A leading financial services company is extending to locations nationwide an initiative to train producers and account managers on group disability income insurance products and strategies for leveraging trends in the group DI marketplace.
Created by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford, Conn., the carrier-neutral Vault program teaches the elements of group disability income insurance products, such as contracts, underwriting, pricing and risk management. Students who complete the course can take an exam leading to The National Underwriter Company’s group benefits disability specialist (GBDS) designation.
The Vault program’s educational seminars, launched in 2005, were held in Hartford through last year. The school is being extended to 6 cities in 2007, including Maitland, Fla.; Palm Springs, Calif.; Avon, Conn.; Philadelphia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Chicago.
“We see this program as an opportunity to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” says Bob Reiff, a vice president and director of distribution and field service at the group benefits division at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford, Conn. “[The program] also demonstrates our expertise with employers and producers who are looking to do group disability income insurance or are looking for a carrier to place business through.”
The three-and-one-half-day seminars cover group short- and long-term disability income insurance contracts, benefits, underwriting and pricing. The course provides instruction on how to identify trends affecting clients’ productivity and risk profile and develop appropriate solutions and plan designs. Producers also learn how to navigate contract language, claims and service considerations; and how to diagnose and service clients’ group disability needs and goals.
They learn, too, about questions that advisors should ask a group disability insurance carrier to determine a product’s fit with the client’s needs. Example: What claim model does the carrier use and how often has the model changed during the past 10 years?
A spokesperson for The Hartford notes there are many successful claim models among carrier groups, each with its own advantages. The claim model can impact the policy premium, employee satisfaction and how fast claimants return to work.