WIR: Be A Fact Finder

Written by Don Levin

August 28, 2020

Week in Review







Pandemic makes LTC policyholders wary of using benefits
The coronavirus pandemic has left long-term care insurance policyholders pondering whether it’s safe to use their benefits, especially for home care. Credit Suisse, in a June client note, predicted fewer claims and an increase in lapsed policies. Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model)


US COVID-19 cases breach 4M mark
The number of COVID-19 cases across the US has surpassed 4 million as infections continue to surge in Southern and Western states, while nationwide COVID-19 deaths rose by more than 1,100 per day for the third consecutive day, bringing the total to 144,304. More than 150 prominent scientists, medical experts and others have signed a letter encouraging government leaders to shut down the country to slow the spread of the virus. Full Story: CNN


US COVID-19 death toll tops 140K
The US COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 140,000 as the number of new infections has continued to climb in 42 states over the last two weeks. An analysis of state and county data showed around 5,000 Americans die from COVID-19 each week, and the rising cases are prompting hard-hit counties and cities to acquire more coolers and refrigerated trucks for storing bodies ahead of an expected surge in COVID-19 deaths. Full Story: Reuters


CDC: COVID-19 case counts far higher than reported
Antibody testing by the CDC found novel coronavirus infections were six to 24 times higher than reported case counts at 10 sites in the US, according to data reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The percentage of people who tested positive for antibodies to the virus ranged from 1% in the San Francisco Bay Area to close to 7% in and around New York City, well below the levels needed for herd immunity, according to an accompanying editorial. Full Story: HealthDay News





Leadership Message:Just the facts, Ma’am




Over the years, I have had many people ask me whether I miss the practice of law and why I have loved the long term care industry as much as I have since joining it in 1999. I usually respond that watching The Good Wife has the effect of triggering my PTSD from the days that I did have to frequent Daley Center in downtown Chicago and be at the mercy of the person wearing a robe sitting behind the bench as if on some exalted throne. Conversely, I have loved being in LTCI sales because we help people safeguard their futures by offering them tomorrow’s peace of mind solutions today.

There is no doubt that the opportunity for a long term care planning specialist has never been as great as it is today. With the return of carriers to the marketplace, additional carriers taking the plunge into the marketplace, as well as new products being launched, the true LTC planning specialist has never had as many arrows in his or her quiver in terms of meeting the needs of the client. However, that being said, with the opportunity comes associated risk. It is absolutely critical that we meet these needs by asking pertinent questions, and listening to their respective answers, while being in the position of offering sound recommendations as to product and carrier.

The balance between risk and reward is such that it is imperative that the planning specialist have a keen and broad exposure to all available products, and now develops a set way to conduct interviews and plan design by following a standardized and replicable fact finding process that will hold up under judicial scrutiny. Some may ask why.

As a former practicing attorney well familiar with the litigious nature of the Society we live in today, I will make the casual observation that anyone can sue anyone for any reason with or without an underlying basis. Justice and Equity do not recognize that frivolous lawsuits are any less expensive, time consuming, or stressful to defend. Since failing to defend such a suit can lead to a default judgment, ignoring it is never an option. Why would anyone sue you as an insurance producer or practicing financial advisor or estate planning attorney – easy answer: your malpractice or errors and omissions insurance policy. Long has the adage been, “when all else fails, sue the professional. If his pockets are not deep, we’ll put our hand in the insurance company’s pocket.”

We don’t want to be in the position of defending a lawsuit twenty or thirty years down the road brought by the children or heirs of a policyholder who are looking to recoup the costs associated with their loved one’s long term care when the modest policy they purchased was long exhausted and the burden of these expenses fell back on the family coffers. A disclaimer of some kind that acknowledges the WHY behind the ultimate plan design chosen by the client and eventual policyholder could prove to an integral part of a successful defense or even preclude such an action from going beyond the pre-trial stage.

Won’t happen you say? It’s happening now! Courts have become extremely plaintiff friendly especially against the insurance industry, and the insurance producer/financial professional. Fueling this winning streak by the plaintiffs is something known as the Doctrine of Reliance.

The Doctrine of Reliance is usually a winner because it is so easy to manipulate in favor of a sympathetic plaintiff especially before a jury of his peers. Arguments such as “My parents relied on you for your advice,” or “As a widow, my Mom relied on your recommendation as to what plan to buy…” are going to be very persuasive. Can you see where this is going, and why you don’t want to be on that train?

A good fact finder, started while on the phone prior to scheduling the actual interview, carried through the face to face or remote appointment, and concluded with policy delivery can in fact become the best insurance policy that you ever own and it won’t cost you a dime’s worth of premium.

