Answer Financial Reviews | Glassdoor

Find your next job here

Answer Financial Reviews

Updated December 4, 2017
156 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.8
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Answer Financial President and CEO Rob Slingerland
Rob Slingerland
93 Ratings

156 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • If you keep your sales at a certain level, you can work from home (in 16 reviews)

  • I am making more money than before, have the work/life balance that I always wanted and am always motivated to make money (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • comp plan makes income inconsistant (in 13 reviews)

  • Employees have to pay for parking out of their paycheck (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "On phone all day answering calls trying to sell insurance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insurance Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Insurance Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people that I worked with are awesome! They were like a family; they would do anything for each other!

    Cons

    It was very hard to earn any commission and it felt like I was just on the phone constantly, 10 hours a day, not selling a thing!

    Advice to Management

    Make it easier to earn commission!


  2. Helpful (9)

    "An Honest Review of Answer Financial"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Background re: Applying and Interviewing

    I originally applied for the Internal Sales Position at Answer Financial’s Knoxville office in early June. After waiting a couple of days, I received a telephone call from one of their recruiters. After speaking with her, she requested that I come in for an in-person interview with the Sales Directors. This interview was scheduled for approximately a week later. Upon arriving at AFI’s offices, I was put through a three-panel interview: Panel 1 was a 1-on-1 with the Recruiter, Panel 2 was a 3-on-1 with members of the Sales Floor Management Team, and Panel 3 was an interview with the Sales Directors. From an inquisitive perspective, these interviews do a good job of allowing the AFI team to assess your likelihood of fitting into their “Five Star Sales” process. Out of the three panels, the Sales Directors’ panel was far and away the most important. In this panel, I was asked questions related to my ability to overcome objections and my likelihood to drive sales irrespective of the customer’s unique circumstances. It was in this panel that I was introduced to the two teams working within the Knoxville sales center - (a) Insurance Answer Center (Standard Customers) and (b) Right Answer Insurance Agency (Non-Standard / High Risk Customers). I was then informed that should I receive an offer, I would be working in the Right Answer division. Upon first glance, I didn’t think much of it. As a younger guy just out of professional school, I needed a job and $15 an hour (+ commission) sounded pretty great when compared to the Knoxville job market. The day following my interview, I received a call from Sales Director. As usual, she was incredibly kind and offered me the position. I couldn’t have been more excited to start work approximately one month later. However, little did I know what I was getting myself into upon accepting the position.

    Cons

    Background re: Training

    Somewhere around the second week in July, I arrived back at AFI’s Knoxville office for a day of orientation and meetings with the Licensing Coordinators. It was here that I basically signed my privacy rights away and granted AFI complete access to my background. As an ethical and honest guy, I don’t have anything to hide! If you do, you should probably stop reading and realize that Answer Financial can, will, and does examine basically every element of your life - personal, financial, and academic. This is incredibly important as most states have extremely high standards for individuals to meet for licensing.

    On the following day, I began AFI’s highly regarded six to eight week training process. Here, under typical circumstances, you sit in a classroom for eight hours a day while a guy that many consider to be one of the most arrogant and egotistical individuals known to man lectures you about insurance. However, my training cohort was largely excluded from AFI’s conventional training method and was placed to study on our own depending upon a widely distributed, externally produced Property and Casualty License Online Course and Manual. To be honest, if it hadn’t been for this divine intervention, I would have likely walked away after a week of dealing with their training manager. Upon completing the online program, my cohort was sent to a external testing center in West Knoxville to take our property and casualty licensing exams. As a lifelong student, I was able to successfully complete and pass both exams within forty-five minutes.

    Following passage, you are then relegated to the training classroom and sales lab environment where you learn about AFI’s proprietary rater systems and the various carriers that you will likely be appointed to write new business with. A word to the wise: If you believe that the training environment does a good job of preparing you for the mess that you are about to encounter when released to the Sales Floor, you are greatly mistaken!

