The AGeNT’S SALeS JOURNAL

        JOURNAL         A NoN-Profit orgANizAtioN


 This May, the theme for DIAM is ‘‘Protect Your Paycheck”
     — so turn the page and learn how your clients can protect theirs...
Having a hard time trying to find
Disability coverage
for your declined clients?

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Insurance Underwritten and Administered by: Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company, Kansas City, Missouri, Not Available in All States.
Platinum Plus Group SD-28 / Policy Form No. M-4021; Platinum Plus Individual SD-29 / Policy Form No. M-4022; Platinum/Silver Group DI-139C & DI-139D / Policy Form No. M-4004;
Platinum/Silver Individual SD-16 & SD-17 / Policy Form No. M-4012 / Platinum eZ-Select Group SD-32, SD-33 / Policy Form No. M-4024; Platinum eZ-Select Individual SD-34 & SD-35 / Policy
Form No. M-4025.
ProTecT TheIr PAYchecks

    f your practice is anything like mine, you can divide your
    DI-qualified prospects into three groups:

     Those who are young, can’t imagine becoming disabled, and
                                                                                 DI, then, becomes the go-to solution to protect your clients’
                                                                             paychecks. While many people have some kind of DI coverage
                                                                             through work, those benefits are often not sufficient to make
                                                                             ends meet in the event of a disability.
     think they can’t afford disability insurance coverage.                      It becomes your job to ask probing questions that “disturb”
                                                                             your client or prospect such as, “What would you do if an ill-
2    Those who are established and think they have enough                    ness or injury prevented you from working for 12 months, or
     wealth to cover expenses during a disability.                           24 months, or even five years?” These types of open-ended
                                                                             questions can make your client aware that there is a problem —
3    Those sandwiched in between the first two groups who have               and many people don’t think there is. Once you’ve established
     accumulated some wealth and have the income to pay for                  the problem, then it’s a matter of saying, “Here’s the price tag
     DI, but aren’t sure they want to buy it.                                for insuring against that problem, and it’s very cost-efficient.”
                                                                                 If you don’t do a lot of DI business, that shouldn’t stop
It’s always tough having a conversation about DI, and each                   you from leveraging DIAM. You don’t need to be a DI expert.
group presents its own challenges. However, every single per-                Instead, your job is to act as your client’s financial quarterback.
son, regardless of their mindset, has one thing in common: a                 You don’t have to know the answers to every conceivable
paycheck. That’s why the LIFE Foundation has chosen “Protect                 question your client may ask; you just have to know where to
Your Paycheck” as the theme for this year’s Disability Insurance             go to get them.
Awareness Month (DIAM) in May.                                                   Do what I do. I reach out to another agent or wholesaler,
    By choosing to speak with your clients and prospects about               a DI expert, to guide me through the process. Additionally,
the idea of protecting their paychecks, instead of disability, you           the LIFE Foundation has a wide range of DI marketing materials
can turn the conversation toward something positive and relat-               that you can use during DIAM and beyond to reach out to clients
able. No one wants to think about becoming disabled, despite                 and prospects; access them at,
the fact that on average, people have a 1 in 5 chance of becom-              or flip through this special bonus supplement for a
ing disabled for a year or more before turning 65, according to              sneak preview.
the U.S. Department of Commerce. Most people, however,                           Take advantage of the momentum that the industry is build-
would be interested to find out what they can do to protect                  ing around DIAM this May. Make a pledge to ask each and every
their paycheck. It’s a concept that hits home psychologically                client, “Would you like to protect your paycheck?” «
more than DI itself does. A paycheck funds all the other things
in life — from the mortgage to food to college tuition — and                 Marvin H. Feldman is president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. He
an illness or injury could put a stop to that paycheck.                      can be reached at

     To Do: Make DIAM a Priority
     `    Use the“Protectyour Paycheck” theme to get your clients think-     `   Leverage LIFe’s DI marketing tools. From an online e-card that
          ing.While they may not be able to visualize becoming disabled,         you can send to clients to a comprehensive DI brochure, these
          they most certainly can visualize losing their paycheck.               resources can be accessed at

