In June, the educational nonprofit Life Happens singled out life agents Tom Bader, Wallene Leek, Annie Vu and Culpepper Webb for outstanding client service and you can read more about their stories here.
The four agents will be formally recognized Sunday, Sept. 18, at this year’s Real Life Stories honorees ceremony during the annual conference of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Las Vegas.
Bader, Leek, Vu and Webb were chosen from a longer list, with just about every agent deserving of recognition. Some of those other agents are recognized in this blog post as the industry celebrates September as Life Insurance Awareness Month.
Take Luz Brissett, an agent with Minnesota Life.
When her brother Antonio died from stomach cancer in 2011, she tracked down as many as 46 people to whom Antonio wanted to leave a portion of his $850,000 term life policy.
Most of the policy’s proceeds went to his two daughters, son, ex-wife and parents, but other relatives and friends each received from $1,000 to $4,000.
“I got so many warm remarks, tears, joy, disbelieve and other emotions even from those who receive smaller amounts,” Brissett writes.
Brissett, who specifies that she was not a Minnesota Life agent at the time of her brother’s death, says that in tracking down the nearly four-dozen beneficiaries around the country – and with the protection lesson still fresh in people’s minds – she was able to spread the word and sell them life insurance.
Or consider the story of Andrea Jones, an agent with Country Financial in Parker, Colo.
What made her special was that the policy came to her own aid. In this case, she was her own client and turned to the policy after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma.
With that devastating news, Jones, 36 years old at the time of diagnosis, last year decided to initiate the paperwork for the accelerated death benefit on her life insurance policy and within two weeks she had a check.
“‘This is Andrea Jones from the Denver South office, and I need to initiate the paperwork for the accelerated death benefit … for my own policy,’” she recalls in her poignant phone conversation with her insurer.
“I could barely get the words out it was so painful,” she said.
Whatever future course her disease chose for her, Jones said she would be damned if she didn’t get her life insurance message out to the world.
“When I’m working full swing again … I guarantee there will be not a single client who will not know this story,” she writes. “Tell my story … .”
We at InsuranceNewsNet are happy to oblige.
Then there was New York Life agent Karen Babbar in Danville, Calif.
She and her husband took out a life insurance policy with a disability waiver and a long-term care policy on her oldest son Rana K. Babbar.
When Rana started suffering from seizures, he had to abandon dreams of working in the restaurant business.
His condition triggered certain long-term care policy benefits to pay for therapy and services, which the family accessed about four years ago, Babbar said.
The premium on Rana’s life insurance policy was waived, further lifting the financial burden from Karen and her husband Bobby.
Two years ago, when Rana died in his sleep, the $2 million life insurance policy benefits went to the Rana Babbar Foundation to help feed and educate children in India.
“Take care of your own and insure yourself and your family first; you never know when you are going to experience a tragedy like ours,” Karen wrote.
Each story speaks to the value of life insurance coverage, these particular tales perhaps made even more compelling by the fact that these agents and their families were themselves the recipients of the benefits.
Life Happens would like to hear your stories and is accepting applications for its 2017 Real Life Stories Client Recognition Program through Oct. 31, 2016, at 4 p.m. EST. Licensed insurance professionals and their teams are encouraged to visit http://www.lifehappens.org/reallife to submit their best client success story or to learn more about the Real Life Stories program.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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