Today’s blog is from Life Insurance expert, Linas Sudzius. Linas is a lawyer, speaker, former insurance company executive and author of the soon-to-be published book
What Most Life Insurance Agents Won’t Tell You. His law firm works with successful people on their estate planning, and with entrepreneurs on their business legal issues.
When he’s not working he enjoys being with his family and listening to audiobooks.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motivations to Write the Book
So why did I decide to write the book What Most Agents Won’t Tell You About Life Insurance? Well, it certainly wasn’t to make a bundle of money. Most people don’t want to think about life insurance, much less buy and read a book about it!
There are at least three motivations aside from that.
1. Life insurance is incomprehensible to consumers, and that’s a shame. There’s plenty about life insurance policies and the process of applying for the insurance that consumers don’t understand. For example, when should somebody want term insurance as opposed to permanent insurance? If a person is a candidate for permanent insurance, should they buy whole life or universal life? What about variable life? Are there significant differences in pricing from one life insurance company to another?
And then there are questions about the qualification process. Why does the agent need to ask questions about health and get medical records? Isn’t it better to buy life insurance at work when an employer offers it? What does it mean when the insurance company and my doctor disagree about my health? How much does my agent make when I buy a policy?
Then there’s the big question: How much life insurance do I really need?
2. Life insurance agents themselves don’t understand much about life insurance, and that’s a shame. Some life insurance agents are casual sellers of life policies, and are not much better than consumers in being able to answer the questions above. Others are more professional, and have a good handle on the basics. However, even those may not be able to cope with deeper questions about life insurance.
How should the life policy be owned? How should the beneficiary designation be structured when the insured has minor children? How much premium should be allocated to a particular policy? What are the tax consequences if a policy is transferred to someone else?
3. Most life insurance companies would like to educate their customers about life insurance, but can’t afford the time and effort needed to do a complete job, and that’s a shame. Life insurance companies create marketing materials touting their great products and financial ability to pay claims at the critical time. They may also have materials describing how life insurance can be used to solve a particular problem.
They usually don’t create materials giving detailed information about the consumer and agent questions above. It’s not that the companies are evil, and want to keep consumers and agents in the dark. However, developing detailed information costs time and money. It’s usually not efficient for the life company to use resources for that.