Current and former leaders of the industry’s agent groups are manning the survivor help line that the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education set up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
LIFE’s network of volunteers consist of current and former board members of LIFE, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the Society of Financial Services Professionals, says David Woods, president of LIFE in Washington, D.C.
“We’ve had about 50 calls,” he says. “We’re now getting 2 to 4 a day. I expect we’ll continue to get a steady flow.”
Dick Koob of Waukesha, Wis., who is president-elect of NAIFA, says the help line was designed to reassure people that there is a process in place to assist with questions about insurance coverage.
Koob is one of the volunteers taking calls from victims of the attacks.
“They were really basic questions,” says Koob. “The first question was ‘How do I know if there was life insurance in force?’”
Koob explained to the caller that there is a process in place to answer these questions. “Just that knowledge alone was reassuring,” he says.
For this caller, Koob didn’t have any definite answers. “I was totally neutral, trying to be reassuring, calm, and helpful without trying to paint an unrealistic picture or create unrealistic expectations.”
Koob went on to take the caller through the process of referring to participating companies to inquire about possible insurance coverage.
“So, I thought in my experience, the process worked because it simply reassured someone that they were not alone in their search, that there was a major organization that would help with their resources, help search and help answer their questions,” he says.