    Background re: Release to the Floor / Sales

    As a Sales Agent, you are expected to meet various metrics (goals). These metrics are often established using monthly, weekly, and daily sales figures, Additionally, you are expected to meet goals set by your individual sales manager. If you are anything like me and are fortunate to be assigned to a particularly arrogant and pushy Sales Manager, you will find that these goals will often change throughout the day! As times, it seems as though her guidance changes as frequently as the wind’s direction. Accordingly, you must be able to adapt to change and to adapt often!

    As an agent in the Right Answer division, you are expected to sale a lackluster product to the less than desired type of customer. In this regard, these are the customers that companies such as Allstate, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual wouldn’t touch with the proverbial ten-foot pole due to their driving histories, criminal charges such as DUI/DWI/Vehicular Homicide/Manslaughter/etc. As you will find, while a few of the companies that you are able to write with are well-known such as Dairyland Auto, you will find that more often than not, your customers have never heard of the companies returning the lowest rate for them. In states like Georgia and South Carolina, you will find that the only rates returning within AFI’s rater are paid-in-full. For customers like those in the Right Answer division, they are living paycheck to paycheck and are unable to afford $4,000 dollars paid-in-full. Additionally, these customers are the type that purchase insurance today for court-required proof of insurance only to call back and cancel it tomorrow once they have resolved whatever mess that they have gotten themselves into. Additionally, you are required to sale a value-added product to the customer. This fee can range significantly depending on your discretion and the customer’s previous purchase history. As most customers know or are quickly finding out from their friends and a simple Google search, this fee is largely arbitrary and can be refunded by AFI’s Policyholder Services division. When this happens, you can kiss any type of a bonus that you might have made goodbye.

    As for leads, you will find that many leads are cold-transfers. This means that the customer will be transferred from one of AFI’s many affinity partners and will often times have no clue that they have been transferred to another company. Often times, the customer will disconnect the call out of frustration or personal time constraints. Please be advised that these leads will count against you in the overall calculation of your sales and productivity rankings.

    A Note re: Benefits

    As an AFI team member, you are eligible for day-one benefits! However, you will soon discover that the health insurance options are high-deductible products and most employees find them incredibly expensive if they have a spouse and/or family on their policies. Additionally, paid time off and personal leave are accumulated fairly quickly. However, be careful not to exercise this leave during training or you may receive a written counseling form (write-up). As you will find out should you exercise this option, a physician’s note will not suffice and this absence will be counted against you. Proceed carefully with this topic as it is very peculiar and largely unenforced for some individuals while excessively enforced for others.

    Conclusion

    Overall, employment with Answer Financial’s Knoxville office is a mixed bag. On one hand, you are able to make $15 an hour for your services - if you can place your sense of independence and morality aside and capitalize on the customer’s downtrodden characteristics. On the other hand, you are working for a company that demands nothing less than your absolute compliance with expectations and standards that are largely ill-conceived and do nothing more than undermine your credibility with the customer.

    Regardless of your decision, I wish for nothing but the best for you! I know how difficult it can be obtaining a job in the Knoxville area and often times, you have to take what you can get. However, Answer Financial is likely one of the most aggravating and dehumanizing environments that I can imagine for anyone looking to launch a career. As you press forward, keep these words in mind: “Turn your failures into lessons, your obstacles into opportunities, your tragedies into triumphs, and in no time you will turn your dreams into reality. - Matshona Dhilwayo”

    Advice to Management

    As discovered during my tenure with Answer Financial, management has largely dismissed the concept of constructive criticism.

  3. "Fabulous place to work!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Right Answer Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Right Answer Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Answer Financial full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Paid training, laid back environment, phenomenal agent support. The directors and managers alike treat everyone with respect and understanding. Every new Insurance agent comes into their career scared, nervous and unsure. The management as well as the staff are extremely welcoming and caring when it comes to learning and developing in the Insurance business! From the newest agent to the directors and other management, everyone makes you feel like part of their family from day one. The level of help and support can not be compared to ANY place I have ever worked! To top all that off, Holidays are celebrated like no other company I have been a part of. It is a very special place to me.

