Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market

As you plan your business development strategies for the coming year and beyond, it may be a good time to consider truly untapped opportunities in the marketplace. For example, understanding how women relate to money and being sensitive to the unique challenges women face can set you apart from your peers.

Watch this video to learn more about this key market segment and how you can make a difference. Continue reading “Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market”

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Planning for Your Financial Future

The Death Claims Process – Meeting with Your Client

As an Advisor, you continually strive to help your clients plan for their estate planning needs and the needs of their family. Your clients have placed the ultimate confidence in you, entrusting you with the incredible responsibility of representing them after they pass, in order to ensure that their estate wishes are fulfilled. The death of a family member is always traumatic and you have an important role in helping your clients’ beneficiaries through this process with care and understanding.

In her 2018 article Coach Clients on Death Claims, author Suzanne Yar Kahn highlights insights from several Canadian insurance advisors about the life insurance claims process. One advisor recommends meeting with your clients and their named beneficiaries today to ensure that there is no confusion when it comes to your client’s wishes and that everyone, including family and beneficiaries, are aware of what to expect when that time comes (1). These meetings are a great way to build client/advisor trust and offer your client the peace of mind that they are looking for at that time. Additionally, these meetings allow you to meet and get to know the named beneficiaries – so you can better support them in the future. Continue reading “The Death Claims Process – Meeting with Your Client”

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The Settlement Process – What Your Beneficiary Can Expect

Love and Money

Ah love… such a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial strains and worries can get in the way. In fact, 84% of respondents in a Money Magazine survey said that money was the source of marital tensions with disagreements about financial priorities topping the list of problems (1). So, how should your client handle their money in order to avoid these wicked pangs of love?

Here are few insights to share with your clients to help them keep their pocketbooks full and those love lights burning strong (without all those headaches!). Continue reading “Love and Money”

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Love and Money

A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness

Mental health itself is nothing new. However, the ways in which we understand and approach issues related to mental health in society, and in the workplace, are constantly evolving. This is especially visible in the insurance industry, where mental health challenges account for a high percentage of long-term disability (LTD) claims, and are therefore a costly expense for many businesses (1).

Much can be said for the progress made up to this point, by individuals and organizations working together to address challenges to mental health such as social stigma, education, access to support and treatment (2). However, plenty of work remains ahead, perhaps starting with how we think about mental health in the first place – not as something separate and independent from other aspects of our well-being, but as something completely intertwined with, and dependent upon them. In fact, medical, physical, financial, social, and occupational health all factor into mental health. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:

“Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked. People living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Co-existing mental and physical conditions can diminish quality of life and lead to longer illness duration and worse health outcomes. This situation also generates economic costs to society due to lost work productivity and increased health service use. (3)” Continue reading “A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness”

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A Holistic and Proactive Approach to Your Employees’ Wellness

Life vs. Living Benefits Underwriting: Consider the Differences

A look back in time helps demystify insurance underwriting

Life insurance underwriting has been around a long time. Since the first life insurance policy issued in 16th century England, the practices supporting fair and competitive life insurance risk selection have evolved often apace with emerging technologies, but the principles that undergird underwriting remain remarkably unchanged.

Living benefits, via disability and critical illness insurance, are considered relative newcomers to the marketplace. Still, the earliest forms of these coverages have been available for a long time. The second American president, John Adams, signed the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen in 1798 (1). The law required seafarers to put aside twenty cents per month from their wages in order to fund medical care for other sailors who fell sick or became disabled. This group of seamen were so vital to trade and commerce, that the law created a provision for the building of hospitals for sick seamen. This is perhaps one of the earliest examples of what we now consider accident and sickness and disability insurance.

Critical illness is the youngest member of the life and living benefits insurance family. It was the brainchild of South African Dr. Marius Barnard who launched the first version in 1983 under the ominously titled Dread Disease Insurance. The premise was groundbreakingly simple: get diagnosed with a covered illness, survive 30 days and collect the claim payment. Critical illness made its way to our shores a few years later and remains a powerful protection tool that continues to benefit Canadian insurance buyers, often in ways that have been described as life changing and life saving. Continue reading “Life vs. Living Benefits Underwriting: Consider the Differences”

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Life vs. Living Benefits: Consider the Differences

SMART TALK…about digital assets

Your client has been fairly savvy about their physical assets – they’ve made detailed lists and secured a representative to handle these assets when they are no longer here. However, have they considered their digital assets? Your client’s bank accounts, their social media and online family photos are valuable and need to be protected.