     `    Use DIAm as a reason to ask all your clients and prospects about   `   Piggyback on the momentum of the companies and industry
          protecting their paycheck.If you don’t ask,you’re never going to       associations you are involved with that are also running
          make a DI sale.                                                        DIAm campaigns.

supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010                                                                                               3
one WoMAn's sTorY
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 24 years old, her employer’s coverage
helped her tremendously — but still, she wishes she’d had more


          shley Tew Wilkerson was on a trip to Florida with         ASJ: Once you were diagnosed, were you immediately worried
          the man she later married when she began feeling the      about your paycheck, or was there a period of time before that
          tingling in her legs.                                     aspect of your condition sank in?
    At first, she thought her legs had fallen asleep from the car   ATW: Well, it was like, number one, is this going to go away?
ride, even though they’d only been traveling an hour and a half     Because at that point, I could barely get to the bathroom
when the symptoms began. By the time they reached their hotel,      myself, let alone be at work for a 14-hour shift. Most people
the numbness was up to her waist, and Wilkerson was terri-          who have MS, they have it for a couple of days; sometimes,
fied. After several doctor visits, Wilkerson finally received her   it lasts a couple of weeks. I kept waiting for mine to go away,
diagnosis at Spartanburg Regional Hospital in South Carolina,       but it hasn’t. I still have the exact same symptoms as before.
where she worked as a nurse. At the age of 24, Wilkerson had        That’s not typical, but I have a lesion on my spine rather than
multiple sclerosis.                                                 my brain, so that’s why mine is more severe.
    Thankfully, her employer offered a basic disability plan that
would pay 40 percent of her salary. However, a year earlier,        ASJ: What was going through your head at the time you
Wilkerson had the opportunity to purchase a plan that would         heard about the extra coverage you could purchase? Why
pay 50 percent of her salary, and would only cost her an extra      did you not act on this offer?
$2 per paycheck. She declined the coverage because she didn’t       ATW: I probably thought I’d never need it, so why waste that
think she’d need it.                                                money? I think I was 23 when I started there full time, and I
    Wilkerson is undergoing continuing treatment for her            didn’t think I’d need it. I figured maybe I’d get it later.
multiple sclerosis and has secured a position, using her nursing
degree, that isn’t as physically demanding as her prior job. She    ASJ: The disability coverage you did have through your
frequently speaks on the need for disability coverage, and ASJ      employer, though, how did that help?
spoke with her to find out what she thinks today about DI, and      ATW: They gave me 40 percent of my salary, and that’s
what might have helped move her to purchase more coverage           something, at least. It’s actually a pretty good chunk of money
in the first place.                                                 considering the hospital is paying for it — most employers
                                                                    don’t give employees that kind of coverage for nothing. Do
                                                                    I wish I’d bought the extra? Of course, but what they had
                                                                    given me helped a lot.

                                                                    ASJ: Now, obviously, the DI helped you make ends meet
                                                                    when you weren’t able to work as a nurse any longer —
                                                                    can you talk about some of the other benefits of having
                                                                    this coverage?
                                                                    ATW: My only job interview ever was to be a nurse, and
                                                                    they basically ask you if you have your license and you show
                                                                    it to them and that’s it. I didn’t really have any interview skills,
                                                                    but through the disability plan through Cigna, they have a
                                                                    program where they help with things like interviewing skills.
                                                                    They helped me look for jobs and figure out what might be
                                                                    possible for me. And I’m still using my nursing degree, so
                                  AShLey TeW WILkeRSON              that’s great.

