Insurance pitfalls and coverage gaps: How to provide the best possible service to clientsArticle added by Frank N. Darras on April 21, 2014
Frank N. Darras

Frank N. Darras

Ontario, CA

Joined: February 18, 2010

My Company

If your clients have insurance through their employers, you are still there to provide advice and counsel. The insurance they have may not cover all their needs. If so, what can you recommend to them? Perhaps it’s time for them to get an individual policy to cover their family without the various limitations of an employer’s policy.

With the recent changes in health care insurance, now is the time to learn the ins and outs of the new health insurance system so you can advise clients about their choices. Since health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on a person’s health, you can help your client shop for the plan that has the coverage they want for reasonable monthly payments and deductibles. Health insurance can cover a lot of the medical bills a client may incur after being injured or suffering from a disease such as cancer, but the costs don’t end there.

While they’re not working, how is food being put on the table? How are the electric and water bills being paid? These kinds of expenses are what a disability insurance policy can help cover, which some people haven’t even considered. As an insurance agent, you can advise your clients on what type of policy they should think about, explaining total and residual disability and the importance of owning a private own-occupation disability policy.

To help them further, you can teach them the language of disability insurance so your clients aren’t frustrated between all the unfamiliar lingo. The definitions of "disabled" may also vary by policy and by insurance company, so be sure to look at how long the insured is covered in their own occupation. Different riders exist to further supplement a disability insurance policy and can often prevent what would have otherwise been a denied claim. Own-occupation insurance is one of those riders that many professionals, from surgeons to athletes, have linked with their disability policy. It allows a policyholder to still claim their disability benefits in the event they can no longer work at their craft even though they may be able to do something else like research or teaching.

A future increase option is another important rider that you should discuss with your client. It allows them to purchase more coverage at a later date, even if their health goes south. For example, if they found a new job that pays them twice as much as the previous job, they will want their disability policy to reflect their increased income. Many people may not consider disability insurance as a real need, but the statistics regarding disabilities increase every day. Don’t let your client make the mistake of declining such an important policy, since the cost of private coverage is typically a small percentage of their income.

Along with health insurance and disability insurance, life insurance is another area clients need to understand. You want to offer your client the best coverage possible since they chose you over other insurance agents. You want them to feel comfortable with their protection and your service. Be sure to advise clients of any penalties such as withdrawal from a policy and how there may be changes in premiums as interests rates fluctuate.

Last but not least, know how to sell your features, advantages and pricing against the competition. If you are a trustworthy and knowledgeable agent, more clients will seek your expertise and you will get the satisfaction of knowing your clients have the best possible insurance coverage at the lowest possible price.
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