Is The Insurance Advice You Are Receiving in Your Best Interest?
by Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
President, Set for Life Insurance
When shopping for disability insurance it can be difficult to tell if you are getting advice that is in your best interest. This causes further stress, confusion and frustration. We often get these calls from potential clients and we who need help distinguishing which advice is applicable.
Here are some signs that the advice you are receiving that may not be in your best interest:
1) You are being pressured to buy right away. Unless it is June 29th and you are finishing your medical residency on June 30th and you want to take advantage of available discounts, you should not feel pressured to buy. You need to have a comfort level that you are purchasing the right policy for your needs. Never feel like you are being sold. Always feel like you are ready to buy. I recently had a physician contact me who had just finished his medical residency where they had the option to convert the employer group policy from the university. The selling agent passed around applications with their names on them and told them they needed to complete and turn in the applications before they left the meeting. This should be a red flag. You first need to know what your options are and if it is in your best interest. Furthermore, if someone is pressuring you to buy right away, it is typically in their best interest, not yours.
2) The agent or broker has a solution before they know your situation. I like to refer to this as prescription before diagnosis equals malpractice. Some websites will have instant quotes or only ask you very little information before running a quote for you. Set for Life has a more comprehensive quote request form. This allows us to make sure we know your priorities, goals, health situation and if you are eligible for any discounts. Disability insurance should never be seen as a one size fits all approach. A lot of my prospective clients are referred to me and tell me they want to purchase the same policy as their friend. However, I first ask a lot of questions as their solution may be very different. Rates vary based on geographical location, gender, occupation, medical specialty, health history, income and if someone has any employee benefits in force.
3) Someone tells you their company is the best. There are a lot of high quality companies who offer disability insurance. Actually, there are about a dozen of them. Most of these companies have an A+ or A++ rating. Some of them are A rated. It is important to look at company ratings, but this should not be the only factor. If one company has a higher rating but costs 50% more, the premium cost should weigh on your decision as to what is the best fit for you.
4) You are only shown one company. It is important to either look at all of your options, or to work with a broker who can show you your options. If you are only shown one company, chances are you are working with an agent of one company. An agent works for one company and they have a financial incentive to write business with that company. Sometimes they don’t have access to other companies or know the other policies available. Prices and contracts vary greatly from company to company so you want to ensure the policy you are purchasing is suitable for your situation.
5) Someone is trying to replace your existing insurance. Disability insurance premiums and policies are set based on your age and health. As such, if you try to replace your policy years later, chances are it may not be in your best interest as it may be more expensive and will require new medical underwriting. Never cancel any existing insurance until your new policy is approved to your satisfaction and you are sure the new contract is more suitable to your needs.
6) You don’t know who you are buying from. There are a lot of internet companies claiming they are “experts” yet don’t state who they are or what makes them an expert. Look for an agent or broker with a high level of training such as a CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter). Don’t be afraid to ask questions about who you are doing business with. If they are not forthcoming about who they are yet consider themselves experts, be weary.
For more information about Set for Life, disability insurance advice or to request a quote, contact Set for Life Insurance today!