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In his Dec. 8, 2003 article in National Underwriter, veteran actuary Jack Bragg tabs critical illness insurance as one of the products of destiny in the “coming sea change in the industry.”

I couldnt agree more. In terms of broad sales penetration, the product is now on the launching pad. Going forward, its success is as inevitable as the morning sun. Why do I say so? Let me count the reasons:

1) Dont believe the naysayers; the need for CI coverage is as great (or greater) here than anywhere.

Consider this scenario: By virtue of employment, you are under the umbrella of a given managed care program. You develop cancer and only a therapeutic intervention that is outside the scope of your coverage will make the difference between life and death.

That intervention is beyond your personal means (as they so often are nowadays), so your answer is? CI insurance.

Or, consider this situation: The hospital to which you are triaged by your HMO has the least experience with the heart surgery you need. The one across town is a leader in the very same intervention. Look at the numbers! This translates into far different probabilities for success. Your answer is? Right. CI insurance.

In short, our managed care system makes CI insurance an imperative for countless millions.

2) You cant get disability income insurance.

Say you are an over-the-road trucker with a booming business. You are either uninsurable for DI or the price of DI coverage is out of proportion to its value for you. But, since your greatest risk of losing your business is protracted recovery from a stroke or cancer, you have a problem. Your answer is? CI insurance.

Now, say you are a successful farmer who performs hands-on overseeing of your agricultural domain. Like the trucker, you are ineligible for DI. Since a six-month convalescence from a stroke would stagger your enterprise, you, too, have a problem. Your solution is? Right again, CI insurance.

3) Being an entrepreneur has special risks.

Assume you are me, a new entrepreneur whose business soars or sinks on the output of one person. You flourish if you can travelheavily. Then, one day, you have an MI (myocardial infarction) with complications. By the time you can return to your work, there is nothing left to return to, and your destiny is that dreaded corporate desk. Your answer is? CI, once again.

4) Young family?

Lets say you and your spouse are proud parents of five. Leukemia in one would confer a near-insurmountable financial burden. Your health coverage would not finance the needed months spent at St. Judes, where the prospect for cure is highest. What is your familys answer? A CI policy with a family rider.

5) New home?

Finally, you have the home of your dreams! Now, you have a new challenge. Statistics show that the greatest risk of foreclosure is a costly, protracted illness afflicting the breadwinner. What is your answer? You got it, CI insurance.

6) New job?

If your class rank at MIT has them knocking at your door, you have lots of choices. Precocious wisdom (and fatherly advice) alerts you to consider both salary and benefits. You do that, and you notice that one prospective employers benefit portfolio includes CI coverage. All other things more or less equal, which position do you accept? The one with CI insurance as an executive benefit.

7) Wizened insurance shopper?

Assume it is time for you to purchase disability income insurance. Company A offers DI. Company B melds DI and CI, thus covering two bases, not one, and affordably so. Or, should you make that long term care, or life, or individual (or small group) health insurance with CI? Which to buy? DI+CI, LTC+CI, L+CI, and H+CI. Absolutely.

As you can see, CI insurance is clearly intrinsic to the future of the insurance industry and its customers.

, FALU, FLMI, CLU, is president of Hank Geoerge Inc., Greendale, Wis. His e-mail address is hankgeorge@aol.com.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, January 16, 2004. Copyright 2004 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.