Filed Under:Your Practice, Sales Marketing

The best Valentine’s Day gift idea

A parting “gift” from departing editor Brian Anderson

When people think about February, they tend to think first about Valentine’s Day.

This is much to the delight of Hallmark, Victoria’s Secret, florists, restaurateurs, jewelers and chocolatiers everywhere, who all do banner business because of this holiday.

It’s too bad that life insurers don’t experience a similar bump in business, despite the best efforts of the LIFE Foundation’s “Insure Your Love” campaign. I thought it was hilarious when they had a big guy dressed as Cupid asking man-on-the-street questions in Venice Beach about love and life insurance a couple of years ago.

But the big guy brought up a great point, and made the relatively few people he spoke with on camera think about something they probably never considered before: Life insurance can be used as a gift to show someone you love them.

No, it’s not very romantic on the surface, and presenting your spouse with a life insurance policy on Valentine’s Day when she may be expecting roses may not lead to the kind of evening you had hoped for. But when you really think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. What better way, really, to show someone you love them than by making sure they would not suffer financially in the event you were to die prematurely? In the big picture, flowers pale by comparison.

Does the average person realize how important it is for widows and widowers to be covered financially in such a circumstance? No, because they never think about it. But if they did, they would realize just what a good gift idea this is for those who have not already taken care of their life insurance needs. And we all know there are way too many people out there that aren’t covered, and would, perhaps unwittingly, put their loved ones in terrible financial difficulty if they were to die.

It’s the basic problem of out of sight, out of mind. We know the average person isn’t getting contacted by an agent to inquire about their life insurance needs around Valentine’s Day or any other day, for that matter. Sure, they may occasionally hear the Peanuts characters saying that term life insurance ought to cost 5 cents during a MetLife commercial, and might be further tempted to look into a term life quote after finding out how little a term life policy actually might cost from an online quote provider’s radio or Internet ad.

I do believe these types of ad campaigns are helpful in raising a little public awareness about how affordable life insurance can be, especially as studies have shown that consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance by a significant margin. But for the most part, life insurance continues to fly far under the radar of public consciousness.

Now, I’ve been on this rant before in my days as Editor of Life Insurance Selling, and I’ll take this one last opportunity, as I am leaving NU Life & Health to pursue another opportunity as February begins.

Please do everything you can to contact the average citizen in your community to stress the importance of being properly insured. People buy auto and homeowner’s insurance because they have to, but no one’s forcing them to protect their family from financial ruin due to death, serious disability or illness. They need you to convince them to do the right thing.

As industry icon Joe Jordan says, be proud of what you do and don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops. What you do is noble and significant, and you need to believe and demonstrate that with your actions. Celebrate the potential impact life insurance agents can have on others. Keep fighting the good fight!

Parting note: This is my last blog for LifeHealthPro, as I am moving on to another challenge in the insurance media business as February begins. I have really enjoyed being a part of the LifeHealthPro community, as well as editing Life Insurance Selling from 2009 through its final stand-alone issue in December 2013.

As we are now well into the brave new world of digital-first media, I can’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic for the golden age of the printed page. In working with a wide-ranging group of industry experts who have contributed or been the focus of feature articles for many years, they all were excited to be forever immortalized in the pages of a leading industry trade journal – something they could touch and feel, and have as a keepsake to frame on their walls or show the grandchildren just how much of a big deal they are in their chosen profession. As we continue down the road toward online-only trade media – a place I’m confident we’ll reach within a few more years the way things are going, I for one will miss the permanent sense – “recorded” history, if you will – that a printed magazine provides.

New media does provide boundless opportunity to embellish columns and articles, providing things like video, infographics, links to related content, and more. There’s no doubt it’s the future, and media companies are continually striving to find enticing new ways to reach readers. There’s a ton of potential and we’re only still scratching the surface.

But as for printed trade journals, the sun is most definitely setting. Enjoy ’em while you still can, folks!

– Brian Anderson

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