Heard in the Halls at NAILBA 33, Day 2
Question: What life, long-term-care or annuity product or feature spells opportunity for independent agents and brokers in the coming year?
“I think it will be long-term-care insurance. I say that because LTC is a marketplace in motion right now. The products are changing—again—but the new policies are more affordable for the clients, more sustainable for the carriers, and the agent compensation on them is remaining the same, so far. Some agents are gun-shy about the products because long-term care policies have changed so many times in the past. So the agents will need education and help. But they will get the education and help they need, because that’s what we brokerage general agents do.”
—Andrea D’Aoust, president Brokerage Services International Inc., Germantown, Md.
“My answer is hybrid life with long-term-care policies. Agents definitely need to look at these products because the policies can provide approximately double the life insurance benefit, three to four times the long-term care benefit, and money back to the client if the client wants to get out of the policy. This solves the problem of consumers avoiding insurance because of concern that they will never use the benefit. My sales of these policies have increased this year. Cases are already been placed, and many are pending now. Agents should know that to sell the hybrid policies, agents need to be licensed to sell long term care as well as life insurance, and they will need to do the continuing education in long term care as well as life, too. But increased continuing education makes for more informed agents.”
—John A. Hanson, president, PDI Financial Group, Inc., Appleton, Wisc.
“Agents will find tremendous opportunity in selling life insurance with living benefit riders that accelerate the death benefit for critical illness, chronic illness and terminal illness all in one policy. In my personal production, I am not selling any life insurance without these three riders. And as a brokerage general agent, I work with agents to do the same thing—sell every life policy with the three riders attached. Terminal illness riders have been around for many years. But the critical illness and chronic illness riders are newer, and now some carriers are starting to offer all three riders with a life policy. Once the agents understand what the riders do, they love it. This changes the way the agents do business, because they are now selling life insurance that the client doesn’t have to die to use. In permanent life contracts, the riders are built right in. With term life policies, the client must decide whether to pay extra to get the riders, but when those clients see how small the rider premiums are, it’s a no-brainer—the clients opt for it. Everything we do is this.”
—Steve Walter, principal, The Alliance Group, Inc., Eagle, Idaho