LTCI watch: disasters
By Allison Bell
I started reading this as Isaac was barreling toward New Orleans, watching the Internet users in its path whistling in the digital dark by posting, favoriting and tweeting photos of scary clouds, flooded parking garages and wave-tossed piers.
Most of the people posting the photos (and videos) were young, energetic people who had generators and had stocked up on food, water, ammos and liquor.
Of course, plenty of the other people in that area are the sorts of people who have, or should have, long-term care insurance (LTCI).
It seemed, shortly before low interests rates and persistency worries started pounding the LTCI market, that LTCI carriers were talking about looking for ways to build on basic LTCI coverage by cross-selling property-casualty-oriented options, such as riders that would pay to help people in need to LTC services modify their homes, to increase the odds that they would have the ramps, bathtub railings and other changes they need to carry on with the activities of daily living.
Maybe it would be good, if LTCI carriers get through their own storm, they add natural disaster preparation and response features.
- Have an automated system call all LTCI policyholders in an area when a hurricane is coming, or after a serious, widespread event like a big earthquake. Giving the recipients of the calls the ability to click through to speak to live humans who can help connect them with sources of aide.
- For policyholders who pay extra, offer access to crews that can provide a range of preparation services, ranging from boarding up a house to bringing a generator over.
- Consider creating a package of deluxe, post-disaster concierge services. The services could include sending crews out to check on purchasers' well-being, offering a few hours of emergency cleanup crew time, and helping older purchaser cope with FEMA, the federal flood insurance program or any private homeowners' insurers that might be involved.