The limited and extended care planning industry has grown exponentially in recent years as companies and advisors work together to help Americans plan and pay for their future care needs.
In this interview, Craig Roers, head of marketing with Newman Long Term Care, offers some helpful hints for finding success in the LECP market.
NAIFA: Briefly describe the LECP industry.
Craig Roers: The LECP industry comprises insurers and advisors who are committed to proactively helping people plan for their future care needs. Using insurance and other planning options, we can help protect families from the devastating consequences of an extended-care event. There is no one right solution for everyone, so we represent a variety of solutions to help people select the best options to fund their future care.
NAIFA: Why is there increased focus on the LECP industry right now?
Roers: As baby boomers are nearing retirement, we are becoming more aware that many of them have done little to prepare themselves or their families for what could be the biggest risk to their retirement income — a long-term care event. If they don’t have a written plan in place and that plan is not communicated, their families will go into crisis mode. They will do what they can to make the best of a bad situation, but many unintended caregivers will put their own careers, finances and health at risk to take care of their loved ones.
We are also starting to hear more horror stories of those who did not have care plans in place, such as families devastated by providing care to a loved one, or are worn down to the point at which they take drastic actions that hurt themselves or those around them.
Many of those situations can be avoided by putting a plan in place and making sure that family members know it’s there for them to tap into when it’s needed. We don’t want to see our loved ones turning to GoFundMe campaigns to help them pay for care if we can help guide them now.
NAIFA: What best practices should agents and advisors use to serve their clients and expand their practices?
Roers: Here are a few winning strategies.
• Unless your clients already have long-term care insurance, make sure you have the discussion again at each client review. Like with most things, clients often need to hear about this several times before they will act. Don’t just ask them once and check off that box forever. Many times, people are not yet in the right place to buy. But by continuing to have this conversation with them (whether via reviews or drip marketing), you will be the advisor who they will turn to when they do have a life trigger (most often a loved one needing care) that drives them to create their own solution.
• Center the conversation on what the insurance will do for their caregivers, not just what it will do for the clients. If most people truly understood the physical, financial and emotional toll that caregiving can take on their families, they would never think of putting that burden on them. LTCi not only helps ensure that the policyholders can receive the care they want and where they want it, but it also provides their loved ones with the resources that can help them be care managers instead of care providers.
• Stop showing fully loaded Cadillac plans right out of the gate. You are only giving prospective buyers sticker shock. Open with a more affordable starter policy that covers just their biggest risk, and then allows them to buy additional coverage if they think they will need more care or a higher daily benefit. A basic policy can be designed for most budgets. It’s better for them to have bought a smaller policy that only covers 50% to 80% of their actual care costs than to show them a comprehensive plan that costs too much and having them end up buying nothing.
• Do annual drip marketing to prospects two weeks before their next birthday, reminding them that LTCi is priced based largely on health and age. They still have 30 days to save with their “younger age” after their birthday, but the deadline of a birthday can be a great trigger for them to act now.
• Make sure you communicate to your clients’ loved ones their preferences for care and how they plan to fund that care. Let them know that this should not be a decision they force their family to make. Putting a written plan in place helps prevent their families from having to make some tough decisions.