The art of storytelling goes back to the beginning of man. It’s how important ideas were transmitted from one person to another and from generation to generation. There is very little that hits as close to home as a well-chosen story, which is why so many agents and advisors use stories from their own lives and practices to relate to clients and prospects the importance of having proper amounts of insurance.

But what if you don’t have a story to fit the particular situation of the prospect sitting across from you? The nonprofit LIFE Foundation has compiled a library of realLIFEstories that speak to how individuals of varied ages, incomes and backgrounds benefited from proper insurance planning, including disability insurance. The stories are told in “one-pagers” that you can send or give to clients during a meeting or in video form (on the Web or on DVD).

Are you trying to put together a comprehensive plan for a small-business owner who’s not sure he needs “all the bells and whistles”? Frank Szatkowski’s realLIFEstory might be just the ticket to change his mind. Szatkowski was a successful dentist before Lou Gehrig’s disease forced him to stop working, but his insurance agent had helped him put in place a safety net of insurance, including a business-overhead disability policy and a buy-sell agreement funded with disability insurance, which protected both his business and his family. With the money from the buyout and benefits from an individually owned disability insurance policy, Szatkowski’s family continues to be financially secure. Each one-pager also has a break-out box that delves into a specific product or issue. This particular story has a box that describes three ways disability insurance can protect a small business. To learn more about Frank’s story, watch his video on the LIFE Foundation website.

Or perhaps you are having difficulty convincing a young professional or young couple that they should plan for the unexpected with disability insurance, even though they may feel like many young people — that nothing like that could happen to them. Cindy Wrenn’s story might be the perfect fit for that meeting. Wrenn was a healthy 28-year-old when she was stricken with a brain aneurysm and a stroke. At the time, she and her husband were about to close on their first home. With Wrenn in critical condition, that seemed out of the question. But with the disability coverage Wrenn had through work and on her own, her family was able to purchase their dream home and continue to pay everyday bills, even with Wrenn out of work for months as she focused on her recovery. This story includes a box that contains statistics about the risk and financial consequences of disability as well as a callout for LIFE’s Disability Insurance Needs Calculator.

To download samples of these two realLIFEstories as well as the realLIFEstories DVD, go to the disability insurance section of the LIFE Foundation’s online catalog. Or to access the library of free videos, go the disability insurance realLIFEstories section of LIFE’s website.

Maggie Leyes is the communications consultant for the LIFE Foundation. She can be reached at mleyes@lifehappens.org.