The following guest blog is written by Ted Kotsakis, Chief Executive Officer of PLUS Financial Network. He has been in the insurance business since 1985 and has held managerial positions with Prudential and AIG Life prior to creating PLUS Financial Network.
Ted is a current member of NAILBA, NAIFA and AALU and is a past President of NAIFA of Greater Detroit. Ted's unique experience and talents have helped many brokers and clients with their insurance and estate planning needs.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). Life insurance is the product used to help a family or business:
1) Satisfy cash needs that exist at death, such as loans and debt
2) Replace lost income needed by the family or business
What is most concerning is that life insurance ownership in this country is at an all-time low! Is it because the cost for life insurance has gone through the roof? No. Rates are lower than ever because people are living longer. Is it because tax laws have changed making the death benefit taxable and thus less attractive? No. The death benefit continues to be paid income tax-free regardless of the size of the face amount. Is it because the products have not kept up with the times in terms of types of features offered? No. As a matter of fact, many insurance companies offer life insurance in which you don’t have to die to receive some type of benefit! These “living benefit” riders will pay a benefit for such things as critical illness, long-term care or even longevity income, just to name a few.
Life insurance, like many other products, has evolved to keep up with changing consumer demands. You may have heard commercials from General Motors saying, “That’s not your daddy’s Buick” or have noticed that in a relatively short amount of time, consumers have gone from using mostly flip phones to mostly smartphones. A similar transformation has also occurred in the life insurance industry, and it pertains to products that are being offered today by the major life insurance companies.
But let’s get back to the basics. Will Rogers once said, “A man who dies without adequate life insurance should have to come back and see the mess he created.” In 1994, seven leading insurance producer organizations formed www.lifehappens.org. They recognized the need to better educate the public about important insurance planning topics. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Americans take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of insurance. There you will find a wide array of helpful calculators and videos. One such video is of a “Real Life Story” right here in Michigan (https://www.lifehappens.org/videos/his-final-gift/).
In Michigan, there are 1,000 members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors who can help you buy the right amount of coverage, at the right price, along with the proper owner and beneficiary of the policy. Because “Life Happens,” it is important to review and update your life insurance coverage at least every other year or when a major life-changing event occurs. Listen for radio messages, electronic messages and public announcements in magazines during the entire month of September as the life insurance industry continues to urge Americans to take care of their families’ future financial security through the ownership of life insurance.