- Maximum Annual Benefits
- How are the benefits paid?
- What about networks & how they function?
- It’s all in the details!
It’s a pretty incredible time of year if you’re living where seasons change. The grass is still green, the leaves are changing colors and beginning to float to the ground, and there’s a crispness in the air. While we want to bask in the present moment and enjoy all things Fall, we know that the holiday season is soon approaching. And for many, that means travelling!
As insurance industry professionals we are hardwired and/or trained to educate others on ways to plan for the unexpected. So if you, a client, or someone you know is anticipating overseas travel, an International Medical Insurance policy should be taken into consideration.
Why? Anything can happen!
Picture yourself savoring the taste of delicacies from a foreign land then uh oh, food poisoning! Or taking in your exotic surroundings and oh no, twisting your ankle! It can be aggravating enough to have to tend to these small things at home let alone a new place where you may not speak the language or know the lay of the land. This is where an International Medical policy steps in to help, especially if you need to be transported to another area to get the care you need!
Common plans include:
Even if you have a tendency to over pack, do not fret! An International Medical Insurance policy won’t take up any space and you and your clients will be happy to have “brought it” along!
I don’t know about you but I am geeking out a little over the return of Tracy Morgan to Saturday Night Live tomorrow. A super fan of SNL and 30 Rock, Tracy has made me laugh hysterically more times than I could ever count.
My happiness isn’t only about seeing an incredible comedy actor star on a favorite show but more so, alongside many of his fans, we’ve missed him and we’re relieved that he is once again capable of doing what he loves and comes so naturally to him…making us laugh.
If you hadn’t heard about it, Tracy was in a fatal 6 car crash back in June of 2014. After an 8 day coma he awakened to a broken femur, leg, nose, ribs, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Up until his recent appearance at the Emmys and one reported standup performance, Saturday’s SNL hosting gig will be Tracy’s first time back at it after having to put his life and career on hold in order to heal for the last 16 months.
If you missed him on the Emmy’s you can guess it was emotional. He cried, I cried, the audience applauded and gave a standing ovation and in true Tracy form, he made us laugh when he said that after he regained consciousness after the accident, “I was just ecstatic to learn that I wasn’t the one who messed up.”
Now because I’ve grown up in the insurance industry I can’t help but think about how disability insurance plays into this. I know that most people (including myself) believe that “something like this would never happen to me.” But let’s face it, it can happen to anyone. Car accidents happen every day and we could only hope for the full recovery that Tracy is beginning to experience.
So what happens in this situation if we aren’t able to perform our job for 16 months (or more or even less)? How do we pay for our homes, utilities, groceries, and other monthly expenses (while also potentially shelling out money for medical expenses)? If we have a spouse or family, how do also continue to provide for them? How do we keep from depleting our savings? And most importantly (I have said it before and I will say it a million more times), how do we heal when we’re stressed and anxious about money?
Disability insurance policies are there to provide you with a portion of your income if you can’t work due to injury or illness. If income protection is something you’ve never thought to look into, it’s worth the time. We can only control so much in this life and it’s important to have things in place to protect what’s most valuable to us; our families, our future, and our ability to earn an income.
I hope you will join me in celebrating Tracy’s recovery and return to the comedy world; welcome back Brian Fellows!
Melody I. Herman
They’ll be jumping for joy…
As a couple of the most desired benefits you’d think more companies would offer dental and vision insurance to their employees. So why don’t they? Probably because you’re not talking about it!!
There’s no denying that taking care of oral and eye health is essential for overall health; problems in the eyes and mouth can cause or be indicators of problems in the rest of the body.
When you’re jumping into the ring, keep in mind there are more carriers than meet the eye (no pun intended), and we use our same methods of analysis and customization as all other ancillary lines.
One of the many things you can always count on from us is to get the
BEST BENEFITS for the LOWEST COSTS,
to both employer AND employee.
And just like all other group ancillary benefits the employer/business owner has the option to:
Don’t forget, a group can be as small as 2 employees!
