Selling DI

Keys to Success: Why Is Disability Insurance The Forgotten Step-Sister?

At Life Marketers we deal with a lot of agents selling a lot of different products. One thing that always surprises us is how few agents even think of disability insurance (DI) when speaking with clients. Doctors, lawyers, and accountants purchase a large percentage of DI policies but we see limited efforts to market DI outside of these circles. Is it difficult to get the lay person to see the value in a DI policy? Or is it not financially feasible? We don’t think these are the problems with DI. Instead, we often find that agents don’t focus on the product.

Unlike life insurance, disability insurance provides a living benefit to the insured if they have a claim and lose their ability to work and earn income. Unfortunately, disability is a reality for all of us. In the U.S., a disability injury occurs every 1 second, a fatal injury occurs every 4 minutes (National Security Council, Injury Facts 2008.) High income professionals understand the need to insure their income because of the catastrophic financial impact of losing their earning power. However, a real need for DI exists outside of these limited circles.

We often find that agents don’t even bother to ask clients or prospects if they have a DI policy. One recent example involved an agent’s client who had retained a policy from a previous employer. They were able to “port” it to an individual policy and the client thought, mistakenly so, that they had a “to age 65” benefit period as well as a “to age 65” definition of disability. While the policy did offer a “to age 65” benefit period it did not have a “to age 65” definition. Instead, it was a 2 year definition of disability that changed to an “any occupation” and “not working” definition to qualify for benefit. Needless to say the client was surprised once we pointed this out. We were able to offer a more comprehensive policy through the client’s agent but, were it not for our asking the proper questions, the sale never would have been on the table.

Part of our role as insurance professionals is to listen, educate and evaluate coverage so we can offer enhancements or find better value. And asking the right questions is critical in this role. By asking the right questions, it means we aren’t just trying to sell something to clients; we are trying to solve their problems and insulate them from risk.

So, what questions should you ask on your next appointment? Try these 4 and you may uncover a new DI opportunity:

  1. How long can you support your current lifestyle on savings?
  2. Do you have any income protection in place or an income protection strategy?
  3. Do you have a disability policy through work? If so, can you provide me a copy so I can make sure you are protected?
  4. (For business owners) How would your business survive if you became unable to work?

If you ask your client to review their life insurance needs you should not hesitate to ask for disability as well. The cost of disability is changing and occupation classes change all the time, mostly for the better. Issue ages have also increased so we can now issue disability up at age 70 from the previous limit of age 60. I would be willing to bet if you ask 10 clients, you will get at least 1 new DI sale. Additionally, you get the satisfaction of knowing you help a client improve their peace of mind and protected them from the impact of a debilitating event.

Do you have clients who can benefit from DI insurance? Want to learn more about working with Life Marketers on DI or other insurance needs? Then contact our team and we'll help you succeed in the DI market.

Need help with DI? Contact our team and we'll get what you need.

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