4                                                                                      supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010
ASJ: having been through this experience, do you feel that                    $500 a month just for me to have insurance while I was out
DI is for everybody?                                                          on disability. Most people don’t keep that money around, so
ATW: Oh, definitely. If I had to talk to a 23-year-old sitting                us having to pay that on top of the rent and the car payment
in this room, I’d say that $2 per paycheck isn’t really that                  and everything was difficult. [DI is] very important, because
much, and it’s so much better to have it in case you need                     [a disability is] always a possibility for anybody.
it. Hopefully, you never have to use it, but if you need it, it
could mean the difference between paying the power bill                       ASJ: knowing how you were approached about extra DI
that month.                                                                   coverage back when you were 23, is there anything that
                                                                              you feel may have worked a little better toward convincing
ASJ: you’ve done some speaking on this topic — what                           you to purchase this coverage?
moved you to take that role, instead of just continuing on                    ATW: Honestly, with the LIFE Foundation, they made a
with your personal life?                                                      video of me and then they made ones of others for different
ATW: The Cigna Return-to-Work program called me to see                        insurance, and seeing somebody’s story really helped. For
if I would be willing to talk with somebody and they would                    example, the other people in the videos had a spouse die,
write a little article about it — no big deal. So I said, “If one             but they had life insurance, and I went out and got extra life
person reads it and thinks twice about it, then maybe I would                 insurance because of that. It’s also a little different because
help somebody else.” The LIFE Foundation found me through                     I have a medical condition, so if something were to happen
that, and that was how I was awarded the trip to California                   to my husband, it would be hard without that income, but
and how I got to speak there.                                                 actually seeing a real person and seeing the problems they
                                                                              went through and seeing how the insurance helped them, I
ASJ: For our readers who are involved in selling insurance                    think it would have really made a difference. «
but may not sell DI, what would you tell them about its
importance?                                                                   Christina Pellett is the editor of the Agent’s Sales Journal. She can be
ATW: It’s a definite need for people, especially those who                    reached at or 800-933-9449 ext. 226.
have any sort of illness, as much as it costs to go to the doc-               You can find Ashley Tew Wilkerson’s realLIFEstory DVD — and other
tor’s office or the hospital or whatever — I think it was over                stories — at


When it comes to selling disability income insurance, the more tools you have at your disposal, the better. In fact, in Agent
Media’s 2009 Health Market Study — conducted in partnership with the Council for Disability Awareness, the National Associa-
tion of Health Underwriters, and the Association for Health Insurance Advisors — 21 percent of producers said marketing and
point-of-sale material would most help them sell more DI. (Agent Media is the publisher of the Agent’s Sales Journal.) That’s
why, throughout this supplement, we’ll be offering you the best tools the LIFE Foundation has to offer producers like you, with
information on where to find them.

                         Focus your clients on their “greatest asset” by having them
                         calculate how much money they will earn over the course of                       For the you-Tube generation, a
                         their career with the Lifetime Earnings Calculator. It’s the perfect             video explaining the ins and outs of
                         lead-in to a conversation about protecting their paycheck.                       DI might be the right approach.
                         Or, let your clients calculate how much disability coverage they
                         need with LIFE’s Disability Needs Calculator

supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010                                                                                                  5
one ProDucer's VIeW

