Today, so much of what we do has been taken over by technology. So many industries have been forever changed and, as a result, many jobs have been altered as well. If we compare jobs and tasks today to what they were when we were just starting out the results are “mind numbing.”
Let’s think about it. Books and magazines have been largely replaced by their electronic counterparts. Taxis by Uber & Lyft. TV services by the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Music by iTunes. Even how we pay for things has changed with Apple Pay, PayPal, etc. This list goes on and on and everything has changed due to technology. Some things are just better left unchanged. For example, I don’t like e-books. I haven’t drunk that Kool-Aid yet. To me, there’s nothing like the feel of a book in your hands and the ability to turn a page.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of technology and believe that our lives are better for it, but when it comes down to it there is no substitute for the human element with some things. This is especially true when it comes to life insurance. I don’t like the growing trend of people shopping for their life insurance online. The majority of people are grossly underinsured and don’t understand the real needs associated with life insurance. Nothing can replace the years of experience that comes along with a seasoned life insurance professional.
Life insurance is not an optional thing that you should maybe get around to one day—it’s a necessity. Just look at all the GoFundMe pages we see in the wake of some tragedies. If insured at all, the average young family doesn’t have adequate life insurance. The funds that a surviving spouse needs to make a meaningful impact on their financial lives are often misunderstood. This is not a knock to the average person, they just don’t know how much life insurance is enough.
Here are some facts:
- Only 51 percent of Americans own some type of life insurance (and I’m surprised it’s that high).
- A large majority have group life insurance that they feel is portable upon leaving their job.
- A large majority of policies have improper ownership or beneficiary arrangements.
- Most policies provide grossly low/inadequate face amounts.
- “Non-working” spouses are typically overlooked and not insured.
- Most people don’t know the many uses of life insurance including the ability to grow cash value and ultimately remove supplemental tax-free retirement income.
- Most people don’t know about the myriad of living benefits such as long term care or chronic illness provisions.
- Most people don’t know the nuances of income replacement and how much of a role life insurance plays in that process.
The list can go on and on. The point is that when it comes to certain things, there is no substitute for the human touch and plain old fashioned experience. For all of my years in the business, I can speak of countless client encounters where the above holds true. The world of technology has put so much information at the fingertips of our current/prospective clients, even when it comes to life insurance. The trick is being the one who can bring light onto the stage and make them understand the complete value of life insurance.
Today, the ultimate buzz in the area of technology is the talk of driverless cars in the very near future. I wouldn’t invest my money there just yet. After all, I don’t even trust plain old cruise control. If you’re a taxi driver however, this notion will not make you feel secure about your future. As a life insurance professional, do you want to watch that “driverless car” pass you by or do you want to show them the right way a car should be driven?