For you older Dragnet aficionados, you may remember LAPD Sergeant Joe Friday’s immortal “Just the facts ma’am.” I cannot emphasize enough the importance of asking open ended questions and gathering all the facts that you can so that you can in turn make the best recommendation possible as an advocate. With the broad range of products and their respective offerings, fact finding is the key to success!



As we move forward with the aforementioned new products that offer smaller, fixed pools of benefits, in an effort to reach more of the Middle America market, as well as new policies that offer unlimited lifetime benefits, we must exercise caution and apply the prudent man standard as to what is both suitable and appropriate for the client.

There is an ever increasing burden on the producer/advisor. Unfortunately, when coupled with the Doctrine of Reliance, we can be sued for the advice we give as well as the advice we do not. Not mentioning a higher cost of living allowance factor or an unlimited policy because of the higher premium attached to it, when family history may dictate the appropriateness of this plan design could be as dangerous to the producer as would be under-selling a plan based on associated price.

While a carefully completed factfinder like the one we utilize in our agency, that is subsequently reviewed and signed by the client, may not be an ironclad defense in an errors and omissions action, I am confident that it will carry enough sway as to mitigate if not eliminate culpability.

Making plan design a collaborative effort between you and the client and placing him or her in the position of expressing the why they are purchasing a policy and what they want the policy to do and then literally signing off on it, will not only be a very powerful way to protect yourself legally, but also to really solidify the sale! Satisfied clients should also become centers of influence for you in terms of referrals and introductions to their friends and family as well as their attorney and financial advisor.

Make fact finding a part of your business Today!





As we noted for you, National Guardian Life’s EssentialLTC is now available in California. For those who are new to it, or simply need a refresher on the elements of this flexible product, here’s the invitation link to the upcoming USA-LTC webinar on July 29th.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Jul 29, 2020 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Topic: “National Guardian Life LTC Essential Approved in California?”


Register HERE in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!







1. JOHN MAXWELL on the power of asking questions


If you want to be successful and reach your [leadership] potential, you need to embrace asking questions as a lifestyle. Because you only get answers to the questions you ask.

Have you ever failed to ask a question because you thought it might be dumb? I have! Too many times I’ve allowed my desire not to look foolish keep me from gaining knowledge that I needed. Richard Thalheimer, the founder of the Sharper Image, once asserted, “It is better to look uninformed than to be uninformed.” For that reason we need to curb our egos and ask questions, even at the risk of looking foolish.

Asking the right question of the right person at the right time is a powerful combination because the answers you receive set you up for success. IBM founder Thomas J. Watson said, “The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.” But that’s true only if you are willing to ask the question.




2. BILL CATES TIP. WEBINAR: Ten Keys to Referrals & Introductions


Getting referrals and introductions without asking for them is probably the most fun way to grow your business – especially if you’re getting introduced to the right types of people.

In this blog, I’ll provide you with the 10 keys to getting unsolicited referrals. Some of these keys can be broken down into 3 main categories:

· Becoming Super Referable

· Promoting Introductions

· Nurturing & Celebrating Advocates

Don’t get me wrong. I still teach advisors how to ask for introductions without pushing or begging. That process works and helps advisors grow their business in just the right direction.

With that said, wouldn’t it be nice to create more (and high-quality) introductions without asking?

CLICK HERE to get your 10 Keys to Referrals & Introductions without Asking.





To maximize every minute of your time and get a return on your prospecting efforts target specific organizations even as they continue to meet even virtually.

BUT, be sure to ASK J.A.M.E.S to ensure you have the right target(s).

J Can you JOIN the organization to show your commitment and can serve?

A Do you have an AFFINITY for the organization so you can position yourself as a resource vs. being solicitous?

M Does it MEET regularly virtually or in person when they are able so you can build relationships?

E Is it ECONOMICALLY viable; can the members afford the products and services you offer?

S Is the membership SIZE greater than 250, including affiliated markets, in order to be sustainable?



4. TIP FROM BOB BURG. Influence & Success Insights 26


Have you ever noticed that it’s almost impossible to not smile at someone who smiles at you first? And doesn’t smiling just feels so good?

As we explore in Influence & Success Insights Video #26 titled, The Immense Influence of a Smile, it also turns out that if you really want to influence another person, a smile is about THE most effective way you can do so.

Be certain to listen for Daniel Goleman’s quote, and you might even want to write it down. It’s that powerful!





Inconsistency is simply that voice telling you: “You don’t deserve it”

Most of the time, we know what we need to do to get from where we are to where we want to be.

