Life insurance policy reviews

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1 Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America P For financial professional use only. Not for use with the public. Life insurance policy reviews Help your clients, build your business M-3962 Page 1 of 16

2 Create new opportunities with policy reviews Think of your top five clients. Does their life insurance still meet their needs? If you don t know the answer, you could be missing a great opportunity. Policy reviews can help ensure that your clients are properly insured. And although they re not intended as a replacement strategy or sales pitch, they can benefit your business, by helping you: Move from transactions to connections. Demonstrate an interest in your clients that extends beyond the sale, and you could build a lasting connection based on loyalty and trust. Invest in the long-term viability of your business. If your customers are loyal to you over the years, chances are their kids will be, too. Policy reviews are a great opportunity to get to know your next generation of clients. Uncover sales opportunities. Your existing book of business offers hidden opportunities you might otherwise miss. Surprisingly, your current clients may be among the best sources of future business. Uncover referral opportunities. Wouldn t it be awkward to cold-call for referrals? If you conduct regular policy reviews, it ll be much easier to ask for and obtain referrals from your clients. Distinguish yourself from other financial professionals. Regular policy reviews can be an important point of difference. If you re not offering this service, someone else will. Give your business the edge in a competitive market. If you re not conducting regular policy reviews, it s time to start. Page 2 of 16

3 Are policy reviews really worth your time? They take some extra effort, but they re well worth your time. Consider these facts from LIMRA. 1 Many Americans either have no insurance, or are underinsured. An all-time low of 95 million U.S. adults have no life insurance at all. Both men and women are less likely to own life insurance than in About four in 10 insured husbands and insured wives have only group life insurance coverage. For the first time, the percentage of adults having group life insurance has surpassed adults owning individual life insurance. Starting the process. It s as easy as asking, Do you have enough life insurance? A detailed appraisal of your clients needs isn t difficult, but it does require a systematic approach. In the next several pages we ll walk you through the process in five easy steps. We ll also show you some tools that can help you ask the right questions so you get the information you need. Many Americans know that they re underinsured. Policy reviews can help you meet their need for coverage. 1 Facts About Life 2011, LIMRA International, September Page 3 of 16

4 Policy Review Agent Guide Step 1: Schedule an appointment. If your clients have never had a policy review they may not appreciate its value. When you call to schedule an appointment, emphasize what s in it for them. Here are some sample calls to help you get started. Calling an existing client Hello (client name), this is your agent (agent name). Do you have a minute? (If client is busy, ask When is a better time to talk? ) I m calling today about your current life insurance coverage. It s been a while since you bought your policy, and I d like to make sure it is still in line with your needs. We may even find that we can save you some money, or get you more coverage! When might be a good time to meet? Calling a prospect Hello, (prospect name). This is (your name) calling from (name of agency). Have I reached you at a good time? (If no, ask, When is a better time to call? ) May I ask whether you recall when you bought your life insurance policy? (Wait for response.) Calling a business professional Hello, (prospect name). This is (your name) calling from (name of agency). Have I reached you at a good time? (If no, ask, When is a better time to call? ). As you re aware, many of your clients either have life insurance, or a need for it. There have been many innovations in the insurance industry in recent years, and it s possible your clients could benefit from a life insurance policy review. It would be an easy way for you to add value for your clients and it would benefit them, too. I d like to tell you more about this service, which I d offer at no cost to you or your clients. When might we meet to discuss it? Should you prefer to first approach your clients with a letter, you ll find a customizable template at It s possible your life has changed since you bought your policy. There also have been many innovations in the insurance industry that might save you some money, or get you more coverage. I d like to offer you a free consultation. It will take only a few minutes, and it could really benefit you down the road. When might be a good time to meet? 2 Page 4 of 16

