A couple of nights before Thanksgiving 2016, I took a break from holiday preparations to sit down at the computer and read some stories. These weren’t just any stories — they were the entries in the Real Life Stories Client Service Award program sponsored by Life Happens. I was one of the judges for the award program that year, and my job turned out to be a little more difficult than I had expected.
I certainly was familiar with Real Life Stories. When I worked for an insurance agents’ association, a member I knew well had been selected as a winner in 2005. The advisor had convinced a client to keep his coverage at a time when money was tight and he wanted to drop it. A few years later, the client died from cancer and the life insurance death benefit helped his family rebuild.
Another member I knew well was chosen as a winner a few years later. Same situation — a client wanted to drop coverage to save money and the advisor convinced him to keep it. Only this time, the client was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters. Again, the death benefit gave the family members space to grieve and pick up the pieces.
The Real Life Stories we reviewed described many different situations. Thanks to life insurance, a family-owned restaurant was able to keep going after tragedy struck the owner. The cash value in a life insurance policy helped pay for a young man’s care after he developed a debilitating medical condition that ultimately took his life. A husband’s life insurance proceeds helped his disabled widow buy a specially equipped van and maintain her independence.
It was difficult to read all these stories and decide which were worthy of being honored. Each story described a different scenario. But they all had two things in common. The first was that a trusted advisor recommended something that ultimately made a difference in someone else’s life. The second was love. You buy life insurance because someone you love will be hurting after you’re gone. You can’t take away their emotional pain, but you can leave them something that will alleviate their financial pain and help them on the path to healing.
September is Life Insurance Awareness month, and we at InsuranceNewsNet thought this was a good time to welcome The American College of Financial Services back to our pages for the first time since 2018. The president and staff of the college had contributed a monthly column to our Insights section for a number of years. During that time, they covered topics ranging from diversity in the industry to the #MeToo movement to planning for families of children with special needs. In this month’s column, Steve Parrish recalls his experience delivering a death benefit to a client and discusses how buying life insurance is an act of love.
This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. This tragic event drove home the points that life can change in an instant and people must prepare for the unthinkable. In this issue, Dave Buckwald tells the story of how he lost 51 clients who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center at the time the first plane hit the tower.
Buckwald describes how 24 hours can mean the difference between life and death. Although he said his experience of delivering death benefits to his clients’ widows and parents changed the way he views his profession, he remains haunted by the belief that he should have been able to convince many more Cantor Fitzgerald employees to buy coverage.
As we turn the calendar to a new month, we enter still another month of the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, the virus serves as another reminder of the need for coverage.
This month’s feature article describes how the industry is facing what some call “the opportunity of a lifetime” as more consumers consider their need for life insurance and as the industry responds by making it easier to obtain coverage.
As longtime advisor Chris Pirtle summed it up, “Consumers are hungry.”
But even though consumers are hungry and they know they have a need, they still need you to help them fill that need.