Q: How often do you see customers who are underinsured?
A: When we do a needs analysis, we often see an area in which people are underinsured.
Q: Why is that?
A: As a rule of thumb, life insurance and disability insurance are viewed as an expense that's not of the highest priority. It's extremely important, though. When you see the impact of a disability or early death, it's profound—especially on a young family or business owner.
Q: You specifically mentioned business owners and young families. Why?
A: For young families, the challenge is a matter of finding coverage that's affordable, and helping them see the value of insurance to their overall financial security. Our role is helping them, understanding their unique situation, and contributing to that security.
Q: What about those business owners?
A: Let's say you're in business with another person. This business is growing and thriving largely because of the two owners. Then something happens to one prematurely. If there wasn't an insurance plan in place for a cross-purchase, suddenly the surviving partner is in business with the family of the deceased.
Q: What if a business partnership comes a little later in life and affordable insurance is more of a challenge because of age or a health issue?
A: I'm really sympathetic to challenges like that. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in my 20s. That can really change the equation, making it difficult to afford coverage that for another person that age would be a no-brainer. In those situations, we help our customer look into all the resources we can.
Q: Any other major areas you often see that need more attention?
A: The first one I'd mention is long-term care insurance, which is something we discuss more and more as a result of an aging population. Most of us haven't prepared in our retirement funding to cover the cost of providing for our care in the case of diminished capacity or diminished health. For example, let's say someone needs care for 60 months at $4500/month—that's $270,000. Preparing for that is an extremely important way to help everyone's financial well-being later in life. Another key area is disability insurance.
Q: Who is disability insurance most important for?
A: It's key for many people who are self-employed, and for professionals such as a surgeon, for example. If they suffer some sort of disability and can't work on the high level they're accustomed to, a disability policy can be critical.
Q: What's the toughest step in addressing these areas of underinsurance?
A: Picking up the phone or sending us that first e-mail. Once the conversation gets started, we can get to the specific factors and best options that help our customers take each next step.

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