First, I want to thank Eric for allowing me to serve as his guest blogger during Disability Insurance Awareness month. My goal is to let you know how important disability insurance planning can be for you and your clients. I would like to give you a couple of ideas to help you and your clients plan for potential loss of income due to a disabling accident or illness. Of course, no one really believes that it will happen to them, but it is our job to help them plan and prepare for such life events.
If you watched the video, you saw that it happened to me. The good news is that I had planned and invested in three individual disability policies over the years. Did I like paying the premiums for this coverage? Not really, but I had a disability specialist convince me early in my career that if my income were to suddenly stop as a result of sickness or accident that I would have a real serious problem that would affect all my other planning. I am very grateful to this agent for educating me about disability income insurance.
If disability insurance has not been a regular part of your practice, I would recommend that you consider developing a relationship with a disability carrier representative to help you get started with the education process.
The magic question to ask is: If your income were to stop today how long could your family survive financially?
This question is the basis for the strategy I use to place individual disability coverage in force. You can use this technique to help educate your prospects and clients about the benefits they have at work. During the fact-finding process, ask them directly if they have any disability coverage through work. If they say they do, ask them how it works. Be sure to ask questions like:
- How much would you get a month?
- Is your monthly benefit taxable?
- How long do you have to wait before you get your first check?
- How long are you entitled to receive the disability checks?
- Do the checks stop if you qualify for social security disability?
This system works great and I have found that they really appreciate your efforts to help them understand what they currently have in place.
My experience is that most people have no clue how their group long term disability actually works and that this process is a great way for you to start the conversation. Ask them to get you their plan booklet or a summary plan description from their employer or they may be able to access this information online.
After reviewing the plan information, schedule another appointment to go over both the positives and the negatives of employer provided disability and life insurance. I have often found that once they understand the limitations of their group coverages, they are interested in purchasing individual policies to fill the gaps.
They tell me that May is Disability Insurance Awareness month, but based on my experience I propose that every month should be Disability Insurance Awareness month.
Bill Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org