For me, claim time represents the ultimate affirmation of my career.
Back when I began selling LTCI at an aggressive clip in the early ’90s, I sold tons of policies with 0-Day Elimination Periods. Such policies were plentiful and reasonably priced, as were Lifetime Benefit Periods. Consequently, I am now having a minor deluge of clients going out on claim. Once in awhile, I learn abut claims that went in without my even being aware of them. I don’t have a way of knowing exactly how many LTCI claims my clients have had, but my best guess is that at least 300 of my clients have collected on their policies. Yow!
I like being personally involved at claim time. This does not mean I get involved in the minutiae of claims paperwork. I do not have a good personality for that. But I am great at assessing the “big picture” and recommending appropriate action, then looking like a heroine as a result.
I always make sure my clients know how to reach me. I send out hand-signed birthday cards and occasional newsletters in which I always urge clients to call me any time, with any and all questions, before there is a need for care.
As a result, 10, 15, or 20 years after the sale, the phone will ring. My client, or their child or loved one, will introduce themselves and start to tell me their policy number. Usually, I gently interrupt them and tell them I remember them and it’s not necessary to get into official documentation. Many are astonished by my memory, and they often seem pleasantly pleased, and grateful I am still present, willing, and able to support them so many years after their purchase. They often thank me for taking their call, almost as if it was a privilege speaking with me.
Imminent LTCI claim calls are fairly easy to recognize. Clients often call to ensure that they understand their billing mode, or to get a policy review. As I take out their file and we continue talking, their true concerns often surface. They are not calling for a policy review as much as they are calling because they are close to, or need to file a claim. My role is to encourage them to do so. Shepherding my client along at LTCI claim time is very meaningful for me.