Are you leaving business on the table? You probably are if you’re not helping clients protect themselves against an illness or injury that prevents them from working. Here’s how I’ve found success in making individual disability income insurance (IDI) an integral part of my business.
Income protection is part of a holistic approach
If you take a holistic approach in helping clients meet their needs, then you know that involves developing and presenting a variety of financial solutions, such as:
- Survivor income for loved ones at a client’s death, and
- Saving and investing for future needs, such as a child’s college education and retirement.
Another critical need, but an often-neglected one, is providing “living” benefits to help clients cover daily expenses if they become too sick or hurt to work. Many advisors don’t feel comfortable bringing up this possibility (mostly due to unfamiliarity with product options) and most consumers don’t know to ask for it.
Income protection is something new you can bring to the conversation. I see it as a real opportunity to help clients develop a comprehensive protection plan — no matter what life brings. It also helps you stand apart from competitors who aren’t discussing this foundational financial element.
Offering disability income insurance is an excellent way to satisfy a very real client concern — “what will happen to me and my family if I can’t work and earn an income?” Addressing this issue with clients is something you can feel good about, especially if the unfortunate does happen.
With the hectic lifestyles we all lead these days, it’s always a challenge getting people to sit down and discuss these needs. I’ve found that, if I’ve done a good job in laying out how I can help them achieve their financial objectives and they realize the importance of protecting themselves, people will make the time.
If you’re not currently selling IDI, the first step is to make a commitment to discuss the need for income protection with all appropriate clients. Don’t make assumptions about affordability or existing coverage. After all, today’s individual policies are increasingly more affordable and can typically be structured to meet a variety of client needs and budgets. And if your client is fortunate enough to have group coverage, remember that benefits are typically taxable. This often leaves a large portion of income unprotected, especially for high income-earners.
Why I sell income protection — my story
One inspiration for my strong belief in disability income protection was my father. He was in insurance sales all his adult life and owned his own agency. At age 62, that all changed with a diagnosis of early-onset dementia. The abrupt end of his career was devastating, but fortunately Dad had done a lot of planning (just as he advised his clients to do).
The life and disability income insurance and investments he had purchased made the transition easier for both him and my mother. I witnessed this first-hand when I took time away from my then-current job to help him exit his business.
Growing up I had seen the value of my dad’s profession, but this “up close and personal” look really opened my eyes. The various insurance products, including disability income protection, made such a difference during this difficult time. I decided to change careers and become an advisor like my dad. Over time I developed a passion for helping others, and in particular, making sure their income protection houses were in order. And, you can bet that I’m protecting myself as thoroughly as Dad did.