The heat is on life insurance producers, particularly in the area of suitability. "Regulators, Congress, state insurance agencies--they are all looking at it closely," says Scott Harris, an advisor for the Carta Group.
Here's a look at a few of the front-burner suitability issues to keep in mind in the context of your sales and marketing efforts:
- Insurers are beefing up internal suitability departments and are paying closer heed to life insurance transactions, even those involving traditional plain-vanilla products such as whole life that hardly ever received such scrutiny in the past, according to Bill Kauffman of Senior Market Sales.
- Documentation and disclosure are paramount. In dealings with clients and prospects, says Harris, "make sure everything is on the table and there is no smoke and mirrors in what you're doing. You have to operate with the utmost transparency."
- When recommending a life insurance policy to a client, give adequate weight to the financial standing of the insurance carrier. That's especially relevant in an estate-planning context, asserts Harris. "When you're dealing with multi-million-dollar policies, clients want to know the carrier or holding company is stable and strong."