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Disability Insurance Observer: Oscar Munoz

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The most important thing to say here is that I hope Oscar Munoz, the chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL) has a full and speedy recovery.

Munoz came aboard as the airline’s CEO Sept. 8. He had a heart attack Oct. 15. United Airlines announced Wednesday that he received a heart transplant earlier in the day.

See also: United CEO Munoz has heart transplant with return still seen

What a difficult situation.

For the agents, brokers, consultants and others who help individuals and employers set up personal protection insurance arrangements, the Munoz story is a headline-making example of the kind of scenario that comes up in conversations with clients every day. 

Clients may say that they are young, healthy and active, and that they get their checkups and eat right. They may say that the risk they will need disability insurance, critical illness insurance, short-term care insurance, long-term care insurance or even major medical illness insurance in any given week is low.

They may be skeptical about the idea of the need to set up long-duration personal protection arrangements, and amused by the idea of having to have individual arrangements in place for the few weeks they will spend between the day one job ends and another begins — or for the weeks from the day they start the new job until they get through a group benefits or executive benefits eligibility waiting period.

High-income executives may remember the time, just a few years earlier, when they could live quite comfortably on $50,000 per year and wonder why they need to make any special allowances now for the possibility that they could lose their current ability to bring in $50,000 per month.

See also: DI Underwriter Sees Room for Longer-Term High-Limit Policies

Corporate clients may stare at you blankly when you talk about the idea of insuring companies against the risk of losing the services of key people.

Now you can skip the general warnings about the possibility that something surprising could happen and tell them the story of Oscar Munoz.

As the organization formerly known as the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education says: Life Happens, whether your clients want to think about that or not.

See also: 

Talking buy-sell reviews

7 non-traditional disability conversations to have with employers

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