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Insurance

How to Perform a Life Insurance Review

By
J Maciolek

Why It Matters:

  • Life is always changing, and so are the needs of your clients.
  • Having a full-picture understanding of a client’s financial life can help you offer comprehensive guidance.
  • Checking in with clients on a regular basis can help build trust and strengthen your relationship.

Are you sure your clients have adequate life insurance protection should the unexpected happen?

While many will regularly review their financial goals and investments, clients typically forget to update their life insurance coverage. Others often wrongly assume their current life insurance policies are sufficient and appropriate for all the stages in their lives.

But, as everyone knows, life happens, and new protection options change over time. Unless your client is a family member or close neighbor, there’s little chance you know everything that might’ve changed in their lives in the last year.  

That’s why a periodic review of a client’s family and financial situation is so important to provide top-notch service and strengthen client relationships.

Prospect checklist

Some life changes are more likely than others to create financial vulnerability. Here are a few questions to ask clients to discover circumstances that may have changed since your last meeting:

  • Are you recently married or divorced?
  • Have you had a baby?
  • Have you experienced the death of a spouse or child?
  • Have you purchased a home?
  • Has/have your life insurance policy/policies ever been reviewed?
  • Are you currently a business owner, or recently started or sold a business?
  • Have you recently received an inheritance?
  • Do you need to plan for retirement or fund college education?
  • Do you support anyone with special needs or an elderly family member?
  • Has there been a change in employment or salary?
  • Have any children left or returned to the household?

Three simple questions to ask

Most clients need help to determine if their current coverage is still adequate or to estimate how much life insurance they may need at this time in their lives. Plus, you'll want to discuss how the death benefit proceeds are to be distributed to their beneficiaries. Here are three simple questions to get you started:

  1. If you died today, how much would your family need to cover the funeral, any medical bills, and other immediate expenses?
  2. How much income would your family need each month if you passed away, and for how long?
  3. Do you need to structure a plan for payment of the death benefit to your beneficiaries?

Other important areas to explore with clients:

  • Do existing policies coincide with current goals?
  • Term life policy premiums may be about to increase.
  • Do the client’s long-term goals require a permanent life insurance policy?
  • Is there a need for more flexibility in the client’s life insurance policy?
  • Is the client interested in additional features such as a long-term care rider or living benefits?
  • What is the current insurer’s financial strength rating?

Five steps to conducting a life insurance review

  1. Get copies of your clients’ current policies.
  2. Determine the face amount, cash value, annual premium, surrender period, amount of any outstanding loans, and ownership and beneficiary information.
  3. Review the questions from the prospect checklist above to see if any life changes affect the amount of coverage desired.
  4. Use our worksheet to determine how much coverage is currently desired. (Include amounts needed for checklist items in the worksheet.)
  5. Compare the worksheet results to coverage in existing policy(ies).

If the old saying “the only thing constant in life is change” is true, it’s all the more reason to make sure you’re periodically reviewing your clients’ needs. Download our review worksheet to ensure your clients are as protected today as they were the last time you met.

Things to Consider:

  • Reach out to clients you haven’t talked to in a while.
  • Set up yearly reminders in your calendar to prompt for an annual review with clients.
  • If needed, have clients provide copies of policies before your meeting so you have time to review them and check for financial holes.

 

Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, investment, legal, medical or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent professionals for answers to your specific questions.