From the October 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

The Multilife Market

Sidebar to the Insurance article "Coverage Options Expand"

John Ryan of Ryan Insurance Strategy Consultants in Greenwood Village, Colorado, says that a big marketing emphasis these days in disability insurance is multilife sales. Experience has shown, he explains, that when an employer gets seven or eight employees together and helps pay the premium, the claims experience for those employees is much better, so companies are trying to get agents to put together packages of specially designed individual products for multiple sales in the same location. This is not the same as group insurance; these are individual policies packaged together and sold to a group of individuals.

Certain discounts can be had in multi sales with as few as three participants, but, says Ryan, when you get more than 10 people, guaranteed simplified coverage for those with health issues is available. They still may face questions that could jeopardize coverage. With 25 or more participants guaranteed issue is available, so that someone who is otherwise uninsurable can get coverage.

It can be tough to find agents willing to do multilife sales, though; according to Ryan, it can be highly political, with two or more decisionmakers involved and friendships and favorite agents playing a role, so many agents would rather not get involved. But, says Ryan, for agents who already have the benefit package for a company and have a relationship with it, it works best; these agents can present it as a way to "soup up and supplement the group disability coverage."

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