Often people think they should involve or work with a financial advisor to plan for long-term care and the financial costs and burdens of aging. On the surface it makes sense. Since long-term care expenses adversely impact income and lifestyle Long-Term Care Insurance is a way to safeguard savings and preserve income in addition to reducing the stress and burdens otherwise placed on your family. However, most financial advisors and general insurance agents don’t have the knowledge and expertise when it comes to long-term care.
The problem is many advisors provide poor recommendations as they lack product and underwriting knowledge. This can have a dramatic effect on the premium and the benefits available when you need them at the time of claim.
Most financial planners and general insurance agents work with one, sometimes two insurance companies. They are not able to properly shop for the best coverage at the best value based on your specific age, health, and goals.
Underwriting criteria are different with each company. Many companies today will not accept a person who has been previously declined by another company so making the right decision to start with is very important. Generally, they don’t ask enough health and family history questions to make the proper pre-underwriting decisions. A Long-Term Care specialist will spend a lot of time asking these, sometimes very personal, but vital questions.
Another area of concern is most financial advisors and general insurance agents don’t understand the power of the Long-Term Care Partnership Program which is available in most states.
Long-Term Care Insurance specialists will be able to make the right policy design recommendations based on your specific situation. You don’t want to spend more money than what you need to and often a financial advisor or general insurance agent will make recommendations that are either too much benefit or not enough.
Some insurance agents also call themselves “specialists” when they are not. While they may “specialize” in this area, often they have little real experience. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a national education, and advocacy group, suggest that you work with an individual that represent multiple top insurance companies and has at least 100 clients they have helped with a policy. Often, an experienced specialist may have over 1000 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance. It is the number of clients that is key to the experience, not the number of years. You can find a Long-Term Care specialist by clicking here.
Once your policy is approved your specialist can send, with your approval, the “policy schedule page” of your policy to your financial advisor if you wish them to have details on your policy.
Insurance rates are regulated by each state. Every agent or financial advisor uses the same “rates” that an individual company has approved with the state for a particular product. This means you can’t get “a special deal” from one person instead of another. The difference will be in underwriting class they are quoting, and the policy design they recommend.
Finally, while Long-Term Care Insurance is a financial product designed to protect your saving and income from the expensive costs of long-term care services and supports, these policies are really much more than that. The right plan will give your family the time to be family and not have to deal with the full responsibility of caregiving or managing paid caregivers. The resources in the policy give you access to your choice of quality care options giving both you and your loved ones peace-of-mind. In the end, Long-Term Care Insurance is all about family.