Most of the time, our biggest challenge is not a knowing problem but a consistent doing problem.

We are all masters of finding our reasons and excuses. Of justifying our disappointing outcomes, but how often can we honestly also say, “I did my best and came up short”?

Inconsistency is a worthiness issue.

It’s when that neurotic voice in your head (that is not who you really are) starts saying, “Ah, don’t bother. Go easy on yourself. You don’t have to do it today. No one will notice. It’s not that big of a deal.”

We can dress up our own inconsistency with all kinds of legitimate-sounding things.

Occasionally, life does throw us off for periods of time – illness, accidents, family emergencies, life and death matters. It muddies the waters between the rarer, legitimate reasons for not being consistent and the majority of times when we are just making excuses.

But most of the time, our inconsistency is on us and we listen to the persuasive, corrupt defence lawyer in our head who convinces us that something else is to blame.

Should your self-worth be low?

NO! So why do most of us act like we don’t deserve to become the person we want to be?

You weren’t born this way. You have been influenced like everyone else by the small bubble of a community and larger culture you grew up in. A world that revered and valued certain people – rightly or wrongly. Then the people closest to you had their own imperfections that influenced you. And undoubtedly you were criticised – rightly or wrongly – by imperfect people trying their best and making mistakes.

You grew up in a world where, as you got older, you learned that some people were better than you at certain things and it hurt your confidence: they could draw better than you, run faster, or do maths quicker. And you couldn’t help but notice that some people were better looking than you (by your cultural norms), or taller or funnier. And then there were the things your own family or community valued and perhaps you weren’t the best at some of those things or you just didn’t enjoy them.

It doesn’t really matter what examples I give or how you accumulated limiting beliefs. The point is that you let these things gradually build up as reasons you would never be as good as someone else. They grew into assumptions about your abilities and a story you still tell yourself about what you deserve or can expect in your life.

How easy is it to shift your self-concept?

What I know for sure from being a highly criticised child with my own laundry list of reasons not to do very well in life (!) is that it is not easy to shift your self-concept and build your self-worth AND that it IS achievable AND that the information on how to do this is not hard to find.

Almost every personal development book written will cover most of the bases. Having read so many of these books thinking I was always missing something (because deep down I still believed I didn’t really deserve great success anyway), lack of knowledge is not the problem most of the time, again:

Our biggest problem is inconsistent doing.

When you are inconsistent, remind yourself that this is your old lack of worthiness talking – and you are the fool for believing what it tells you!

Our problem is we listen to the neurotic voice in our head that persuades us we don’t deserve it.

The only useful question left is: when are you going to stop listening to that neurotic voice and get on with being the person you want to be?

The voice won’t stop bothering you, but it will get quieter over time. You have to decide whether you want more from your life consistently – daily – or succumb to the same old, same old and fool yourself by ‘believing’ “well this is just who I am”. This is total bullshit. You can become anything you want. Your brain has plasticity at any age. Neuroscientists have been studying this throughout this century since the development of the fMRI technology that can now see your neural pathways and how they develop.

I know we want ‘easy’ solutions, but we also have to get real that if our neural pathways have had 20, 30, even 50 or 60 years to get wired certain ways, a 21-day program to change our habits and thinking is laughable. If you’re going to live another year anyway, why not spend some of that time proactively becoming who you really want to be? You’re going to spend that time on something anyway.

You don’t have to listen to either the neurotic voice in your head or the equally neurotic voices in whatever community or culture you live in buying into all the values it parades that don’t support you becoming the person you want to be (think: Instagram).

I truly empathise. I have been working on these areas for most of my adult life and have made most of the mistakes. None of this is easy, but it’s a deeply rewarding journey that you will be so glad you embarked on – perhaps not right away but for sure in 6-18 months!

Patience. Persistence. Never give up on yourself.

Copyright Matt Anderson 2020



6. MIKE RODMAN / BEST PRACTICES OF AMERICA. Integrate Exit Planning into your practice TODAY. You will be happy that you did!

And remember, that Long Term Care Insurance, as well as Life Insurance, can and should play a significant role as part of this planning!





Genworth Survey: COVID-19 Forces Americans to Confront Their Vulnerability, Resolve to Make Positive Changes In Their Lives
The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to Americans about their vulnerability to unforeseen illness and mortality, and has already inspired three out of four adults to make changes in their plans for the future, according to a survey recently conducted by Genworth. The survey was designed to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ lives and their thoughts about long term care and financial security.


Taking Care of Our Caregivers
Five emotional-support strategies the collaborative members’ institutions have launched or expanded to address caregivers’ emotional needs.



