In this difficult economy, you and your clients are diligent about maintaining and reviewing their Wealth Planning, but are you regularly updating and reviewing their Income Protection Plan? What would happen to all of your hard work if your clients lost their ability to earn an Income?
Income Protection is the cornerstone of Fortify Insurance Group’s expertise and we support all associated products within the sector. The most basic solution in the DI market is income protection for individuals (both Long-term and Short-term insurance solutions are available). In the small to mid-sized business market, we provide voluntary and multi-life income protection plans as well as Business Overhead Expense and BuyOut planning for business succession.
- Individual Disability Income Protection
- Own-Occ Definitions of Disability
- Retirement Security
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Executive Benefits
Fortify Insurance Group is dedicated to providing the highest level of sales, underwriting, and client services support to Insurance Professionals selling Income Protection and Life Insurance. By providing unbiased Disability, Life, Group and Executive Benefit solutions, Fortify Insurance Group makes sales, underwriting, and policy service easier and more efficient than ever.
Fortify Insurance Group provides not only industry leading sales and underwriting support but also the first web-based, full back-office solution designed to help you manage and grow your in force block. Now you and your staff can access real-time underwriting updates, a catalog of proposals, copies of all licensing/appointment/commissions information from all of our participating carriers, and much more!
Individual Disability Insurance
A personal disability income policy replaces a portion of income when an individual becomes sick or injured and cannot continue to work. This type of policy offers various riders allowing flexibility to design a solution to meet the specific needs of an individual. For example, elimination periods can be set up for 30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days. Also, benefit periods can be set up for two or five years, or up to age 65, 67, or 70. Typically, these policies are paid for with after-tax dollars; therefore, benefits are tax-free.
Own-Occ Definitions of Disability
Many professionals, such as physicians, are dependent on their ability to perform specific tasks or procedures in order to do their jobs and maintain their income. A professional in this situation needs disability protection in the event of an injury or illness that makes those tasks impossible. For example, a surgeon who suffers a hand injury and can no longer perform surgery is now totally unable to do his or her job.
For professionals in these circumstances, we recommend using an own-occupation (own-occ) definition of disability. Own-occ policy language defines “total disability” as the inability to perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation due to injury or sickness. In layman’s terms, this means that if you have an injury or illness that makes it impossible to do your current job, you are totally disabled for the purposes of the policy, even if you are still capable of doing another job.
The power of an own-occ definition of disability is that it provides the insured person with maximum flexibility. He or she is free to pursue a different career while still collecting disability benefits. We typically recommend own-occ coverage for physicians and other high-earning professionals whose salaries are dependent on their ability to perform specific tasks.
Retirement Security Policy
Unfortunately, many people stop funding their retirement when they become disabled. With a Retirement Security Policy, an individual can ensure a portion of their retirement plan continues during a period of disability.
When a claim is made, benefit dollars move from the insurance company into a Trust with investment products. The policyholder then chooses an asset allocation and risk tolerance. The Trust grows, tax-deferred, until age 65, at which point the money can be released. The policyholder can receive funds on an annuity basis or in a lump sum distribution. Upon withdrawal, the policyholder does not pay taxes on the accrued benefits but will pay taxes on the gains.
Elimination and benefit periods for Retirement Security policies are similar to Individual Disability policies. This type of policy is individually owned and thus fully portable.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care refers to the services required both medically and non-medically for those who suffer injuries or sickness that cause them to be unable to care for themselves for long periods of time. Long-term care is focused on individualized, coordinated services that promote independence, quality of life and meeting a patient’s needs over a period of time.
It is common for long-term care to provide custodial and non-skilled care, such as assisting with normal daily tasks like dressing, feeding, or using the bathroom. Increasingly, long-term care involves providing a level of medical care that requires the expertise of skilled practitioners to address the multiple chronic conditions associated with older populations. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Long-term care may be needed at any age, although it is more commonly used by senior citizens.
In the current market, there are several ways to protect your assets and your family against the expense of long-term care. The earlier you purchase it, the less expensive it is!
Traditional Long-Term Care
A traditional Long-Term Care policy provides a daily benefit when an individual becomes sick or injured and cannot perform at least two of six activities of daily living (ADL): bathing, dressing, feeding, transferring, toileting & continence. These policies offer various riders to design a solution to meet the specific needs of an individual:
- Elimination periods can be set-up for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days.
- Benefit periods available are 2, 3, 4, 5 years or customized to a specific pool amount of coverage.
- Waiver of premium,
- Return of premium,
- Nonforfeiture benefits,
- Professional home health care,
- Inflation protection options
There are numerous other riders that allow the contract to be customized to meet your clients’ specific needs.
LTC/Chronic Illness Riders on Life Insurance
This new and exciting alternative is designed to help mitigate the risk of long term care or chronic illness. Many Life Insurance carriers offer “riders” on mostly permanent life insurance policies that allow a client to access part of their death benefit as a living benefit to cover the cost of LTC or chronic/critical illness.
As the Long-Term Care industry continues to evolve, Fortify will be there to provide the most up to date solutions available.