Long term care insurance sales: Leveraging you

By Frank N. Darras


It is estimated that 40 million Americans are age 65 or older. By 2020, that number will exceed 53 million, and by 2030, one in every five people will be over the age of 65. The general lack of knowledge about long term care (LTCI) leaves many Americans confused, frustrated, and ultimately unprepared to plan for their long term care needs.

Are you ready to begin your career as an LTCI agent? Here are some helpful tips to make sure that you are successful and remain in compliance with the rules governing long term care solicitation and sales.

Get educated

Establishing yourself as an expert advisor requires that you learn all you can about long term care insurance, the policies available, and the regulations governing them.
  • Understand all the federal and state regulatory requirements regarding the sale and solicitation of LTCI polices.

  • Study the various long term care policies from the insurance companies that offer it. You want to ensure that you are offering your clients the correct policy for their needs and can sell against all of your competitors.

  • Prepare for the necessary LTCI exam. The test is challenging, so thoroughly study the materials given for the test.

  • Take more LTCI educational courses and estate planning courses. You may want to get certified as a long term care specialist.

  • Talk to people you know who have purchased LTC insurance and those who are on claim with their LTC insurance. Having real examples of why they bought and what the benefits meant to them in their time of need will be helpful during the sales phase.

Now that you are educated in all the aspects of LTCI, you're ready to market yourself.
  • Hold seminars on long term care. Many agents have educational booths at senior events where they can promote their LTCI packages and provide education for customers.

  • Keep in contact with your existing clients. New services and regulations are continually being developed and changed for the senior market, and your clients will want to know about them.

  • Follow up on leads that have previously turned down your LTCI services. They may not have been ready for it then, but circumstances change, and they could be ready now.
The sale

You have found some great prospects, and now you need to close the sale.
  • Create the need for LTCI by sharing real facts, statistics, and "what-ifs" with your younger and middle-aged clients and prospects. Do not use scare tactics.

  • Share with your younger and middle-aged prospects that rates for LTCI coverage are much less expensive now than they will be later. For example, a 45-year-old woman would pay an average of $645 per year; a 72-year-old woman would pay more than $3,600.

  • Continually educate seniors and middle-aged individuals about the importance of planning, but don't overwhelm them with too much information.

  • Be sure you provide a thorough outline of the long term care coverage in the first contact with your potential applicant. It should contain a brief description of benefits, any limitations or exclusions, the terms under which the policy may be returned and the premium refunded, the relationship of the cost of care and the benefits, and the terms under which the policy may be continued, including any waiver of premium provisions.

  • Ask applicants to complete a long term care personal worksheet; this will help you uncover the needs of your clients and the correct policy to sell them.

  • Be prepared to talk about the claims paying history and recent premium rate increases on any company you are selling and the competitions history.
Following the steps of education, effective marketing, and ethical selling, you will be able to leverage yourself as an LTCI expert and a trusted advisor to your clients.

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