How To Find a Trusted and Experienced LTCI Broker

Monday, March 2, 2015| 1 Comment

Estimated reading time: 12 minute(s)

All professionals are created equally, but not all are licensed and contracted equally. Knowing the secret to finding an experienced and trusted professional is no easy task, unless you follow the tips from an insider. I’m going to let you in on some secrets that will change your perspective when shopping not only for long-term care insurance (LTCI) coverage, but for just about anything valuable.

Let me start by saying, just because a professional you know in your area may not fit the criteria I’m about to outline, it does not mean they are a bad or unprofessional advisor. I’d like to believe that all professionals in any industry are doing the best job they can for their clients with the tools they have available.

For example, if your car brakes are bad, you don’t go see a mechanic specializing in transmissions. You go see a mechanic that specializes in brakes. Right? If you are diagnosed with cancer, you don’t get treatment from a general practitioner you see an oncologist for help. That’s not to say a general mechanic or practitioner can’t help; however, a specialist may give you a higher level of expertise. It’s no different when we talk about insurance or retirement insurance planning. When you need investment advice, go find an investment advisor; when you need health insurance advice, go find a health insurance advisor; when you need long-term care insurance (LTCI) advice, go find an LTCI advisor.

Unfortunately, I encounter many people who have asked their trusted auto and homeowners insurance agent, attorney or investment broker for advice on long-term care insurance, and they wind up confused, frustrated or unintentionally misled.

Unfortunately, for many licensed agents, LTCI is a side business. It’s just another license that gives them the ability to offer LTCI. Think about your particular profession. Is there a difference in the level of guidance between someone entering your profession and someone like yourself? I’m sure there is.

So, how do you find a trusted and experienced LTCI broker advisor? It’s not as easy as you think. Most importantly, you must work with a broker that is licensed and contracted with at least four to five companies.

Completing a side-by-side comparison of at least three companies is essential in understanding the costs in the market for your specific situation. Professionals who represent only one carrier are not bad people, but they are limited in choices to offer you and limited in their ability to search the market for the best and most affordable coverage for their clients.

If you have a trusted professional you like to work with in your area but does not offer or specialize in LTCI, ask them if they have a partnership with a trusted and experienced professional specializing in LTCI planning. Many high level professionals in different industries realize the value in specializing in their particular discipline and see the value in connecting their clients with specialists in other disciplines. If you have a relationship like this with your trusted advisor, you are very lucky. It’s very unique.

When you do connect with a broker advisor representing four to five companies ask them how many LTCI plans they design and place per year. In my opinion, a good specialist will design and place at least 24 per year and specialists at the highest level will design 75 to over 100 or more per year. These are the folks you want to trust your future asset protection too.

You may live in a metropolitan area that is lucky enough to have specialists in your area. You can research and find these folks simply in the phone book or by doing an Internet search.

In today’s digital age, many of the top-level advisors work primarily via the telephone and Internet. It’s a very efficient way for them to effectively help as many people possible. If you haven’t experienced planning over the phone and Internet, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Many of these top-level advisors have a unique and efficient way of explaining, designing and researching the market to streamline your time and increase your understanding of LTCI.

Remember, when looking for a LTCI broker advisor to help your planning process, look for a person representing four to five companies. Reach out to a trusted advisor for a professional referral. Look for broker advisors in your area via phone book listing or conduct an Internet search. Don’t be intimidated to find and work with an advisor via the Internet. They are often the highest-level professionals available in the LTCI planning world.

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