Phyllis Shelton has heard every reason in the book for why long-term care insurance has struggled over the years. People are living too long. Lapse rates are too low. Investment earnings are lagging. Premiums are too expensive.
“Even back in 1994, they were complaining then about the premiums,” says Shelton, president of LTC Consultants in Nashville, Tenn.
One day, on a plane back from Portland, Maine, Shelton says she had a vision. Instead of a marketing package, she’d start holding one-day meetings, all around the country, to teach her method to producers.
She tested the concept in four cities that spring; 19 more cities followed in the fall. Soon, Primerica was asking her for workbooks. Bankers Life hired her to train its 3,000 agent sales force.
Mixing and matching products — like life insurance and annuity products with LTC components — can also increase protection while providing for other needs. “It’s not unlike an individual advisor who says, ‘We’re going to do so much in stocks, so much in mutual funds, so much in annuities,’” she says.
Shelton swears by this type of educational, expectation-setting approach. “I’ve never had a complaint, ever, because I take the time to listen to the client and plan,” she says. “And when people get to claim time, they have the percentage they were promised.”