Hi, I'm Billy Gwaltney and this is the CYA podcast. This show is for the physician who understands the importance of protecting everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Each week I'll bring you tips and advice to help you cut through the clutter and misinformation and show you exactly what you need to preserve your income and way of life. If you're ready to achieve the peace of mind that only financial security can bring. Let's get started.
Welcome to episode number eight. The title of today's program is working with an insurance specialist better than working with a financial planner. This one's a good one. I've been looking forward to this one. It's an excellent question and I might step on some toes in my response to this. I'm passionate about this and I don't apologize for that part. So we'll see as we go through here, hopefully this makes some sense to you.
00:54 I would start this with asking a simple question. As a physician, knowing what you know, if you're a patient and you need knee surgery in order to correct something wrong with your knee, would you prefer having the surgeon be a knee specialist, someone lady or gentleman who does knees all day, every day or a general surgeon who might do gallbladders then you know appendicitis and then knees. I don't know about you, but I want a knee person to fix my knee when it comes to disability coverage is the same in my opinion and in my experience as getting your knee fixed. The details, the smallest details can mean dramatic differences as to your health in the future from a financial standpoint, just like the, a small right or wrong movement with a knee surgery can impact your ability to walk or run after the surgery. So here are a handful of ways where working with a a disability insurance specialist is important to consider as a physician, as you look to establish your disability coverage for the long term.
02:07 The first place it matters is in regards to policy design. And by that I mean the definition of disability, the true specialty occupation definition, the residual benefit, the recovery benefit, the presumptive benefit, the future insurability option whether or not your, your policy can have a loan repayment rider. So many factors that come into designing an insurance policy that will answer the questions in your favor. If those questions have to be asked at a time of claim, the details matter the time to get the details right or in advance, not after it's too late and so typically a specialist is going to understand this. I know for a fact, I haven't been in the insurance business since 1991 that the vast majority of insurance professionals and financial planners and those types deal with disability insurance. They have to, they may not tell their clients this, but they only touch it.
03:03 They only venture into this world if they have a situation where they feel like a client is expecting them to or maybe they see some other benefit for doing that, they don't do it on their own. There aren't many people that do this well. There just aren't many disability insurance specialists because the details are quirky. The underwriting is a bit quirky. The terms are odd. The the non cancelable versus guaranteed renewable. There's so many terms that get thrown around. And so working with somebody that does this on a daily basis and actually loves it, it is important. And so in the policy design it matters. The other place it matters is in regards to the discounts, a specialist is going to know the discounts typically is going to have access to the discounts typically and is going to pass those discounts along typically to you as the policyholder is the purchaser financial advisors, I've seen numerous scenarios where someone will come to me to, to see if their rate is where it should be and if they're working with a financial advisor there's oftentimes not a discount.
04:06 They just don't know they exist. They're not avoiding it intentionally, or at least that's, I tend to try and give them the benefit of the doubt that that's the case. But they just don't know it exists. And so the specialist is gonna know that and I'm going to incorporate that into their, their communication with a client. The next area that it matters regarding how working with a specialist is in the medical underwriting underwriting is, is weird, is quirky. It's, it's different. Disability underwriting is very different than life insurance underwriting. Things that matter for a life insurance policy underwriter do not matter for a disability underwriter and vice versa. You would want your broker to be someone that the company you're applying with knows and actually likes and enjoys working with the relationship that your broker and their team has with an underwriter can impact the decision on whether or not you get the benefit of the doubt in certain situations.
04:58 Now, obviously if there's a significant medical history, you know, they usually can't make things happen that aren't meant to happen as far as underwriting approvals go. But they can have an impact in the, in the underwriting process, who your broker is matters. And generally in order for your broker to matter to a disability underwriter, they need to be somebody that's bringing a significant amount of clients to that particular insurance company. Those details matter. The other place it matters. The next place it matters is at claim time. Obviously for HIPAA reasons, privacy reasons, insurance companies are going to deal directly with policy holders at the time of claim. However, your broker can be as involved as you want them, him or her to be. We've certainly had situations where clients have asked us to have asked me to advocate on their behalf to make sure that the process is moving along because that's a tense time when you're waiting on a check to show up and you want to, you're counting on, then we're proving your claim and, and your family's financial future hangs kinda in the balance who your broker is.
06:02 Can can have an impact in that, their ability to navigate that and have conversations with people at the insurance carrier that can make things happen or something that you ought to factor in. The more a financial planner does that where they're also trying to manage retirement accounts and do all other sorts of things, the less known they're likely to be to the claims people at the disability insurance carrier. And so a claim time, it does matter. Working with a specialist can certainly impact what happens. And the last area that I'll mention is in regards to exceptions, this isn't always the case. And some people might say that this doesn't matter. And my response to that is, yeah, it doesn't matter until it's you and then it really matters. And that's where if you miss a premium payment, if a, if a grace period expires, if certain forms are needed and they're not gotten back in time, if you need an exception, if you need a policy reinstated, if you need something that if a, an insurance company, customer service department goes by the book, you're kinda, you're kind of left in the cold without coverage or your policy is no longer in effect, then having a broker who's able to get exceptions can really matter.
07:12 And that's where again, more the more specialist they are. I know some colleagues of mine that are specialists at this and they're very good at that. They were good at it, but others are good at it as well. And you want to have an advocate, you want somebody that's able to get something done because at that time we had a scenario where someone was out of the country for a significant or prolonged period of time and they missed their premium payment and they were right on the edge of having their grace period expire. And when that happens, your policy goes away and you have to start from scratch. The discounts are gone, everything's gone and they kind of panicked and wanted to pay the premium but they weren't going to be able to pay it in time. And so I was able to have a conversation with the folks at this particular insurance company and they, they took my word for it and gave this person extra time to pay their premium and did not cancel their policy.
08:02 That's a big deal. And what's important to know there is who that particular policy holder was was irrelevant. They didn't know the policy holder. They knew me, they knew they knew the broker. And so in that regard, the exception is not being made because of you in particular as being made because of who your broker is and that that does matter. And then one last thing I'll add when it comes to financial planning, a significant percentage of people end up switching financial planners over time. The reason is because of differing philosophies, differing expectations that aren't met. People move, people change, people want a different approach to how their money is managed, to how the advice they get, how fees are paid, all kinds of things. They may just decide they don't, you may decide you don't like your person anymore and if your insurance is tied to your financial planner, then it's more difficult to break away from that person.
08:58 And in fact, I know financial planners that do it for exact, exactly that reason, the same reason you, your cable TV company wants to get your phone bill and your internet bill. So there's just more difficult for them to be able to break away. And so what that really does is gives them the freedom to not service you as well because they know that it's less likely for you to leave because you have so many things with that particular entity. And so, like I said, a lot of people change financial planners. And what's important is for your insurance broker to, if they're a specialist, that philosophy is not going to change. Having the true specialty definitions is something you're always going to need. And so investment philosophies come and go. Advisors might switch, but not having to also switch your, your insurance and other kinds of things that ultimately are not necessarily related to your retirement plan is important.
09:49 And so just food for thought is obviously your recall, who you want to work with, but these are just wise things to consider in regards to a specialist, particularly if you have access to a specialist. I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to text me anytime to arrange a conversation or to discuss any questions. My number is (704) 270-2376 again, that's (704) 270-2376 I'd be glad to discuss your situation at a time convenient for you. Until next time, this is Billy Gwaltney. Thank you as always for your time and I mean that every time I say it. I'm grateful for you carving out a few minutes to spend with me. Hopefully again, this has been worth it. Look forward to speaking with you hopefully soon. Take care.
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