You undoubtedly already know your female clients pay as much as 30% more for disability insurance than your male clients. They’d better get ready for sticker shock on the long-term care insurance front, since some companies will have put gender-specific pricing in place by mid-October. Term insurance, however, is still a bargain, according to John Ryan of Ryan Insurance Strategy Consultants in Greenwood Village, Colo., who has some suggestions for clients’—and advisors’—insurance needs.
The disability situation has a couple of bright spots. First is a new product from the Standard Insurance Company of Oregon. Ryan said that the company has come out with a new product that is within the reach of blue- and gray-collar workers.
Protector Essential doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles of more expensive products. However, Ryan said it has potential for white-collar female workers as well, since its lower price “will help some female clients afford disability coverage they might otherwise forgo.”
“It’s always a challenge for women to get competitive disability coverage,” Ryan said, because “claims are longer in duration for women than men, statistically.” That accounts for the 30% higher premium. One of the best places for women to get coverage is at work where they can take advantage of unisex corporate rates, he said.
The second bright spot is that there’s another way for women to get that corporate rate and still buy privately: Three or more women at the same employer can band together to buy coverage from the insurer. The company doesn’t have to collect premiums or be involved in any way; the women seeking coverage simply “have to show that they have a common employer and have to buy at the same time. They don’t even have to buy similar coverage. One can buy a $500 a month [benefit], and another can buy $15,000 a month.”
Ryan added, “A female business owner who wants really good coverage [can do this] and add just a secretary and a salesperson with minimal coverage, [since] coverages don’t have to be alike. A lot of women do it; even a lot of women who are executives and have disability coverage offered by their employer, especially if their earnings are over $150,000 a year.”