MIAMI–Disability insurers should do more than just try to get by, a consultant says.[@@]
Drew King, president of JHA Inc., Portland, Maine, a disability insurance reinsurance and consulting firm, delivered that message here to an audience consisting mostly of disability insurance executives.
King urged executives here for JHA’s 12th annual disability conference to “take the road less traveled” and find ways to adopt a longer-term approach to building customer relationships, sales and profits.
“We improve the lives of millions of people everyday, whether they ever submit a claim to us or not,” King said here. “We must demand an adequate return for the risks we take.”
Disability insurance executives should ask themselves whether shifting to a longer-term outlook and pushing for adequate profit margins might help them avoid the kinds of moves that have led to recent bad publicity about claims handling practices and alleged bid-rigging, King said.
To improve consumers’ attitude toward disability insurance, “we’ve got quite a hill to climb,” King said.
King said, however, there is some reason to be hopeful about the industry.
Many insurers in the market have done all right over the past year, and some industry indicators, such as group short-term disability rates and group long-term disability rates, are heading in the right direction, King said.