Licenses & Certifications

I am am an independent life, accident and health insurance producing agent based in Florida, licensed in multiple states: Florida (W965746), Georgia (3650990), Virginia (1398323), Texas (3069623/3069636), Arizona (20666979) and California (pending). My license information and up-to-date certifications for continuing education requirements are included below for those who may need to check my credentials and eligibility.

About Me

I got into the life insurance business in my sixties after graduating from Arizona State University with a 4.0 average. My degree was in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Organizational Leadership and Philosophy. I already had a degree in Music Composition from the University of South Carolina that I’d earned in 1980 while on a springboard diving scholarship. And then after that I earned a theology degree, as well, after six years of study in two small colleges in South Florida – St. Vincent de Paul Seminary and St. Michael Academy, where I also served as an adjunct professor. I am a highly dedicated, very detail oriented person, who loves to teach and lead. is a comprehensive web site that tells you more about me. Last year I completed Season One of my Awesomeology solo podcast. I’m currently looking for a co-host for Season Two. My motto is “Maximized Awesomeness.”

James Carvin, 1981

I am an Independent Broker with Multiple Carriers

The list of carriers below is not exhaustive. Family First Life is one of the largest private insurance brokers in the USA. My goal is to help you locate the ideal product for your personal qualifications and budget. Please note that I do not personally have contracts with every carrier. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, it is largely repetitive and unnecessary. Secondly, some carriers are not as efficient at simplified underwriting and instant approvals as others. Thirdly, not all are highly rated. Service often matters as much as price and it won’t help if a company advertises a lower price if you don’t qualify because of their underwriting process. Also, you need to be on the lookout for renewable term policies that look like whole life but they’re not. Many come in the mail. Trust my experience. I will make good decision making easy for you.

Be aware that if you can find a product you qualify for for less, so long as the reputation and service are good, all things being equal, I will seek to contract with that carrier. You should also be aware that that rarely happens because I already have so many insurance carriers and products to choose from and that work has already been done. My goal is to save you hours of searching and to prevent you from getting endless phone calls from captive insurance agents who can only sell you one line of products. Keep in mind that the more online forms and mailers you fill out, the more you will get solicited. Let me be your final stop. I make it easy for my clients by providing expert guidance and by helping you shop for the right product for your qualifications and family’s needs. You can also set up an in-home or virtual consultation using the scheduler below.

What to Expect

While I am with you, whether in-home or virtually, allow me to review any current policies you have. I will not recommend any changes unless it will make a significant positive difference for you and I will disclose both the upside and downside of switching any policies you already have. In-home and virtual appointments usually consist of a brief budget and needs assessment, a few basic medical questions, a solution and identity verification, and a quick approval and application. Expect visits to take about fifteen minutes per policy. It is normal for me to underwrite a policy when I visit so expect to be fully cared for before I leave. Husbands and wives often require two and sometimes more.

How to Prepare

If you are married, be sure you are both present and attentive. I am sometimes a few minutes early and other times run late. If I’m more than thirty minutes behind helping a family before you, I will call or text to reschedule. There are several things you should have ready for our visit.