             hen I first started in the insurance business, I was       bUILDING AWAReNeSS — AND yOUR PRAcTIce
             young, hungry, and searching for prospects. I was          This May, the LIFE Foundation is once again devoting an entire
             still in college, and most of my peers were not good       month to promoting the importance of disability insurance to the
candidates for life insurance — none of them were married,              public. In addition to creating public awareness, LIFE’s initiative
or had dependents. Most of them were well-educated with                 is also vital to increase the prominence of disability insurance
great earning potential but were in the very early stages of            among the insurance agent, and broker, community.
their careers.                                                              By helping your clients acquire disability insurance, you are
    I soon learned, however, that these prospects made great            fulfilling an essential need by protecting them against severe
DI clients. They were young and healthy with many years in the          economic distress caused by their loss of income due to dis-
workplace ahead of them. They had invested their resources              ability. Statistically, individuals have a roughly 1 in 3 chance of
in their careers with hopes of an affluent lifestyle in the future.     suffering from a long-term disability between the ages of 30 and
This future lifestyle needed to be protected, and I was able to         65, according to the Social Security Administration Fact Sheet
help them early on and build long-term relationships.                   released Jan. 31, 2007. This is a much greater probability than
    A niche insurance practice was born.                                the chance of dying during the same period of time.
    Years later, my practice has blossomed. These clients — and             Most Americans rely heavily on their earned incomes and
the ones who followed — grew into successful professionals.             are unable to go very long without a paycheck before their
Most of them got married, had children, and became my life              financial world collapses. Especially in today’s difficult economic
insurance clients, as well. Today, I continue to work with these        landscape, we see firsthand what happens when someone loses
clients and other young professionals. My practice is stable,           their job. The media is replete with stories about the devastat-
grows each year, and provides me with a great renewal stream            ing effects that job loss can have on finances and relationships.
and referral source.                                                    The same disastrous situations can occur when someone loses
    I have helped clients with their disability claims. I’ve watched    their income because of a sickness or injury — but thankfully,
the disability insurance plans that I implemented provide an            DI provides a solution to this risk.
essential safety net for clients’ economic welfare and give
them peace of mind so that they could focus their energy on             DI keePS ON GIvING
recovering, and not on how to pay their bills while disabled and        Incorporating disability insurance into your practice can also be
out of work. Being able to really help my clients during their          beneficial to your business. DI commissions are high compared
most vulnerable moments has brought me deep professional                with other types of insurance, and renewals are among the best
satisfaction. I consider myself fortunate to be able to have built      in the industry. Since underwriting can be initially difficult and
my career from a disability insurance perspective.                      premiums are locked in and guaranteed for the client, disability

                             For those who like to take their time
                                                                                   on the Web
                             and digest the full range of information        If you’re looking for cutting-edge DI sales tips,
                             available, use the soup-to-nuts eight-          the latest news on market trends, and expert
                             page brochure, “What You Need to                insight into building a successful DI practice, visit
                             Know About Disability Insurance.”      today — and while
                             Mail it to prospects with a brief hand-         you’re there, make sure to sign up for the free
                             written note, or give it to them at the         Disability eSource, delivered straight to your inbox
                             fact-finder meeting so they can read it         twice each month.
                             between appointments.

6                                                                                          supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010
insurance policies tend to stay on the books without being easily              A SATISFyING bUSINeSS
replaced by competitors.                                                       The most rewarding reason to focus on disability insurance is the
   Furthermore, as your clients grow more financially successful               beneficial effect you can have on your clients’ lives during their
over time, their need to protect their success also grows, giving              most difficult times. I have had several clients experience disability
them a strong incentive to increase their disability policy’s cover-           claims that range from a temporary loss of work to more severe,
age by exercising guaranteed increase options in the future. This              life-changing, and permanent disabilities. Without exception, they
provides excellent new sales opportunities for you without the                 are traumatized by their loss of ability to work and provide for
need for medical underwriting. As your clients prosper, then,                  themselves and their families.
so does your business.                                                              I have seen the positive effect that disability benefits can have
                                                                               for my clients. They no longer need to fear the economic effect
A PROSPecTING TOOL                                                             of their disability and can concentrate on the physical and mental
Approaching consumers from a disability insurance perspective                  well-being of themselves and their families. I feel a great deal of
may actually increase your potential base of prospects. People who             pride and personal satisfaction knowing I have truly made a differ-
depend on their incomes need to insure themselves whether they                 ence in their lives. «
are single, married, or divorced. Life insurance prospects tend to
have dependents. As many individuals are waiting longer to get                 Jamie K. Fleischner is the president of Set for Life Insurance, an
married and start families, they also tend to delay the purchase of life       independent brokerage specializing in disability and life insurance.
insurance. Disability insurance can open new markets and different             She can be reached at or
types of prospects to supplement your existing business.                       888-553-3559.

     Getting started with DI
     hOW TO FIND PROSPecTS                                                          they may not be a good candidate for individual DI. However,
                                                                                    it is always worthwhile to contact your insurer’s underwriting
     `    Age. DI becomes more expensive as people age. Furthermore,                department to determine whether a specific health condition
          as people grow older, they tend to have more health problems,             can be excluded, or if coverage can be offered regardless of
          which can disqualify them from coverage. Ideally, your prospects          the health condition but with a shorter benefit period (e.g., a
          will purchase their policies between the ages of 25 and 45.               five-year benefit or a benefit to age 65).