5 Step 2: Gather data. Ask your clients, What s new? You know life-changing events can affect your clients insurance needs. So can recent changes in their financial or beneficiary situations. In Step 2, we ll use several forms to gather this information from your clients. Identify life-changing events Ask your client whether they ve had a major life event lately. A yes answer to any of the following may signal a need to revisit their insurance: Marriage or divorce Birth or adoption of a child Buying a new home Receiving an inheritance Beginning a new job or starting a business Increased/decreased debt load Changes in their health Evaluate your clients current financial situation How much insurance your clients need and how much they can afford depends in great part on their financial picture. Use the Personal Financial Inventory form to help you get a snapshot of your clients situation. It s important that your clients fill it out as completely as possible, because the information is critical to helping you determine their insurance need and recommend a suitable product, if appropriate. You may consider leaving this form with your clients and having them fill it out on their own. Consider the effects of inflation If your clients have held their policy for 10 or 20 years or even longer it s possible that inflation has eroded their policy s value. In the chart below, notice how the purchasing power of a $100,000 death benefit steadily declines. After 20 years, the policy s death benefit may still be $100,000, but in terms of actual purchasing power, the beneficiaries are getting only $54,788. The figures in the chart below are based on actual Consumer Price Index calculations for the years shown. Year Purchasing power of 100K death benefit given the rate of inflation 1987 $100, Rate of inflation as determined by CPI 1988 $96, % 1989 $91, % 1990 $86, % 1991 $83, % 1992 $80, % 1993 $78, % 1994 $76, % 1995 $74, % 1996 $72, % 1997 $70, % 1998 $69, % 1999 $68, % 2000 $65, % 2001 $64, % 2002 $63, % 2003 $61, % 2004 $60, % 2005 $58, % 2006 $56, % 2007 $54, % 2008 $54, % 2009 $54, % 2010 $54, % 2011 $54, % Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special. requests/cpi/cpiai.txt. The Consumer Price Index was calculated using the Annual Average method, but was not seasonally adjusted. 3 Page 5 of 16

6 Policy Review Agent Guide Step 2: Gather data. Conduct an underwriting review Request an annual statement Your clients health plays a major role in their insurability, so it s important to include medical underwriting in any policy review. Ask your clients if they ve had any significant changes to their health since they purchased their policy. If they answer yes, you ll need to obtain more details. You may occasionally be pleased to discover that your clients qualify for a more favorable rate class than they had in the past. If you don t know where your clients are, you can t show them where they may be going. To get started, ask your clients for a copy of their most recent annual statement. If they don t have one available, you can request one from their insurance company by using the same form and following the steps outlined below. Request and obtain an in-force illustration Conduct a beneficiary review This may seem like an afterthought, but isn t it the reason your clients have insurance in the first place? The Beneficiary Review tool (M-5444) is a step-bystep guide to help your clients and you clarify their wishes for their beneficiaries. Offer to run an in-force illustration so you can show your clients a snapshot of where they currently stand. Before you can run an in-force illustration, however, you ll need your clients permission. An In-force Illustration Request form is included in this kit and at (Note: Please be aware that the client s current insurance company may require you to file a different form than the one we provide.) Be aware that some beneficiary situations require special handling. If your clients ask a beneficiary question you re not sure how to answer, refer them to their tax advisor or attorney. Once you have permission from your client, submit the in-force illustration request form (included in this policy review kit) to their insurance company. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Beneficiary review Is your life insurance up to date? Have your beneficiaries changed? Identify your Tell us about each of them. Make a wish. What, more beneficiaries of than anything, do you wish your life insurance for this person? policy(s). Mary Oldest daughter, age 32, To be able to fund her single mom, two children: childrens college education. Matt, age 8; Grace, age 6. From 1-10, how comfortable are you How would you like to leave your that your beneficiaries will be able financial legacy to your beneficiaries to handle a lump-sum distribution to ensure your wishes are met? to fulfill your wish for them? Mary is financially responsible, and Immediate access the lump sum could supplement her Lifetime income kids college fund. Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Immediate access Lifetime income Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Immediate access Lifetime income Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Bring your completed worksheet to your financial professional to develop a plan of action. IMPORTANT: Completing this worksheet will not change any of your existing beneficiaries. If you wish to make changes, your financial professional will be able to help you. Immediate access Lifetime income Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Immediate access Lifetime income Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Immediate access Lifetime income Life expectancy payments Structured in will or trust Other Let Allianz help you leave your legacy. This brochure is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, its affiliated companies, and their representatives and employees do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney. M Page 6 of 16