  1. Any policies you think I should review. (If you can’t remember who you are insured with, check your bank statement because you are probably paying them every month). If you don’t have the policy, ask them to mail you a copy. They should do this for free. And you should ask for as many copies as you have beneficiaries so everyone has one.
  2. Work policies are sometimes tricky. People often think they have life insurance policies through their employer but it is something else. If you have a copy of your employer’s policy, it should be about thirty to sixty pages long. Otherwise, you probably only have a certificate, which means you don’t actually own the policy. Policy ownership would mean that you have control over it. And if it is a whole life policy, you would be able to borrow on the policy’s cash value. Otherwise, it is a term policy. When I assess your family’s needs, I will help guide you through whether a term policy is best suited for you. Often it is best to have both a whole life and a term policy. The important thing is that you know what your goals are and you know what you have. I will quickly help you assess this.
  3. Be sure you are ready to apply. You may not need a check book, but you will probably need your account number so you can pay your monthly premiums through EFT and if you have a separate account from your spouse and both enroll in a program, you’ll need both sets of numbers.
  4. Have other identification and contact information ready, including your drivers licenses and social security numbers. The social security number will be needed to check your medical history through the Medical Information Bureau as part of the simplified underwriting process and is subject to HIPPA portability laws.
  5. One of the conveniences of in-home visits is the fact that you have your prescriptions right in your medicine cabinet. I will need to know what the insured (you or your husband) takes, how long they’ve been taking it and what conditions they have that require it so I can match them only with programs that won’t disqualify them because they take them.
  6. Think about who you want as beneficiaries and what sort of policies you might like before I arrive, but please be open minded as I might have some very good ideas too. Typically, I’ll write one policy for a husband with the wife as the beneficiary and one policy for the wife with the husband as the beneficiary, and when there are children, the children are usually listed as contingent beneficiaries each receiving a portion based on how many children you have. You can also list grandchildren and many people also want to leave some portion of their benefits to their favorite charities when they pass, as well. This is something you should discuss with your spouse and be in agreement on, at least to some extent, before I arrive. Keep in mind that insurance benefits are tax free and creditors won’t have any claim on them.
  7. Work on your budget. If you buy more insurance than you can afford, everything will fail because your policy will lapse. Typically insurance policies are one of the first household expenses people decide to trim. As soon as people go through some financial stress or get tempted to buy something they really want, they convince themselves they can get insurance any time later. Not only is that not always true, but it is often more expensive too. What’s more, if that happens, then any money they’ve put in so far will be wasted and we’ll have all wasted our time together. I don’t want that to happen. That’s why it’s so important to start every meeting with a budget assessment. So, perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for my visit is to get your budget started.

Let’s Meet!

Okay. Now that you know what to expect, let’s set aside some time. You can easily book or cancel and reschedule using the form below. I won’t typically answer my phone while I’m visiting families, which is what I’m normally doing all week long, because I’m giving my undivided attention to the people I’m helping, but I do check my schedule between visits. So, I’ve found that the best way to reach me while I’m on the road is either online or by text. Are you ready to get started?

  1. Choose a date and time when both you and your spouse will be present.
  2. Begin by tapping on one of the dates below.
  3. Fill out the form completely.

This online booking tool only extends for one week. People tend to forget I’m coming if I book more than a week in advance. If the time you want isn’t available or you need to schedule your visit more than a week from today, send me a text. More often than not, I can work something out.

You can send your texts to the phone number on the business card below. If you do attempt to schedule by text, be sure to include all of the information requested on the scheduling form. In other words …

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Spouse Name
  4. Beneficiary Names
  5. What your Goals Are
  6. If you have a gate code, apartment number, dogs, parking instructions, hard place to find, etc.
  7. That you’ll be prepared with the prep list above.
Business Card
The dolphin with the top hat is my personal brand. The dove is the Spirit Agency at FFL

You can also send all that info in an email, but you must book the appointment by text. Otherwise, it may get lost in my junk mail.

Arrange an In-Home Consultation

  1. Choose a date and time when both you and your spouse will be present.
  2. Begin by tapping on one of the dates below.
  3. Fill out the form completely.

NOTE: If you are NOT seeking Medicare or Medicare options such as supplementary insurance or Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or equivalent, do NOT check the Medicare Disclaimer on the Scheduling tool.  The disclaimer says, BY PROVIDING THE INFORMATION ABOVE, I GRANT PERMISSION FOR A LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT TO CONTACT ME REGARDING MY MEDICARE OPTIONS INCLUDING MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT, MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS. Medicare and Medicare options constitute a portion of my business but not all of it.Therefore, this disclaimer is required by law. However, many and perhaps most of the families I help are looking for other types of products, such as life insurance, annuities, group insurance or health insurance and drug plans that don't require Medicare qualifications, limitations and restrictions. Do NOT check off the Medicare Disclaimer field if you are NOT looking for information about Medicare plans, Medicare Supplementary plans, Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Prescription Drug plans or options. If you DO check this option, all calls will be recorded and stored for up to ten years, as required by law. You will then receive a text or email asking you to complete a separate Scope of Appointment Form, which will describe the exact purpose of the following appointment, as required by Medicare marketing and compliance regulations. This option is unchecked by default. You do not have to complete a Scope of Appointment Form unless you are inquiring about a Medicare program or options.If you aren't, then just schedule a regular unrecorded in-home consultation by following the prompts.

