Advisor Today - September/October 2015 - (Page 29)

product spotlight DI INSURANCE By Breanna Scott Providing a Retirement Safety Net A benefit rider for severely disabled employees can greatly benefit your business clients. A lthough many employers are rethinking the way they offer medical benefits, some are putting an increased emphasis on group benefits, such as disability income (DI) insurance, to make up for shifted or reduced coverages elsewhere. Due to its ability to provide income protection for employees who incur a disabling illness or injury, DI insurance has become a benefit that employers are looking to enhance-especially to help attract and retain talent. Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has, in part, emphasized the importance of the ancillary market. Many brokers are starting to identify new approaches to selling in a post-PPACA environment and have found that DI insurance is a lucrative addition to their portfolio. DI insurance can provide employees with a much-needed safety net should they incur an illness or injury and be unable to work. Group DI can provide these employees with a way to earn an income and pay for ongoing expenses, but many aren't aware that this benefit may end after retirement. Although many group DI plans are strong to begin with, some carriers offer additional benefit options to further enrich these plans. These enhancements not only can help your clients provide a robust offering, they also can provide more support for their employees, especially those faced with a life-altering condition. Employees with severe disabilities may lack the ability to earn an income. Although LTD coverage provides security to employees who incur a serious injury or illness during their working years, employers and employees may be unaware that LTD benefits often end at retirement. Take for example, a 45-year-old employee who is diagnosed with a severely disabling disease, such as Parkinson's, which can affect a wide assistance to employees who aren't able to perform duties associated with daily living. Not only would employees in such circumstances continue to receive payments-what's in force at the maximum benefit period-they also would receive that monthly payment beyond the normal claim payment period, when many other benefits may have ceased. Selling an additional benefit enhancement could help provide financial security to employees with severe disabilities. range of functions, including muscular, cognitive and speech functions. Typically, this employee would receive benefits within a traditional LTD benefit plan until age 65 or at Social Security normal retirement age. This could be problematic as this employee may not have enough money saved for retirement. Optional enhancements Selling an additional benefit enhancement could help provide financial security to employees with severe disabilities, such as the employee with Parkinson's disease, during their working years and after retirement. This type of add-on benefit rider is popular among companies with a paternalistic culture and those with highly paid professionals, such as attorneys, physicians or architects. This benefit takes income protection one step further than typical LTD coverage because it helps provide a lifetime of financial Positioning the benefit To help position this benefit, ask your clients about the nuances of a typical disability claim: * Do they know their policy's maximum benefit period? * How would an employee on a longterm disability claim fare when his or her disability benefits end at retirement? * Are they interested in adding an additional benefit to an existing plan that can help provide for employees after retirement? This simple set of questions can help highlight how a benefit rider for severely disabled employees can benefit your clients. By finding a carrier that has a strong base offering and adding additional benefits or coverages to adapt to an employer's needs, you can create a niche product that can help employers think holistically about their employees' financial future. A comprehensive benefits offering can serve as a feather in the cap of employers looking to differentiate themselves from competitors in today's aggressive job market. Breanna Scott is marketing product manager with Standard Insurance Company. She is responsible for the company's long-term disability product, as well as for the employee assistance and Workplace Possibilities programs. She served as a long-term disability benefits analyst with the company before assuming her current role. September/October 2015 | ADVISOR TODAY 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2015

Why You Need a Mentor
The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Success Tips from a Golden Gloves Boxer
How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Discussing Your Client’s LTC Needs in Retirement
How to Boost Your LTCI Production
¿Habla Español?
Providing a Retirement Safety Net
Ongoing Challenges, New Solutions
Four Under Forty
NAIFA’s 125th Anniversary
Demystifying CPA Alliances
Building Your Natural Audience
Holding Workshops?
Ideas to Help You Sell More
Special-Needs Planning
Planning for Divorced or Widowed Women

Advisor Today - September/October 2015