A piece of the planning puzzle boomer advisors miss

During the World Cup in Germany in 2006, pickpockets identified wealthy Americans by the tennis shoes they wore. In certain Latin American cities, one wrong turn can put tourists in a life-and-death situation. As more wealthy boomers retire and travel, how do they know the shoes - and neighborhoods - to avoid?

Jim Fiske, vice president with Chubb & Sons and national marketing manager with Chubb Personal Insurance, says that a true wealth management platform should include more than numbers. Wealthy individuals have unique needs that expose them to risks they rarely think about. And it's the reason Chubb offers client consulting services designed to keep them safe in all aspects of their lives.

"Property/Casualty coverage is an area outside the area of expertise of most financial advisors, but it's really a backstop for the financial plan," Fiske says. "The wealthier the clients, the more complicated it gets. For example, wealthy families often have servants (not butlers, so much) but nannies, caretakers, gardeners. This means they are now employers and their exposures should almost be treated like a corporation. But they should also be customized enough to the individual's unique situation."

Fiske points to a recent situation where painters were at a client's home. Chubb ran a check on their backgrounds and found that two had outstanding warrants.

"We'll go so far as to assist with the hiring of help," he says. "Think about how valuable that is for an affluent widow who has never hired someone before."

Fiske says other areas of concern include:

  • The home - Often, it's the client's largest asset, yet too many clients go with a low cost carrier. Larger homes call for more sophisticated coverage.
  • Travel - High net worth individuals might not realize the coverage on their valuables won't extend to a foreign country. Also, frequent travel might mean the house is vacant for an extended period of time.
  • The toys - Wealthy individuals are often collectors (cars, coins, wine) that require more than a simple rider to ensure coverage.
  • Kidnap and recovery - Fiske is mum on this one. All he'll say is, "We have a program, and it involves former FBI specialists."
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