From the September 2007 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

More Things to Watch For

Steve Zaleznick, CEO of Long Term Care Quote, a company in Gilbert, Arizona, that sells LTC insurance, believes that it is "clearly here to stay," but adds that there are some aspects of selecting a policy that advisors should be looking for. While he points out that looking at a company's rate structure and history of rate increases is very important, there's also a need to be sure that people understand how to take advantage of the policies they buy, and "how to put themselves into claims status." The elimination period or deductible period, which amounts to 90 days or so before claims get paid, can be started by a beneficiary who knows what to do "to get that clock running"--whether it's applying for care or counseling services or some other action that must be taken.

Another thing he points out is that advisors can change clients' attitudes about what LTC insurance is supposed to do, and change their perceptions. Instead of approaching it as something that has to pay for everything, he suggests that advisors talk to clients about the number of years they want their policies to be in effect, what the cost/benefit tradeoffs are, and advise them on how this will affect their assets. This can make them see coverage in a whole new way.

And last, both clients and advisors need to be aware of the people who are selling policies using credentials that are "misunderstood." When dealing with an insurance agent, be sure that the credentials match the product and the client base--that can minimize the sale of unsuitable products.

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