Protection Products

Another Day, Another Chance to Take Action


Ever wonder what you would do, could do, or would have done if you had another hour in the day? Or how about an extra day in the year? With Leap Year, we literally get an extra day every four years, but we rarely mark it as an extra opportunity. 

Have you been putting off something you really need to do? Maybe making doctor’s appointment, doing your taxes, replacing the tires on your car, setting up that date night your spouse keeps hinting about, cleaning out the junk drawer that we all have in our house … or even getting around to finding life insurance coverage for your clients. 


What if there is no tomorrow? 

groundhog.jpgLike everyone else, I love to procrastinate – I’ll get that done next year, next month, maybe tomorrow. But what happens if we don’t get that extra day? I’m not talking about February 29 – I’m literally talking about tomorrow. We know today is a gift because tomorrow isn’t promised to us. Think about it: You – or your clients – might not be around tomorrow to get that policy in place. 

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.”

– Phil (Bill Murray) in “Groundhog Day”

I know Groundhog Day the holiday is at the opposite end of February, but I think “Groundhog Day” the movie tells the same lesson. In the film, Bill Murray (who in my opinion is one of the all-time greatest comedians) plays Phil, a weatherman covering Punxsutawney Phil’s annual emergence from his burrow. 

Phil not only gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict, but he also finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again, consistently making mistakes and manipulations until he finally gets it right by doing things for the good of others and not just himself. Only then does he finally get to move on to a new day. 


Take Action

Looking for something good to do with your extra day this year? Or better yet, TODAY? How about helping your clients get the insurance protection they need for their spouse, kids or business.

Take steps to protect them financially so that WHEN, not IF, tomorrow never comes, the people they care about will be able to continue their daily lives, at least without financial hardship or interruption.


About the Author

As an Ash Brokerage RVP, Kevin Orth enjoys establishing and building lasting relationships while having some fun along the way. In addition to having more than 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry, he is a Chartered Life Underwriter®, Fellow of the Life Management Institute and member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. 


Ask an Underwriter: Cardiac Complications


When you come across clients with a cardiac history, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for insurance. Different diagnoses or symptoms require different tests … and lead to different outcomes for underwriting.  

First of all, cardiac disorders or diseases affect the heart in different ways: 

  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular rhythm), sinus bradycardia (very slow heart rate) or tachycardia (very fast heart rate) are disruptions in the “electrical” system or the “wiring” of the heart muscle

  • High blood pressure or coronary artery disease are circulatory disorders

  • Cardiomyopathy, congenital and/or acquired abnormalities (diseases which can affect the heart muscle or valves) are muscular or structural disorders 

The category or type of heart disease an individual is treated for will dictate the diagnostic or routine cardiac exam and/or testing they will undergo. 


“Electrical” disruptions

The basic heart exam will consist of review of symptoms and vital statistics (blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels), plus a stethoscope exam and a resting electrocardiogram (EKG). If further evaluation is needed, a Holter monitor (a continuous recording of a person’s heart rhythm) may be ordered as well as an echocardiogram (ECHO – a type of ultrasound test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart).


Circulatory disorders

Exams and testing will include a basic cardiac exam, with a resting EKG and blood work. If further evaluation is needed, there may be one or more of the following tests: stress test or stress test with nuclear imaging (measures a heart’s response to exertion or stress and is induced by exercise or drug stimulation), ECHO, stress ECHO, or cardiac CT angiography. Depending on findings, a more invasive exam, such as cardiac catheterization, may be required.


Muscular or structural disorders

Testing will include the basic cardiac exam, a chest x-ray, and an EKG.  Depending on symptoms and findings, additional testing can include one of more of the following:  ECHO, stress ECHO, cardiac MRI or CT, cardiac catheterization, or a cardiac biopsy.


Underwriting Assessment

When considering an applicant with a cardiac history of any kind, a life insurance underwriter hopes to see that the individual:  

  • Goes to regular follow-up visits with their doctor
  • Follows all treatments, including medication, changes in diet, or exercise (if recommended)
  • Has up-to-date, routine serial cardiac testing (stress test, ECHO, etc.) with results that show stability of the underlying disorder, as well as good heart function

By proving they’re compliant with treatments and doing well, applicants with a cardiac history may be considered more favorably in underwriting, giving them more favorable options for coverage.  

With so many variables involved – from the diagnosis/treatment details to carrier risk assessment – we’ve created three comprehensive questionnaires 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.


Learn More


About the Author

For more than 34 years, Charlie Kuhn has taken a personal interest in every case. To her, it’s more than a file – it’s a person trying to protect the people they care about, and she can think of no better vocation than to help provide financial and emotional security for others. Through her personal commitment to continuous professional growth, Charlie is one test away from becoming an Associate of the Life Management Institute. She is already an Associate of Customer Service with LOMA, has passed all three of the Academy of Life Underwriting exams, and is certified in EKG interpretation.



underwriting cardiac heart

Defense Wins Championships, in Football and Finance


It’s been said, “Defense wins championships.” With the Super Bowl celebrating its 50th year, you’ve likely heard the talking heads repeat this phrase as it relates to football’s biggest game. But, the same wisdom can apply in the world of financial planning. Amidst uncertain market conditions, it’s paramount we protect clients’ accumulated assets. 


The Boom

Football smashed its way into the hearts of Americans 50 years ago, as the middle class emerged post-World War II. Five decades later, the baby boomers have endured tumultuous markets and watched their wealth accumulate as they prepared to retire. 

In the meantime, some important things changed:  

  • Medical technology and access to health care improved, and continues to improve …
  • As a result, the average human lifespan also improved, and retirees are living longer than they planned

Now, many Americans are faced with the harsh reality that they may run out of money in retirement, especially when factoring in the likelihood of needing extended medical care at some point in their lives.   

The Challenge

Financial professionals have long focused on accumulation as a core competency, but too frequently overlook the protection vehicles such as life insurance, annuities or long-term care. These solutions are not widely understood, and quickly deemed by many as, “expensive” or “unnecessary.”  

However, market volatility, living too long, and costly health care needs are variables that can derail even the best of plans. Protection products not only provide a level of comfort when facing these risks, but they also provide tax advantages and guarantees not available through other financial vehicles. 

The Game Plan

In the fourth quarter of life, your clients want to be confident their retirement strategy is sound. Many are looking to a financial “defensive coordinator” to make sure their asset management game plan includes solid protection for potential risks. 

Be that defensive coordinator. Help them win. After all, everyone wants a chance to compete for the championship.


About the Author

As an Ash Brokerage RVP, Kurt believes in doing more than providing quality insurance solutions – he works to build longstanding, trusting relationships through mutual interests, goals and morals. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where he studied political science and economics, and also played football. His career experience includes wholesaling with Lincoln Financial Group as well as a stint with the U.S. Attorney Office. 

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.


Learn More

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