A Few Recent Cases
Demonstrating the Material Advantages of Working with BreadwinnersInsurance.com
1) Bill, a 52 yr old NYC banking executive experienced buyer’s remorse during the underwriting of his life and disability applications with a leading insurer, and contacted internet based, fee-only adviser, David Barkhausen. The insurer’s agent resisted Barkhausen’s independent, objective advice with various misrepresentations. Bill, seeing that his intuition was accurate about this other agent’s failure to properly serve him, asked Barkhausen to find him another agent. I not only provided a cash-value policy from the same insurer with significantly greater value than that which the other agent had shown and sold, but also recommended a lower cost term policy than that which the other agent had recommended, and restructured his disability coverage to save an additional few thousand dollars. Bill’s total savings approached $20K.
1) Helen, a 48 year-old senior financial services firm executive in charge of this prominent West Coast company’s relationships with hedge fund managers, had been sold a $2 million cash-value policy with a $93,000 annual premium from a leading insurer. Before the third premium was due, she had contacted her agent to inquire about modifying the policy to reduce the annual premium. Her agent said the premium could only be reduced to $35,000. Feeling somewhat confused and uncertain, Helen then contacted the Consumer Federation of America’s life actuary, fee-only adviser, Jim Hunt who directed her to me. I recommended that Helen request a Policy Change that would reduce her premium to $13,000; this no-cost change also provided annual savings of more than $600 in policy costs and lower mortality costs. Despite her agent’s strong objections to my advice, and actual misrepresentations regarding my advice, Helen implemented and the insurer approved my recommendation. In addition, I also had the insurer remove a 20% surcharge on a $10,000/mo. disability policy that her agent had failed to have the insurer reconsider.
3) Dr. Z, a 57 year-old, mid-Atlantic cardiologist, had been shown a second-to-die whole life policy. Because of concerns about the agent’s recommendations, Dr. Z retained a fee-only adviser, who subsequently referred him to me. Following my meeting with Dr. Z, he sent the adviser the following email “Thank you very much for sending Brian to me. He is fair and intelligent. We had a good discussion for two hours. He gave me the new concept of buying insurance as an investment vehicle. [Will] keep old policy but cut the less productive parts to save money and commission. Also plan to buy new cash-value policy as an investment.” Subsequently, Dr. Z bought a low-load second-to-die policy with a $33,000 annual premium and a growing death benefit. My advice helped Dr. Z to save approximately $30K in commissions, and to have larger, possibly significantly larger, future death benefits.
4) California retirees Dr. and Mrs. M, ages 78 and 66, had a second-to-die policy with Ameritas, a low-load life insurer, that they had purchased a decade earlier. The policy had approximately $275K in cash-value, but based on current and forecasted significantly lower interest rates, several additional $20,000 annual premiums were being illustrated as necessary to maintain coverage. After hearing Dr. M describe his dissatisfaction with several other agents’ inflexible or commission-rich recommendations, I demonstrated that, despite the approximate 9% total transaction fees of a 1035 Transfer, a new low-commissioned policy from a leading insurer with its likely superior mortality costs and investment performance would offer big advantages. In particular, my work saved the M’s trust several years of additional premiums, and provided the likelihood of a growing death benefit from Northwestern’s participating practices.
5) A 37 year-old Merrill Lynch trader, Tim became dissatisfied with the cash-value policies other agents had been showing them. One Northwestern Mutual agent, in particular, had repeatedly failed to show Tim the company’s best cash-value policy. Because of Tim’s estate attorney concerns, Tim was eventually referred to me. I first helped Tim properly assess his needs, and then obtain $7.5 million of coverage – a combination of term and cash-value policies. Tim’s $40,000 annual premium cash-value policy provided significantly greater flexibility and future death benefits than that shown by either of the two other agents with whom he had previously worked and who had claimed to serve his best interests and fulfill their obligations under IMSA.
6) Attorney John, a 33 year-old with twins expected shortly, had met separately with a couple of agents. Although both were friendly, John wasn’t convinced of their expertise and commitment to serve his best interests. An internet search led him to fee-only adviser, Glenn Daily, who referred John to me. I helped John obtain $4.5 million of coverage; including a $500,000 low-commissioned cash-value policy that neither of the two other agents who had proclaimed to be independent fiduciaries had ever shown him. Subsequently, when his health improved, I had all of John’s insurers re-issue his coverage in their best risk class.
7) On the advice of her longtime Private Bankers at Citibank, Mrs. G, a healthy 74 year-old, had applied for and been issued a MetLife Universal Life policy with a $50,000 annual premium and a guaranteed level death benefit. Her trustee and estate attorney had some concerns about guaranteed no-lapse UL policies, and contacted me. I demonstrated the advantages of a low-load, participating cash-value policy from a different insurer with solidly growing cash-values and death benefit. My analysis showed that under various dividend rate assumptions, my recommendation would provide significantly larger death benefits after the 9th to 17th year. Given her family’s longevity, Mrs. G, her family, and her estate attorneys especially liked my recommendation’s potential growing death benefit. If Mrs. G lives to 98, her policy’s death benefit could be more than 50% larger than that of the policy recommended by her bankers.
Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of clients to obtain excellent value. Many had first worked with other agents and/or advisors where they had been recommended or sold policies based on product illustrations, agent salesmanship, and/or a misplacing of trust because of assumptions about an adviser or referrer’s life insurance knowledge. Repeatedly, my analytical expertise, unique insurance knowledge, and ethical disclosure practices have provided exceptional value others would never have known possible had they not contacted me. Again, there are significant differences in the value of coverage obtained from different life insurance agents. More than you can probably imagine. Please don’t hesitate to contact BreadwinnersInsurance.com for a free, no-risk, confidential discussion of your situation.
R. Brian Fechtel, CFA & Agent