Life Insurance: Elevate Your Practice by Integrating Protection Planning
Planning for a worst-case scenario is a fundamental component of every financial plan. For example, a pullback in the market can cause significant drawdowns in a client’s portfolio just before retirement. Or a loss of employment may force a client to liquidate investments to meet expenses.
Scenarios like these pose a threat to the success of your clients’ financial planning goals, and many advisors are proactive in planning for such events. Unfortunately, it’s commonplace for the same advisors to avoid planning for another kind of worst-case scenario – loss of life.
Advisors often have similar reasons for avoiding these conversations. These reasons typically fall into one of three categories:
- Concern about coming across as a pushy salesperson
- Discomfort with having protection-related conversations
- Feeling overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of insurance products
Build Awareness Within a Planning Context
If your conversations and meetings with clients have not typically included life insurance, clients may not know what kind of support you can offer. The same is true for advisors just getting started. When you bring up life insurance regularly, your clients will be aware of your capabilities in this area and your ability to help answer any financial concerns that arise.
Begin by including simple, leading questions in your discovery sessions and review meetings. When you’re gathering information about a new client’s financial picture, ask them, “When was the last time you reviewed your life insurance coverage?” Or in a review meeting with a couple who recently started a family, you can ask, “Have you or your spouse considered how having a baby may change your life insurance needs?”
Even for clients who are satisfied with their current life insurance coverage, the stage is set to be your clients’ first call when they need insurance advice. In fact, a brief life insurance conversation may be the perfect protection against a competitor leveraging the topic to establish a relationship with your clients.
Stick to Your Routine
Much like all areas of personal finance, life insurance and protection planning are not simply a one-time conversation. Clients’ needs change as their circumstances change, so it’s important to include the topic in your routine.
When you have periodic reviews with your clients, it is a great time to revisit insurance planning. Challenge yourself to include the topic on every review meeting agenda this quarter. Doing so reminds clients of your capability and expertise in this area and reinforces your value proposition as a comprehensive planner.
Preparing for your conversation with a needs analysis adds context that helps clients understand why this kind of planning is important. It doesn’t take much time to run the math and Money Guide Pro includes powerful needs analysis tools. If you prefer to do it yourself, there are plenty of guides available for calculating how much life insurance a client likely needs. These calculations estimate things such as: income replacement needs, debt coverage, or human life value. The key is to find a process that works for you, make it part of your routine, and stick with it.
Keep it Simple
Keeping up to date on insurance can be a full-time job. Fortunately, you are not alone. The team at CORE and the Financial Planning Consulting team can help you understand the best coverage for your clients’ needs when you run into a new situation. The key to working with your clients on life insurance questions is to start small and keep it simple.
Term life is easier to explain and usually involves a more simplified application and underwriting process. Level term insurance has straightforward pricing and mechanics. Generally, the insurance stays in place as long as the stated premium is paid. This allows you to begin having important conversations with your clients as an advisor by helping them understand how the calculated life insurance needs can impact their ability to reach their overall goal.
You can also seek help from professionals who specialize in insurance and who can offer tips for talking to clients about protection strategies. As you begin to feel more confident, these partners can continue to provide education and guidance around more complex insurance strategies. There may even come a time when you’ll want to seek out a CPA or attorney to partner with you in designing business-related or estate planning solutions. You’ll find the impact to your bottom line and the depth of your client relationships grows more with every step.
Planning for your clients’ worst-case scenarios doesn’t have to be stressful. When you follow these guidelines, you’ll sound like a planner rather than a salesperson, feel right at home having protection-related conversations, and grow in your understanding and confidence to present various solutions. Best-case scenario, you will take your practice to the next level with protection planning.
To learn more about protection planning and integrating it into client conversations, contact David Pergande at email@example.com or 214-859-1479.
To learn more about Momentum Independent Network, contact Wealth Management at WealthManagementInfo@hilltopsecurities.com or 833-4HILLTOP.
The paper/commentary was prepared by Momentum Independent Network (MIN). Momentum Independent Network Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisor that does not provide tax or legal advice. MIN and Hilltop Securities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTH) located at 717 N. Harwood St., Suite 3400, Dallas, TX 75201 (214) 859-1800, 833-4HILLTOP. Member FINRA/SIPC
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