As an Advisor, you know that recommending an insurance type and amount without needs-based planning is like a dentist performing a root canal without even looking inside their patient’s mouth – ouch!
We’ve discussed this type of planning in previous articles as a way to determine your client’s needs and risks in order to provide them with the right insurance – insurance that is tailored purposefully to fit their life. In this article, we would like to elaborate on the topic of needs-based planning by providing you with some assessment tips that will not only demonstrate your insurance expertise and reinforce your brand, but will continue to strengthen your client/advisor relationship. Let’s start by looking at the benefits of needs-based planning for you and your client.
Benefits for your Client
Client engagement is key. In fact, when your client is actively engaged in the analysis process, they support the need for insurance with far more intensity than if the insurance was just picked for them without much apparent thought behind it, ignoring their wants and needs. Additionally, when a client contemplates the need for life insurance, they often jump right to what they need to pay off – mortgages, debts, etc. – should they die prematurely. What they overlook however, is the very critical need to replace income for an extended period of time, decades even. The capital to replace income is by far the greatest need when it comes to coverage and having your client actively participate in the analysis is the best way to drive this critical point home. The goal after completing the needs analysis is for your client to say, “I had no idea life insurance could do all of that for my family!” Win.
Benefits for You
The benefits of needs-based planning for you are, well, a happy client. Clients who complete a needs analysis tend to buy with conviction and are far less likely to allow a policy to lapse, simply because they value the solutions that they helped to build with you, their trusted advisor. In fact, they tend to purchase higher overall coverage amounts and more often favour permanent insurance as part of the solution.
And here’s some great news for you – Advisors who use a needs-based approach in their insurance practice earn higher incomes, enjoy better persistency numbers and receive more referrals because their clients perceive them as professional advisors that have their best interests at heart, rather than a sales person peddling the same pre-determined cookie-cutter fix to all of their clients.
Needs Analysis Tips
It’s clear that needs-based insurance planning is beneficial to both you and your client. Below are some best practices to help you better serve your client.
- Keep a signed copy of your client’s needs analysis in their file for quick reference during annual review meetings. Having a copy nearby also helps protect your practice in case your recommendations should ever come into question.
- With every policy you deliver, include a copy of the needs analysis in the policy booklet for the client’s reference.
- Consider issuing policies for the exact dollar figure that the needs analysis calculated using the client’s own input. If the need comes out to $785,346, have the policy issued for exactly that amount and resist the urge to round up or down to an even number. A little unusual perhaps, but if your client is ever approached to replace the coverage you put in place, when they look at that odd face amount, they will recall that you took the time to build a custom-tailored insurance plan together that meets their specific needs.
Find What You Need in Toolkit Direct
PPI’s Toolkit Direct provides you with needs-based solutions via our new and improved Insurance Needs Analysis program – it’s flexible, easy to use, available online anytime and on any device. You can collect and analyze the details of your client’s income, family needs and sources for cash and income at death and the resulting insurance requirements to cover any shortfalls.
Some of the recent additions to the Insurance Needs Analysis in Toolkit Direct include:
- The ability to export projections for assets and insurance needs in Excel
- Improvements to the CPP and QPP benefits modelling
- Enabled taxation impact on assets and income
- The option to save cases in a secure format to any folder
- A notes feature that allows you to save your comments
If you would like to learn more about PPI’s Insurance Needs Analysis program in Toolkit Direct, including a demo, please reach out to any member of your PPI Sales Team.
For a similar article on this topic, and one you can share with your clients, please read The Need for Needs-Based Planning.