Protection Products

Top 5 Reasons Spouses Need Life Insurance


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: 

  1. Someone depends on them. No matter what, having a spouse means someone depends on you. Regardless of whether both spouses working, and regardless of who the bread winner is, life insurance will play an important role in a time of great need. 

  2. They likely have debt. Whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, credit card bills, medical expenses etc., a death benefit can provide a lump sum to eliminate these debts and alleviate worry for the surviving spouse. 

  3. They may have kids. Enough said, right? We all want to be sure our children will be taken care of no matter what happens to us.   

  4. They may have a business. If a business owner dies without proper insurance and planning in place, their spouse will likely have the burden of going into business with the remaining partners or holding a fire sale to settle debt. 

  5. They will definitely have final expenses. Funeral and burial costs can amount to thousands of dollars. Without life insurance, the surviving spouse and family will likely be left with a great financial burden on top of their grief. 

Put it in Practice

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!


About the Author

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. 

Life Insurance spouses

Ask an Underwriter: Cervical Cancer


Know the impact on health and underwriting

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. 

Causes of cervical cancer

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

Cervical cancer is preventable

Insuring Cervical Cancer

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.


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About the Author

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!  


life insurance underwriting ask an underwriter cancer cervical cancer

The Best of Plans are SMART Plans


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:

  • What are my specialties and what kinds of clients can benefit from them?
  • What are my weaknesses and how can I address them?
  • Whom do I rely on for support and when do I need to call on them?
  • Taking the above into consideration, what are my long-term plans for my practice?
  • In order to meet my long-term goals, what are my objectives for the first quarter? And for the year ahead?

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.


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“To a Mouse” by Robert Burns:


About the Author

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.

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Plants and Policies: A little care goes a long way



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. 

About the Author

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.


LIPA portfolio analysis policy review life insurance