7 Step 3: Evaluate the data. You ve collected a lot of information. Now, put it to work. How to read your clients annual statements Annual statements can be useful policy review tools. Key figures include the planned premium and cost of insurance, along with the current and net cash values, if any. Although the appearance of your clients annual statements may vary, they will all contain the information illustrated below How much premium is your client paying each year? What is the policy s current death benefit? What is the policy s current cash value? What will the policy s net cash surrender value be at the end of the year? Keep in mind that annual statements don t always paint the full picture. To provide your clients a fair and accurate policy review, only use annual statements in conjunction with an in-force illustration. Hypothetical Life Insurance Company ANNUAL REPORT TO POLICYHOLDER Policy number XXXXXXXX Policy date: 06/01/2000 Reporting period: 06/01/ /31/2010 Insured: CARL CLIENT Gender: Male Carl Client Issue age: SOMEWHERE ST Mode: Class: Annual Nontobacco SOMEPLACE, USA Death benefit amount: Annual planned premium: $500,000 $7, Plan name: HYPOTHETICAL FIXED INDEX UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICY DETAIL FOR POLICY YEAR BEGINNING 06/01/2009 AND ENDING 05/31/2010 We are pleased to provide this life insurance annual statement. Your policy values as of your policy anniversary date are shown below. These values are based on your past policy year performance. We appreciate your business. If you need further assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your representative directly. Current Value at end of last reporting period: $48, Net premium paid: $6, Interest credited: $1, Cost of insurance: ($2,194.43) Cost of riders: $0.00 Expense charge: ($90.00) Gross partial surrenders: $0.00 Partial surrender charges: $0.00 Current Value at end of this reporting period: $51, Net Cash Value: $39, This hypothetical example is provided for illustrative purposes only. This character is fictional and not an actual Allianz client. 5 Page 7 of 16

8 Policy Review Agent Guide What to look for in an illustration When you review your clients in-force illustrations, look for five key facts: 1. What is the policy s current death benefit? 2. How much premium is your client paying each year? 3. If your client continues paying only this amount and nothing else changes for how long will the policy remain in force? 4. At your client s current premium level, for how long will the policy remain in force if the cost of insurance goes up and interest rates decline? 5. What will the policy s net cash surrender value be at the end of the year? Let s look at some hypothetical examples to see these figures at work. Let s assume our hypothetical client, Carl, bought a fixed index universal life insurance policy when he was 45. His risk class was Standard Nontobacco, the death benefit was $500,000, and his annual premium was $7,015. His plan was to pay the annual premium for 15 years. Now, let s run three hypothetical in-force illustrations for Carl. All of our in-force illustrations will look at his surrender value at the end of policy year Page 8 of 16

9 Hypothetical examples Example 1 This hypothetical example is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an actual Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) client. In this first example, we are assuming a cash value of $51, at the end of the 10 th policy year when Carl is 55. If Carl stopped paying his planned premium of $7,015 (which is also the policy s minimum premium) at age 60 (15 th policy year) and made no other changes to his policy assuming a minimum guaranteed interest rate of 2% and the maximum fees and charges his $500,000 policy would lapse after age 67 or in the 22 nd policy year. Illustration assumes a cumulative 7.17% interest rate for policy years 1-10, and starting in the 11 th policy year the guaranteed values assume a 2% minimum guaranteed interest rate and maximum fees and charges. Hypothetical Life Insurance Company Hypothetical Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy A Flexible Premium Adjustable Life Insurance Policy Basic Ledger Carl Client Male Age 55, Nontobacco Allocations: 100% Monthly S&P 500 Guaranteed Values + Annual Accumulation Net Cash Death Age Year Premium Value Value Benefit ,015 55,559 44, , ,015 58,827 48, , ,015 61,798 52, , ,015 64,421 56, , ,015 66,639 59, , ,145 55, , ,828 50, , ,542 44, , ,123 36, , ,397 28, , ,143 18, , ,193 5, ,000 7 Page 9 of 16

