Buying insurance is an important part of any financial plan. For financial planners, having someone who provides expert, unbiased insurance solutions is critical.
I sat for my Certified Financial Planner exam in 2010. As many of you know, a large part of the coursework is centered on risk management. According to the CFP board, 12% of the exam is about insurance. That number only increases when looking at all the other categories (estate planning, retirement planning, educational planning, etc.) of the test.
The challenge is that, in today’s business environment, this critical coverage is often left up to the client to implement. Whether you’re an RIA without an insurance license, a fee-only financial planner, or a financial advisor who doesn’t write insurance, you need someone to help you put in place the risk management/insurance planning portion of your clients’ financial plans.
At www.highincomeprotection.com I assist the clients of financial advisors and planners in securing valuable insurance coverage.
Having a CFP® certificant, who specializes in insurance and who can help you implement a key portion of your clients’ financial plans, can be a major advantage. So what are the four key characteristics that financial planners should look for in an insurance agency? If you’re referring your clients to an insurance agency, here is what that agency needs to have…
Financial Planner Needs in an Insurance Agency:
disability insurance and life insurance.
Most cases that we place are term insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability insurance. Although some clients require more advanced policy design (estate planning, business owner needs, etc.), most simply need to protect their income and assets from death and disability.
Make sure the insurance agent with whom you partner is part of your team. They should be consultative in discussing policy design with you, but they should implement whatever your final recommendation is without “upselling.”
#4 Their Network
Last, it is nearly impossible to be an expert in all disciplines of a particular field. I have a life and health license. 95% of my produced business is term life insurance, long-term care insurance, and disability insurance. Although I am licensed to assist clients in securing health insurance and advising them on Medicare supplement plans, I refer that business to the experts in those fields. The same holds true for those clients who need property and casualty insurance (home, auto, umbrella, etc.)…that business is referred to agencies with an expertise in that market.
Your agency partners should be experts in a few insurance lines. Specialists are preferred over generalists.
If you’re a financial planner looking for a professional alliance to which you can refer your clients for their insurance needs, I can help. My agency is in Lake Tahoe, NV, although I do business nationally. You can check my credentials on LinkedIn or by visiting www.highincomeprotection.com/about.
If you’re looking for a local agent (and you’re not in northern California or northern Nevada, where I live), please look for the following: Expertise, objectivity, independence, the ability to think through and consult on a case, and a network they can refer business to for the types of insurance they don’t write.
Selecting a strategic partner to refer your clients to is an important decision. Don’t leave the purchasing decision of the insurance dictated by their financial plan up to your clients. Make sure you have a relationship with an insurance agency that can help your clients implement a very key component of their financial plan.