The phrase that heads this column is today’s fad word for flexibility.
It’s a marvel how fast the expression has taken root in popular speech. Why, then, doesn’t it show up in life and health products and promotions?
Failure to mirror popular jargon is no great sin, of course. But it probably does impact the way the public, especially younger adults in their 20s and 30s, perceive insurance–i.e., if the insurance talk is the “same old, same old,” the younger set may write it off–and also the allied products–as being “so yesterday.”
That’s why consultants keep urging business people to tune in to Generations X and Y. If you don’t “get with the program,” they warn, you may “get lost.”
But can the staid old insurance sector respond to the change-it-up crowd? Most definitely. Consider:
At policy design, the advisor can choose various riders to change up the base policy, and/or check off from multiple built-in policy options concerning limits, terms, etc. This is so in life, disability, long term care insurance and also annuities.
Even the time-honored guaranteed insurability option in life insurance is a change-it-up kind of feature. So is the internal benefit acceleration feature in many modern life policies.
Transformational and hybrid policies enable customers to have a policy that addresses one risk at one stage of life and another exposure at another stage. Such policies are relatively few in number right now, but more are on the way. Examples include: Life policies that offer long term care benefits, and so-called “longevity” policies that enable people to buy an income option now that springs into play many years later, if the person lives that long.
The voluntary market has change-it-up at its very core. Employees can buy basic coverage (or perhaps the employer pays for it), and then purchase additional amounts, or buy-ups, later on, even yearly.
Policy loans and withdrawal provisions enable people to change their minds many years after purchasing the contract. They can put their money in and take it back out, subject to terms provided.