I was pleased when I got back from vacation (two wonderful weeks in–where else?–the People’s Republic of Massachusetts) that movement had indeed started on pounding the tom-toms for Life Insurance Awareness Month this September.

I had opined in this space just before going on vacation that I had not heard much of anything in terms of preparation for the second go-round of this excellent industry promotion.

It’s my pleasure to inform you, if you haven’t already heard, that Marilu Henner has been selected to be the spokesperson for LIAM this year.

Henner is probably best known for her stint as Nardo in the much missed TV series “Taxi.” She was absolutely wonderful in the show. Anyone who could stand up to Danny DeVito’s Louie the way she did and usually get the better of him is going to be one helluva spokesperson for LIAM.

Like last year’s LIAM spokesperson, Kwame Jackson, whose celebrity stemmed from the Donald Trump show “The Apprentice,” Henner has a personal story to tell in connection with life insurance. This should make her much more than just another celebrity pushing the party line.

It seems that when Marilu was only 17 years old her 52-year-old father died suddenly of a heart attack. The life insurance he had enabled his wife to keep the family of six kids together, pay funeral expenses and get rid of some of the family’s outstanding debt.

“It’s hard to imagine how much more difficult life would have been for my mom and my five brothers and sisters had my dad not had the life insurance,” Henner says. “I have spent my life working to educate people about the benefits of healthy living, but even healthy people need a back-up plan because you never know what life has in store for you. My dad was the picture of health before his heart attack at age 52. I hope that by sharing my story with the millions of people who are underinsured, they’ll gain a deeper understanding of how important it is to have adequate life insurance coverage.”

Well said, Marilu, and we look forward to your being very visible during Life Insurance Awareness Month.

The LIFE Foundation was the organization that selected Henner as LIAM spokesperson and, as it did last year, LIFE is spearheading the promotion this year. In fact, LIFE says it is planning “to spend millions of dollars in September educating consumers about the benefits of life insurance and the importance of seeking advice from qualified insurance professionals.”

Individual companies also are planning to do their own thing. Last year some 100 companies and industry trade groups participated in the first LIAM campaign. LIFE says it expects even more to sign on for LIAM2.

Now that there is a full-bore campaign entering its second year with a glamorous and impassioned “face,” it is up to agents to take full advantage of the promotion. While an immediate uptick in sales is not the express purpose of the promotion, it would surely be a waste of effort and energy, not to mention millions of dollars, if sales didn’t rise. After all, how often do you have Marilu Henner as a “door opener?”

Steve Piontek

Editor-in-Chief

“Like last year’s LIAM spokesperson, Kwame Jackson, Henner has a personal story to tell in connection with life insurance. This should make her much more than just another celebrity pushing the party line.”

Caption

Marilu Henner is the new spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month.