Million dollar round table, or MDRT is something every life insurance agent should know about and consider joining if your sales activity qualifies.
Below is a full review for those of you who haven’t heard of the Million Dollar Round Table as well as some programs we use to help agents qualify. For those of you looking for an edge on your business, here’s an article from a top 1% advisor in the world on his perspective and phoning language.
What is the Million Dollar Round Table?
The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals. There are 66,000 members in 72 countries from more than 500 of the world’s leading companies.
Founded in 1927, MDRT focuses on networking, education, personal and professional growth, adhering to ethical standards and outstanding client service. Members must meet strict requirements for membership, including satisfying certain levels of production, and must reapply for membership annually to ensure they continue to meet MDRT standards.
MDRT hosts several meetings each year and has a rich depository of materials that members can access for their ongoing professional development. In addition, MDRT operates the MDRT Foundation, a charitable arm that provides funds to worthwhile nonprofits throughout the world ranging from Make-A-Wish International, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army and others.
Marketing Models to Help Qualify for MDRT
There are a lot of different selling systems that can help an agent qualify for MDRT. Below are some of the common selling systems we have seen work great for agents who qualify or are trying to qualify for MDRT.
- Foreign national life insurance with NO NEXUS requirements (Learn More)
- Retirement Seminars (Learn More)
- School Teacher Marketing (Learn More)
- Physician Marketing (Learn More)
- Medicare Seminars (Learn More)
- Cross selling within P&C agencies (Learn More)
Who should apply for MDRT membership?
Agent who aspire for more: full-time insurance and financial services professionals who are serious about advancing their career, making more money, growing their personal and professional network, and who want to be around supportive and like-minded individuals.
What are the MDRT membership requirements?
Applicants must meet several requirements to earn membership in the MDRT. Much of that is based on production levels that come from selling various types of insurance and financial services products. This includes life, accidental death and dismemberment, disability and other forms of insurance; annuities; health insurance; mutual funds and other securities, and fees earned from financial planning, among others.
Members can join under a basic membership or can join the more exclusive Court of the Table or Top of the Table levels if they have accelerated levels of income or earned premiums associated with those sales. These levels are evaluated annually and are adjusted to make sure there is a level of exclusivity associated with membership.
Members must also provide certifiable proof of their income or premium levels and in some countries, they must also belong to a qualifying professional organization as a condition of membership. The United States is one of those countries where professional organization membership is required.
What are the benefits of joining MDRT?
Joining MDRT offers members a wide range of benefits. Because membership is strictly limited to the top financial services and life insurance professionals who adhere to strict professional and ethical standards, benefits routinely translate into greater productivity and the use of cutting-edge success strategies to achieve greater career success. For example, an MDRT case study showed that 670 first-time members in 2012 who maintained membership through 2016 enjoyed a 63.9% increase in average commissions over that time period.
Specifically, MDRT offers the following benefits:
- Career Advancement. Production requirements for basic membership, as well as higher level requirements for Court of the Table and Top of the Table membership reinforce the importance of setting and achieving worthy goals.
- Client Trust. The MDRT Code of Ethics ensures that members act responsibly in a way that builds more trust with their clients.
- Leadership Opportunities. MDRT provides opportunities for members to volunteer in the organization, helping them to develop important skills that will translate into enhanced business skills that can be applied to their own business.
- Volunteer Opportunities. The MDRT Foundation offers members the chance to support charitable causes and organizations, allowing them to give back to while also building important relationships with key leaders across a broad spectrum of the business community.
- Global Networking. MDRT is an international organization with chapters throughout the world, ensuring a truly global exchange of ideas.
- Round the Table Magazine. MDRT members stay connected and share information through the organization’s bimonthly publication that focuses on trends and opportunities specific to the financial services profession.
- MDRT Connect. MDRT also publishes a twice-monthly e-newsletter of curated articles and videos that allows members to further exchange ideas and concepts on a global basis.
- Online Resources. The Resource Zone is a library of educational content that provides a wide range of useful and current content on industry trends and topics. Members have full access to online member profile tools such as the Production Tracker to ensure monthly goals are met.
