Have You Had Your Insurance Check-Up?

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Have You Had Your Insurance Check-Up?

As a child, and for a fleeting moment, I contemplated becoming a doctor.  More than likely, it’s what my parents wanted me to do, but alas, it wasn’t in the cards.

I’m an insurance broker at heart.

Nevertheless, even in my current profession, I find that I am often playing the role of a financial doctor of sorts – asking pointed questions about my clients’ financial welfare, taking their ‘pulse’, and helping them to implement preventative ‘medicine’.

Sound like nonsense?

Well, consider the following.

I ask questions to ‘diagnose’ problems

An effective insurance broker needs to ask the right questions to elicit information in order to help clients make strategic decisions in their best interest.

Much like a doctor probes at your annual check-up, when I meet with clients I am very direct in my questioning.  I ask things like:

  • What is your debt?
  • What other assets do you own?
  • When would you like to retire?
  • How much money do you think you’ll need to retire?
  • Do you expect to increase your income dramatically in the coming years?
  • Do you expect to inherit money?

These hard facts help to provide context so that insurance-related decisions can be made thoughtfully.

Feelings matter

A patient may be suffering from a ghastly disease, and a Doctor may have a cutting-edge treatment program in mind.  But that course of treatment will only work if the patient is on board emotionally.

Feelings matter.  And this is certainly the case when it comes to insurance and financial planning.

I ask my clients questions to elicit ‘hard facts’.  But uncovering the ‘soft facts’ is often even more important.  Soft facts are emotional.  They reflect peoples feelings and desires.

And to really understand my clients’ feelings, I have to dig a little bit deeper.  I ask questions like:

  • If you were to die tomorrow, what would you like to see happen for your wife and children?
  • Do you think your family would be able to continue to live in your house?  Would you want them to?
  • What would happen if your wife became sick and could no longer look after the children?
  • What would happen to your business?  What would you like to see happen to your business?
These questions move the client to consider the broader picture, beyond the hard facts, so that they are emotionally prepared for any possibility.

Diagnose, advise, empower

Ultimately, a good doctor provides diagnostic support, makes recommendations, and then empowers the patient to choose a wise and effective course of treatment.

As an insurance broker, I try to do the same.  I survey my client’s financial landscape, ‘diagnose’ areas of weakness and vulnerability, make recommendations, and then I empower the client to act strategically.

In putting together a plan, I want the final product to reflect my client’s interests, not mine. Each person has their own unique way of thinking about their assets, their children and their future.

My job is to make them think.

Your turn

What do you think? How has your insurance broker helped you to manage your financial health and welfare?

Share your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below and don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful.