The critical illness conundrum: Explaining a challenging topic

Explaining critical illness insurance plans to our potential clients can be challenging. Policies can cover 36 to 60 different illnesses — each individually defined — and we can lose confidence in the complexity.

A critical illness diagnosis does not mean clients will get a successful claim — the specific definition must be met. If we as financial advisors don’t understand the definitions, our clients will not confidently buy from us.

Additionally, discussing illnesses that could be life altering for our clients can be sensitive.

I created the CI info cube to help us overcome these challenges in three ways:

First, the cube breaks down 43 critical illnesses into different categories according to the body’s systems. For example, we have critical illnesses covered under the brain, the heart and the face. We can easily refer to this cube and find out if the illness to be claimed falls under the critical illness policy.

Second, refer to this cube to get the basic definitions for the top five critical illness claims. This will allow us to communicate the fulfillment of the illness’s criteria in the event of the illness, ensuring our clients achieve a successful claim on their policy.

For example, if a heart attack happens to a client, it’s important to ensure that all three of the heart attack criteria are met. These should be communicated to the physician for our client’s claim to be successful.

Advisors who have this tool and know these essential definitions will be better able to provide quality service to their clients. And, in turn, their clients will be happy and satisfied.

Third, present to potential clients the benefits of a critical illness policy by focusing on their financial accounts. I do this by breaking down a client’s financial accounts into three categories:

  • Savings accounts (income in, expenses out)
  • Investment accounts
  • Guaranteed accounts, such as an education fund for children or retirement income
Jenny Yeoh

Jenny Yeoh describes critical illness plans using an info cube.

I then demonstrate to the client how the claims from a critical illness policy will play a drastic role in all three financial categories if an illness were to strike.

This is my effective method of presenting the benefits of a critical illness plan to potential clients. Hence, I include the CI info cube to efficiently share the benefits of the plan with their clients.

As advisors, we play an essential role in introducing and sharing the benefits of the critical illness policy with our clients. While the range of these policies can be complicated, we can clear the confusion and simplify our presentation by using an effective visual aid, such as the CI info cube, to remember the main illnesses and disease criteria included in the policy. This gives us the understanding and confidence to successfully explain critical illness plans to clients.

Yeoh Tan Fung Jenny, RFP, of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, is a Top of the Table member who has been an MDRT member since 2003. She combines a medical background as a nurse with knowledge as an experienced financial professional. This is excerpted from her 2021 MDRT Annual Meeting Virtual Event presentation “The critical illness conundrumand is available on video or as an article in nine languages. Both are for available on MDRT’s website for MDRT members only.

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