  • Employers Can Attract, Retain and Reward Employees with A Long Term Care Benefit for Employees. Watch Video (1:53)









3 ways to improve remote service for your clients
Financial advisors can improve the remote service they are offering their clients with just a few small changes, writes Rachel Schnoll of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. She recommends three tweaks: maximizing the technology you have, making eye contact on video calls and embracing shared experiences. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Expert: Fixed annuities an attractive bond alternative
Fixed annuities can help retirement savers cope with low interest rates without taking on the risks of extending the duration of bond portfolios, according to Brendan Connerton, director of the Annuity Solutions Center at Crump Life Insurance Services. “Annuities are triple compounding solutions: Clients earn interest on principal, interest on the interest, and interest on the tax savings,” he writes. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Finding prospects in your old leads file
Old lead files can be a good place to find prospects, writes Bryce Sanders of Perceptive Business Solutions. He offers several suggestions for contacting these people again, including inviting them to connect on LinkedIn and using a different communication method than you did the first time. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Life insurer assets grew 5.3% in 2019
US life insurance companies had $4.6 trillion in assets and cash at the end of 2019, up 5.3% from 2018, according to an analysis from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Capital Markets Bureau. The analysis also showed that insurers increased investments in corporate bonds, mortgages and derivatives. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Americans’ retirement concerns are on the rise
People are increasingly concerned about retirement, according to a SimplyWise index, and the trend is particularly pronounced among people in their 50s. Many survey respondents say they plan to keep working past retirement age, but that is not always possible. Full Story: MarketWatch


Senate pandemic relief package in the works
Republican senators are expected to propose a pandemic relief package this week that includes protections for hospitals from lawsuits and possibly more funding for COVID-19 testing. The legislation likely won’t include any provisions to address unexpected out-of-network bills, despite a push from the Trump administration and some members of Congress, but it could include a payroll tax cut and measures linking school funding to classroom reopening. Full Story: Politico


Study: Married women more confident about retirement
A study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that married women are more confident they will live comfortably in retirement than are divorced women or those who have never been married. According to the study, 76% of married working women are very or somewhat confident they will have enough money in retirement, while only 43% of divorced women and 51% of women who have never married feel the same. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)










Effective July 20, 2020, Mutual of Omaha is pleased to announce additional states where the age restriction will be lifted for LTC applications age 65 and over. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document for a current list of all states and effective dates.

  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

We continue to evaluate lifting restrictions for the remaining states of California, Oregon and Washington. Until then, these states must follow the guidelines and processes outlined in our temporary underwriting guideline communication.
Reminder: Underwriters will initiate scheduling the face-to-face assessments for LTC applicants age 65 and over after medical records have been received, reviewed and considered favorable for insurability. This new process ensures we are only requesting face-to-face assessments on individuals who are indeed insurable, subject to the completed assessment.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.






We’re celebrating our EssentialLTC launch in California and the start of summer with

The Dog Days of Summer contest!

Starting July 6 earn a $100 Amazon gift card for each qualified application submitted. First-time producers earn double for their first application!



Promotion details

1. Each qualified application submitted between 07/06/2020 and 08/31/2020 will earn the writing producer a $100 Amazon gift card.
2. Producers who write their first ever National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) EssentialLTC application will earn two $100 Amazon gift cards for that application. Each subsequent qualified application submitted will earn a $100 Amazon gift card.
3. Applications must be received at the LTC Administrative Office by mail, E-APP, or eUpload within the 07/06/2020 – 08/31/2020 time period.
Gift cards will be mailed weekly.

BGAs – If there is any issue with NGL providing your writing producer(s) a gift card directly, please let us know immediately by responding to ltc@nglic.com.

Joint applications count as one application. Credit will only be given to the writing producer. Credit will only be given for applicants who do not already have an EssentialLTC policy. Clearly uninsurable applications will not be counted.




Thanks to our friend Stewphanie Birden who is sharing a “snippet” from the UW Guide that has been updated to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on underwriting. If you need a copy of the UW guide, reach out to Paula who can e-mail it to you.






Five tips to help you find where Thrivent fits among your long term care solutions

With the variety of solutions available to consumers, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. As you weigh your various options, consider Thrivent LTCi:

  1. Successfully issuing ages 18-79 in all available states* throughout the pandemic. Take a look at Thrivent for solutions for ages >64 if your other insurers have imposed age restrictions in certain states*.
  2. Does family history matter? Thrivent does not penalize or decline based on family history of cognitive impairments. Find the UW guide here.
  3. 1035 Exchanges. Fund a long term care policy using existing life insurance or annuities. Learn more.
  4. Health pre-qualification. The Underwriting Guide features a Preferred Health checklist, allowing you to know whether someone might qualify for a 10% preferred discount. The underwriters at LTCG will pre-qualify the health of any case, including taking a look at those declined elsewhere.
  5. Benefit-rich offering. Click here for a features comparison between Thrivent, Mutual of Omaha, Northwestern Mutual and Transamerica.






