The income umbrella (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Given how low interest rates are these days and how strict insurance company general portfolio rules are, this is is a challenging time for insurers to offer productions that pay inflation-adjusted benefit streams.

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) sellers who spent years re-living the traumatic congressional hearings of the 1980s, thundering about the crucial, life-or-death importance of the maximum available inflation protection, are now suggesting that, given how expensive inflation protection is for LTCI buyers, and how (let’s face it) reluctant the insurers are to offer it, maybe customers should live without it.

LTCI carriers are promoting the idea that consumers can cope with inflation at a low current cost by paying for an option to buy more coverage in the future.

Standard and MassMutual are trying to appeal to young, cash-strapped  individual disability insurance prospects with new products that emphasize use of future coverage purchase options as an inflation-protection feature.

To me, given how the Fed has been printing money as fast as it can buy ink, how puzzled many people seem to do by the concept of overall prices going up, the high price of gas, all of those stories about droughts and crop failures, and the idea that maybe consumers should consider buying disability insurance and other products without traditional inflation-protection features, this seems to be the obvious time for clients to go all out to get whatever available inflation protection they can afford. 

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