With the holiday season upon us, we give thanks to the people and things that lessen our burdens and make our lives brighter.
As I write this blog, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a time where we can devote our attention to the things that matter most with the right planning.
In no small part, that’s thanks to trusted professionals like you who offer guidance to clients to ensure that they — and most importantly their loved ones — are protected from unforeseen events that could affect their ability to earn an income, the ability to care for themselves, or even their lives.
In the spirit of giving thanks, make it a point this month to go over the insurance policies of each and every client. You may be surprised at just how many may need to make adjustments.
Here are a few tips to get started.
1. Educate and empower.
Though we insure ourselves, the policies are really there for the people that matter most to us. Regrettably, many people don’t fully appreciate how important these policies are until it’s too late, leaving their loved ones to try to pick up the pieces.
Life insurance is the single most basic policy that protects your clients, yet 30 percent of American households are without it (LIMRA Trends in Life Insurance Ownership, 2010); some of the most vulnerable among them, including 70 percent of working women with children under the age of 18, don’t have a policy in place.
When it comes to long-term care insurance policies, people often wait until their health has deteriorated and it’s too late.
If they knew that 43 percent of people facing long-term care costs are under the age of 65, and at least 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need long-term care services and support at some point (2014 Medicare & You, National Medicare-Handbook, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, September 2013), most will jump on board immediately.
Do not assume your clients have a complete appreciation for the potential risks that face their loved ones or their long-term goals.
Educate them on the basics of life, long-term care and disability insurance. Call on your insurance partners and host a coffee (or apple cider!) hour for clients to gain better insight. Don’t let them miss this opportunity to act now before it’s too late.
2. Get gathering… & I’m not talking about dust!
Chances are good that most of your clients have purchased life insurance (universal, whole or term), and many might also have long-term care and disability. But some of these policies were purchased years ago when your clients’ situations may have been drastically different; they may have purchased them directly, from an employer, another agent or yourself. They may not understand just how much coverage they currently have, which policies may be set to change or expire, or whether their policies are meeting their financial goals.
Rather than let these in-place policies continue to gather dust, request that your clients gather them up immediately. That may mean raiding through drawers and filing cabinets, but the small amount of time it takes can save them and their loved ones large sums of money down the road.