In dealing with the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the insurance business, agents and advisers spend a great deal of time putting out the “fire” of the day. Over time, our primary job of helping customers identify and mitigate risk can blur as we go from one hotspot to another without asking the most important question, “What can we do for you that will help you sleep better at night?” After all, isn’t peace of mind the greatest service we provide?
In my small corner of the insurance world, we wring our hands about higher premiums, tougher underwriting, and worries about carriers staying the course. No doubt these are topics of interest, but obsessing on real or imagined problems robs us of the bandwidth required to provide some level of financial security in a rather menacing world. While most of our clients don’t have to worry about real lions and tigers eating them for lunch, they do need to be wary of not having the fiscal means to put food on the table or afford the care they need.
As our customer’s guide in the financial wilderness, job one is to help them identify risks and arm them with the weapons to fight the unexpected costs of a lost love one or a chronic medical condition. We can’t always provide 100 percent of everything our client needs or wants, but some protection always beats a blank. Getting better at helping consumers take incremental steps towards financial security is the world we live in today. The reality is that most consumers would be well served if they could at least co-insure many of the financial risks they face.
The good news is we have numerous options to supplement retirement income and savings and to ease the burden when long-term care is needed.
Here are some examples:
- A traditional LTCi policy with a two-year benefit and a future purchase option;
- A term or permanent life insurance policy with a chronic illness accelerated death benefit;
- A critical illness policy that fills the gaps in care provided by today’s health insurance plans;
- Reposition a rainy-day fund into a life or annuity product that provides long-term care benefits;
- Great 1035 Exchange opportunities here; and
- Some annuities provide simplified underwriting for tough cases
Sometimes an incremental strategy of small risk management solutions is the best option for consumers who are struggling with other financial obligations. Don’t overlook these mid-market sales. They can translate into sustained serious income for you and along the way, you may get the “elephant” that you’re hunting for.