     `    Income. People with greater earning potential make better DI
                                                                               hOW TO PRePARe
          candidates. If their income is too low, they will pay a dispropor-
          tionate amount in premiums for their coverage. Lower-income          `    Determine your ideal candidate and contact clients and pros-
          individuals may also have more of their income covered through            pects who fulfill that profile.
          a group policy. In contrast, people with higher incomes need
          more benefits and will have a lower proportion of coverage           `    Search your network to identify people who could be centers
          through an employer’s group plan. They are also morewilling               of influence and provide you with referrals.
          and able to pay premiums to cover their risk.
                                                                               `    Educate yourself as much as possible.Take an LUTC (Life Un-
     `    Occupation. Policy benefits, definitions, and premiums are                derwriter Training Council) class, or find a mentor in your office
          determined by occupational class. A blue collar worker — such             or community who specializes in disability insurance.
          as a plumber — will have a different (and more expensive)
          policy than a white collar worker — such as an accountant —          `    Learn about the products you have available to you and get
          since the blue collar worker is considered a higher risk. Some of         to know them well. Policies can be complex. It is important to
          the best rates and most liberal definitions available are for such        be well versed in the contract language.
          white collar professionals as attorneys and engineers.
                                                                               `    Use resources such as, the LIFE Foundation at
     `    Health. DI underwriting is among the mostdifficult in the        or the Council for Disability Awareness
          industry. Companies will look at clients’ medical history closely         at nonprofit organizations
          since they only have one chance to underwrite the policy.                 can help you find statistical information and quality handouts
          Therefore, if your client already has significant health concerns,        to give to clients.

supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010                                                                                                      7

       roducers who are new to the disability insurance              With that in mind, you can direct clients to fill out HIPAA
       market — and even some who have been selling the              paperwork at their physician’s office to learn exactly what is
       product for years — often believe that underwriting           happening. Face it: Medical documentation does not leave
is an unusually high hurdle that they must clear during a DI         out the important details.
sale. Fear not: There are many ways to navigate and even                 If we’ve taken the time to establish a trusting relation-
streamline the process.                                              ship with a client, one where it’s clear that we aren’t out to
    While underwriting is a necessarily painstaking part of          peddle product, our job can be a lot easier. A word of cau-
securing any protection for our clients, completing a DI             tion, however: Today’s prescription-for-everything mindset
application tends to be a more rigorous task than working            means that a surprising number of clients think nothing of
through paperwork for other types of coverage, such as life          taking a pill for any number of afflictions, from anxiety to high
insurance. Simply put, DI can put to the test our role as liaison    blood pressure. We simply have to impress upon them that
between clients and the home office.                                 all conditions have to be brought out in the open — even if
    Producers play a very important role in the give and take        they view them as unimportant or irrelevant.
of DI policy underwriting. We can make everyone happier by
tailoring a safety net for our clients and doing good business       GeT The OccUPATION RIGhT
that bolsters our company’s bottom line and generates long-          The biggest mistake producers make in the process of a DI
lasting renewal streams. So how can we start doing that?             application is thinking they know what a client actually does
    By stepping back and taking an objective view. Basically, life   as part of their job. Do your homework to obtain a precise
underwriting focuses on mortality — the actuarial predictors         and detailed description of a person’s occupation. After all, if
of a one-time fatal event that will trigger a claim — while          you don’t understand, your underwriter won’t, either. A vague
disability underwriting must concern itself with a less precise      job title such as “rate lock setter” can throw a huge monkey
topic: morbidity, or the many, many medical circumstances            wrench into the process and guarantees more back-and-forth
that can keep a policyholder from leading a productive life.         with underwriters. Details (e.g., “My client is a rate lock setter
There’s much more at stake in DI underwriting since claims           — she determines the interest rates at which mortgage loans
can be paid out for a number of years.                               are sold”) make it easier to show which physical limitations
    The underwriters aren’t our adversaries, however. We’re          or abilities would allow the client to keep working should
trying to bring in business; they’re trying to make sure the         they fall ill or suffer an accident.
insurer stays in business and writes profitable coverage. Bear
that in mind the next time you’re going back and forth with          WORk WITh cLIeNTS
the home office. At the same time, don’t overlook a few              After you’ve submitted an application and begun your discus-
steps you can take to save time and secure the best cover-           sions with underwriters, there’s a tightrope to walk. The pro-
age for your clients.                                                cess takes time — weeks, and sometimes up to a few months.
                                                                     While it’s important to keep in touch with clients, there’s no
be cOmPLeTe, be FORThcOmING, be TRUThFUL                             need to work up their anxiety levels over the matter.
There’s no way an underwriter will ever know every detail                Next month may be Disability Insurance Awareness
that was left off the application. In some cases, you may even       Month, but take this year-round advice: A little foresight, a
want to write an additional cover letter to explain special          bit more work up front, and some candid talk on your part
circumstances. A stable client who has worked the same job           will not only help to smooth things out with clients and
for 20 years, for example, might seek the help of a therapist        underwriters — they’re also best practices that will make
if, within the course of a year, one of their parents dies or        your business across all product lines more rewarding and
they go through a bitter divorce.                                    more profitable. «
    Don’t leave room for an underwriter to discover a miss-
ing fact or an incomplete explanation. When underwriters             Candida A. Friedman is a disability income specialist for National Finan-
encounter incomplete or unclear answers, they may become             cial Network LLC, an agency of The Guardian Life Insurance Company
suspicious if they feel an applicant is not being forthcoming.       of America. She can be reached at

