Top 5 reader comments this week on ProducersWEB
By Lauren McNitt
Top Comment No. 1
Indexed life insurance expert Sheryl Moore comments on Virginia Bah's article, Benefits of Whole vs. Term Life.
I think that it is worth noting that every American needs BOTH term life insurance AND some form of cash value insurance, whether it be whole life or universal life. People need to know that term life is best for shorter-term needs (such as a mortgage, student loans, kids' college funding) and that some form of permanent, cash value life insurance is necessary for those needs that will never go away (burial expenses, supplementing spouse's income, leaving a legacy).
Good message! One that too often middle-class Americans don't get the opportunity to hear!
Sheryl J. Moore Top Comment No. 2
Joel Williamson comments on Michael Gray's sad story about a man who lost his universal life policy because he couldn't afford it.
Although it is often frowned upon in the industry this was probably a good example of why the insured should have been presented with the idea of selling his policy into the secondary market, i.e., a life settlement. If it was possible to find a purchaser (at his age and with his medical conditions it is likely he could have sold the policy) he could have recovered some or perhaps all of his premiums and then this would not have been a total loss to both he and his family as he could have placed the funds received from such a sale into an annuity with a death benefit that might have rolled up 5-8% or more per year and provided some level of protection.
I, like many others, run across this dilemma quite often with old UL and particularly old VUL contracts. As others have posted, it is imperative that we as an industry do a better job of servicing and reviewing inforce policies.
Joel Williamson Top Comment No. 3
Tony Orr adds his thoughts to Rodney Balance's article, Get the Best Return On Your Investments.
Great article Rodney,
If I may add - Consumers also need to know the difference between "Saving" and "Investing for retirement. In the former, no risk in involved due the fact that the cash deposits are made in to government back securities, FDIC insured products or products backed by the claims paying ability of the insurance company. Whereas in the latter, there is nothing but risk as the cash deposits are made in to the stock market. Top Comment No. 4
Nathan Lee commends Jason Chaifetz on his article predicting a debt bubble.
Intelligent points about our growing debt crisis. As a homebuilder in the mid 2000's, I was deeply entrenched yet blissfully oblivious to the growing housing bubble. I would always ask, "Who are all of these people buying my houses?" and "How can they all afford them?" But I never questioned that too much because they WERE buying my inventory and keeping me in business. I made an intelligent exit from that industry when I finally saw the writing on the wall and did not suffer the catastrophic fate of some of my competitors and colleagues.
Now that I am back in the financial services industry, I can't help but notice the red flags popping up here and there. But this crisis is on a much larger scale and involves much larger players. Top Comment No. 5
Lew Nason expands on the points Rodney Balance makes in his article, Earning Trust Before Commission.
Here are some additional thoughts for agents to ponder...
Sales pros know that the old hard-sell has been replaced by sales professionalism. To become a superstar producer you must focus on building relationships and trust, providing superior service, setting goals and developing methods to reach them.
There is no question that the world would be better off with more insurance agents, especially those who proudly call themselves sales professionals.
This story was first recounted in the July 1991 issue of Success magazine entitled, "The Superachiever's Secret":
"One day, Mehdi Fakharzadeh, Metropolitan Life's top agent, went to see a policyholder who suffered from heart disease and was filing a claim. There was no prospect of selling him more insurance. Most agents (striving for their goals) would have just handed the man a form and left. Not Mehdi, who had "surrendered to the process" of helping people. Mehdi filled out the form for him. When he found out the man also had policies with other insurers, he got forms from them, filled them out, and made sure the refunds came through.
The man pressed payment on Mehdi, which Mehdi politely declined. But a few days later, Mehdi received in the mail a list of 21 of the man's friends and relatives: names, dates of birth, number of children - with a personal introduction to each. Mehdi sold millions of dollars of insurance to them."