This entire article is intended to get you to click on a link and watch a two-and-a-half minute video.
Here’s the link:
Alternately, you can watch it on YouTube:
If you’ve clicked and viewed, you probably don’t have to read any further. But, just in case, here’s additional information, to persuade you to watch, or provide some background commentary.
Disability Is Real
The video, “Better Together,” is from Guardian Life Insurance Company, a prominent disability insurance provider in the medical professional marketplace. Guardian posted this video on YouTube in November 2015, and more than a year later, there have been less than 600 views. Frankly, that’s a shame.
Dr. Vincent Tullos is a doctor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who in August 2013 experienced a stroke. The impact of this life-changing health incident is reflected in Dr. Tullos’ speech which, combined with his Southern drawl, makes his story even more poignant. Several points stand out:
First, the video is a dramatic testament to the impact of a life-altering medical event. A common after-effect of a stroke is greater emotionality, so when Dr. Tullos speaks, you get an almost visceral feel for the turmoil that comes from a disabling incident.
For some people, disability is hard to imagine, something “that won’t happen to me,” or “won’t keep me from working.” In the first 30 seconds of Dr. Tullos’ story, that abstraction is gone. Viewers “feel” the sobering reality of what a disability is like.
Second, the video illustrates the incalculable benefit of income protection in the form of life and disability insurance. Sure, there is a dollar amount that defines the monthly benefit. But when you see and hear Dr. Tullos express his gratitude for his disability and life insurance protection, it’s obvious the real benefit is peace of mind. Of all the struggles Dr. Tullos has faced, and will face, post-stroke, earning an income isn’t one of them.
Third, if it hadn’t been for the sincere persistence of Travis St. Pierre, Dr. Tullos might not have purchased the insurance. When Dr. Tullos said he couldn’t afford the premiums, Mr. St. Pierre insisted “you can’t afford not to.” The skeptical might dismiss St. Pierre’s response as a pat line intended to close a sale, but the rest of the conversation on the video speaks otherwise; Mr. St. Pierre comes across as a dedicated professional who has not only Dr. Tullos’ gratitude but respect.
A long-held principle in the insurance industry is that people don’t buy insurance, it has to be sold. In this situation, a financial professional took the time to not only present the product, but persuade Dr. Tullos that this purchase was essential for his financial well-being.
Are you someone who should have individual disability insurance?
The disability income protection referenced in this video was provided by an individual policy, not group coverage from an employer. And while individual policies may be more expensive, they also contain favorable definitions of disability, and are typically non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable, meaning as long as the premiums are paid, the protection cannot be changed or terminated.
If your career track includes the likelihood of changing employers as you advance, individual disability protection can be invaluable; wherever you go, the policy goes with you. Medical professionals are perhaps the largest market for individual disability insurance, but high-level executives, business owners and other self-employed professionals are candidates for individual policies as well. In some instances, they are the only disability option available.
Do you have a financial professional
like Travis St. Pierre?
Individual disability insurance is a customized product. You select the waiting period, benefit period, occupational definitions, and whether benefits will adjust for inflation. And while disability coverage probably doesn’t require constant monitoring, it should be reviewed regularly. Many policies have options to increase coverage at regular intervals; you want to be sure your protection continues to match your earnings. To get the personalization right, professional assistance is recommended.
In the event of a disability, one of the most important activities is filing a claim and getting those checks, which is not a do-it-yourself project. In a moment of vulnerability, you want to know you will be working with someone you trust to facilitate the delivery of the benefits you paid for and deserve. Dr. Tullos had a trusted professional in Mr. St. Pierre.
If you’ve read this far, do one last thing...
If you haven’t already, watch the video once on YouTube, just to bump the view count. Then, if you remember, check back some time in February, and see if the views have crossed 1,000. This great story and powerful message deserves broader recognition.