    Cons

    I can not think of one downside to being in the Knoxville location except maybe that if you try to find an unhappy face...you can't. There is really no negative things to say at all.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing! Answer is the place I have always looked for in my career yet I didn't know that until you guys gave me the opportunity! The approach you guys all take to growing oneself not only as an agent, but as an individual really changes lives. Inspiration to become better at your craft as well as to become better as a person means a lot when you are new and trying find your place in a career. I am very blessed to be part of the Answer Financial family.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "DEMMING'S THEORY OF SALES PRODUCTION"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Knoxville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Frequent lunches, parties, etc Worked with the greatest group of associates.

    Cons

    Manger's view of individual changes according to current production. "What have you done for me lately?" Short term management style. Manager's took ample vacation, personal time, sick leave, etc. However, sales associates rarely took time away from cube farm. Burn out among sales force was - many out on FMLA or disability - was rampant.

    Advice to Management

    Read and study at least one of Demmings (Father of modern sales/production management) books.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Sales Agent – Your soul gets destroyed piece by piece. You feel like a slave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Agent
    Current Employee - Sales Agent
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Answer Financial full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are very few Pro’s in this place; the only good thing is that they can sometimes be flexible with scheduling when needed so you attend to personal things

    Cons

    I cannot think of a worse place to work these days but unfortunately for some we have to as we need to put food on the table and pay bills. Many years ago AFI was a great place to work where you felt that you were family and you were all (every person from senior management to IT to agents) working together to make AFI a great company by selling insurance with the customers best interests in mind, we were very well paid, AFI had solid lead sources so customers were mostly happy to be talking to you, Senior management was open and was willing to share information with those who took an interest, management was very flexible with breaks and allowed you take your lunch and breaks when it was best for you within reason and one would feel that management really wanted to bring out the best in you and everyone else in the company. In addition it was really a fun place to work there were regular fun incentives run. Many felt that AFI was one of the best places to work. These days it is exactly the opposite, you just go to work and you feel that you are on your own “little island” and every man for himself, it is so stressful that you try make as much money as you can which ends up for the majority very little, your manager works you as hard as they can so that they can make their goals and money and so it goes up the “ladder”, for the majority they really struggle to make a living as the compensation has changed so much and is setup in such a way that agents can no longer do what’s best for the customers or what the customers want rather we have do what AFI wants in order to make a living or keep our jobs….. These days we are made to feel like we are slaves and just workers, just doing our jobs to make management achieve their goals, we just get worked as hard as possible and get paid as little as possible for our efforts. We don’t matter to management as long as we make sales that’s all that counts. Management really does not want hear from agents and have an attitude, you get paid for what you do and your reward for good sales is keeping your job. You have to work very odd schedules, if you one of the lucky few that have a good shift like 8AM to 5PM, your breaks and lunch breaks are always rotating so you can never get used to a routine and if you don’t follow your break schedules your manager gets into trouble and hence you also get into trouble.
    For lead sources these days, you get everyone else’s junk, the majority of leads come from other insurance companies who have rejected the customer for whatever reason and end up being transferred to you without even knowing that they have been transferred to you, so the customer s are usually angry and hence allot of the calls are unpleasant.
     Regarding breaks no flexibility - These days literally every move is monitored, how long you are on calls, how long you are off the phone, when you go to break/lunch, when you come to work and when you leave.
    These days the incentives are an absolute joke, they may have an Incentive where they will pay you an extra $2 per sale of a particular company and type of product, so at the end of the month you may find an extra $26 in your pay heck, then tax is deducted so you end up with $18
    Management are very secretive and only give you enough information to do your job, if you have a complaint and you ask to see reports forget about it, hence you are denied information. Management boasts that everyone has the same calls and opportunities so if this was true there should be nothing to hide
    The turnover of employees is huge; many employees end up on stress leave due to all the demands put on you.
    If you struggle as an agent, it is always the agents fault, your manager will always keep telling that you are no good and keep on telling you are no good until you lose all your confidence and eventually feel worthless and what is even worse is that you begin to believe that you are worthless.
    One area where AFI management is great at is managing people out, if they don't want you or like you they will make your life so miserable that you leave.
    So to sum up, you get worked as hard as possible feel like a slave and by the time your manager is finished telling you are no good constantly your soul is destroyed.
    Do yourself a favor; unless you are desperate don’t work at AFI

