# 20 WARNING
We advise you to carefully consider who you seek help from in protecting your business and personal income in this time of Covid-19 and beyond. The subject may be more complex than is obvious at first when it comes to protecting yourself and the key employees in your business from a serious loss of income.
TOO BUSY ?
If you are the owner and too busy to read this post, please have someone, office manager, spouse, partner or someone else you trust who can read it and advise you of it's importance.
Most insurance agents in California are licensed to offer various disability income plans. If you have been in business for any length of time you have someone who has been helping you with insuring things like your business, buildings, vehicles, etc. You may also have a close friend who has been very helpful with Life, Long Term Care or other types of insurance so it is certainly reasonable that you may want to look to one of them to take care of this other insurance need. The question is “Are they really qualified to do this for you in this highly specialized area?” Being licensed doesn’t guarantee the agent is experienced or trained well enough concerning the more complex decisions you will need to make.
An appropriate comparison might be that you realize you will need surgery for a serious heart condition and so you ask your dentist friend to consider doing this for you. He is in the medical field, has always done a good job for you in the past and you trust him. He or she will likely say “Thank you for your trust in me but I really am not qualified to help you with the complex intricacies in that field. I have neither the training nor experience to do open heart surgery. You need to find someone who is a specialist in that area and has lots of experience.
Please consider my background :
1. UNIQUE SPECIALIZATION
For over 30 years I have served business owners, professionals and their employees using custom designed long-term individual income protection contracts. These were carefully designed to protect them, their family and their business from the impact of the owner or an other key employee not being able to work managing their business or medical practice for an extended period of time (months or even many years). This is definitely not a ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL field.
2. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I myself have experienced loss of income, first from colon cancer and more recently issues with my heart. This is not theory--with me it is actual lying-in-bed-day-after-day experience. I’ve heard it said that cancer is a great teacher. That is certainly true.
Over the years I have been involved with many loss of income claims. Only on two occasions were those claims ever questioned, and when the insurance company had all their questions answered the claims were paid. The benefit payout to the clients on those two claims exceeded $1.7 million dollars. Does your friend have that kind of experience.
4. INDEPENDENT BROKER
It will be in your best interest to work with someone who is an Independent Broker rather than a Captive Agent. Usually Captive Agents are responsible first to their company and secondarily to the client. Even if they are a Broker they are also dependent on that relationship to be able to continue offering that company’s products. Independent Brokers are responsible first to their client and secondarily to the insurance company, and they usually use several different companies to match the client’s needs to the right contract. And just being a Broker is not enough either. Many property-Casualty Brokers are very knowledgeable about homeowners an auto insurance but have had almost no experience in protecting incomes. Which would you prefer?
The person you will be seeking assistance from should be knowledgeable about income protection contracts available in the marketplace today, and know which are more favorable to business owners as opposed to other professions. If the contract does not say they will pay based on your specific claim -- believe me they will not have to pay the claim.
The bottom line is: will your business be able to continue even if you are flat on your back at the hospital or at home and unable to work? Where will the money come from to pay the bills both at the office and for you and your family?
What you don’t want to have happen is years from now you have a serious claim and the insurance company legitimately denies the claim. You may think back to what you are reading now and say to yourself. “Maybe I should have taken this more seriously”