Life Insurance Purchases: Studies Show Consumers Are Receptive

Even with Trump’s proposed tax code changes, term life and Group Life / AD&D still a safe bet.

Are you a property & casualty, disability, or health insurance broker looking for new revenue streams? Life insurance might just represent another avenue to increase your book of business.Father-Son-Life-Ins

According to the Insurance Barometer Study, conducted jointly by not-for-profit research industry trade association LIMRA and the non-profit educational organization Life Happens, today’s consumers not only are receptive to life insurance purchases, but are also vocal advocates for it.

According to the study:

        66 percent of consumers are “somewhat likely” to recommend life insurance to others

 

      86 percent of consumers believe most people need life
      insurance
      60 percent of American own either individual life or group life / AD&D coverage
      34 percent said they were likely to buy life insurance in 2016

Surprisingly, the younger generation seems to show a maturity beyond its years, with 77 percent of millennials saying they recommend owning life insurance.

Life Insurance Purchases in the Trump Era

Although the study concluded in mid-2016, the new political climate and proposed tax changes should not affect the decision to buy life insurance. As life insurance broker Chris Acker states on LinkedIn:

“Regardless of tax reform possibilities, if you need life insurance, then BUY life insurance. Don’t put off protecting the very family that means the world to you just because a tax change ‘might’ happen.”

It’s hard to argue with that logic, and, as a broker, if you spot this gap in your customers’ coverage, it’s your responsibility to point it out and provide them with options.

But how could new tax code affect life insurance purchases? For the vast majority of term-life and Group Life / AD&D policy holders, the answer is: It won’t.

We’re not tax advisors, and you should speak to your accountant or a tax attorney if you’re considering investing in permanent (i.e. “whole” or “cash value”) life insurance. If Trump’s tax code passes, it could eliminate the tax-free build-up that is a major incentive to invest in whole life.

If you own a cash value policy, you can borrow money up to the amount you’ve paid into the policy without any tax penalties. In 2017 and beyond, if Trump’s proposed policy passes, that money would be taxed.

But if you’re purchasing a term life policy, universal policy, or investing in Group Life / AD&D with your employer, you don’t see those tax benefits anyway. Nothing changes.

And, keep in mind, if you’re already a whole life insurance holder prior to 2017, the new tax law wouldn’t apply.

Brokers: Make Life Insurance Part of Your Consultative Selling Approach

It’s not difficult to understand when it’s laid out in a few concise paragraphs, as above. Life insurance remains a good investment and a necessity to protect your family and provide income for them if you pass away.

But there is a lot of fear surrounding the current administration, and some of that fear could lead to hesitation to purchase life insurance. Customer education will be the key. Term life insurance and Group Life / AD&D policies won’t change.

Business owners and consumers, alike, can trust the brokers who provide their other benefits, including disability coverage, dental, and vision insurance, to shop for the best deals on Group Life and individual life insurance coverage.

For customers who are considering whole life insurance, term life can be a good “placeholder” policy until tax law changes get sorted out.

Corporate and individual customers need brokers they can trust in these confusing times. If you step up with the information they need, policies from top-rated carriers, and the white-glove service The DBL Center can help you provide in a white label capacity, you’ll always be top of mind.

You’re the one your customers turn to when they need guidance and when they’re ready to make a purchase. We can help.

The DBL Center… more than just disability insurance.


Insurance Brokers: How Tech Savvy Is Your General Agency?

Insurance brokers should be able to rely on their wholesale general agency to lead the digital revolution within the insurance industry.

A recent article in The Digital Insurer pointed to chatbots—sophisticated artificial intelligence programs that can answer questions and provide customer service for companies in much the way human representatives can—as replacing insurance underwriters in the foreseeable future. We beg to differ.

The jury’s still out on chatbots and widespread acceptance of this technology, especially when it comes to B2BThe DBL Center's new mobile app for our insurance brokers. insurance sales. Insurance brokers work in a high-touch industry, where consultative selling is a key, and relationships build business. A consumer looking for the lowest price on car insurance may accept a chatbot to provide a quote. But a business is not going to trust a computer program—even a sophisticated one—to write a mandatory disability insurance policy for 100 employees in their company.

The high level of personalized, white glove service The DBL Center provides is one reason we have more than 4,000 insurance brokers across 15 states, who rely on us to supply mandatory disability insurance (TDB in NJ and DBL in NY), as well as ancillary benefits, group life AD&D, and a growing list of additional insurance and investment services, to their business customers.

