January 30, 2020
Ask the Experts
Life insurance can be tricky to understand if you don’t work with it every day. So, we asked a few of our District Representatives to share their answers to some of our members’ frequently asked questions.
Your Panel of Experts
Jane Zeller, FIC joined the Wisconsin River Agency as a District Representative in April 2010. Before joining NMB, she taught art, owned a business, and was a national advocate for domestic violence. She believes in helping others and followed in her father’s footsteps to become a life insurance agent. Jane resides in Antigo and has two adult children.
Mary Krueger came National Mutual Benefit as a District Representative in September 2016 and currently works out of the Wisconsin River Agency. Mary lives in the Eau Claire area where she grew up. She is passionate about helping others and is involved in a lot of local community projects. Mary has two children, one stepson, and nine grandchildren.
Rebecca Lureen, FIC joined the Dakotas Agency as a District Representative in December 2016. She was born and raised in South Dakota. Becca volunteers at a local food bank and donates her time to help the elderly and homeless. She strives to help others understand the benefits of life insurance. She and her husband, Chris, have three children and live in the Black Hills.
William Rutten started at the Lakeshore Agency as a District Representative in February 2019 and became the Agency Manager in January 2020, all after a 30-year career in law enforcement where he served as Kohler Chief of Police. He is actively involved in Meals on Wheels and the Kohler Police Athletic League. He currently resides in Kohler with his wife, Kathy, and their two daughters.
Q&A with the Panel
What questions are you asked the most when talking about life insurance with members?
Jane: Why buy life insurance for children? Juvenile life insurance is very inexpensive. It locks in coverage that can’t be taken away while the policy is in force, even if the child becomes uninsurable due to illness or other circumstances. Our Term to 26 plan also offers the option to convert to a permanent policy, such as whole life insurance.
Jane: Isn’t life insurance expensive? We have plans that accommodate most budget limitations, the key is to buy life insurance as early in life as possible. The older we get, the more expensive it becomes.
What are the common misunderstandings of life insurance (cost, needs, etc.)?
Jane: I have life insurance through work. That’s all I need. Life insurance doesn’t always go with the employee when they leave their company, and coverage is very expensive to purchase at retirement age. I’ve seen too many cases where the employee becomes uninsurable for some reason and can’t get approved for a policy after their employment ends.
Rebecca: There are so many kinds of plans and different benefits—it can be overwhelming. We do offer a lot of options so we can customize coverage to your specific circumstances. It’s helpful to sit down with a District Representative. We can explain how each policy performs and walk you through each product’s advantages and disadvantages. We can help you understand what you currently have and what you might need.
William: Members may not realize the real benefits of a life insurance policy. When discussing life insurance, I like to explain the different reasons why it’s needed, such as income replacement or paying off a mortgage. I also talk about the final expenses that come up after we pass and how life insurance can help offset those costs for loved ones.
How would you describe annuities and when are they a good choice?
Mary: An annuity is YOUR account that grows tax-deferred and has penalties for early withdrawal.
Rebecca: An annuity is a great solution for clients that are looking for a safe and competitive rate of return. With an annuity, you can have flexibility with your cash assets, and you can also choose a plan that provides a guaranteed stream of income that you can’t outlive.
William: When I talk about annuities, I describe them as a stable and safe place for money. Again, each person’s situation is different, and what they may be saving money for is different. Annuities are a good option for someone planning for retirement or currently retired.
How would you explain riders and why are they a valuable addition to a policy?
Mary: Riders allow you to customize your life insurance plan. You can always remove them, but you may not be able to add them later.
Jane: Applying a rider is an optional and usually inexpensive method of enhancing a policy’s benefits. For instance, we have riders that, if added, would help pay your life insurance premiums if you become disabled. You can also add our Accelerated Death Benefit Rider to most policies at no cost to you. This valuable rider allows you to access a significant portion of the death benefit early if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask our experts, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.