To The Editor:

This 29-year-plus veteran in the life insurance business finds Bob Littells article, “NetWeaving As A Recruiting Tool,” (NU, March 17) callous, insensitive and offensive to the life insurance profession.

What authority does he rely upon when he states, “The days of a life insurance agent being considered an admired profession are mostly over”? Gee, most of my life production is referrals from attorneys, CPAs, benefits brokers and financial planners! Why are they referring me life insurance business if my profession is not an admirable one?

He further states, “Of course, we all know that on an individual basis, men and women agents in their local communities still rise to the top and attain a high image and status–but the insurance profession as a whole certainly doesnt have it anymore.” Sorry, Bob, but we all dont know this. You cant have it both ways. You are either in a profession of respect or you are not.

Perhaps Bob and the rest of us who admit to be in the most noble of professions should refer to the great college football coach Lou Holtz. In his book, “Winning Every Day,” he states:

“It bothers me whenever salespersons apologize for their choice of employment. I say to them, stand up, pound your chest, and shout to the world that you are a salesperson and proud of it. Selling is a noble profession. You are the backbone of your countrys commerce. You move products throughout the world, and your efforts help create jobs. You are bringing people what they want. For example, if you an insurance salesperson, you arent selling insurance. You are giving your customers security. I cant think of a more worthy endeavor.”

The Chartered Life Underwriter designation is our red badge of courage. We are life insurance specialists and proud of it. If you do not believe that, then change your stationary and business card.

Steve Bertino, CLU, CEBS,
MBA [Taxation]
Orangevale City, Calif.

To The Editor:

In reviewing John Skars recent article (NU, March 17) about the hidden cost of selling life insurance policies, we agree that policy owners should be knowledgeable about the future value of their personal or business insurance policy for financial planning purposes.

But when an insured senior (or the policy owner) no longer wants or needs their policy that had at one time provided great protection and peace of mind, they should also be knowledgeable about the current market value and all the options available if they wish to discard the policy and eliminate future premium payments.

For these individuals (an estimated 20% of policyholders over the age of 65 hold policies with economic values that exceed the cash surrender values, according to a recent study conducted by the Wharton Financial Institution of the University of Pennsylvania), life settlements may be an opportunity to sell their unwanted policy for more than the cash surrender value.

The life settlement industry arose in the last several years because there was a growing need and demand from policyholders to get the most value possible for a policy that has outlived its usefulness. We are proud to be among the select group of institutionally funded providers who offer these individuals another viable choice as they determine their best option for meeting their desired current and future financial planning needs.

Lawrence Brown
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Stone Street Financial, Inc.
Bethesda, Md.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, April 7, 2003. Copyright 2003 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.