But as much as we are, and will remain, a service-oriented business, we do consider ourselves pretty high tech, too, here at The DBL Center.

Get Easy Online Quotes

While much of the industry was still relying on cold calls for insurance sales and faxing documents to bind quotes, we began providing the ability to bind a quote for NY DBL coverage for fewer than 50 lives online with a few clicks. The automated system operates through our portal, permitting agencies to quickly and easily compare prices and coverage with top-rated insurance carriers in our industry. Agents can bind the quote with just a few clicks, without ever speaking to a representative.  Of course, we are available if you do have any questions, need guidance through the process, want to upgrade to an enriched DBL plan, or add ancillary benefits. But our entire system is designed to make the process quick and easy for the insurance brokers who do business with us.

Insurance Brokers Can Manage Accounts Easily Online

Our proprietary insurance broker’s portal, available to insurance agents who write their business through The DBL Center, gives our customers access to a host of information. Brokers can:

– Track their book of business
– Track commissions and export the data
– Issue their own Certificates of Insurance (DB-820) in real-time

These capabilities put our brokers in better control of their businesses, and frees up our staff to focus on areas where the human touch is needed to provide the next level of customer service.

Your Wholesale Agency Goes Mobile

The next phase of our development involves a mobile app that provides our brokers with expanded capabilities to manage their book of business from anywhere they might be. Brokers no longer have to wait to return to the office to issue DB-820s, get quotes, or write new business.

With the rise in telecommuting and flexible hours, brokers who write their business through DBL Center can now enjoy the freedom of working from virtually anywhere, achieving new levels of productivity and, in turn, serving their customers better.

High-Tech and Still High-Touch

While the app puts advanced capabilities at our brokers’ fingertips, it will also help The DBL Center team take our service to the next level. By automating several behind-the-scenes processes, we’ll be able to free up our staff to provide better, faster service when our brokers and their customers need the high-touch experience that is expected in this industry.

Best of all, our brokers don’t have to be exceptionally tech-savvy. That’s our job. We’ve worked with top developers to make the app as easy to navigate and as intuitive as possible.

As the world undergoes a digital transformation, the insurance industry can’t afford to be left behind. We provide the tools to help our insurance brokers make the transition in order to increase productivity and earn more.

Learn how you can expand your book of business with The DBL Center by your side.


NFL Star Punter Steve Weatherford Addresses Insurance Brokers

The DBL Center’s partnership with Steiner Sports opens new possibilities for insurance brokers.

In the months since our new website launch, we’ve used these blog pages largely to share tips and trends with insurance brokers, HR directors, and company owners. But we have some developments going on here at The DBL Center Ltd. that are just too exciting not to share.

Newly retired New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford took time out of his busy schedule to share with you the many benefits of doing business with The DBL Center for your mandatory disability coverage and other employee benefits packages.

We’re understandably excited about this video. Here in the New York Tri-state area, Weatherford is a well-known sports hero, having punted for both the Jets and the Giants. A self-proclaimed husband, father, brother, philanthropist, and NFL punter (in that order), Weatherford is known for his kind heart, as well as his devotion to both weight lifting and his family (not necessarily in that order).

A New York hero willing to assist local businesses and help friends, we’re honored that he chose to lend his name and face to this DBL Center video and share with you the many benefits of doing business with us.

DBL Center and Steiner Partnership Puts Sports and Comedy in the Spotlight

In this video, Weatherford also helps us put an exclamation point on a very important announcement. The DBL Center has partnered with the number one sports memorabilia and collectible company in America, Steiner Sports, to bring DBL Center customers exclusive sports and comedy star appearances, signings, and more. Steiner Sports specializes in helping companies use the power of sports to grow their business —and The DBL Center now brings that power to our insurance brokers and their customers.

Insurance brokers in the New York Tri-State area and beyond can attract new business through entertainment-centric networking events, thank large or loyal accounts, and plan company parties or fundraisers to remember, all through this value-added service offered by The DBL Center. Just contact Michael Cohen to coordinate a celebrity appearance through Steiner Sports.

Plan for the Future with DBL Center

Professional athletes have a unique responsibility to ensure they are planning, financially, for the future after their career or in the event of an injury. In Weatherford’s case, this includes not only maintaining a certain quality of life for himself and his family, but continuing with his philanthropic endeavors after retirement.

