Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long Term Care Insurance News You Never Hear

Increasingly, we get calls from reporters who are doing more in-depth stories about long term care planning and the role of long-term care insurance.

First, it is a great feeling to help them get the portray a correct story since their words, whether written or oral can influence so many prospects and potential buyers. Friday, a national editor who I have worked with before called the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance's offices. At this point, I won't reveal the story being working on but in the ensuing research I did - two pieces of information emerged. They are examples of when long-term care insurers go beyond what is required. You may not be familiar with them.

The first involves Genworth's new policy being offered to AARP members. The policy offers a 60-day return policy. In simple terms, the consumer can return the policy within 60 days for a refund of monies paid. As most insurance agents know, the standard "free look" required by law is 30 days. Now, it bears stating that the State of Washington just passed a law mandating the 60-day provision. Who knows whether other states will follow.

And, in speaking with a long-time Genworth producer, it was noted that in an effort to provide outstanding customer service the company has not held rigid to the 30-day cut off. But clearly there was someone who thought this was a customer-friendly provision ... and agreed to make it available.

The second story involves John Hancock. In recognition of the weak economy, the company allows (or allowed, I am not sure if the practice continues) policyholders who lose their jobs and fail to pay premiums for a certain period of time, to reinstate their policies without the typically-required health underwriting. What a recognition of going the extra mile to help the people who showed the good faith and sense to buy your product.

Having worked with the media for most of my life, every reporter will tell you it is not their job to "shill" for a company. So don't ever expect to read about these items in the news.

But, in the current environment we are in -- and with the news media focusing so much attention on negatives surrounding the insurance industry, it's good to know there are insurers doing well because they do good. That's a message the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is proud to help convey.

If readers have others to share, feel free to send them to me. I'll gladly pass them along. Mail to: jslome @

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