With all the turbulence the long-term care insurance market has faced lately, why would anyone choose to specialize in LTCI these days? These three top producers did, though, and they don’t regret it. We chatted with them recently to find out why they focus on long-term care planning and how they’ve been able to find success in the field.
For part two of this Producer Roundtable, see: How to sell LTCI today
Q. With the challenges the long-term care insurance market continues to face, can you share with us a little bit about the reasons you originally made the long-term care market such an important part of your business and the reasons you’re still so passionate about it?
John H. Groth, CLU, CLTC, CFP, ChFC, wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual: I am passionate about long-term care — LTC — planning because we have planned for it as part of our overall plan to provide our family financial security. Since I have put this plan in place for myself, I think it only makes sense that I discuss it with all of my prospects and clients. They need to be aware of their options so that they can make an intelligent decision for their family’s financial security.
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Thomas F. Levasseur, CLU, CLTC, M.S. Ed., founder, Beacon Retirement Group: I initially started providing these risk-based products not long after I began my career. As primarily a life insurance-focused salesman for, at that time, a primary company, the protection of assets approach was similar to the use of life insurance to pay estate settlement costs. It was an asset protection sale that fit my early marketplace of small-business owners. At some point, I was introduced to Harley Gordon, the founder of the Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification or CLTC. I took the course from him personally, and that created a paradigm shift for me. The philosophical approach of developing a plan for long-term care made me more passionate about the placement of the product as part of a family’s strategy for dealing with an LTC event. This strategic planning approach to product placement has permeated my whole approach to offering risk-based products to my clients and prospects.
Brett M. Sause, LUTCF, LTCP, CLTC, principal, Atlantic Financial Group LLC: I entered into the long-term care market because I witnessed first-hand the difference LTCI can make in a person’s life. Even in my own family, I have seen how the cost of LTC may affect the assets of people I love because they did not have a plan in place. This inspired me to educate people about this financial tool to help protect them and their families from the potentially high costs associated with long-term care. I remain passionate about this market because I know the importance of using LTCI to help protect assets.
Q. In your experience, is the market generally informed or uninformed about the need for long-term care insurance? Do you have to educate prospects on that need, and if so, what techniques do you use to accomplish that?
Sause: In my experience, the general public is typically uninformed about the need for LTCI. Many people believe they live in a perfect world and don’t think anything will happen to them. I too lived in the perfect world until age 19, when the unthinkable happened to my family. My father became terminally ill at the age of 52. Without an appropriate plan to help pay for the expense, there was a toll on my family, both emotionally and financially.