Thursday, August 13, 2015

Don't Sign Anything!

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Do you like your benefits advisor? Are they professional and a part of your "team"? If so, let me tell you one big way you can show them how much you appreciate them...don't sign anything without consulting your benefits advisor first.

With benefits changing because of the government involvement, many vendors of varying specialties have decide they are benefits professionals. Within that light, some payroll companies have gotten involved in acquiring an "authorization" from a business they service or a new business they are walking into for the first time. This authorization is presented in such a way that makes it seem like they are acquiring it so they can "check out your benefits" and get you quotes (which your benefits advisor should be doing anyway). What they don't tell you is that by signing that authorization form for them to "take a look", you have just signed over all the benefits in your company to them. Your benefits advisor has now been removed. No more service. No more payment to them. Nothing, They are gone.

How does this happen? The person with your attention asking for this authorization form is leaving out the fact I have mentioned above. They may look at it as, "Hey, if they don't ask I'm not going to offer it". Companies and even professionals on many levels are getting business through "omission". It's really kind of sad. I hope you can tell that I'm not a fan of that process and look at that as a big question of ethical practice.

Next time around I will address these companies who come to you to make your benefits administration and enrollment automated. It's a huge danger and many business owners are negating their relationship with their existing benefits professional out of ignorance to what the rules in signing things are in insurance.

So, to be clear and wrap this up...please...if you like your benefits advisor, don't sign anything without checking with them first.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Being Prepared is NOT Bad Mojo.

In my work with clients, I am always asking questions about life insurance. It's a "thing" with me because it is the only sure thing we will all face at some point. Death is no respecter of persons. It doesn't care your race, age, or level of happiness. Death is a part of life (deep, huh?). In my discussions with people, I usually bring up children. Those that tell me they have children, I ask the question, "Do you have life insurance on your kids?" It seemed like an innocent enough question but as the time goes by I am finding many people get uncomfortable with the question. I've had clients tell me they wouldn't get life insurance on their children because it was as if they were hoping for them to die or wishing bad "mojo" on them. I've also had clients who felt it unnecessary because they (as parents) would be all their children needed to keep them safe. I never speak against people and their feelings or their reasoning behind making decisions like this with these as reasons, but I have also been face with some realities that makes the question even more matter how uncomfortable it is for me to ask. I have three strong reasons for every parent (or person who knows people with children) to consider acquiring life insurance for children.

1 - No discounts at the funeral home. I have said in meetings before that there are no discounts for a smaller casket. It may sound cruel or too direct, but some of my clients and companies need a dose of reality as they feel "they got this". Funeral homes and certain states MAY have a set up to get financial assistance in certain cases. As a rule, the funeral for a child is expected to be paid for like any other funeral. Most people I know don't have thousands of dollars for a funeral just sitting around in a savings account. Funeral homes stay in business because it is just that...a business. The good news is, having a policy in place will make a horrible situation slightly better when it comes to making those final arrangements with the funeral home.

2 - It's the cheapest it will ever be. Life insurance is priced based on health, tobacco use, and mortality. Mortality is that table that tells us how close to death people are (on average). It makes sense that a child will be in premiere health and they are (on average) far away from that age of mortality. That means the risk of them dying soon is almost non-existent (according to the numbers) and life insurance companies will write that all day. Now, I don't think price should be a consideration when it comes to common sense, but we all have budgets and things to consider. The better news is that when they are at their young age, any kind of policy is available for a steal.

3 - Stuff happens. It's a safe bet that you could open a paper to the obituary section and find the announcement of a young child having passed away. It saddens us. It destroys a family. We read of stories of negligence, accidents, and unexpected situations that take a young life. The reality is that life happens. Death happens. Parents are very dutiful in protecting their families by getting life insurance for themselves if something unexpected happens. They owe it to themselves to do the same with a small policy to cover the "what if" that happens to children almost daily.

PERSONAL STORY: My dad did this for me. When I was 2 years old, my dad got a small whole life policy in my name with a face amount of $20,000.00. The following year, I was diagnosed with an incurable kidney disorder. In life insurance terms that means I am not insurable under most circumstances. He passed this policy on to me when I got married so I would have a base to start with to leave my new bride in the event something happened. I paid a whopping $10.00 a month for this policy while I held it. Since then, I have found other means for life insurance, but this was crucial for me. Thanks dad.

This post is not meant to be a downer. The goal is to be a call to all responsible adults who have children or grandchildren or friends with children. No one wants to think about the death of a child but it can happen. In most cases a policy that can cover children would be less than $20.00 a month. This amount would get more than enough to cover final expenses so the financial aspect of a devastating event like the loss of a child would be handled.

If you find yourself in the need to consider life insurance for those who count on you to provide them with their daily needs for survival (pssst, grandparents can do this too), call me (205-370-8453). Email me ( Text me (205-370-8453). We'll talk options and pick what is right for you.