Q. Who sells long-term care insurance?
A. Long-term care insurance is a great investment — if you can afford the premiums.
A licensed life and health producer — an agent or broker — can sell or solicit long-term care insurance, said Ed Gaelick, a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant with PSI Consultants in Glen Rock.
Gaelick said this person should have special training.
“The training better prepares a broker to understand what is necessary to ensure the best solution is being recommended,” Gaelick said. “This would include looking at all alternatives and if securing private coverage is the best option, choosing which carrier and what level of benefits to apply for.”
He said having a license to sell isn’t enough.
“A broker would need to successfully complete an initial lengthy training course and complete periodic refresher courses every two years to maintain the certification,” he said. “Even that is may not be enough. Long-term care insurance is a specialty and finding a broker that has a lot of experience will increase the odds the best recommendation is being made.”
But in the meantime, many insurance companies are getting out of the long-term care insurance business because selling the policies haven’t proved to be as profitable as initially expected, said Alison Williams, a certified financial planner with Stonegate Wealth Management in Oakland.
As you shop around, Williams said you should be sure to check the insurance company’s track record.
“You do not want to purchase insurance with a company that is anything less than reputable, especially this type, with high premiums and a significant amount to lose if they’re defunct/unreliable when you need to make a claim,” she said.
She recommends you meet with a broker who can represent several insurance companies, rather than work directly with someone who only represents one insurer.
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