Selling Long-Term Care Insurance: Tips for Success

Approximately 70% of older adults need some type of long-term care after the age of 65. And it’s not just for seniors. Young and middle-aged people who have been in severe accidents or who suffer from major illnesses may also need long-term care. Most people don’t realize that 40% of people who receive it are under the age of 65.

Faced with all this, you would think long-term care insurance would be an easy sell—especially for seniors, but for younger people, too. This is not the case. When you broach the topic of aging and long-term care with many people, you get denial: “I’ll probably die in my sleep,” or “I plan to stay in my house til the end with my spouse.” The truth is, nobody likes to think about what will happen at the end of life—and as a result, many people don’t purchase long-term care insurance and are ill-prepared to meet their own needs or those of family members.

The truth is, however, that long-term care costs can be and frequently are the financial ruin of families. As an insurance agent selling long-term care, you do a public service by convincing people to buy the insurance. Here are a few tips for success.

Don’t sell the product—sell the coverage gap. You’ll get nowhere focusing on how they’ll need long-term care someday and how great your product is. Because let’s face it, it’s expensive—and most people don’t want to face the fact that they may need it.

Don’t deny that people may indeed not need the insurance. But focus on the coverage gap. Most people aren’t aware that Medicare and private health insurance do not cover more than a tiny fraction of costs that are involved in either assisted living, nursing home, or home health care. If you can demonstrate that coverage gap to them in a clear way, they’ll see the issue more in dollars and cents.

Ask some questions. Instead of working to convince people they need long-term care insurance, ask some key questions: for example, “Do you believe the insurance you have now is enough to protect your home and financial savings?” or “Are you hoping to leave your assets to children and grandchildren?” Or perhaps, “If you or your spouse were to unexpectedly need assisted living or nursing home care, would the healthy spouse be able to move in with children in the event that you spend all your savings on health care?” These questions highlight the financial risk of not having long-term care insurance—which are highly common with people who don’t.

Sell the need, not the plan. Don’t get hung up on which plan the person should purchase, or how much coverage they should buy. By the time you’re discussing individual plans, it’s likely the person is already sold on the need to buy insurance. And that’s your big sales task in this situation—because most people don’t want to believe they’ll need long-term care insurance, and would prefer not to think about it. Once they see the financial need, they’ll be more willing to talk about the product itself—and you can help them choose a plan that fits their budget and situation.

Selling long-term care insurance is a tougher task than you’d think. Many people would rather not think about needing long-term care, and as a result, millions of people who wind up needing the coverage go without. Your task as a long-term care insurance agent is to clearly illustrate the financial need. Check out the Long-Term Care Insurance National Advisory for some facts and statistics about long-term care, or InsureMe for some more tips on sales.

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