Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Insurance News This Week

Again, I wanted to share some news items with you from the world of insurance, with a wee bit of comment added. Feel free to tag someone who would find this interesting. 

We just learned this week that life insurance companies are paying out far fewer life insurance claims due to Covid-19 than they initially expected. The reason for this is that the disease is killing a disproportionately large number of people who don't have life insurance. 

Even though anyone can apparently contract the virus, it is mostly striking older Americans and minorities. Older Americans typically carry smaller policies than those who are still in the workplace. As a group, seniors don't have to worry about paying off a mortgage or making sure their kids can pay for college, because the kids are grown and have their own children. 

According to an article posted on the Wall Street journal website, " In a pattern dating back decades, Black Americans typically have bought modest policies aimed at paying burial and related costs, rather than bigger face-value policies, according to life-insurance agents and historians. Detailed data on policy ownership by race is hard to come by. Since the 1960s, U.S. life insurers quit using race as a factor in underwriting and pricing policies, so they quit collecting race information, executives say."

The two demographics have been hit hard by the virus and sometimes something like this acts like a wake-up call. Now is a great time to consider purchasing additional life insurance.

In another piece of news, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners have created an online tool to help people find life insurance and annuity benefits. Thus far in 2020, over $7.4 million have been located. 

“I am pleased to see that Tennesseans are using the Life Insurance Locator Service to find their loved ones’ benefits during this year which has brought unprecedented hardships to Tennesseans,” said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month, I remind Tennesseans to educate themselves about the importance of life insurance today so they might be better prepared to be a beneficiary in the future.”

This is the kind of story we at Surf Financial Brokers enjoy to see. At the essence of our business is a promise made by the carrier. That promise, that if you die they will help your loved ones by giving them money when they need it most, is important to all in the insurance industry. However, when people move or don't update their beneficiaries often, it can be difficult for an life insurance company to pay the claims. 

With that said, apparently many people who are beneficiaries of policies either don't know they are, or have no idea where the policies are located. We ran into this scenario with my own father's passing. His beneficiaries had predeceased him. Obviously he had not updated his beneficiaries in years. And we found one policy by accident when I called to update someone that he had passed away.

As agents selling life insurance, as well as disability, cancer, accident and long term care plans, a paid claim let's the client know that we stand behind our promise. That translates to how valuable our work really is to us. 

Let us help you find a policy that is in your budget. And for your convenience, you can even schedule your own appointment here. And in the meantime, please stay healthy!

Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, helping people find affordable life and disability insurance coverage. He's also is a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient and has spoken to professional and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. And please subscribe to this blog!

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