While my Medicare consultations are all virtual, I prefer in-home consultations whenever possible. I can also help over the phone or use Zoom for any type of service. For every in-home consultation, the purpose of the visit is threefold:

  1. Determine your needs and prequalifications to determine the optimal solution.
  2. Get you approved.
  3. Apply.

To apply, you will need the following five items:

  1. A list of your prescriptions and a summary of when you started/stopped taking each one.
  2. A summary of your health issues including when you experienced these conditions and when the most recent occurences were. (No medical exam, blood or lab tests will be required for policies under $500,000).
  3. Your bank account number to pay your premiums with. (Some carriers accept credit cards and social security cards, while others only accept electronic funds transfers.
  4. Social security numbers, dates of birth and contact information for all policy owners, beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries.
  5. Your drivers license or ID.

Be sure to have this information ready at the time of your appointment. I can’t help you without it.

Your Existing Policies

If you have access to your existing policies, please have these ready to review when I arrive so we can determine whether you should keep, cancel or modify them. If you do not know which carrier your policies are with or what your current premiums are, check your bank statements. If you are not making payments monthly, you probably don’t have a policy. If you don’t have a copy of your policy, show me the phone number on the bank statement where you are making your payment when I arrive. I will make sure that both you and your beneficiaries have a copy of all of your policies before I leave. If a policy is with an employer, you probably do not have a policy since you don’t own it. Instead, you may have a certificate. Employer insurance policies often offer far less than what employees assume they do. The same is also the case with PreNeeds policies, renewable term policies, graded policies. I will discuss this with you when I arrive.

Location Matters

All in-home consultations must be in the greater Tallahassee, Florida region, where I live, or possibly Southern Georgia, where I’m also licensed. If you live outside of the Big Bend region or far from town, I prefer to help you by Zoom rather than by phone, so I can see you and you can show me your ID. I also prefer to see the faces of the people I help. Visit my Licenses & Certifications page to see which states I am authorized to serve families in.

Be aware that I am not licensed in every state and not every carrier offers the same products in every state. However, if you are not a Florida resident, in most cases I can still help you. Be sure to let me know what state you are an official resident of before booking your session with me, so I can prepare for our meeting in advance. Otherwise, I will assume that the address you list is the address of your official residence. Florida residency requires that you generally live at your address for 180 days out of the year or more. A Florida drivers license is normally sufficient to establish that you are a resident. If I am not licensed in your state, please let me know where you are. I am always interested in expanding and need to monitor demand.

Arranging a Consultation through Zoom

If you live outside of Tallahassee or the immediate region and I am licensed in your state, I can help you through Zoom. Be prepared for your session with all of the information listed above. For virtual applications, whether by Zoom or telephone, some signature verification by text or email may be required. If you are married, your spouse will have to join our meeting. Make sure they are available before you choose a time. Tap on one of the dates below, choose a time and answer all questions completely. Please note the Medicare Disclaimer above before completing.

Arranging our Consultation over the Phone

If you don’t have Zoom, I can help over the phone. This may involve a two call process, depending on the carrier and program. Each carrier has its own application procedures. Rule number one is be patient. Sometimes, I can help in just minutes, but other times, it will take twenty or thirty – and if you need multiple policies, and from more than one carrier, which is often the case, then we will need more time than a single session normally allows, so I’ve set phone appointments to fifty minutes instead of the usual thirty. I know everybody on the Internet these days wants instant gratification. Be patient. To book a consultation over the phone, click on a date below and choose a time when you and your spouse can both talk. Also, please note the Medicare Disclaimer above before completing. If you are inquiring about Medicare or Medicare options, the process will require some additional steps. Otherwise, simply proceed.