10 Policy Review Agent Guide Example 2 This hypothetical example is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an actual Allianz client. Our second example uses the same assumption of a cash value of $51, at the end of the 10 th policy year when Carl is 55. In this example, Carl now wants to see how much additional premium he would need to pay in order to maintain the same $500,000 death benefit to age 120 with the same minimum guarantees. Assuming the most conservative interest rate of 2%, starting in the 12 th policy year he will need to pay an annual premium of $17,470. This amount would need to be paid continuously through age 100 in order to meet his goals. Illustration assumes a cumulative 7.17% interest rate for policy years 1-10, and starting in the 11 th policy year the guaranteed values assume a 2% minimum guaranteed interest rate and maximum fees and charges. Hypothetical Life Insurance Company Hypothetical Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy A Flexible Premium Adjustable Life Insurance Policy Basic Ledger Carl Client Male Age 55, Nontobacco Allocations: 100% Monthly S&P 500 Guaranteed Values + Annual Accumulation Net Cash Death Age Year Premium Value Value Benefit ,015 55,559 44, , ,470 68,527 58, , , , , , , , ,000 8 Page 10 of 16

11 Example 3 This hypothetical example is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an actual Allianz client. The third example uses the same assumption of a cash value of $51, at the end of the 10 th policy year when Carl is 55. In this example, Carl wants to know what he would need to do to the death benefit to keep his plans of paying $7,015 for the fewest number of years. In this illustration, you can see that if he paid his planned premium of $7,015 through age 63 or the end of the 18 th policy year, his death benefit will reduce to $100,000 at age 100. But you will see that the policy remains in force through 120, at which age the death benefit is $120,089. Illustration assumes a cumulative 7.17% interest rate for policy years 1-10, and starting in the 11 th policy year the guaranteed values assume a 2% minimum guaranteed interest rate and maximum fees and charges. Hypothetical Life Insurance Company Hypothetical Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance Policy A Flexible Premium Adjustable Life Insurance Policy Basic Ledger Carl Client Male Age 55, Nontobacco Allocations: 100% Monthly S&P 500 Guaranteed Values + Annual Accumulation Net Cash Death Age Year Premium Value Value Benefit ,015 58,714 47, , ,015 66,052 55, , ,015 73,403 64, , ,015 80,766 72, , ,015 88,128 81, , ,015 95,496 89, , , ,956 98, , , , , , , , , ,817 80, , , , ,089 In all three examples, Carl has choices: He can keep paying the same premium for 15 years and let his policy lapse. He can pay additional premium for 15 years and keep his policy in force. Or, he can pay premium for a longer period and keep his policy in force. Although policy reviews are not intended as a replacement strategy or sales pitch, in a few cases the illustrations may show that your clients current insurance no longer meets their needs. 9 Page 11 of 16

12 Beneficiaries Some beneficiary situations require special handling. Look for the following on your clients beneficiary review worksheets: Your client s estate is the beneficiary A trust is the life insurance policy owner/beneficiary A corporation, church, or charitable organization is the beneficiary One or more beneficiaries are no longer alive 10 Page 12 of 16

13 Step 4: Present your findings. Results of the illustration First, you ll offer your analysis of your clients in-force policies. Be sure to cover the information we reviewed in Step 3, including how much premium your clients are currently paying, and whether that will be adequate to keep their policies in force. Pay special attention to the policy s death benefit amount and its cash surrender value. Based on your clients needs, offer an assessment of whether you believe these are adequate. Remember to take inflation into account, if their policy is relatively new and they expect to hold it for a while. Cost/benefit analysis After you ve reviewed the financial aspects, discuss the features and costs of your clients existing policies. Ask your clients which features they value, and why. It may be that some of these features are no longer important, but that they incur additional cost. Conversely, perhaps your clients needs have changed and they d now like more flexibility or accumulation potential than their current policy provides. Be sure to provide a balanced discussion. No insurance policy is without benefits, and they all carry some costs and fees. In some cases, the costs and fees may slow down the policy s cash value accumulation, or even cause the policy to lapse. Help your clients get as complete a picture as possible. Beneficiaries Are your clients beneficiaries accurately stated? Make sure the names listed on the beneficiary review worksheet match those on the policy. If not, discuss this discrepancy with your clients, and update their policy if necessary. Also, did you see any of the beneficiary miscues we discussed in Step 3? If so, recommend that your client review the beneficiary worksheet with their attorney to avoid possible complications down the road. Then and now You ll probably have a few clients who have held the same life insurance policy for 10 or 20 years, or even longer. These clients merit a little extra attention. Here s why: First, it s possible that inflation has eroded their policies value. A $100,000 death benefit won t go as far for the beneficiaries today as it would have in See the example on page 3 ( Consider the effects of inflation ) for an example. Secondly, it s possible that when your clients purchased their policy they earned less per year or had a smaller mortgage. If they haven t increased the death benefit amount over the years, it s possible they re now underinsured. 11 Page 13 of 16