But whether you are making seven figures in one season or a more modest salary, enhanced DBL coverage and other ancillary benefits—including Group Life / AD&D, continuing care insurance and a 401K retirement program—can help give you (and your customers or employees) peace of mind for the future.

From your next corporate event to your retirement, (and anything in between) find out how you can plan for a more successful future with The DBL Center today. Disability insurance is just the beginning….


Disability Insurance Reduces Workers' Comp Claims, Studies Show

Disability insurance can reduce costs for employers.

No matter how diligent an employer is about workplace safety, accidents happen. Workplace accidents—and employees who lose time due to workers’ compensation claims—can damage company morale and cost employers additional time and money. HR Executive Thinks About Disability Insurance Benefits

However, a recent report shows that 47 percent of large companies who offer disability insurance (DI) show a decrease in workers’ comp claims. In addition, 43 percent of small businesses and 33 percent of mid-sized companies reported a drop in claims. The reduction in claims was substantial for all companies: 15 percent of all employers reported declines of 50 percent or more, and 15 percent reported declines of 25 to 49 percent.

Disability insurance, including mandatory or enhanced DBL coverage in New York, TDB in New Jersey and TDI in Hawaii, as well as private Short Term Disability and Long-Term Disability, typically pays faster than workers’ comp cases, and it’s easier for employees to file a claim. It’s no wonder employees would rather be paid through insurance coverage, especially when the broker can walk them through the claims process and provide white-glove service every step of the way!

In addition, employees could wait months for a workers’ compensation claim to begin paying. Most people cannot live without a paycheck—especially as medical bills begin to add up. After a one-week waiting period in New York, employees can begin collecting DBL benefits for up to 26 consecutive weeks.

Disability Coverage: A Smart Financial Choice for Employers

It’s faster and easier for employees to file disability insurance claims than workers’ compensation claims. And it’s also faster and easier for employers, with less paperwork to fill out. Additionally, many workers’ compensation cases end up in court to prove the extent of the injuries. Disability insurance claims do not require the business to retain legal counsel to defend itself in a workers’ comp case, saving employers both time and money.

While it should be obvious that workers’ comp only applies to on-the-job injuries, the reduction in claims when other options, such as state-mandated disability coverage, short-term disability, or long-term disability insurance—is offered might make HR directors and other business leaders wonder about the incidence of workers’ compensation fraud. Fraudulent claims hurt everyone, costing employers in real dollars, wasted time, and damaged employee morale.

Disability Insurance Protects Employees from Any Illness or Injury

It’s important to reiterate that workers’ comp should only cover on-the-job accidents or injuries. But off-the-job injuries are far more likely to occur, with 729 people injured every 10 minutes, according to the National Safety Council. Businesses collectively lose more than $15 million from these injuries.

While a good disability benefits package won’t eliminate these costs, it can improve employee retention following an accident, and alleviate some of the financial burden on an injured or ill employee—perhaps resulting in a faster recovery and return to work.

Explore Your Disability Options with The DBL Center

If you own a business in the state of New York, New Jersey or Hawaii, you already provide your employees with mandatory disability coverage (DBL, TDB, and TDI, respectively.) An enhanced benefits package may help reduce workers’ comp claims further by enabling better claim service and greater benefits. Businesses in other states should also consider offering STD or LTD coverage to their employees to reduce workers’ comp claims and save money.

The DBL Center Ltd. can help.


Three Reasons Insurance Brokers Should Add 401K Retirement Plans to Their Offerings

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing customers is all a matter of trust.

Business owners will buy 401K retirement plans from advisors they trust.

You may have heard about a number of small businesses being sued for their poor choices in 401K retirement plans. Frustrated over high fees, poorly performing funds, and perceived conflicts of interest, employees are suing their employers for the lack of solid retirement savings options.

But not all 401K funds are bad. It’s all about finding a trustworthy 401K advisor.

Many employers are taking a proactive stance and shopping around to offer alternative 401K options to their employees in order to avoid a lawsuit and improve worker satisfaction. In short, they are looking for a benefits expert they can trust to provide 401K funds and other retirement options.

Insurance brokers specializing in DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits have a tremendous opportunity to expand their book of business with 401K retirement plans for small businesses and large corporations. If you’re already practicing consultative selling (which you should be!) you have a large client base of business owners and HR directors who trust your advice.