    Advice to Management

    Wake up


  6. "Insurance sales agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Encino, CA
    Current Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Encino, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Answer Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working from home is awesome saves you time and money.
    Incoming calls from buyers instead of calling out.
    No cold calling
    Leads through partners

    Cons

    Paying for Parking out of pockets.
    Health benefits are not good although a discount is giving we are still responsible for a large majority.
    Environment keeps declining

    Advice to Management

    Be more strict with employees don’t turn the other way because of your commissions, don’t socialize with your team members outside of work, they will loose respect for you.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Some of the worst years of my life."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Encino, CA
    Former Employee - Insurance Sales Agent in Encino, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was able to pay some of my bills.

    Cons

    I was not able to pay all my bills.
    Literally hated going to work everyday.
    Do yourself a favor do not work here.
    No disrespect to anyone there, but wow, there was a HUGEEEEEEE misconnect with upper management and staff.

    Advice to Management

    Get replaced.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Agent in Chattanooga, TN
    Former Employee - Sales Agent in Chattanooga, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits and competitive hourly pay, autonomy, and flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Bonus structure did not fairly pay the worth or value of sales that were made for the company, and it was justified by a higher hourly rate. The future of the company was nebulous, and massive layoffs were taking place.

    Advice to Management

    Show the agents you value them with compensation, not just words.; back it up with actions.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Sales Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time

    Pros

    Answer is a solid company. This is a great paying sales company with good benefits. You are provided leads and if you follow a solid sales process will be successful.

    Cons

    There are limited opportunites for upward mobility. They tend to hire outside talent rather than trying to develop inside talent.

    Advice to Management

    Look for ways to open more opportunities.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Horrible place to work if you are over 50"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Sales Agent in Knoxville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Answer Financial full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you are under 40 they actually seem to care more about your success. Not so muh for those over 50.....

    Cons

    Over age 50 employees treated much differently from younger employees...given the worst states and the worst clients. Most of my customers lived in housing projects so I did get to learn alot about government housing and housing authorities.. My 2nd manager-a good guy- actually went to bat for me to upper management to get the horrible que that I was assigned to changed and the director would have none of that. I was given the worst call que after another over 50 employee quit on my team.-they do not give these horrible ques to younger employees. Younger employees are given one on one coaching from seasoned veterans of the company to help sales. I was left to wither like a dead leaf with no help and no one who cared. I had the lowest conversion rate in the company and it was like they wanted me to suffer until I quit. No chance for bonus or holidays off-they go by sales and seniority so if you are at the bottom you will work all holidays. I was treated like a "dog's body" just someone to keep a seat warm and take the garbage calls from welfare dwellers while younger and favored salespeople were given ques with homeowners and other responsible people-they were able to bonus some. Do not apply or work here if you are over 50. Rampant age discrimination. I am actually filing a complaint with EEOC...not so much for the money-doing it to help out any other poor souls over 50 who gets treated as I was. I resigned voluntarily after using up my vacation days. If you give a two weeks notice they escort you out the same day and do not allow you to work the two weeks, They think that you will take the garbage leads with you to your next sales job-are they serious? There top 40 sales wall does not have a single agent over the age of 50. If you want to work for a company that cares nothing about the success of those over 50 be my guest. My blood pressure and depression went through the roof until I had enough. Do not waste your time. My training class had 27 people and a year later over half had quit....that tells you alot about what a horrible place to work this is. If you want to deal with people who lie, don't have any money and live in the projects than this just might be for you. If you want a job that guarantees failure-you might like it as well. Biggest mistake I ever made working here and it was the worst job I ever had in my 40 year work history. I wish I could give this place negative stars! CEO has no idea how bad this place is to work-he has no clue and is so far removed from the garbage I dealt with everyday-he could care less.

    Advice to Management

    Wait until you get the EEOC age discrimination complaint I am writing-maybe you will learn something about how to treat those over 50.


Showing 156 of 158 reviews
Reset Filters