The Standard is a marketing name for Standard Insurance Company (Portland, Oregon), licensed in all states except New York, and The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York (White Plains, New York), licensed only in New York. Products and availability vary by state and are solely the responsibility of the applicable insurance company.
Think Positive: How to Present and Sell Modified Offers
Think positive. That sums up how to approach clients with modified offers for income protection insurance. They’re actually good news. Especially when you consider the alternative — no individual disability insurance for your client. Here are some tips to help you make that point and close the case.
The best time to sell a modified offer? When you’re taking the application! You can help avoid surprises by setting the stage for a modified offer in advance. Get to know your clients by asking about their occupation, hobbies, health and medical history. The TeleApp Instructions flyer lists potential issues to discuss, such as chiropractic care, hospital admissions and prescriptions. Explain that underwriting will take all these factors into account when making an offer for coverage. By managing your clients’ expectations up front, you can help them appreciate a modified offer.
Be positive, not apologetic. Your client qualifies for coverage. That’s a big relief! Emphasize that the modified offer still provides great coverage. And the client may not get a better offer. Other carriers will see the same medical history and risk profile. What's more, Platinum Advantage is a strong contract. It includes our unique Family Care Benefit and other valuable provisions.
Explain any exclusions and give a couple of scenarios your client can relate to. For example, The Standard may exclude coverage for disabilities related to a pre-existing condition, like a previous knee or back injury. Or, does your client engage in high-risk activities like sky diving or rock climbing? Disabilities resulting from that sport may be excluded. But disabilities due to other types of injuries or illnesses — like a car accident or cancer — would still be covered.
Discuss other reasons for a modified offer. Your client may be subject to a premium rating — such as increased risk due to weight. For details, see the premium build chart in The Standard's IDI Online Reference Product Guide.
Emphasize what the policy does cover, including leading causes of disabilities. Musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, injuries, heart disease and mental disorders are the top five causes of disabilities. Nervous-system related disorders are number seven, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Others in the top ten1 are digestive illnesses, infectious diseases and respiratory disease. Disability can happen to anyone at any age. In fact, one in four 20-year-olds becomes disabled before reaching retirement age.2
Right from the start, you can position any offer as a positive opportunity for your client to gain peace of mind.
1 Council for Disability Awareness, The Top 10 Causes of Disability, 2015, blog.disabilitycanhappen.org/top-ten-causes-of-disability
2 Social Security Facts Sheet, 2018, ssa.gov/disabilityfacts/facts.html