Watch this video, part of our SMART TALK series, and share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of safeguarding digital assets. Continue reading “SMART TALK…about digital assets”

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SMART TALK…about digital assets

Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

There are so many different options when it comes to insurance, and the stage of life that your clients are in will most certainly determine the types of conversations that you will want to engage in with them. Generally speaking, there are two types of insurance conversations that you will have with your client.

The first conversation will typically take place when your client is in their younger years and revolves around their need for income replacement. Your client’s insurance needs involve a somewhat simple snapshot of current possible risks to their loved ones’ financial situation today. The main focus of this conversation is to illustrate how insurance can help your client’s family maintain the same standard of living in the event of an unexpected occurrence.

That second conversation tends to occur when your client is a little older, a little more financially stable and it’s all about asset protection. In fact, your client will have less of an actual need for something and more of a desire to build wealth and facilitate their estate and tax planning.

But what if you could offer your client both in a single policy – the income protection they need today and the chance to build their assets for the future? We’re constantly encouraged to live in the now, which is great. But when it comes to insurance planning, is “now” the best viewpoint for your client? Term insurance, although a solid option, tends to be short sighted and does not take your client’s long-term needs – their assets, tax and estate planning – into account. As an Advisor, your role is to help them see the big picture, not just the short-term solution with an option to convert to a permanent solution at a later time and at a higher cost. Continue reading “Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow”

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Choosing Insurance that Grows with You

Helping your Business-Owner Clients Thrive in the Pandemic and Beyond

If you have a client who owns their own business, now is the time to talk to them about group employee benefits.

Employees are the very heartbeat of any business and it is in your client’s best interest to make sure their employees are happy and healthful, helping them be healthy, engaged, loyal and productive employees. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, employee care is essential.

Share this video with your client, highlighting the Thrive benefits plan, which helps them to activate healthy, positive change in the lives of their employees. Continue reading “Helping your Business-Owner Clients Thrive in the Pandemic and Beyond”

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Thrive in a Pandemic: Delivering More Value to your Employees with Group Benefits

Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

When we first visited the topic of the novel coronavirus in March 2020, just over 100,000 cases had been reported worldwide. At this time, in late March 2021, the World Health Organization reports well over 120 million cases and regrettably, the loss of nearly 3 million lives. The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has affected 223 countries. In Canada, we are closing in on 1 million cases and almost 24,000 deaths (1). We have already discussed the economic and social devastation wrought by the virus. The good news has been both a new and renewed understanding of containment and mitigation to halt the spread of human-to-human viruses and the unprecedented speed of delivery of what appears to be highly effective vaccines. Mass vaccination should help usher in a new era of normalcy.

But what about our children? How have our kids fared during this time? Let’s look at COVID-19 and its’ impact on the youngest members of our society. First, the most obvious question: can children get COVID-19? Yes. One study out of Europe reports 14% of cases in those aged 0-19 years. Early in the pandemic, household transmission was likely predominant. With return to school, even on a limited basis, inconsistent safe distancing and mask wearing, along with poor ventilation in older school buildings, have contributed to child-to-child transmission rates. This is especially the case with the emergence of the more highly transmissible variants such as B117, now likely to become the dominant variant and increasing the need to accelerate mass vaccination programs (2). Continue reading “Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?”

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Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

The Family Divide – Policy Transfers Between Family

Life is an uncertain road and for your client, circumstances may change where they one day need to transfer ownership of their personally owned life insurance. It does happen and in many cases, the transfer results in a taxable disposition of the life insurance. However, there are some tax-deferred “rollovers” available for transfers to spouses and children. Continue reading “The Family Divide – Policy Transfers Between Family”

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The Family Divide: Policy Transfers Amongst Family