It's been a great run in the equity markets. If you manage money, business has been good. Your assets under management are likely at an all-time high. You’re starting the year with a nice recurring revenue stream. Life is good – or is it?
Well, life insurance isn’t all good. It’s somewhat of a pun, but in all seriousness, risk management products have taken a back seat to AUM. Who wants to talk about death, getting sick or running out of income in this market? Not many people.
Let’s face it, most of your time is spent on asset allocation, rebalancing, tax management, seeking alpha, low-cost, etc., etc., etc. By the time you’re done with all that, the risk management strategy can wait for the next meeting. You can get to it another time … your clients are fine, right?!
For now. Unless you know something I don't, everyone has a 100 percent chance of not being fine forever.
What if you put the risk management conversation at the forefront of your conversations this year? Actually have a heart-to-heart discussion about the risks in life. I’m not talking about death insurance conversations, I’m talking about living insurance conversations.
You need to plan for WHEN something will happen, not if. You need to talk about risk – extended health care, chronic illness, disability, outliving income and, yes, death – at every client meeting.
To put it bluntly: You cannot call yourself a financial advisor, wealth manager or any other term that implies “holistic” planner unless you have a strategy around risk management.
No more excuses. Make 2018 the year you become a "When it happens" advisor. To clarify, I don't think your clients must buy or own insurance coverage. But I do think you need to help them set a plan for action for WHEN one of life’s risks happens to them.
Take the pressure off yourself and just have a conversation with the clients you serve. This isn't about product, or features or price. Tell them that you simply care enough to make a plan. When you do this, I bet your business will grow, your clients will be happier and you will know more about them than you do now.
And yes, I imagine a few folks will want to transfer some of that risk away from their own balance sheet. If they want to know what that looks like, that's when you call us. And we’ll answer.
Being a spouse is about more than being married. It’s about providing unconditional love, friendship and support – both emotionally and financially. It’s easier to focus on emotional support, but financial support can also create invaluable peace of mind. With life insurance, it also demonstrate love beyond measure.
To that point, are the top five reasons you should talk to your married clients about life insurance:
If your clients are married, you now have five great conversations starters to have the talk about life insurance. Be sure every spouse has the coverage they need – because someone is depending on them … and they are depending you!
Sharlene Woerther is passionate about addressing the universal need for protection with insurance. As an Ash Brokerage RVP, she helps agents enhance their practice by uncovering and addressing their clients’ concerns with sensible and impactful solutions. With more than 28 years of experience, she has expertise in underwriting, case design and advanced planning.
Cervical cancer may be one of the most treatable and preventable cancers out there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about it. Education is important – not only for prevention and early detection, but also for underwriting.
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), each year, an estimated 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and one-third will die as a result. So even though the overall risk of cervical cancer has declined over the last few decades, it’s still a serious issue.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common infection known to cause cell changes on the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States – so common, in fact, nearly all sexually active men and women will get it at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
When it comes to insurance, your clients’ participation in regular Pap screenings not only helps reduce the risk of advanced cancer, it may also be viewed as a credit during the underwriting process.
Earlier detection and successful treatment rates have also increased the insurability of individuals with a history of cervical cancer. Someone with a low-grade diagnosis can potentially secure a non-rated offer, and someone with a high-grade/early stage diagnosis could qualify for rated offers within a year, and possibly standard rates after three years.
With so many variables involved – from the diagnosis/treatment details to carrier risk assessment – we’ve created a comprehensive questionnaire to assist you in your fact-finding efforts.
No matter the situation, we encourage you to ask questions and get all the facts. Have a specific question? Check out the resources below or drop me a line and we'll be happy to help.
Dianne Leidigh has earned an unwavering reputation, among customers and constituents alike, as a respected partner and trusted resource. Through her personal commitment to continuous professional growth, she’s become an Associate of the Life Management Institute, Associate of Customer Service with LOMA, and an Associate of the Academy of Life Underwriting. As Dianne approaches her second decade in the brokerage life insurance industry, much of which dedicated to advocating risk, her passion for helping others, commitment to personal growth, and perseverance truly yield winning solutions!
The best of plans may be laid to waste, poet Robert Burns taught us. But that shouldn't stop you from making them. Because while unfulfilled plans can cause regret, failing to make any plans could leave you even more remorseful.
Advisors are “planners," but how many of us actually have a formal business plan we develop, re-visit and actually follow? It doesn't have to be complicated. A plan starts with goals, so look at the year ahead (and beyond), and ask yourself:
You've likely heard of the need for your goals to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Take a moment to write down your goals for the year (and beyond), and come up with a plan of action to reach them. Find a balance between hard and easy – between stepping out of your comfort zone and keeping things reasonable and attainable.
It's no different than creating plans for your clients. Your ability to plan for them is only as effective as your ability to plan for your own business. So, get started now. If you don’t have any goals, I can guarantee you’ll never reach them.
“To a Mouse” by Robert Burns: http://www.robertburns.org/works/75.shtml
With experience as a producer and carrier representative, Bobby Pesakoff is well versed in the variety of issues that an advisor is confronted with on a daily basis. As an Ash Brokerage RVP, he helps advisors grow their businesses, enhance their practices and serve their clients. His goal is to help financial professionals give their clients peace of mind as efficiently and conveniently as possible.
Editor’s Note: Because the need for regular insurance policy reviews never goes away, we decided to re-publish this post from 2015. When you’re done reading, be sure to water your plants – then go review your clients’ coverage.
It’s that time of year again! Houseplant Appreciation Day (celebrated Jan. 10) is finally upon us. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we last took the time to celebrate the bond between man and shrub.
Houseplants offer many benefits: They filter our air, look great and can even reduce stress. As we all know, constant time, attention and care are all required to successfully tend to our green friends. Many of us are more than up to the task.
Why then, do we neglect to care for one of our clients’ most important financial instruments: their life insurance?
Most financial professionals agree that a client’s life insurance holding should be reviewed every couple of years, or after any major life event (marriage, birth of a child, new job, retirement, etc.) If your clients own any form of cash value life insurance, reviewing the coverage regularly is even more important. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
Maybe it’s lack of insurance knowledge that keeps us from contacting our clients. Maybe we want to avoid the image of the “salesman.” Maybe we don’t even know who to ask for help. Whatever the reason, our Life Insurance Portfolio Analysis (LIPA) team can help you care for your clients’ policies and keep them from “wilting.”
The Ash LIPA team is a dedicated group of people who specialize in the review of in-force life insurance. With a signed authorization from the policy owner or trustee, and a couple other items, they can order information from the issuing insurance company to “stress test” the health and viability of any insurance policy.
After the in-force policy performance has been reviewed, the team can look at the marketplace today and determine if there are any potential improvements to be made. The life insurance industry is a fluid marketplace; products are constantly changing and evolving, just as your houseplants are constantly growing!
All joking aside, as financial professionals, life insurance review is critical for our clients. The consequences of a poorly managed policy can be devastating.
So, on this Houseplant Appreciation Day, as you take time to celebrate the indoor flora in your life (or not) at least remember this: Your clients’ policies are like your houseplants – they don’t require a lot of upkeep, but they do require regular attention if you want them to thrive.
As part of the LIPA team at Ash Brokerage, Scott Behrendsen’s goal is to not only ensure clients have the best possible protection, but to also present the planning strategies and concepts in a concise format that’s easy to understand. He’s been in the insurance industry for 10 years, working in annuities, broker-dealer operations, and health insurance before joining Ash Brokerage. He has an extensive background in life insurance case design and advanced strategies. He’s currently pursuing an MBA in marketing.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.