8                                                                                         supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010
lIfe InsurAnce PoInT of sAle

             gents who neglect to sell disability insurance often cite one of   products address the same basic need. This is what’s referred to as the
             two reasons: They don’t want to scare away the life insurance      “two-fer” approach.
             sale, and they’re not sure how to bring disability discussions         While it can be difficult for producers to wrap their minds around
into the post-life insurance sale.                                              the idea of setting up the sale of two products at the same time (life
     Most professional life insurance specialists sell life insurance empha-    and disability), to the producer the cost of adding DI to a life sale is
sizing one of several “needs.” The first set is personal needs, and can         basically zero, seeing as how both products are designed to cover the
be broken down into one of two common names or uses: financial                  same exposure. You have already established the need for the insur-
planning, or estate planning.                                                   ance when pitching life insurance; now, you just have to explain that
     Life insurance in the personal needs category is geared toward build-      your client needs to look at covering the same problem — income
ing replacement cash flow for the family in the event of a catastrophic         loss and threat to assets — from two different causes: a death and
loss of the primary producer of income in the household. This cash              a disability.
flow helps maintains the family’s daily living standard and protects assets
                                                                                Death and disability are similar in two ways:
built by the family over time.
     The second set is business needs, which can also be broken down            1    You generally can’t control when either happens
into two areas: business planning, or business interruption protection          2    They both cause the cessation of cash flow
(e.g., for funding buy-sells, key person, etc.).
     Here, life insurance is used to produce replacement cash flow for              You cannot control the timing of a death or disability. It is impossible
a business in the event of a catastrophic loss of a valuable business           to say “I’m sorry, we’re in the middle of year-end budgets, family holiday,
asset (e.g., the individual, owner, key person, etc.). This cash flow helps     or whatever, so you just can’t be dead.” Any type of planning undertaken
maintain the business’ daily activities and protects assets built by the        by a family or a business to address these two issues must be done in
business over time.                                                             advance. Life and disability insurance are both available for pennies on
     Whatever sales pitch you use, life insurance is all about generating       the dollar and can both help guarantee that assets are protected and
money after the loss of a money-maker.                                          cash flow continues so that a business or a family can go on.
     Along those lines, what are some key reasons for selling dis-                  The bottom line is that if you have a client buying life insurance
ability insurance? That’s pretty simple — either for personal needs,            from you, you should have the same conviction for the sale of disability
when conducting financial planning or estate planning, or for                   insurance. It’s the same need, same sales call. «
business needs, when conducting business planning and business
 interruption protection.                                                       Thomas R. Petersen is the vice president and chief information
     Sound familiar? That’s because the sales approach for disability           officer for Petersen International Underwriters. He can be reached
insurance, compared with life insurance, is the same story, because the         at or 800-345-8816.


