Mission Impossible – Making Life Insurance Cool Again
As a dedicated life insurance professional, it pains me to admit that life insurance has a bad rap. Unfortunately, it is you, the life insurance buyer, who pays the highest price for this reality.
We can change this through honest, analytical and understandable dialogue. I fear that when the word life insurance is raised, the reaction from most people is to recoil and become closed off. I have seen it and heard it a thousand times. It is visceral.
This is not good. We don’t want to trigger the “fight or flee” instinct when our product is presented. The reaction to the word life insurance must change from “I’m all set” (the equivalent of the football stiff-arm move) to “I wasn’t aware of that, tell me more” or “I would appreciate information about how the changes and enhancements might affect my current objectives.”
Life insurance is misunderstood. It is also under-appreciated and under-valued. You have every right to think of it as nothing more than necessary. Our industry has failed in promoting the remarkable value of life insurance to our customers. We must articulate the right message from the collective industry’s platform in which there has been silence. Only then can we expect attitudes and perceptions to change within our customers.
Life insurance is a powerful tool that is constantly improving.
For example, life insurance now PAYS YOU when you need it most. It protects you from creditors. You can wrap your stock market investments with it and defer taxes and possibly avoid them altogether.
The earnings inside the policy grow tax free, sometimes never being taxed. Which of your other assets accumulate tax free or tax deferred?
What can life insurance do for you? I promise that you will be intrigued by the many ways you might use it to solve your planning objectives.
Don’t need your policy any longer? After 75, you have the option to sell the policy for cash. Or, tell the insurance company to begin paying you increments of the face amount while you are alive and well. That’s right, you can be the beneficiary of your own life insurance policy.
Where should you start? Where do you find this information?
- You must be willing to engage, at least once, in the learning process, and;
- Work with a Pro.
As a consumer, if you take these two steps, the life insurance experience will shift from unpleasant to interesting. Life insurance is rarely “bought.” One of my initial objectives is to begin helping more people initiate the buying process. I hope to change your perception from negative to informed.
Innovation has arrived in our industry – better late than never.
Life insurance is far more than just a tool to provide a death benefit. That is not said to diminish its most fundamental purpose as the payment of life insurance proceeds at the time of a loss is often lifesaving.
I ask you to begin looking at life insurance in a new way. It is cool and it is relevant:
- It is a wealth builder and a wealth preserver.
- Life insurance is asset protection.
- The earnings inside the policy are creditor proof.
- The policy proceeds are income tax free and can be estate and gift tax free.
Do you still think life insurance is nothing more than a necessary evil? Does it still seem boring? We haven’t scratched the surface yet. For those with an appetite for creativity and innovation, game on.
Ted Bernstein is a third-generation licensed life insurance specialist and nationally recognized industry innovation expert in alternative distribution strategies and life insurance product development with decades of speaking out and advocating for changes on behalf of consumers. A member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, he was the first to introduce life insurance without commissions or “no-load” life insurance in the mid-1980s and launch the first fee-based Life Insurance Policy Audit and Review service for trust companies and life insurance fiduciaries. His newly introduced innovation, the Installment Life Option, is game-changing. To learn more, visit www.lifeinsuranceconcepts.com or call 561-988-8984.