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Life Policy Appraisals Mean Business

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What You Need to Know

  • Some clients may need policies to cope with inflation.
  • Other clients may need different kinds of coverage.
  • Simply talking about the value of life insurance policies could lead to other, interesting conversations.

s we enter a new year, agents and advisors should begin efforts to set new appointments and research ways to leverage existing client relationships to grow their business.

A conversation about a life insurance policy appraisal and a possible life settlement can be an excellent way to get senior clients thinking about the future and possible changes to their insurance portfolio.

Here are a few key issues that can be addressed to get prospects and existing clients talking and into the right mindset.

1. Hedge against rising costs.

While the economy continues to grow and unemployment is a lesser concern, several key economic indicators are serving as big negatives for seniors. Overall rising costs for traditional commodities like groceries, gas, and automobiles are a source of worry. Practically everything that’s manufactured is becoming scarce and more expensive, and inflation is no longer just a fear — the reality is setting in.

While many seniors remember dramatic issues of inflation back in the 1970s, they haven’t had to cope with it for more than 40 years. Frankly, those of us who were around in the 1970s only remember the highlights — like long gas lines and high-interest rates.

Rising costs are always going to be a problem for folks on a fixed income, but when you add in that interest rates may be going up (the Federal Reserve has indicated as much), seniors now have a need to hedge.

Senior should look at life settlements as most have policies that have performed well. Many policies have grown in cash value and a policy appraisal will explain what a policy’s true value can be. Now could be the best time to sell a policy and use the proceeds to hedge against rising costs.

2. Life circumstances have changed.

Seniors, again particularly those on a fixed income, are feeling the pinch of rising costs, and many have life insurance policies with premiums that continue to go up. If the reason they purchased the policy has changed, then it might be time for an assessment.

Maybe they bought it for a business they no longer run, for their spouse who is no longer around, or for children who are grown.

They may be paying into a policy that is performing well but could also be a source of financial strain.

A policy appraisal could give some clarity about the next move forward, and a life settlement could be an option to sell an existing policy for immediate cash while also lowering monthly costs. With the cash infusion, the client can then look at options for replacement coverage. Maybe a smaller or different type of policy is a better solution.

Many smart boomers bought whole life insurance years ago with good intentions to protect their wealth and provide for their families if something were to happen.

For many, the reasoning has changed. For them, it might make sense to sell an existing whole life policy, for example, and buy a long-term care policy in its place.

In this scenario, the agent presents the policy appraisal along with options — which enables the advisor to showcase knowledge and potentially earn multiple fees and a commissions.

3. Get a foot in the door.

A policy appraisal is an excellent conversation starter for senior clients. While a life settlement is not for everyone, we believe it is an option that every senior client should know about. Agents can use life settlements as an educational tool and as a strong reason to sit down with their clients to take a closer look at their retirement plans. Perhaps it uncovers a chance to discuss an annuity, long-term care coverage, or other retirement strategies.

Many clients don’t yet understand the value of a policy appraisal, but they certainly should know about it.

Agents and advisors may not secure an immediate sale but having the policy appraisal conversation may expand the conversation and “prime the pump” for a lucrative transaction in the future.

The challenges facing agents in the life insurance industry continue to change, just as the economy and financial markets evolve. A policy appraisal is a new tool that can help clients prepare for the future while offering agents and advisors an opportunity to grow their book of business.

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Wm. Scott Page (Photo: PolicyAppraisal.com)Wm. Scott Page is the founder of PolicyAppraisal.com.

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