How to Choose a Long Term Care Carrier

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

When it comes to selecting an LTCi carrier today, you certainly have lots of choices. Most carriers offer a basic foundation of benefits that look fairly similar from company to company, so how do you make a choice and recommendation to your prospect? Here are three characteristics to consider when making that choice:

1. Contemporary, Innovative Products

Look at carriers that offer competitive features that set them apart from the competition. Features like cash benefits, streamlined underwriting, calendar day elimination period, and waiver of elimination period for home care claims are just a few of the many and important options available.

2. Competitive Pricing

Do your research and find the products that are competitively priced. Age, health and whether the prospect has a spouse or partner all become critical information in your selection for a recommendation to your prospect. Providing your prospect with the best products for the best value is critically important. Each carrier has their own “sweet spot”. Some examples of “sweet spots” can be competitive pricing at certain ages, partner allowances, multiple inflation options, and underwriting risk.

3. Financial Strength and Stability

In the past it wasn’t much of a factor what the ratings of a carrier were. We have fewer carriers now in the market and the rate instability has shown that carrier strength is very important. Working and placing your prospects’ business with a financially strong carrier becomes even more important. Carriers with a history of remaining competitive, stable and secure even in tough economic times will most likely prove that they are able to meet the needs of your prospect in the future. Also, look for carriers that maintain high ratings from industry rating organizations.

So whether it is the competitive pricing of a product or the financial strength of a carrier, Financial Brokerage is equipped to provide you with the resources and knowledge you need in making the best decision with your prospect and their long term care insurance coverage.

Are You Ready to Embrace the Future of Long Term Care Coverage?

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

I usually try to stay away from being company specific or naming products in my writings, but sometimes you have to do it when something new comes along.

New generations of bold thinking are at the doors of LTC planning and design.

It really was only a matter of time before LTC carriers used creative thinking and a new fresh approach to product design to offer new insurance products to the marketplace.

John Hancock introduced Performance LTC™ to the industry in April and has already seen successes with this new approach.  “The boldest ideas of new generations are infused with creative thinking and fresh perspectives, while preserving the finest traditions of the past” is how Hancock is explaining their thinking with this new long term care solution for the agent and their clients.

Hancock’s press release states “Performance LTC™ offers a breakthrough design that will provide your clients with many of the features found in a traditional policy, while offering a more predictable customer experience. This new LTC insurance solution allows your clients to make informed decisions about their coverage so it can evolve over time to meet their financial needs and goals.”

Anything addressing the rising premium issue of late is welcome news. This is a good start.  While it may not be the solution to every issue affecting the buying decision consumers face in considering long term care coverage, it does address several key components.

A lower “buy in” point from the beginning along with modest, controlled adjustments over the life of the contract may just reduce some of the risk of heavy rate adjustments later.  The policyholder will have a larger stake in how the plan performs over time and that should be welcome news for producers and consumers who have shied away from LTC in recent years because of the uncertainty of the product.

Take a look at Hancock’s new product as I think this is a start of the creative thinking and fresh approach we’ve been looking for.

Transactional Selling vs. Solution-Based Selling

Presented by David Corwin

My money (pardon the pun), is on solution-based selling; the difference being that transactional-based selling is too much related to the product itself. In other words, it means suggesting or pushing a particular product to your client before even learning that it might not benefit them. Imagine going to a car lot wanting to buy a pickup only to find out that the salesman seems to want you to take ownership of this great, totally awesome four door sedan. I find that many insurance professionals operate exactly in that manner.

Solution-based selling can be defined as the process of developing an understanding of the customer’s needs and objectives, and then offering solutions that will help the customer address their unique objectives. Fact finding will not only uncover issues, but you’ll also learn things that you might not have, had you just tried to sell them a product. Here are some other benefits to adopting a solutions-based sales practice:

• Cross-sales opportunities – you’ll uncover other areas where you can provide a service and/or product that will meet their needs.
• Referrals, referrals, referrals – use any method you can as a reminder to always ask; you’ll get more introductions to other people. If it’s on the fact finder as a reminder, then it’s only natural that you’ll ask.
• You’ll also know what other advisors and/or attorneys they have.
• Wills and trusts – you will know that they have a trust or a will.
• Permanent record – it’s a permanent record of your meeting documenting everything that you talked about allowing you to revisit missed items.

These ideas aren’t meant to pass judgment on your sales system that you are currently using – and if it works, that’s great. The more successful long-term agents use solution-based selling and I truly believe that is the only way that an insurance professional should operate.