Before Applying for Disability or Long-Term Care Insurance, Do THIS!

Pink highlighter checking off boxes in a list
Check this off of your list.

We know how hard it is to get a client to consider applying for disability insurance or long-term care insurance. It’s not like we’re selling puppies here. In general, the population views insurance companies as money fiends, convincing you to pay them for what seems like nothing in return. Until something happens and you need it. Then, having insurance becomes essential.

Airbags, helmets, pads, mouth guards—when we think about protecting ourselves, we tend to think in concrete terms. It’s no wonder insurance falls to the back of the mind when you can’t try it on for size. This concept, this piece of paper—for protection? Not buying it. Literally.

Yet, we have car insurance. We need the car to get to work, shop for groceries, live our lives. We don’t want a lawsuit if a wreck does happen. So we protect our vehicles and our wallets this way.

And we have health insurance. None of us likes going to the doctor, but we will if we have to. And that can get expensive—so we transfer the risk to an insurance carrier for a *relatively* small monthly amount. We protect our bodies and our wallets this way.

And we have life insurance. We don’t want to die but we could! So we do the selfless thing and ensure our loved ones are left with at least some financial help. We protect our families and their wallets this way.

And we have home insurance. You see where this is going. A good financial advisor will advise their clients to complete their financial plan with disability insurance and long-term care insurance, too. That’s not easy. It’s not like applying for property insurance where all you need is a car and a credit card, a home and a bank account number, and boom, your policy is in the mail. And what if you’ve convinced a client to apply for DI or LTC only to find that they get declined? We are truly sorry when that happens to one of our advisors because we know how much work it takes. Fortunately, pre-vetting a client before an application can lower the number of low days.

Prequalifying your clients can help to expedite the application process and avoid evident declines. For LTC, one of the most prominent long-term care companies provides a two-page PDF called “What to Know Before Applying for Long-Term Care Insurance.” It clearly describes at what point the carrier will consider a client with a defined medical situation, and also lists specific conditions that will end in an automatic decline. Sending the flyer to a client is painless.

However, the flyer does casually suggest discussing health history with your client as a prequalification step. Most people aren’t comfortable doing that, and that’s where we come in. We’ve created a fillable PDF “Prequalification Health Form” that a client can easily complete on their own time and email or fax back to their agent or us. This provides more confidentiality throughout the process and doesn’t force clients to openly discuss private health matters with their agents in person. If they want more anonymity, the client can send the completed form directly to us via email or fax.

Remember that the final decision comes from the carrier, so your client may decide to apply regardless of our opinion, and that’s fine. But if it can help prevent extra work for you and a huge headache for your client (not to mention, protect your relationship with your client), prequalifying is worth the effort.