14 Policy Review Agent Guide Step 5: Offer options and solutions. Your clients are diverse. So offer a product that meets their needs. The policy review you ve just completed has given you insight into your clients unique situation. By now, you know whether they have enough insurance to meet their needs. But is it the right type of life insurance? Life insurance, at a glance Because your clients are unique, no single type of insurance can be right for them all. As part of your policy review, you should consider whether it might benefit your clients to consider a different type of policy altogether. At a glance, these are: Term insurance Term policies provide life insurance coverage for a specific period of time. If your client buys a 20-year term policy and lives to the end of the term, for example, the policy will terminate. Term policies offer the advantage of level premium. Some also offer options to renew at the end of the term or to convert to a cash value life insurance policy, or special features such as a return-of-premium rider (these features may vary by product, and are available at extra cost). Whole life Whole life insurance also offers the predictability of level premium payments. Whole life policies provide coverage for your client s entire life (instead of a set term), as long as the provisions of the policy are met. Whole life policies also have a cash value that your clients may be able to access under certain circumstances. 1 Universal life Universal life insurance also offers your clients coverage for their entire lifetime. But, unlike whole life insurance, universal life insurance offers your clients flexibility to pay premiums at any time and in any amount (subject to some limits), as long as the policy expenses and cost of coverage are met. Universal life policies also have a cash value that can accumulate at a declared interest rate, and which your clients may be able to access under certain circumstances. 1 Fixed index universal life Fixed index universal life (FIUL) insurance works the same way as a universal life policy, but with the option of potential indexed interest. Indexed interest is credited based on positive changes in an external market index or indexes, which your clients choose when they buy the policy. Your clients may receive indexed interest if the changes are positive, but they are not actually buying shares of any stock or bonds, or participating in the market. Their policy s cash value can grow tax-deferred, and your clients can access this value through loans or withdrawals. 1 A final thought: The tax advantages of life insurance Regardless of which type of life insurance policy they choose, there s one last benefit your clients should consider: taxes! Any increase in their policies cash value is tax-deferred, and death benefits paid to their beneficiaries are income-tax-free. 1 Please note that loans and withdrawals may be subject to regular income tax and, if taken prior to age 59½, a 10% federal tax penalty may apply. 12 Page 14 of 16

15 Policy reviews: They re good for your clients and your business. Making policy reviews a central part of your practice can help you deepen your existing relationships with your clients and help you grow your business. It may take a little effort to learn the process, but your effort could pay off for years to come. For more information, or for additional sales tools and tips, call the Life Case Design Team at (press 1 for Sales Support, then 2 for Life). Page 15 of 16

16 True to our promises so you can be true to yours. A leading provider of annuities and life insurance, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) bases each decision on a philosophy of being true: True to our strength as an important part of a leading global financial organization. True to our passion for making wise investment decisions. And true to the people we serve, each and every day. Through a line of innovative products and a network of trusted financial professionals, and with over 2.2 million contracts issued, Allianz helps millions of people as they seek to achieve their financial and retirement goals. Founded in 1896, Allianz is proud to play a vital role in the success of our global parent, Allianz SE, one of the world s largest financial services companies. While we pride ourselves on our financial strength, we re made of much more than our balance sheet. We believe in making a difference with our clients by being true to our commitments and keeping our promises. People rely on Allianz today and count on us for tomorrow when they need us most. Guarantees are backed solely by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Product and feature availability may vary by state. Products are issued by: Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America PO Box Minneapolis, MN (R-3/2012) Page 16 of 16

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