Dont Let Multi-Life LTC Insurance Sales Pass You By

Today, the employer and association market is the fastest growing market for long term care insurance.

However, we LTC producers sometimes just “dont get it.” Sometimes, we allow multi-life LTC insurance sales opportunities to pass us by.

These opportunities relate to the many types of family member discounts the industry offers to buyers in this specific market–discounts that can range between 5% to 20%, depending on carrier.

No other insurance segment offers such a wide range of discounts in this manner, yet LTC marketers do not always promote this strong sales advantage.

Before looking at this more closely, lets review the critical factors in this marketplace.

LTC insurance in the employer market offers numerous incentives: increased productivity, improved employee retention, competitive compensation package, protection of retirement benefits, and the ability to have paid-up coverage by retirement, if desired.

Employers are allowed to pay for the coverage with tax-deductible dollars, either for all employees or a select few, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which classifies LTC insurance as health insurance. Premiums paid by an employer are not considered taxable income to the employee, and benefits are received income tax free.

Associations and affinity groups are another part of this market. These consist of individuals who share a common cause or interest, and have charters and bylaws. Such organizations include: professional associations, alumni associations, and national associations, just to name a few.

Carriers in the affinity group market have different guidelines as to who can qualify as an affinity group. Some carriers are more liberal than others and may allow the following to qualify: bank customers, credit union customers, Chambers of Commerce, condominium associations, etc.

Both employer and association groups provide tremendous LTC sales opportunities. Indeed, those may be the most viable LTC insurance markets today.

But, as indicated above, some producers pass them up. They forget about the fact that they can sell the product not only to employees and association members but also to the parents, grandparents, parents-in-law and adult children of those employees and association members. And they typically can offer LTC discounts to those family members, too.

Think about it. Every day, families deal with issues related to the long term care of a family member. Nearly two-thirds of family caregivers work full- or part-time and over half of these caregivers have had to make some sort of workplace accommodations (The MetLife Study of Employed Caregivers: Does Long Term Care Insurance Make A Difference, March, 2001). This takes a toll on productivity, profits and work performance.

What a powerful twist it would be if agents were to market LTC insurance to business owners and associations as coverage for parents, grandparents, parents-in-law, and adult children as well as employees and members!

“Yes, Mr. Business Owner or Membership Committee,” we could say, “by implementing an LTC program for your employees or members, you are also making LTC coverage available to loved ones with a discount that can range from 5% to 20%!”

[Reminder: Premiums on behalf of a family member would not be deductible as a business expense or medical expense--except if the parent, grandparent, etc. were dependents.]

No matter what the sponsored group, employer or association, a good marketing plan and solid support from these clients are vital to your successful marketing of LTC to these potential prospects.

I cannot think of any other insurance line that offers discounts to family members just because they are related to employee or affinity group members. But what a way to be able to make LTC more affordable for loved ones.

Raymond D. Schmier, JD, CLU, ChFC, is LTC sales executive at BISYS in Baltimore, Md. His email: Ray.Schmier@BISD.com.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, January 21, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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