Michael Staeb's 20+ years experience in wholesale distribution of life, long-term care, disability, and annuity insurance solutions gives him the unique perspective. His hands-on activities over his career have included working in the trenches of a career agency back-office, working hand-in-hand jointly with various kinds of financial professionals, and helping to protect clients directly.
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A young advisor recently asked me "do you have any advice around the type of lingo/phrasing to use when breaking news about worse-than-expected rates (due to obesity/high BMI, in this case) to a client?"
My advice is when a carrier clearly gives you a reason, especially something like build, as the reason for an offer you weren’t expecting, you’re not breaking any rules to include that in your explanation. That’s especially true if the reason is something disclosed on the exam (but not the lab results, which are explicitly confidential). As for phrasing, I would suggest something to this effect, adapted to to your communication style:
In my experience, nine out of 10 clients that don’t get Preferred rates (especially those that are rated substandard) believe they are healthier than they actual are. Especially ones with chronic health conditions. The hear their doctor say “you’re in great shape” when the doctor really says, “you’re in great shape, for someone with congestive heart failure [or insert some other substantial health condition].”
Telling a client they have received a worse than expected rate class is never easy, but I hope this helps you with how to break the news, without feeling guilty about it. We do what we can for our clients and none of us like reaching the point of being unable to help someone secure the protection they want or need.
Photo attributed to MicroBiz Mag under Creative Commons 2.0 Attributable License, details available here.