Beverly Hills, Calif.
The ultimate goal of a consumer-oriented sale of long term care insurance is to make sure “insureds get the benefits they expect when the insurable event occurs,” according to Jason Goetze.
For agents and companies aiming to get to this point, the process is a combination of “want to’s” and “have to’s,” asking and telling, and testing for balance, said Goetze, who is assistant director, Northwestern Mutual.
Speaking at the Second Annual Intercompany LTCI Conference sponsored by the Society of Actuaries, Goetze said, “There is no single right way for an agent to be in the business.”
He noted that there “is no legal obligation for an agent to offer LTCI” nor is offering it “part of any professional insurance agent organization’s code of ethics.” Agents offer LTCI “because they want to,” he said, adding that insurers “are in the same camp because they see an opportunity for profit or protection.”
During an interview with an LTC prospect, agents engage in a combination of asking for and telling information. Goetze explained that things such as using a fact finder and assessing client needs fell under the ‘asking’ column, while providing education and explaining options and choices came under the heading of ‘telling.’
But even in the explanation of options, Goetze said it was important for agents to ask needs-based questions before ‘telling.’
In the area of testing for balance, Goetze said that looking at the lapses and replacements in an agent’s book provides an indication of how consumer-oriented the agent’s sales are. For instance, he said that in looking at the quantity of an agent’s business, it was important “to look not only at sales but at what stays on the books.”