plan that’s right for them. It’s your job to provide them with information, support, and reassurance. You can’t control how their previous agent handled things, but you can attempt to build trust between yourself and your client.

Let them know that you take your job seriously and that your work means a lot to you. Assure them that you will do your very best to find a plan that meets their needs. Build their confidence in your ability to do your job correctly and assure them that you will do everything you can to make sure that what happened in the past does not happen again. Take this opportunity to turn a not-so-great situation into a positive one, for yourself and your client!

Show, Don’t Just Tell

It’s one thing to tell your clients you’re going to do something, it’s another to follow through with your actions. When your client tells you what their needs are, be sure to actively listen. Your purpose is to find a plan that fits your client’s needs, not to sell the plan that will get you the highest commissions. If you’re not in it for the right reasons, this type of client is especially likely to notice and will be weary of trusting you.

Find out what they want, what they don’t want, and what exactly went wrong in the past. Go over their options in detail and be completely honest about the pros and cons of each. We suggest using Medicareful, our consumer-facing Medicare quote engine, to actually show your client their options. It displays plan options in their area, plan details, and allows for a side-by-side comparison of up to three plans. You can’t be more transparent than that!

Keep Up Your Positive Reputation

The last thing you want is for your client to go to another agent (or their family and friends!) with a horror story of how you didn’t help them. Every once in a while, you may be dealing with a difficult client who’s a challenge to please; however, most clients are good people just trying to find the right coverage — and they’re counting on you to help them. Focusing on getting the clients you currently have to come back to you time and time again will significantly help your business grow in the long run. That’s why is so important to make sure your clients are satisfied at the end of the day. It’s a win-win!


We have an awesome eBook on client retention to help you boost your sales and build client loyalty! Check out The Complete Guide to Client Loyalty and Retention — for free!

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On the off chance you do get a jaded client, take it one step at a time. Patience and understanding are key to helping your client feel at ease. If you can successfully show them that you’re a top-notch insurance agent, you can turn that bad experience into something positive for the both of you.

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