                                If you work in the business market-                                             If your clients have just had a baby, send
                                place, use the “Taking Care of [Small]                                          them the Redbook reprint “5 Things
                                Business” brochure to open up the                                               Every New Parent Must Do,” which
                                conversation about offering a group DI                                          highlights the importance of obtaining
                                benefit or supplemental DI for highly                                           DI coverage. Then, follow up with a
                                compensated executives.                                                         phone call to see if they would like to
                                                                           review their insurance needs.

supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010                                                                                                       9
MATchInG WorkPlAce TrenDs

         mployee absence caused by a disability can have a significant       example, you can explain to them the “ripple effect” — how one
         effect on an organization’s productivity and bottom line.           employee’s absence may affect an entire team. In today’s economy,
         Tying an employer’s workforce demographics to disability            many companies have less capital and fewer employees available to
trends can help you illustrate their effects, as well as offer a solu-       help them address absences with temporary help or overtime.
tion — the income and productivity protection provided by group                  Here are three more ideas to help you drive home the value
disability coverage.                                                         of group DI:
    Many workers are not financially prepared to deal with a loss
of a paycheck due to disability; 97 percent of workers surveyed in           1    Suggest wellness initiatives, such as smoking cessation programs
The Hartford 2009 Benefit Landscape Study said they would need                    and ergonomic assessments, as tools that can prevent disabili-
to make lifestyle changes if they lost part of their families’ income             ties.
for three to six months.
                                                                             2    Explain how disability insurance can help ensure a speedy and
    The good news is that employers can help their non-disabled
                                                                                  safe recovery. Employers and their workers may not be aware
workers stay healthy and their disabled workers return to an active,
                                                                                  of the return-to-work component of many disability plans. Early
productive life as soon as possible. The other good news is that you
                                                                                  intervention by clinical professionals is integral to returning a
can help employers understand how disability income insurance influ-
                                                                                  disabled employee to work.
ences productivity and workers understand the value of paycheck
protection and return-to-work resources.                                     3    Stress the importance of comprehensive claims data and analysis
    But first, you need the numbers. You can obtain a general pic-                from the disability insurer. This data allows employers to more
ture of a workforce’s overall health by reviewing prescription and                easily make the connection between their employee population
medical data, as well as the results of a company’s health risk assess-           and the types of claims being reported.
ments. Most mid-sized and larger employers make it mandatory for
employees to complete health risk assessments in order to obtain                You can play an important role in helping employers understand
employer-sponsored benefits. The data gathered there can help                how DI can safeguard their business, and helping their employees
identify the percentage of employees with certain risk factors.              understand how to protect both their physical fitness and their
    Combine this information with disability statistics, and you can         paycheck. «
present an employer with a powerful case for including disability
coverage as part of their benefits offerings. (See the chart below for       Robert W. Reiff is senior vice president of distribution, field service,
some examples of coupling trends with statistics.)                           association, and product for the Group Benefits Division of The
    As you can see, every worker faces some risk, and you can help           Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. He can be reached at
your worksite clients understand the full effects of disability. For         860-843-1994 or

                                  TReND                                                            DISAbILITy RISkS
     Delayed retirement: A variety of studies indicate that an increas-      Aging Americans are at a risk of developing such diseases as cancer
     ing number of Americans plan to delay retirement and extend their       and osteoarthritis. Both are top causes of short and long-term dis-
     careers into their 60s and 70s.                                         ability claims.

     Women in the workforce: Women have made great gains in                  Pregnancy is the No. 1 cause of short-term disability claims. Com-
     the job market, now holding half of our nation’s 132 million jobs,      plicated pregnancies can result in long-term claims (longer than six
     according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.                       months).