- Meetings. Members gather to share information at the MDRT Annual meeting, the Top of the Table Annual Meeting and the MDRT Experience & Global Conference with the goal of exchanging ideas that will increase productivity.
- The Whole Person Concept. MDRT encourages members to find balance between their personal and professional lives for overall greater success and happiness.
What are the MDRT 2019 / 2020 membership requirements?
To be considered for membership in MDRT, you must meet several requirements:
MDRT Production Requirements
Membership in the 2019 Round Table will be based in part on meeting certain levels of commissions. This is calculated three possible ways (all numbers shown are in dollars). Applicants cannot combine production credit from these methods to meet the minimum requirements. Applicants are approved under only one method.
Base MDRT Membership
- Commission/Fee Method. You must generate a minimum of $96,000 in paid eligible commissions; or
- Premium Method. You must generate a minimum of $192,000 of eligible paid premiums; or
- Income Qualification Method. You must have a minimum annual gross income from the sale and service of insurance and financial products of $166,000. A minimum of $48,000 must come from new business generated during the production year.
Court of the Table MDRT Membership
- Commission and Premium Method. You must generate a minimum of $288,000 of eligible commissions paid or $576,000 of eligible paid premiums.
- Income Method. You must generate a minimum of $498,000 of eligible annual gross income. A minimum of $48,000 must come from new business generated during the production year.
Top of the Table MDRT Membership
- Commission and Premium Method. You must generate a minimum of $576,000 of eligible commissions paid or $1,152,000 of eligible paid premiums.
- Income Method. You must generate a minimum of $996,000 of eligible annual gross income. A minimum of $48,000 must come from new business generated during the production year.
- Top of the Table Waivers. Top of the Table members with a minimum of 10 years of Top of the Table membership who do not meet the required minimum production level may apply under the Top of the Table waiver provision but must submit required Top of the Table dues.
Eligible Products for MDRT Qualification
Products from life insurance companies
- Life (individual)
- Accidental death and dismemberment (individual)
- Annuities (individual and group)
- Burial Insurance
- Critical illness (individual)
- Disability income contracts (individual)
- Up to annual premium/target premium
- Deposits in excess of annual/target premium/top up
Single premium (whole life and investment)
- Short-term endowment rider (max. 15 yrs.)
- Long-term care (individual)
- Accidental death and dismemberment (group)
- Critical illness (group)
- Disability income contracts (group)
- Life (group)
- Long-term care (group)
- Single premium and/or short-term endowment (max 15 yrs.)
- Health care (individual)
- Health care (group)
- Mutual funds / securities
- Wrap accounts/asset management accounts
- Financial planning fees/fees for advice
MDRT Eligibility Requirements
First-time applicants must use commission or premium methods to demonstrate qualifications for membership. If you’ve been a member of MDRT before, you can apply using the income qualification method.
MDRT membership lasts only one year. All members must apply every year to maintain an active membership. This keeps the organization full of proven, top producers.
For the first 10 years of membership, you are considered a Qualifying member.
When you are approved for the 10th year of membership, you will be considered a Qualifying and Life member. You maintain this status in future years by submitting an application each year along with a certifying letter that you have met current minimum production levels and by paying required dues.
After you become a Qualifying and Life member, you can achieve Life membership if you declare you did not meet your production requirement, but still want to continue your MDRT membership. You must still submit an annual application and pay all applicable fees and dues.
To be considered for membership and to maintain an existing membership, you must submit proof that verifies your production each year.
For Commission and Premium verifications, first-time members must supply a certifying letter with third party verification. For Qualifying membership in years two through 10, you can submit customary certifying letters with third party verification or submit a self-signed certifying letter and attach supporting income or premium verification documentation. The same standards apply for Court of the Table and Top of the Table applicants.
Certifying letters must be signed by an official from the company an applicant is using for MDRT qualification when applying under the commission or premium method. Companies can include life insurance company, agencies or brokerages, broker/dealers, banks or mutual fund companies. Certifying letters from a CPA are also acceptable as is a letter from a representative of the applicant’s personal agency, corporation or office.
Income certifying letters submitted by the applicant may be subject to a verification audit. When this happens, an applicant will need to supply commission statements, a statement of income signed by a company representative, a CPA or other representative of the applicant’s personal agency.
