A leading financial services company has launched a week-long school to train producers and account managers on group disability insurance income 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 the group disability income business, such as contracts, underwriting, pricing and risk management. Students who complete the course can take an exam leading to The National Underwriter Company’s new group benefits disability specialist (GBDS) designation.
“Most producers spend less than 10% of their time on ancillary products like group disability income insurance,” says Steve McConnell, an assistant vice president at Hartford. “[The Vault program] will help them to rapidly get up the learning curve on what the products are, what they do and how to select solutions to match the client’s needs.”
The initiative is designed to serve producers and account managers with varying levels of experience in the DI business. Among other topics covered during the five days of the course, students will learn about voluntary/consumer-driven solutions, strategies used for managing a client’s risk profile and the 10 most important questions to ask a disability carrier.
Among the last: What claim model does the carrier use and how often has the model changed during the past 10 years? A spokesperson for 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.
“How the claims process is administered is where 99% of the business works–or doesn’t work,” says McConnell.
Other concepts covered during the course include credibility and its application in disability pricing; tax implications; confidentiality regulations; the theory of long-term disability reserving; cash flow options for disability plans; and tactics for dealing with voluntary/consumer disability plans.
Three sessions of the producer school are planned for the remainder of 2006, including May 15-19, Oct. 2-6 and Nov. 6-10. To be held in the Hartford, Conn., metro area, the program is priced at $2,495 per student. Tuition includes classroom instruction and materials, National Underwriter’s GBDS literature and self-study quizzes, as well as proctoring and grading of the GBDS exam by Hartford’s instructors.