Life Insurance can Help Your Retirement Planning

Life Insurance can Help Your Retirement Planning

Buying the right life insurance coverage with your future retirement in mind can make it easier for your family to handle finances when you die.  It can also help protect your money, manage your taxes and give you the opportunity to grow cash value which you can use for a variety of needs and activities. Here are some tips for using life insurance as part of your retirement planning. Permanent life insurance can help your retirement planning Permanent life insurance offers you a death benefit and the potential to build cash value that can be used to help supplement your retirement income. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of permanent life insurance is the ability to access the cash value. Cash value is generally tax-free through a policy loan.  Why is tax-free so important? Lower taxes during retirement If you use the cash value from your life insurance policy read more
“Life” without Contact

“Life” without Contact

It has been a tough couple of weeks learning this new normal, but we are pushing through and we are all here to help. The interest in life insurance is still quite high, especially with the concern about COVID-19. At this point carriers have made limited changes to their underwriting process, mostly concerning foreign travel. The largest change has come with paramed exams. Exams are being delayed or cancelled by clients, concerned about exposure to new people. Exam companies are also making changes, saying that examiners will only come if your client does not show any symptoms of illness. The good news is that we are set up to offer life insurance for your clients without the need for a paramed exam. You can apply with “drop ticket” application, or iGO electronic apps so that you and your clients can talk through the application remotely. The following products are available read more
Life Insurance through work…a potentially false sense of security

Life Insurance through work…a potentially false sense of security

In the 2018 LIMRA Life insurance Barometer study, 60% of Americans own a life insurance policy.  However, continuing the trend that first started in 2017, more Americans are now covered by a group life insurance plan than by an individual plan they purchased. 2017 was the first year since LIMRA began tracking the issue in 1960 that group insurance was more popular than individual plans. Group life insurance is great, often the benefit is free, so why not accept it.  The problem is not accepting the group plan, the problem is the client believing that they no longer need to discuss an individual plan. Some companies will offer a flat amount of $25,000 to $100,000 of life insurance as a group benefit, while others will offer a multiple of the employee’s salary.  If you are one of the lucky few to be debt free, or you do not yet have read more
Life Insurance pricing

Life Insurance pricing

Advertising for Life insurance is becoming more common.  This is a good thing for all of us, but it leads clients down a confusing path.  Are online life insurance plans less expensive?   The answer is no.  Online life insurance quotes are the same pricing that any independent life insurance agent can offer.  There is not special discount for online agents, the pricing for life insurance products are set and approved by State insurance departments.  But, can a certain national online life insurance retailer really help you “save up to 70% on your term life policy…”  The answer to this question, is more difficult.  They may be able to save you 70%, but what are they comparing it to?  All term life insurance companies have different products, with different features.  Saying they are saving you 70% off term insurance, is the same as me selling a Hyundai and saying it is read more
What is AML and what do I have to do?

What is AML and what do I have to do?

A common question asked by many independent life insurance agents is “What is AML?”  AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering training, a requirement by the U.S. Treasury department.  The Treasury department defines money laundering as the following: “Money laundering generally refers to financial transactions in which criminals, including terrorist organizations, attempt to disguise the proceeds, sources or nature of their illicit activities. Money laundering facilitates a broad range of serious underlying criminal offenses and ultimately threatens the integrity of the financial system.” In order to sell any life insurance products that contain a “cash value component,” all Life insurance producers are required to complete Anti-Money Laundering training.  Since life carrier appointments are not product specific, even if you only sell term life insurance, if the insurance carrier offers a “cash value” product, you will be required to take the AML training. To keep your certificate current, AML training is required every read more
Application Options – the truth about Drop Tickets

Application Options – the truth about Drop Tickets

So your client is ready to apply for life insurance.  Have you discussed the application options with them?  Paper applications, e-applications, drop tickets?  There are several options, though not all are available from each carrier.  Not only that, but drop ticket applications vary considerably in the initial questions that are asked by you the agent, and the length of time the telephone interview will take. So the good news is that your comfortable with your options now, the bad news is that not all options are available from every carrier. In fact there are only a few that offer all three options. Here is a list of a few Life insurance carriers and their application options:   Depending on your point of view, if you are a P&C agent or a Carrier life agent, you will either love or hate drop ticket applications.  Regardless, these types of applications are not read more
When to write outside of Northwestern?

When to write outside of Northwestern?

As a Northwestern Mutual agent/advisor you represent one of the most influential and trusted life insurance carriers in the country. You have access to a vast source of information and excellent products to protect your clients.  However, one company cannot be all things for all clients. A time will come when you need to look outside of Northwestern to other companies.  There are two main areas that a BGA can help Northwestern agents, Underwriting, and Products.   Underwriting The most obvious time to look outside of Northwestern is when your client is declined or rated by Northwestern’s underwriting.  Depending on your client’s condition, there may be another carrier that is more favorable.  Developing a relationship with a Brokerage General Agent is an important step, that provides you the freedom to discuss your client without pressure and determine if there may be a better fit outside of Northwestern.   There are several opportunities to go outside of northwestern prior to submission, which can save you and your read more
Should I offer my P&C clients Life Insurance?

Should I offer my P&C clients Life Insurance?

It’s ok to offer Life insurance! Ask yourself why national P&C carriers like Liberty Mutual and Nationwide, require their producers to write life insurance too? The answer is retention. As you know the more lines of business you have with a client, the more likely they are to stay with your agency.  Life Insurance is a long-term product, one that you do not have to review/replace every year.  Since these clients are more likely to stay with you long term, it increases the amount of renewal commissions you can make on their other product lines as well.  On the opposite side of the coin, think about the clients that go looking for life insurance and find another P&C agency down the street that can help them.  Once that agency helps with the life insurance, they will most certainly quote the P&C business as well, wouldn’t you? An opportunity with Life Insurance While our agent may be correct that “clients no longer ask about life read more
What is a BGA (Brokerage General Agency)?

What is a BGA (Brokerage General Agency)?

A BGA is an insurance agency that works with financial professionals who are licensed to sell the insurance products of carriers we represent. A BGA is a partner for you, the insurance agent, to help you find the best product for your client.  A BGA can represent several companies and many product lines. The four main product categories for most Brokerage General Agents are Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Annuities. Who do you work with? Our clients are insurance professionals like yourself.  We work with Property & Casualty Agents, Carrier Life agents, Employee benefits brokers, and financial advisors.  Each type of agent comes to us for different reasons, but all are looking for help finding the right product for their client.  Many of you have direct access to a few Life Insurance carriers, whether you are a career agent from Northwestern or a P&C agent with a direct Cincinnati Life appointment.  However, there are read more
Life Insurance Application

Life Insurance Application

What does a life insurance application look like? In the last 15 years, a life insurance application has grown to become a long legal document with more words than you would ever want to read.  Since traditional paper applications have become so long, life insurance companies and third-party software companies have attempted to simplify the process using technology.  There are three major ways to collect the required information, but regardless of the process, the time it takes to complete a life insurance application is still on average 45 min to 1 hour.  The three processes are traditional Paper applications, E-applications, or “drop ticket” applications.  Like everything else, there are pros and cons to each. Paper Applications Paper Applications are still the most commonly used application type.  The agent/bga can better control the underwriting process, including ordering the paramed exam, and if needed, APS records.  This control can be important if something goes wrong in underwriting read more