Additional MDRT Requirements
Applicants from the following countries must also be members in good standing from an industry association that meets certain criteria:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United States
The association must be open to individual members without regard to company affiliation and focus on the insurance or financial services industry. It must have also been in existence for at least two years and have at least 100 members. The association must also be a nonprofit and have a code of ethics in place to deal with breaches of its code.
You can contact MDRT to get a complete list of currently approved organizations as well as complete details on membership requirements.
Where are the MDRT meetings in 2019?
According to their website, 2019 MDRT Annual Meeting will be held June 9-12 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Meeting registration will open in early 2019. For details, or to access 2018 Annual Meeting recordings and manuscripts if you are already an MDRT member, go here.
The Asia Global Conference will be held in August or September of 2019. Meeting details are still to be announced.
The Top of the Table Annual Meeting will take place September 25-28, 2019 in Austin, Texas
The EDGE Meeting will take place in November 2019. Details are still to be announced.
Attendance at these meetings are open to approved 2019 members and require payment of separate registration fees.
What is MDRT COT mean?
The MDRT COT is short for the Million Dollar Round Table Court of the Table membership.
Court of the Table membership allows members to access additional member benefits and recognition exclusively for them. To be eligible for Court of the Table membership, an applicant must meet three times the production level of a base MDRT membership.
In 2019, the base production amount is $96,000 in commissions paid, so to be eligible for Court of the Table membership you will need to generate a minimum of $288,000. Base membership is also based on $192,000 of eligible paid premiums, so you could also qualify for COT membership by generating $576,000 in eligible paid premiums.
Using the Income Method, you would need to generate $498,000 of eligible annual gross income, including at least $48,000 in new business.
What does MDRT TOT mean?
Similar to MDRT COT, the MDRT TOT is short for the Million Dollar Round Table Top of the Table membership.
Top of the Table membership allows members to access the highest level of member benefits and recognition exclusively for them. To be eligible for Top of the Table membership, an applicant must meet six times the production level of a base membership.
In 2019, the base production amount is $96,000 in commissions paid, so to be eligible for Top of the Table membership, you will need to generate a minimum of $576,000. Base membership is also based on $192,000 of eligible paid premiums, so you could also qualify for TOT membership by generating $1,152,000 in eligible paid premiums. Using the Income Method, you would need to generate $996,00 of eligible annual gross income, including at least $48,000 in new business.
Why is MDRT important?
There are many reasons why MDRT is important both to those in and out of the insurance and financial services industries.
MDRT has been around for 90 years and has grown to become globally recognized for setting a standard of excellence. Membership extends to more than 70 countries and has attracted 66,000 of the top professionals to its ranks from throughout the world.
Membership in MDRT presents unique and continued opportunities for professional and personal growth, translating into a more satisfying and lucrative career.
Those opportunities take place in the form of networking with other like-minded individuals who share the same values and goals. Opportunities also present themselves in the form of increased knowledge that will directly add to your bottom line.
MDRT also is a form of professional recognition that you are committed to your career, your personal and professional growth, and that you are continually seeking to move forward in a highly productive and professional environment.
The other thing to consider is that MDRT places a high value on ethical conduct. The organization’s Code of Ethics promotes the highest quality standards of membership that are beneficial to the public and the insurance and financial services profession. Members are expected to place their clients’ interests first, always seek to maintain and improve their professional knowledge and growth, maintain confidentiality while making full disclosures of all facts that are necessary for clients to make informed decisions.
Why should I join MDRT?
As an insurance industry professional, you are often called upon to weigh risk vs. reward scenarios. If you look at membership in MDRT in the same way, it should be an easy choice if you are committed to your career.
And if you’re not, perhaps it’s time to consider doing something else. After all, you can’t steal second base with one foot always planted firmly on first base.
The amount of benefit you’ll receive vs. the cost of membership tips the scales heavily if you are committed.
The insurance business has always been about the quality of your relationships, the amount of work you’re willing to put in, and the commitment required to stay abreast of industry products, trends, selling strategies and more. MDRT provides all of those opportunities in the most professional atmosphere possible.
At the very least, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to explore membership and see if it makes sense for you. You might be pleasantly surprised.