Read More




How old do you feel? Regardless of what your drivers license says, you may be younger [or older’ than you think. Check out Hancock’s, What is Your Vitality Age?





Lead the long-term care conversation

47% of Americans struggle to have financial conversations with loved ones.1 You can make a difference. Right now, while most of your clients are at home with their loved ones, help them initiate a long-term care discussion and feel more confident about the future. Leverage the resources on this site to help your clients navigate the changing landscape and stay focused on protecting their long-term goals.

12019 Lincoln Financial Conversation Survey, August 2019.










Shawn Britt has done it again, and compiled a great article that captures a lot of pertinent information. YOU MUST DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THIS GREAT PAPER.
The development of long-term care (LTC) products over the last few decades has been very exciting and offers individuals more planning choices than ever

before. However, it has also created some confusion with the expansion of terminology—way beyond what was once just a world of traditional LTC policies. The purpose of this article is to put some thought and clarity around LTC terms that have become common place, but are often used in conflicting fashion. While not all terms and products will be covered in this article, it is hoped that some of the most confusing terms will be clarified. We will also discuss terms that are generally understood but may have components that need defining.






Are you making the most of your virtual marketing presence?

Social Media, Virtual Marketing Campaigns, Hard Copy Mailings, co-branded material…all of this is at your fingertips with only a quick set up from you.

What’s the catch? Nothing but a little bit of your time.

I’m offering you access to the OneAmerica Marketing Store.

The store houses more collateral material than you can even imagine, both OneAmerica specific and generic material to engage your clients in the Long Term Care planning conversation.

You should be talking to Every Client Every Time. Let us help you make it happen!








Important SecureCare product updates

As part of Securian Financial’s commitment to building secure tomorrows by doing the right thing today, effective today, July 20, 2020, the maximum payment age for SecureCare Universal Life has been increased to 80 years old in all Compact1 states and South Dakota.

The new maximum payment ages are shown below. However, due to underwriting’s COVID-19 guidelines, SecureCare policies are only being issued to applicants age 70 and younger until at least September 15, 2020.



Given the historic volatility in today’s market, not all clients are willing or able to afford purchasing a policy in one lump sum. That’s when SecureCare’s multiple premium payment options (5-, 7-, 10- and 15-years), combined with the increase in its maximum payment age, can really come into play.

Check out the SecureCare Prospect Profile Guide to look for clients who could benefit from a multi-pay option – and whom you may already know.

Get the guide




Now Playing: Live Webinars

From our office to your desktop, our free webinars bring all the training you need right to you. We offer a variety of live sessions to help boost your business — everything from product basics to the finer points of selling with LifeSecure.

Register today for the webinar of your choice!

July 28: Hospital Recovery Insurance Overview
July 29: Worksite Solutions: LifeSecure’s Long Term Care Insurance
July 30: Critical Illness Insurance Overview

You can also check out our full webinar schedule here.







If you are TRULY COMMITTED to working ON your business and not just in your business, you don’t want to miss these calls. As we have said time and time again, an honest 40 hour work week WILL garner you the level of success that you want, and 4 of these hours should be spent in training, webinars, All Hands calls, etc. Attendance has been up significantly since we changed the format of this call, and we hope to drive it even higher!

DIAL IN INFORMATION: 1 (208) 717-1941, Participant Passcode 57783

When applicable, the visual part of the call can be viewed at www.uberconference.com/PNWIS with the same participant code.



1. How to Use Facebook Hashtags to Improve Your Reach (Watch on YouTube) Want more exposure for your content? Curious whether hashtags work on FB? Learn why you should start using hashtags and what Facebook’s Hashtag Feed Pages are.

2. 3 ways to improve remote service for your clientsFinancial advisors can improve the remote service they are offering their clients with just a few small changes, writes Rachel Schnoll of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. She recommends three tweaks: maximizing the technology you have, making eye contact on video calls and embracing shared experiences. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)

3. How to Get More Organic LinkedIn Exposure for Your Content Want to get your content in front of more people on LinkedIn without using ads? Find tips to increase the chances LinkedIn will show your organic content in the feed.










Happy Selling Everybody!!


You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Existing Users Log In