Find the Best Critical Illness Insurance for Your Client
Critical illness insurance plans are a vital way for your clients to financially protect themselves and their loved ones from severe illnesses and long-term medical conditions. Critical illnesses insurance products relieve the financial burden by paying a lump sum benefit if the insured person is diagnosed with an illness or undergoes certain procedures. This provides a critical buffer that allows the insured to more easily pay health insurance deductibles and focus on recovery.
However, choosing the right critical illness plan can be a complex maze to navigate. Your clients may not have the resources or the interest to learn these nuances. Offering to help find the right critical illness policy is an effective way to attract new clients and retain your current client base. Partnering with an insurance brokerage agency with critical illness expertise can help you do just that.
What are the different types of critical illness insurance?
Critical illness insurance policies may be provided by an employer as a voluntary benefit or purchased as an individual plan.
Group Critical Illness
Group critical illness insurance is offered by an employer to an employee, often as a voluntary benefit. As with group health insurance and group life insurance, coverage is dependent upon employment status and is not portable if your client leaves their job. Employer-sponsored plans are popular and will typically cost $7–15 per pay period.
Individual Critical Illness
Individual critical illness insurance is a policy purchased by an individual to cover themselves and their family. Individual plans are usually about $15–30 per month for $50,000 of coverage. Unlike group critical illness plans, individual plans are portable, meaning you will not lose coverage if you leave your job.
Is critical illness insurance right for my client?
Critical illness insurance should be considered by everyone, especially those who have or are at risk for serious illness. It can be the difference between financial security and going bankrupt.
For example, if you have a heart attack that requires quadruple bypass surgery, you do not want to rely solely on your health insurance. You also do not want to be retired, without income, and recovering from a critical illness.
Medical emergencies such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer can prove costly to an individual, especially someone on a fixed income. Critical illness insurance provides additional coverage for medical emergencies and helps to take care of exceeding costs when traditional health insurance falls short.
Looking at a family medical history may help determine the need for a critical illness policy. For example, if a parent has heart disease, it likely runs in the family, and investing in critical illness insurance would be a proactive step in preparing for future financial stress.
How do I find the best critical illness insurance policy for my client?
When looking into critical illness insurance, a lower price may seem more appealing to your client, but be sure to do your research. Look for policies that clearly and comprehensively define the conditions needed to receive a critical illness payment. Asking these questions can help you uncover the best policies:
- Is your client predisposed to any conditions? Look for a plan that offers better coverage for those specific illnesses if they are at risk. For example, if they are at risk for cancer, then make sure your policy covers cancer.
- What are the specific conditions covered? If the illness occurs a second time, how will it affect coverage?
- How much can your client afford? Monthly costs range from as low as $10 to as high as $200 depending on your client’s age, sex, and chosen benefits.
- What are the total exposure and coverage limits? Are these sufficient to meet your client’s needs?
- Are there optional riders? One example of this is built-in inflation protection.
- Are there waiting periods? Typically, there is no waiting period before coverage begins. However, there are often limitations surrounding pre-existing conditions.
An insurance brokerage agency can help you and your client work through all these details and more. A broker can shop a wide range of products and carriers on your behalf. Working with an insurance brokerage can be the difference between purchasing a tailor-made policy or an inferior product that will not provide the needed coverage.
How do I find the best critical illness insurance broker?
There are several ways to find high-quality critical illness insurance brokers. Referrals from trust sources already in your network are often your best resource. You can also connect with NAILBA, a leading insurance industry organization promoting consumer choice.
You can also do your research by prospecting several insurance brokerages in your area. We recommend looking for these qualities in a broker:
- Responsiveness and attentiveness. Are they knowledgeable of the products and solutions available to serve you and your clients’ needs?
- Back-office support. What happens after an application is submitted?
- A good team instead of just a good salesperson: make sure that the service is as good as the pitch. Service can make or break a relationship.
- Do the owners invest back into the agency or focus on paying themselves?
You can also learn a lot about the brokerage by calling them up and asking pertinent questions, such as:
- How long have you sold critical illness insurance?
- Have you had any complaints with the state?
- Who are your primary carriers?
- What are the carrier ratings?
- What types of products are the affiliate carriers selling?
Do your homework and determine if the brokerage gravitates towards products with the most commission. Most importantly, visit the agency. Do an onsite visit and speak with the brokers in person.
EMG can help.
As a brokerage general agency, EMG handles everything from submission to commission. Most agencies will not offer critical illness insurance due to its inherent complexity. We focus on making the complex simple. We will help you compare products, pricing, and different policy structures based on your client’s situation. Our expansive network and expertise enable us to provide clients with multiple options.
Connect with us by phone, online, or in-person, or schedule a consultation with your sales director today on how to grow your business.
Frequently asked questions about critical illness insurance.
What is covered and not covered by critical illness plans?
While critical illness insurance does cover major critical illnesses, it does not cover pre-existing conditions or chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes.
How can individuals file a critical illness insurance claim?
For most plans, the claims process typically takes 4–6 weeks, depending on how quickly the carrier receives the medical evidence required to file the claim. You can file a claim once a physician has diagnosed you (or a covered dependent) with an illness covered by your critical insurance plan. The policy owner then works directly with the carrier and follows the required steps, including submitting a claim form. All carriers have either a dedicated customer service department or a claims service department to assist the policy owner with any questions regarding their plan and the claims process.
Due to the emergence of COVID-19, insurance companies now accept claim forms electronically.