     Smoking: Prevalence is higher among men (23.1 percent) than women       Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity
     (18.3 percent). Hispanics have a lower prevalence (15.8 percent) than   and mortality in the United States, according to 2008 data from the
     blacks (21.3 percent) and whites (22 percent), according to 2007 data   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
     from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

10                                                                                                supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010
  heALTh cARe ReFORm:
  WhAT WoulD IT MeAn for The
  DI InDusTrY?

           ll this discussion about health care reform may have    ` Inform yourself. Keep up with the news about health
           left you wondering what is ultimately in store for        care reform. The health care reform bill is still evolving,
           the industry. How would a new health care bill, or        and reform is even more uncertain than before. It is vital
even smaller reform-based measures, affect group disability          that you keep up-to-date with any changes and fully un-
insurance? What challenges would producers face while                derstand how those changes could affect your products.
selling disability insurance? Employers may look to their            By being knowledgeable about health care reform, you
trusted benefits professional — you — to determine a                 can position yourself as a trusted resource.
suitable way to continue providing disability coverage while
other benefit options become drastically different.                ` educate your clients about disability. Identify potential
     According to Ron Remak, general agent of Bill C.                hot-button issues that your clients may be concerned
Brown Associates in Bloomington, IN, the effect of any               about, and prepare a response to address their concerns.
health care reform on the disability insurance market is still       Health care reform can be an intimidating topic, and, as
undetermined. Regardless of what happens in Congress,                Remak said, arming yourself and your customers with
employees will still need disability insurance coverage to           the facts can help make it less daunting.
fill gaps in their income created by a short or long-term
disability. The key here is to continue educating your clients     ` Show them you care. Positioning yourself as a trusted
about the need for disability coverage.                              partner means showing empathy. Look at yourself
     “Health care reform doesn’t address the absolute need           not as a vendor, but rather as an extension of an in-
for professional agents to accurately and consistently               house benefits team. This means knowing a client’s
communicate the value of disability insurance, with or               benefits offerings inside and out and being able to rec-
without health care,” Remak said. “People need quality               ommend practical solutions that help both employers
coverage in effect that insures and protects income for              and employees.
their family.”
     Health insurance covers certain medical expenses, but         ` expand your products. Today, you have even more of
disability insurance coverage is a valuable tool to help pay         a reason to talk to your clients about their coverage.
for everything else: mortgages, utilities, transportation,           While you already have their attention, why not talk
food, and other essentials. Health insurance coverage                about related products, such as disability? Health care
should not be viewed as something that replaces disability           may be dominating your clients’ attention, but disability
coverage, but rather something that works alongside                  insurance can be equally important for employees.
disability coverage to ensure that employees can take care
of themselves and their families’ financial needs.                 ` be sensitive to political beliefs. It seems like everyone
     Employers are examining their entire benefits packages          has a strong opinion about health care reform. Be pre-
more thoroughly. Opinions differ on whether health                   pared to address the topic with customers who may feel
insurance overall would cost more or less under a new                very strongly for or against health care reform. Employ-
bill. If the cost was lower, employers would have more               ers are primarily concerned with their bottom line and
discretionary budget dollars available for disability insurance.     providing quality benefits to their employees, so make
If the cost was higher, however, there still would be plenty         sure you present disability in a way that illustrates how
of opportunity to offer disability insurance on a voluntary          it benefits their employees, regardless of the outcome
basis. The need is still there — and that’s where you                of health care reform debate. «
come in.
     Here are some strategies you can use to keep selling          Tim Staggs is the regional vice president of group sales for American
disability insurance in this uncertain and potentially             United Life Insurance Company, a OneAmerica company. He can be
shifting market:                                                   reached at 770-933-7150 or

supplement to the agent’s sales journal, april 2010                                                                                   11
            • High Limits: Benefits from
              $10,000 to $100,000,00

            • Impaired Risk

            • Supplementary Coverage

            • Senior Ages Considered

            • Difficult Occupations

            • Key Person

            • Loan Indemnification

            • Buy/Sell

            I                U
            T: 800.345.8816 • E:
            “When Traditional Carriers
                Can’t or Won’t”

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