You don’t have to be a retirement investment expert to provide your customers with funds they can trust. Turn to The DBL Center to help.

1. Don’t lose business to financial advisors.

Employees are suing business owners in class action suits for poorly performing 401Ks, but it’s not a business owner’s job to be a retirement investment expert. It is, however, their responsibility to choose a financial advisor or benefits expert they can trust to offer quality funds that provide their employees with some level of financial security in their retirement. That’s why smart business owners, right now, are seeking investment experts they can trust.

Insurance brokers who do business with The DBL Center can take advantage of our in-house 401K expert to select the best retirement plans for their customers. If a business already trusts you, as a broker, to provide their other benefits, they will trust your choice of retirement funds.

2. Let us do the work while you cash the commission checks.

401K investments present the opportunity for insurance brokers to expand their book of business with a new revenue stream by leveraging their insurance wholesaler’s expertise. You can provide your small business and corporate clients with reliable 401K investments they can trust.

The DBL Center serves as your back-office staff to manage your clients’ investments, while the commission checks go straight to you. Our in-house 401K retirement expert ensures you’re offering your clients plans that meet their needs and their budgets.

3. Shop your clients’ 401K retirement plans and other group benefits at the same time.

While you’re discussing 401K plans with your customers, it’s a good time to shop their other ancillary group benefits to see if you can find a better deal. Business owners might consider upgrading their NYS mandatory DBL coverage to an enriched DBL package, adding vision and dental coverage to their ancillary group benefits, or providing the option of Group Life / AD&D coverage to their employees.

Comprehensive Benefits Packages Attract New Customers, Too

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing clients is practically a no-brainer with The DBL Center by your side to help.

By positioning your brokerage firm as a comprehensive benefits expert, you can attract new customers looking to provide their employees with a better 401K offering. Take the opportunity to show them the advantages of enriched DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits and grow your business in multiple directions at the same time.

Adding 401K benefits to your offerings? Let The DBL Center help.


Michael Cohen of The DBL Center Addresses HR Directors about Ancillary Benefits

Survey says: Employees want ancillary benefits.

The DBL Center in the News
HR directors, recruiters, small business owners, and CEOs, especially in the fields of healthcare and the tech sector, where top employees are in high demand, frequently seek ways to differentiate their company and attract the best talent.

Some companies resort to gimmicks, others to generous BYOD policies that leave their IT departments scrambling and their systems at a security risk, but nearly every top company wants to find easy, affordable ways to entice employees.

Additionally, companies struggle with maintaining a desirable corporate culture and high employee morale.

The smartest organizations often find the answers to the recruiting and retention dilemmas in competitive benefits packages.

With health insurance premiums on the rise, many employers are filling the gaps with ancillary coverage in the form of vision coverage, dental benefits, and Group Life / AD&D insurance for their employees. We see this in action everyday here at The DBL Center, as we write hundreds of policies each month ancillary benefits and enriched DBL coverage for insurance brokers, as well as our direct corporate customers.

That’s why when DBL Center partner Michael Cohen had the opportunity to share his thoughts with top recruiting and job finding site, CareerCo.com, he didn’t hesitate. In an informative piece designed to educate HR directors and CEOs on additional benefits they can offer to raise employee morale and improve recruiting and retention, Cohen touted the advantages of life insurance, vision, and dental coverage. You can read the full article, and learn about the five benefits that help companies attract top talent, here.

As The DBL Center grows, with our new website, a newsletter, weekly tips and insight on the state of the insurance industry, and new clients every day, we are in an even better position to help our customers. It’s all part of the white glove service we provide to brokers every day as a top insurance wholesaler.

From mentoring and guiding new brokers, managing an experienced brokers’ book of business so he can continue his own expansion, or reaching out directly to those who make the insurance purchasing decisions to help them with their choices, we are here to do so much more than sell insurance. We are here to share our knowledge and experience in order to help our customers earn more commission and help the industry to grow.

Look for more from us, on this page, through social media channels, and across the web,  as we share our views on enhanced disability coverage, ancillary group benefits, and how to make it all work for you, whether you’re a broker or a buyer.

Would you like to connect with us? Follow us on LinkedIn or reach out here with questions, comments, or topics you’d like to see us cover.