We’re excited to welcome Lori Cody, owner of Coyote Insurance, to Spark. Lori is a great, tenured agent with a long track record of serving her community and a passion for building up other successful women in our industry. We’re lucky to have her!
Before getting into Medicare, Lori was a social worker for 25 years, working on adoptions, child abuse investigations, support for at-risk youth, and other tough but meaningful issues that society more commonly tries to ignore. She persevered through a field known for burnout and in the process developed a tough, can-do attitude.
Her entry into Medicare was personal. When her best friend was diagnosed with cancer, she was denied life-saving treatment because she was unable to pay for 20% of her medical expenses upfront — a financial commitment few could make — just because she was on original Medicare only. Lori watched a friend suffer for eleven months without treatment because she didn’t have an advocate to help her navigate the system. This became the catalyst that pushed Lori into Medicare, but she never lost her social work roots. Even now, when people ask her if she is an insurance agent or a social worker, her answer is the same: she will always be a social worker at heart.
The tough work of an independent agent
Through years of work, Lori has built a successful, well-respected agency. Most impressively, her entire business has been built off referrals — from existing clients, centers of influence in the community, or just people she’s touched through her long career who appreciated her desire to help people.
But it wasn’t easy. Her entry into Medicare was marked by false promises and misleading commitments. She signed with her first Medicare agency in September, and they promised she could get licensed and ready to sell by October for AEP — a promise anyone with any experience in the industry will say is outright crazy. Contracting issues bogged her down that entire enrollment period, and after suffering through more bad advice and opaque schemes, she decided to stop relying on others for help and venture out on her own.
Taking matters into her own hands, Lori built a successful agency with an entirely grassroots approach: building relationships with senior complexes, volunteering at food banks, making relationships with community influencers, being visible as a friendly face at community gatherings. It took years, but great momentum is building today.
Now in a position to mentor newer agents, she takes the opposite approach most agencies make, and she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. She tells new recruits it will be hard, with lots of setbacks along the way, but if you persevere and stay focused on your north star of client service, you will build a successful career and following for yourself.
Bringing more strong women into the field
Like in many industries, Medicare distribution is not always kind to women. Lori dealt with her own share of challenges and disrespect as a woman making her career in this industry — on top of the usual challenges of a field agent. She knows how hard it can be for a new woman in this industry, and so in addition to her commitment to client service, she’s dedicated her agency — Coyote Insurance — to becoming an all women team with a vision to bring fresh faces with a fresh set of values to this industry. It won’t be easy, but we’re honored to get to support her along the way. Welcome, Lori!