Founding Director Jeremy Cole celebrates 26 years as an Insurance Adviser this month. Whew! Over that time so much has changed, but certain truths have remained. He shares his insights.
Jeremy Cole started out his career as a life insurance adviser in 1990 – fresh-faced and excited to be working for himself. Our team have quizzed him on those 26 years and what truths he’s learnt along the way.
Q. How did you decide to pursue a career as a life insurance adviser?
Jeremy: It was my brother actually, who’d been an agent for National Mutual for 10 years. He was encouraging me on-and-off for a couple of years, until I finally decided to start take the first step. I went through 3-4 months of training then started as an agent for National Mutual.
Q. What was a pivotal moment?
Jeremy: 1990 was a big year for us. I threw in my full time sales job in Palmerston North and was starting out on my own as an agent. My wife Gail and I had just had our first baby, sold our home and shifted our lives back home to Hastings. Fair to say it was a challenge!
For Cole Murray a pivotal moment was meeting Mike Murray in 1997 – he was a full time mortgage broker then. We started working together, realised we had a commonality and grew it from there. Our industry continues to evolve – we can never become complacent! The future looks bright, particularly with financial planning enabling us to take a holistic approach to helping clients.
Q. Who is a person that you considered a role model early on?
Jeremy: As a young insurance adviser it was my Agency Manager Peter Standish, who was my mentor through National Mutual. He really helped and was a source of some good advice – he is a very successful man.
Q. What is your most memorable insurance claim?
Easily the $2 million dollar life & disability claim that I facilitated for a client – to my knowledge it was the biggest disability claim the insurer had paid out at the time. It took me 15 months to convince this client that he needed to complete the insurance application – I really had to chase him and he thought he wouldn’t need it. I was relieved that he finally did, because a few years later he became permanently disabled, and eventually passed away. We were able to have him made as comfortable as possible in those last years, and secure a million dollar payout for his widow.
It is being able to help, that makes it for me.
– Jeremy in 1990, as a fresh-faced Life Insurance Adviser. He hasn’t changed a bit, except the hair-do!
Q. What are the highlights/things you’ve noticed along the way?
Jeremy: The industry is so different now. When I started we were insurance agents working for one provider. Now we are life insurance advisers with no affiliations to any particular provider. And there are vastly more products available in the market now. There’s so much more to offer clients.
In general I think life is no harder now for young people than it was for us – despite house prices – it’s still all about setting the goals!
Q. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be disciplined, ethical, committed and never give up!!
Looking back I have learnt you need to look after yourself in all ways – the usual eat well, sleep well, drink water and put your shoes on for a run – but also keep learning and reading – your education and development is never finished.
Got questions of your own?
Ask our team of experienced advisers about anything financial.