Why I Talked To Every Client About Disability Insurance

My conviction for disability insurance was strengthened from a story a friend of mine shared with me in my third year of the business.

The individual who shared the story was an experienced financial advisor. We used to go out to lunch once or twice a month, and during one of these outings he shared with me a situation that had happened to him that morning.

He told me, “Jim, this morning I went into my office and I answered my phone, which I never do. But for some reason I felt compelled to answer my phone.

“It turned out to be one of my favorite clients. Not only does this client have a ton of products and investments with me, but every time I made a recommendation, he took my advice. Not only that, this individual has referred me to probably 25 other clients because we have such a great relationship.

“But the phone call didn’t go so well. The client said, ‘I haven’t talked to you in a while and I wanted to share with you some news. I just was diagnosed with MS. You’re the first one that I’m calling and I just wanted to make sure that I’m going to be okay. I have disability insurance, correct?’”

The advisor told me that his heart sunk. And sure enough, when he looked at his files, he saw that the client did not have any disability insurance in place. Further, he had never even had a conversation with him about it.

He realized that, especially this client who had acted on every recommendation he had made, had he talked to him about it he would have definitely purchased the disability insurance policy. He felt horrible about it.

It was at that point in time that I made myself a commitment that I would never put myself in that situation. After that lunch, I made sure to discuss disability insurance with every client. I told them that disability insurance was critically important. If they chose not to buy it, I made certain that I made notes in my case history that I recommended it, but they chose not to do it.

At the end of the day, I want to put my head on the pillow knowing that I brought my A+ game. That I lived up to my responsibility.

If a client chooses not to do it, I can’t own that, but I never wanted to make the mistake that I wasn’t talking to every single client about it.

Disability Insurance Gives You Options

In my experience, I found that clients have a lot of misconceptions about disability insurance. Firstly, many of them thought that if they were to become disabled, it would be due to accident. In their mind, it’d be something that would happen to a construction worker or other physical labor job.

However, what they need to understand is that illnesses are three times more likely to be the reason for a claim than an accident. Secondly, when you think about illnesses, many of them thought that if they were sick that they’d still be able to work. This mindset is especially common for white collar workers.

However, the reality is quite different. Think about the last time you had a really high temperature or the flu. You didn’t wake up that morning wanting to go to work. In the case of cancer, heart issues or mental disabilities it can make it impossible or nearly impossible. Our role as a financial advisor is to help them better understand that.

If a client does want to go into work, they should be able to go because they want to go, not because they have to!

Disability insurance gives clients options. They can decide if going into work is going to be further detrimental to their health. If they feel up to it, they can go to work. But they don’t need to go to work because they have to. That is so powerful.

For most people, going to work with a long term sickness or disability is the last thing they want to be thinking about.

With a stroke of a pen, you can give clients the control so they can make their own judgement. That’s why I believe that disability insurance is a such an important tool in the toolbox.


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