Have you heard that 64 percent of all men have at least some form of life insurance? We insurance agents know all too well, though, that “some” just isn’t enough in most cases. I recently had the privilege of meeting a small group of people behind that very statistic during a LIFE Foundation focus group session. It was a small group of eight male consumers, but truly a slice representative of the American male population.
Five of the eight men said they had life insurance, although a few said it was just the minimum amount obtained through their employer. The men with adequate coverage showed a unique sense of pride compared with the slumped shoulders and bowed heads of the men who had little to no coverage.
One, a father of two preteen children, explained he had life insurance, but dropped it when he found himself out of work for a year. A father of a newborn said he and his wife started talking about obtaining coverage, but he was too overwhelmed with all the options and didn’t know how to choose. Another father of three young children said he knew he should have it because his wife keeps bringing up the subject, but he simply hasn’t done anything about it.
Among this group of regular Americans, one man, Derrick, stood out in the crowd. Derrick was not only adequately and smartly insured, but he knew exactly which type of insurance product he had and what it covered. He told the group that he had recently lost his brother-in-law, who did not have life insurance, and saw the financial effect reverberate throughout his family. All of his relatives had to pitch in to keep his brother-in-law’s family in their house and put his son through school. He said after witnessing how a lack of life insurance would burden his own survivors, he decided he didn’t want to leave that kind of legacy. Not long after his brother-in-law’s death, Derrick sat down with a family friend who sold insurance, learned all the options available to him, and secured the coverage he needed.
This is what Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) is all about: this industry coming together to reach out to our community members and give them the information they need to make smart insurance decisions and protect the ones they love. Consider Derrick’s story: It took a tragedy for him to take action, but he was the lucky one in that small focus group. He trusted his insurance agent family friend to help him obtain adequate financial protection for his family.
That same night, we held another focus group with insurance agents. All of the agents said they were familiar with LIAM, but only a few used it in their marketing and sales efforts. When you consider the number of people who are uninsured or underinsured and have loved ones dependent on their income, it helps us realize we have an important responsibility to fulfill.
LIAM not only provides an excellent reason to reach out to your prospects, but the LIFE Foundation and your home offices have provided you with educational and marketing resources so you can easily take advantage of this opportunity.
If you don’t already have a marketing effort under way, it is not too late. Here are several ways to quickly leverage LIAM and reach more Americans this September—and beyond.
- Tap into company assets. Many insurance companies support LIAM in some fashion, so reach out to the companies with which you do business to find out what types of LIAM marketing resources and sales incentives they offer.
- Take advantage of LIFE’s marketing resources. LIFE offers free web-accessible educational and marketing resources, as well as high-quality print and multimedia materials for purchase. Access all of LIFE’s resources at the LIAM Producer Toolkit at http://www.lifehappens.org/liamkit. Most of these resources can be used beyond LIAM as well.
- Tell your clients that “Life Happens.” “Life Happens” gel bracelets are one of LIFE’s most popular resources. Wear several on your wrist, and give them out to clients and prospects. They’re great conversation starters: People will invariably ask, “What does ‘Life Happens’ mean?” That’s your cue to talk to them about the need to plan ahead for life’s uncertainties.
- Share the seven wonders of life insurance. Life insurance can do some amazing things for families, and LIFE offers several marketing resources to help inform your clients and prospects about what LIFE calls the “7 Wonders of Life Insurance.” Access them at http://www.lifehappens.org/wonderskit.
- Encourage clients to enter the “What Matters Most to Me” Contest. LIFE has created a fun Facebook application to remind Americans that life insurance can help them protect the people and things that matter most to them. If your clients use the application during LIAM, they’ll have the chance to win a five-day trip to Aruba. Details regarding the contest are here: http://www.facebook.com/lifehappens.org
We hope you won’t overlook or underestimate this opportunity to help consumers take stock of their life insurance needs and protect their loved ones through proper life insurance planning. When you consider that four in 10 adult Americans have no individual life insurance, and that many more need more coverage than they have, it’s clear have a lot of work to do as an industry. That first step begins with you.