Insurance Frequently Asked QuestionsApr 19, 2020
Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
What kinds of insurance do you offer?
We broker life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance. In obtaining Insurance coverage for our clients, We shop the market for the most suitable product at the best price.
Can I get auto or homeowners through you?
No – that requires another license which we do not hold. As part of a complete financial planning engagement, we will evaluate the client’s risk exposure in these areas, and recommend coverage changes as appropriate. We are glad to refer you to insurance agents who can assist you with these policies. BTW we neither pay nor accept referral fees from other professionals, nor do we accept any liability for their actions.
What role does life insurance play in a financial plan?
A crucial part. A life insurance death benefit can complete the overall plan in the event of an untimely death.
Tell me about life insurance for tax-free income.
The strategy is to purchase a policy in such a way that maximizes the cash paid in relative to the policy death benefit. In other words, you want to keep the death benefit low and the cash value high. With compound interest over time, one can generate a substantial tax-free income. If a life policy does not become a modified endowment contract, monies loaned out are tax-free to the policy owner. There are some caveats, of course: the underlying policy must be kept in force, or all distributions to the extent of gain over basis paid in becoming immediately taxable.
Can I get long-term care benefits in a life policy?
Yes – some life policies offer full long-term care riders.
Are my assets protected in a life insurance or annuity contract if I am sued?
There is a significant degree of asset protection in Florida for funds in life and annuity policies. Florida courts have long held that such assets are judgment proof, meaning that should you lose a civil suit, these funds are not available for attachment by the plaintiff. There are lots of ins and outs to this, and you should consult an attorney to be sure.
Who can get life Insurance?
Anyone who can medically qualify for it and afford to pay the premium. If you just had a cancer diagnosis last week, you’re not going to get life insurance. Unfortunately, most people want to purchase it when they have a health scare. Insurance companies call this adverse selection, and therefore medically underwrite each life policy. If not for underwriting, no one would purchase life insurance until he became sick.
I live outside the US but travel to Miami frequently on business. Can I buy a life policy from you?
Possibly, yes. You’d need to have demonstrable US ties (i.e. business interests here; real estate here), a US tax-payer ID, and premiums must be paid in US dollars. The application and medical exam must be done here in Miami.
What does medical underwriting involve?
An examiner will come to your home and complete a medical questionnaire with you and do a brief physical. The examiner will draw blood, and you’ll pee into a cup. Depending upon the amount of insurance, there may be an EKG. The company will most likely also order your medical records from your physician.
Should I purchase disability insurance?
The purpose of DI, as we call it, is to insure your future stream of income. It is most often purchased by professional people who have invested substantial time and money into their professional educations. Typically one can insure anywhere from 50% to perhaps 60% of one’s income up to a cap. The benefits received on an individual policy are tax-free if they have not been deducted somewhere else. There are lots of moving parts to DI – from policy definitions to benefits & pricing.
Is disability insurance expensive?
There are many factors that go into the pricing of a DI policy. These include your age, the amount of income to be insured, the elimination period (sort of an initial deductible, during which no benefits are paid), the benefit period (for example, 3 years, or to age 65), and the inflation adjustment if any. Expect to pay between 3 – 5% of your insured income.
How do I sign up for disability insurance?
There is not only medical but financial underwriting. The medical underwriting can actually be a little more stringent than for life insurance. What may not kill you may lay you up in bed, causing a claim. For the financial underwriting, you’ll have to submit tax returns to demonstrate the income that you want to insure.
Do I really need long-term care insurance?
Long Term Care insurance (LTC) is designed to pay for the necessary care for a long-lasting debilitating illness, such as Alzheimer’s, thereby preserving the retirement nest egg for the surviving spouse. Ten out of ten clients will tell us that outliving their money is their primary retirement concern. What happens if one spouse becomes ill? Probably like most people, you will put yourself, as the survivor, at risk.
What happens if I never use the LTC Policy?
What happens if you go 6 months without crashing your car? You paid for coverage, and you’re glad you didn’t crash your car. Still, a commonly cited statistic is that by age 75, 75% of us will need some type of long-term care.
My spouse is just now showing signs of early Alzheimer’s. Can I still buy LTC?
Probably not. There is medical underwriting involved, and part of that underwriting will be cognitive tests. For example, you may be asked to come up with a list of 10 items. A little later on the examiner may ask you to recall those 10 or use some of them in a sentence. In ways like this cognitive impairment is discerned.
Are Saturday appointments available? Evenings?
Yes - some Saturdays. You are most welcome to see our calendar and book an appointment here.
Can we communicate by text?
Yes. Our office and text number are the same: 305.564.3794.
BTW, our email system encrypts both incoming and outgoing emails. This is for client data protection and confidentiality purposes.
Are you willing to work with my other advisors?
Yes of course. Our work frequently involves related professionals – typically the accountant or the attorney. We’re glad to work with those whom you already know. If you do not already have a relationship with an attorney or accountant, we will be glad to make recommendations. You should know that as a matter of business policy and ethics we neither pay nor accept referral fees from other professionals, nor do we accept any liability for their actions.
Where is your office?
Downtown Dadeland. We’re in the BMI building – the blue glass tower behind the Dadeland Publix.
What’s parking like?
Easy. There is parking in the building. We will validate your parking for your visit.
¡Claro que si! Both Jonathan and Jose Diego do.
Can we do a virtual meeting?
Yes – we do them frequently with out-of-town clients, and for those who want to avoid Miami traffic.
Get in touch!
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