The Savviest Financial Move You Need To Make In 2015:
Insuring Your Life & Ensuring Your Family’s Future
By Lisa Martin / Writer
Like an annual physical or a yearly inspection of your home’s air conditioning unit, a comprehensive review of your insurance situation can prove one of the savviest financial moves you make in 2015. With more than a quarter-century of experience in the industry, Bobby Davidson, an agent with New York Life Insurance Company describes sitting down with customers each year to reevaluate their needs as “one of the most important things I do.”
GLF: What’s the first thing you ask clients?
Bobby Davidson: I would ask, “Do you have a will?” People don’t always realize just how important it is to have your affairs in order. Dying without a will can wind up costing your beneficiaries thousands of dollars and potentially years of time. A will can be very simple depending on your estate. At the same time, you also want to set up medical directives in the event you need someone to make end of life decisions for you.
GLF: Describe what a 360 review looks like and why it is important.
BD: My review is a conversation; sometimes in as little as 30 minutes. Beyond your estate planning, we talk about your home and your financial goals as well as go through your policies to make sure you’re not over- or underinsured, and that you’re making the most of your insurance dollars.
GLF: Describe some of the most common mistakes made by your clients.
BD: In my experience, people often aren’t covered adequately. Even a million dollars in life insurance (which can cost as little as $300 a year for someone relatively young and healthy) doesn’t go that far when you factor into paying for the college education of your children. Additionally, you need to consider whether your spouse will have to go to work or continue working in the event of a death, and what that spouses’ income would be moving forward. I also see people failing to update their existing wills as their families grow.
GLF: How do you help people determine how much life insurance they need?
BD: Ask yourself in the event the wage earner passes away, how much money would it take for the spouse to maintain the family’s lifestyle? Most people have six months salary in the bank, but if you’re not a good saver, you can use insurance to make up for that deficit..
GLF: What do you tell someone who might think their employer-based insurance coverage is enough?
BD: What if something happens to that employer? Or, what if the individual loses his or her job? My clients generally have less than $100,000 in employer-based insurance. In many cases, families should have more.
GLF: You’ve said many of your clients have become lifelong friends. What have you learned from them?
BD: Life can be so unexpected, from the person who acquires significant wealth in a relatively short amount of time to the surprise tragedy. One man I knew in his mid-30’s came to me when he had one little spot on his lung. I told him we could find a way to insure him, but he walked away. Six weeks later he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was uninsurable at that point. He had a wife and two little kids. If you’re a financially responsible person, you need to have life insurance, period.
For a COMPLIMENTARY 360 Review, call Davidson Insurance Services at 972.980.4884.