Last week, I attended my third CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) class. The topic of this particular class was Life and Health Insurance but included a ton of great content on business continuation and succession planning. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of what I learned with you in this post. I wrote this from the perspective of business owner who has worked hard over many years to build his/her business and now needs to protect business and personal assets.
10 Ways Business Owners Can Keep A Good Thing Going.
1. There Is A Big Difference Between Selling Assets (Personal or Business) When You Want To vs. When You Have To. If you are uninsured or underinsured at the time of a loss; whether it is property and casualty or life, where does the money come from? Answer: your assets. Here are a few areas of insurance to consider: property, casualty, auto, business insurance, personal insurance, life, disability, long term care.
2. Why Is Life Insurance So Critical To Business Owners? There are several general uses of life insurance: create an estate, pay estate taxes, fund a business transfer, pay off a mortgage, provide an education fund for children or grandchildren, protect business from a loss of a key employee, supplement retirement program, make a gift to a non-profit, equalize inheritance (one kid is going to take-over your business and one is not), use built-up cash value for an emergency, tax advantages, protect money from creditors, etc.
3. Off-Set The Loss Of A “Key Person” To Your Business With Life Insurance. Is there a financial impact of losing a key employee? Yes! Businesses insure their buildings and auto but how about their talented people – their leaders and rainmakers? How much would it cost your company if one of your “key” employees died unexpectedly (or became disabled)? Consider lost revenue, cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a suitable replacement, as well as possible reputation cost.
As an example: Because of Rick Pitino’s value to the university, the University of Louisville has taken out upwards of 10 million dollars in “Key Man” Life Insurance on him. The rational: if something ever happened to Pitino, the university would take a financial hit as his basketball team is a large source of revenue for the university.
4. Disability Insurance. If you couldn’t work because you were sick or injured, how long could you get by with your savings account? 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? The Society of Actuaries reports that the average 50-year-old who becomes disabled is out of work for 3 years. Life insurance is critical; however, disability insurance is as well. Why? You are more likely to become disabled than die during your working years. A 42-year-old is almost three times more likely to become disabled than die.
5. The Need For Long Term Care Insurance Is On The Rise. Remember: People live longer (In 1900, the life expectancy for a male was 48. Today, it is 75.) 1 in 3 seniors will need it. Business owners can do everything right along the way but lose a great deal of their assets over a prolonged long term care situation.
6. Buy Sell Insurance & Business Succession Planning. What happens when the owner of a sole proprietorship dies? What happens when a business partner dies?
Here are a few areas where buy sell agreements come into play: Death, Disability, Retirement (voluntary separation), and Termination (involuntary separation).
7. Why Business Owners Should Buy Life Insurance For Their Children And Grandchildren. Why is it a good idea to buy that $25 month permanent life insurance policy for a baby? Hint: It is not necessarily to provide for funeral expenses in the event of the baby’s premature death. Most permanent life insurance policies will have a “Guaranteed Insurability Rider” that can be attached to the policy. That way, additional life insurance can be purchased along way, WITHOUT additional underwriting. For example, the baby grows-up and finds out he/she has a health condition. In many cases, the person becomes uninsurable or, at the very least, will not be able to get additional life insurance without paying extremely high premiums. With “GIR”, this person will be able to not only keep their existing life insurance in place but also add additional limits of life insurance with no underwriting, medical tests, or questions asked.
8. Better Team Of Advisors = Better Results. When it comes to planning, whether it is personal planning, planning for the next 10 years of your business, or business continuation planning, the right team of advisors is key. Outside of your management team and spouse, here are a few key partners to add to your team of advisors: Attorney, CPA, Trust Advisor, Financial Advisor, Insurance Counselor (property, casualty, life, and health), Real Estate Appraiser, and Technology Consultant, Communication / Marketing / Social Media Consultant. There may be others but this is a good start.
9. Better Process = Better Results. How do you go about making decisions?
- Identify issues (SWOT analysis) – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Establish goals and objectives
- Analyze and discuss
- Develop plan
- Re-evaluate (revisit process)
10. I recently came across a comment that lends itself to the power of content marketing: “People buy from those who teach them.” My goal is to add value to my readers. My other goal, of course, is to help the business and professional community with their insurance. If you find my blog worth your time and you ever need help with your insurance, then please give me a call. I love to connect with good people.
About the National Alliance’s CIC Program. I would highly recommend this to any insurance professional who wants to deepen and broaden his / her knowledge base.
Questions? Call me at (815) 979-9121.
Relationship-focused insurance agent dedicated to protecting your business and family.
Agency: Williams-Manny, Inc. – located in Rockford, Illinois.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.