As an independent insurance agent and a marketer with Ritter Insurance Marketing, I often find myself giving advice to our agents on what products they should have in their sales kit.
When it comes to children’s life insurance, there are a large number of consumers and agents who believe that children’s life insurance is a waste of money.
However, experiencing a life-threatening illness or death of a child firsthand makes you understand how the emotional impact is incalculable, and the financial impact is overwhelming. I’d like to share my family’s story for your consideration.
A child's life-threatening illness or death is emotionally incalculable and financially overwhelming.
My niece, a typical 16-year-old girl who was happy and healthy, suddenly began experiencing unexplained and very traumatic seizures. She was sent to several hospitals, none of which could diagnose what might be causing the seizures. She was subsequently sent to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for additional evaluation.
After several months of near-weekly emergency trips to the hospital to see numerous specialists, she was finally diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called OTC (ornithine transcarbamylase) deficiency. The disorder causes excessive amounts of ammonia to build up in the blood. The liver is unable to filter the ammonia, causing extreme seizures. The only cure for OTC deficiency is a liver transplant.
Over the course of one year, my niece was transported via ambulance or life-flight helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh more than 20 times. More than once a month her parents were required to travel at a moment’s notice to Pittsburgh, sometimes needing to stay near the hospital for several days at a time.
At times, our family could only pray that she would make it through the current seizure and that the hospital would be able to stabilize her ammonia levels quickly. On many occasions we were preparing for the worst news as we waited desperately for a liver transplant match.
During this extremely difficult time, my brother approached me to discuss purchasing a final expense policy for his daughter. While we were all hoping for the best, he was forced to consider the worst — how would he pay for his daughter’s funeral? Any savings his family had were long used up paying for medical expenses, travel to the hospital, and lodging expenses. After her long illness and the unforeseen expenses along with it, there was simply nothing left to pay for a funeral.
Insuring a young, healthy child is simpler and more affordable than trying to insure one who's sick.
Insuring a young, healthy child is a much simpler and affordable task than trying to insure a child after they have become sick. Consider if you or your clients were faced with this situation. How reassured would they be knowing they had purchased a policy that would cover the inconceivable?
Your clients must also consider future insurability. Many policies will allow for increased coverage without proving insurability later in life. My niece, for example, at 18 years old, is now uninsurable other than a guaranteed issue policy. However, had she had insurance before her diagnosis, she would be able to keep her policy and possibly increase its face amount in the future, no matter her health condition.
There is a place for children’s life insurance in your sales kit.
The bottom line is that there is a place for children’s life insurance in your sales kit. You may not always use it, but it is a discussion that will be beneficial to have with your clients who have young children. For me personally? After our experience with my niece, I now own a policy on my own son and encourage my family, friends, and clients to consider it as well.