Uncovering The Need For Protector Platinum GI
by Mike Feuerstein, Manager, IDI Sales Operations
As employers look to attract and retain valuable employees, the quality and breadth of benefit offerings can be a key component in an organization's success. One very important benefit is disability income protection. For many executives and key employees, individual disability income insurance can be an excellent complement to group LTD in order to provide maximum income protection.
With IDI sold on a guarantee issue basis, you have an opportunity to sell multiple IDI contracts through a single employer without the typical need for detailed medical and financial underwriting.
Naturally, sales people often face the dilemma of what to focus on: low price or high quality? Ideally, you want to maximize both, but how do you know when you have found the right mix? Focus too much on rates and you'll be battling the spreadsheet: the tool of choice for benefits brokers comparing different carriers' offers. I won't say that rates don't matter. They do. But they're only one component of the sale. With an IDI Guarantee Issue sale, the focus can include:
- The quality of the product
- The amount of total benefit in the GI offer
- How well the proposed GI plan meets the client's needs
- The positive attributes of the insurance company making the offer
Building Relationships To Reveal The Need
To know where to steer the focus, you first have to understand the client's need. After all, disability income insurance is a relationship sale. To uncover the need, it's crucial to invest the time in building a trusting relationship with the client who is either purchasing the coverage for employees or is acting as the gatekeeper to employees who will purchase coverage.
Offering Solutions And Support
Once you've gotten an employer to consider a disability plan to protect employees from an unexpected loss of income, it's important to make certain you're working with an experienced carrier. One that can:
- Support your sales effort with a product that meets your client's needs
- Provide valuable expertise to you and your client through education, a strong long-term relationship and high ethical standards
Protector Platinum Individual Disability Income insurance from The Standard is an attractive addition to an employer's benefit portfolio, providing superior disability income protection. It has a strong base contract and optional riders so that coverage can be customized. Flexibility of contract can be a key component when a sales person is looking to design a GI plan around a client's unique needs.
At The Standard, we have the expertise to support the sale not only because we have a solid product, but because we will work with you to design a strong GI case. This can really set you apart from your competitors. The following example illustrates my point.
Restructuring With The Right Plan
We were approached recently by a sales person who was looking to supplement disability income benefits provided by a long term disability policy. The sales person suspected that with the current LTD plan some of the highly compensated employees might be underinsured and was looking for IDI GI options to bridge the gap in coverage.
Working with an IDI regional sales director and a sales consultant in The Standard's home office, we discussed how the client wanted to provide benefits to attract and retain key employees. The client was considering providing a greater amount of insurance to key employees through an IDI plan. Through the sales person, the client had been made aware of the advantages of IDI GI coverage: the ability to purchase an IDI policy with a guaranteed rate at a substantial discount and full portability.
The sales person provided us with a salary census and LTD certificate of coverage. The Standard's staff reviewed the LTD plan to determine whether it was classed properly; whether LTD provisions provided adequate or richer than necessary coverage; and whether the client's highly compensated employees had adequate income protection.
Upon review, it was apparent that while the plan generally fit, the LTD benefit cap was too high. The plan had a high maximum LTD benefit that only a small number of employees could access. The high LTD plan maximum benefit made the LTD coverage more expensive than necessary, and it didn't leave much room for an enhanced disability program. By restructuring the LTD plan to reduce the plan maximum benefit, the cost of the LTD plan was significantly reduced. In fact, the savings on the new LTD plan were sufficient to fund the addition of an IDI GI disability plan. The combined cost of the two plans, LTD for all employees and GI for key employees would be less than the original LTD plan alone.
Next, we reviewed the salary census. The LTD plan only insured base salary, but key employees received a significant portion of their income as a bonus. Key employees were underinsured. We recommended an IDI GI plan design that would take the key employees' variable pay into account and provide a significant IDI benefit that helped key employees obtain adequate income replacement.
Keep in mind that the contract provisions and the overall strength of the IDI policy are part of the plan design. These key elements of the Protector Platinum GI policy were very attractive to the sales person and the client. For example, the Protector Platinum GI policy:
- Does not contain any limitation for a disability caused by a mental disorder
- Has no exclusion for a disability caused by a preexisting condition
- The partial disability provision provides incentive for key employees to return to work more quickly after a disability
- The premium for the IDI coverage could be sold on a non-cancellable basis, guaranteeing that the premium rates for the IDI GI coverage would be a fixed amount going forward for the life of the policy
Working With Experts
To a sales person who hasn't sold IDI GI or has only done so infrequently, I understand how daunting this may seem. This is why you want to rely on the expertise of The Standard's GI sales and underwriting experts. Our expertise combined with the strength and flexibility of Protector Platinum GI can help you craft a plan that meets the unique needs of your clients while differentiating you from the competition.