I think it’s safe to say that all employers and business owners dream of having healthy and happy employees, and the more benefits they’re offering, the better. Let’s help them make that dream come true; they’ll be jumping for joy!
Having spent the first half of this year on Disability products in both the personal and business realm, it’s safe to say we are passionate about income and business protection!
For those that are business owners and/or selling to the business community, let’s now talk Group Short and Long Term Disability.
Why Group STD and LTD?
As experts in the field of employee benefits and disability insurance we can support you whether you are a broker or employer. If you are an employee and your company doesn’t offer benefits, we will be happy to start the conversation!
At Insurance Specialties Inc., we are here to help you design and implement the most comprehensive and competitive plan(s) based on the carrier strength, occupation, health, and goal(s) of your client.
It is our advanced knowledge and understanding that drives us forward. Let us share our expertise with you!
Who loves exciting developments in the income protection arena? We do! And this month we’re talking about Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI).
As many of you may already know, a few top tier carriers offer high quality disability insurance. Most have the same requirements to obtain a Guaranteed Standard Offer.
The Purpose of GSI: This form of individual plan is designed to be employer paid (or mandatory contributory) and supplement the group offering. Often group plans are capped and discriminate against the more highly compensated. This offering makes it easy to obtain, WITHOUT UNDERWRITING (I’m sure many of you have seen where the president or a member of the “C” suite is often the uninsurable/unhealthy one), while still providing all of the benefits of an individual plan.
What does this mean?
Are you an ancillary lines group producer? If so, this product is an excellent way to cement your client relationships and help the executives secure their financial plan.
Are you working outside of the insurance field? If you are an employer, business owner, or member of a group, feel free to contact us for more detailed information and to see if your group qualifies.
As we have said in the past, we strive to make this process easy and understandable. If and when you have a potential case we are more than happy to provide you with everything you need. Let us know how we can serve you!
In today’s article, we want to spend a few minutes discussing an often overlooked plan for your business clients … a Disability Buy-Out Policy. We will not apologize for the plethora of information, its dry nature, and the newsletter’s length; we know of no other way to discuss an involved product such as this!
Similar in nature to life insurance sold for buy-sell agreements, this plan exists to cover a need. Instead of death, the trigger is a disability. These plans have long elimination periods, 365 days, 540 days, or 730 days depending on the carrier. Unlike triggering a life insurance benefit, clients may be able to return to work so you don’t want the benefit started too soon. Besides, what partner or shareholder would not want to return to their business?
We won’t get into valuation methodologies (which are important to help determine the partner/shareholder value) as they are too intricate. However, the amount of coverage allowed for each partner/shareholder is predicated on his or her ownership percentage.
Who and how many to cover?
As a rule, you do not have insurers willing to cover more than 4 or 5 partners as it would prove too costly. In addition, the principals can more easily fill in if another partner/shareholder becomes disabled. According to Principal Financial, “A buy-sell agreement is not required in order to purchase DBO insurance, but one must be in place at the time of a disability claim. In the state of New York, the buy-sell agreement must be in place before purchasing DBO insurance”.
How is it purchased?
There are two methods of paying for the coverage: entity purchase and cross purchase. Once again, just like life insurance, you select the one that best fits the needs of the client. Too many policies are cumbersome (and expensive), so often with 3 or more partners/shareholders, the entity purchase will make the most sense.
How does the policy pay out?
The payout on these policies will rely on the total amount at risk. With multi-million dollar agreements, the benefit is normally paid as a partial lump-sum followed by monthly installments. They can also pay out in monthly installments only with no lump sum. Lastly, smaller amounts ($1 Million and less) can be paid in a lump-sum, which is the cleanest and easiest. No matter, a buy-sell agreement will be required at time of claim to determine the valuation method used, the benefit amount (percent of business), and the validity of the claim.
How can we help?
If you need assistance in forming a plan for your business clients, we are here to help. We have built a successful track record in developing buy-sell agreements, that when combined with new individual disability policies, have generated substantial premium discounts for the client.
Please reach out to us so we can make your process easier!