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James, wanted to share my recent experience with an insurance company. I know we talked a lot about what coverages you would have and wanted to discuss with the insurers before purchasing the policy.

Well, I already have a policy. It’s for basic homeowners property/liability. I plan on taking on a volunteer position with a local association. There is protection through the association for liability but I wanted to see if my personal policy would offer any additional protection. I submitted a web query to my insurers and was told the question was sent to underwriting for further review. I then got a call a few days later. They told me to review my policy myself (they are sending another hard copy by mail) and that they could not answer questions on hypotheticals or unique situations. The rep did say that the claims department might have an opinion but they wouldn’t talk to me until a claim was filed.

Seems like poor service. I’ll try again when I calm down. You would think you would be able to call a insurance company directly and say...”I need, or do you have, insurance that will protect me from XX”. I guess there are thousands of opportunities where one may volunteer and they can’t detail the risks or coverages for all of them. In our association, we have volunteer electricians, plumbers, arborists, accountants, pool operators. It’s quite extensive.
That's unfortunate that they couldn't direct you to / highlight the portion of the policy relevant to your question. Find another agent / company. Claims are on a case by case basis and wordings are up for interpretation so agents / adjusters will never be able to give you a definite answer.

The organization should be arranging insurance for their volunteers as me I would expect that while one is engaged in the act of volunteering that a home insurance policy may not be required to respond. There would however have to be some sort of exclusion on the policy if you have a comprehensive all risk policy...

Let us know what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #102 (Edited)
I'm going to try taking another stab at all of this as it appears the insurance industry has not shut down entirely due to COVID-19. I will start phoning some agents tomorrow.

Quick recap... I'm self employed and currently have no insurance of any kind. No DI, no life, no group, not even car insurance. I'm worried about getting a major injury/disability in a car or bike accident, or hiking, resulting in potentially large income loss -- e.g. brain injury, blindness, stroke.

I already self-insure for short term income loss so I am only concerned with MAJOR illness, and long term income loss, major health expenses such as hiring extra help or specialists.

If I stay healthy, I should be able to earn ~ 100K annual income. However, if I had a very serious illness, that ability to earn income drops. My objective is to insure many years worth of this income from loss/impairment. That value is roughly 500K to 1M so the insurance would have to pay out something like that to be worth it.

I got a DI quote from my professional association, and because I'm self employed, the max payout was very low. There was no point to that insurance because I already self-insure for more, and their payout was too small to get close to the 500K ish value I'm looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #103
I had conversations with two different insurance salesmen. They may call themselves advisors, but they will always be salesmen to me.

The first one gave me the usual pitches but after about 90 minutes into the call, seemed to start getting pretty irritated at all my questions. I also was asking him for a lot of numbers, and that irritated him too.

Anyway, I'm still gathering information and still making the salesmen work. If they convince me, I'll buy it. I'm not convinced yet.
 

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I had conversations with two different insurance salesmen. They may call themselves advisors, but they will always be salesmen to me.

The first one gave me the usual pitches but after about 90 minutes into the call, seemed to start getting pretty irritated at all my questions. I also was asking him for a lot of numbers, and that irritated him too.

Anyway, I'm still gathering information and still making the salesmen work. If they convince me, I'll buy it. I'm not convinced yet.
... just saw your post and my comment is that 99.5% of these guys/gals (advisors/advisers/ salespeople, etc) would only want to do a sale with a minimum amount of effort (and time), assuming they're knowledgeable in the first place. Ie. your chance of finding that "truly", "dedicated", and "knowledgeable", "advisor" taking into account of the "client's needs and interests" "first", would be "rare" or .5% (very rare).

Your post reminds me these advisors' performance is just a little tad better than the big telecoms' and banks' marketing dep'ts.
 

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I'm going to try taking another stab at all of this as it appears the insurance industry has not shut down entirely due to COVID-19. I will start phoning some agents tomorrow.

Quick recap... I'm self employed and currently have no insurance of any kind. No DI, no life, no group, not even car insurance. I'm worried about getting a major injury/disability in a car or bike accident, or hiking, resulting in potentially large income loss -- e.g. brain injury, blindness, stroke.

I already self-insure for short term income loss so I am only concerned with MAJOR illness, and long term income loss, major health expenses such as hiring extra help or specialists.

If I stay healthy, I should be able to earn ~ 100K annual income. However, if I had a very serious illness, that ability to earn income drops. My objective is to insure many years worth of this income from loss/impairment. That value is roughly 500K to 1M so the insurance would have to pay out something like that to be worth it.

I got a DI quote from my professional association, and because I'm self employed, the max payout was very low. There was no point to that insurance because I already self-insure for more, and their payout was too small to get close to the 500K ish value I'm looking for.
... not sure which marketing materials you have been looking at but it's unlikely you would/will find a $500K (let alone $1M) "CI" policy. And if you do, you'll need to go through some (very) rigorous health examinations, PROVIDED you can afford those premiums first.

However, A $500K (or $1M) "life" policy isn't that uncommon but then that wouldn't suit your need to provide an income while still on earth. Perhaps an Accidental D&Dismemberment policy maybe a better bet in the event you hurt your head crashing into a tree while biking on some outdoor trail.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
It's true that 500K CI policies will require blood tests and all kinds of exams. I didn't know this going in. And since everything is shut down, there are backlogs, and probably has become impossible to get CI which requires medical tests.

I'm now looking at a smaller policy size that's non-medical. So far, the salespeople have spent about 12 hours of time answering my questions and looking into material I asked about. They still haven't addressed all my concerns, so I look forward to having a few more hours of discussions with them.
 

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It's true that 500K CI policies will require blood tests and all kinds of exams. I didn't know this going in. And since everything is shut down, there are backlogs, and probably has become impossible to get CI which requires medical tests.

I'm now looking at a smaller policy size that's non-medical. So far, the salespeople have spent about 12 hours of time answering my questions and looking into material I asked about. They still haven't addressed all my concerns, so I look forward to having a few more hours of discussions with them.
Are you in ontario? I can help you get the answers that you need if you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
Are you in ontario? I can help you get the answers that you need if you are.
I'm in a different province and have already applied for Sun Life CI (10 year term, no ROP). Just waiting to hear back from the insurance company.
 

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Discussion Starter #110 (Edited)
If you also know about disability insurance (DI), I'm still trying to figure out the following. I had strong employment income in 2018, and half of 2019 as an employee of a company. Then I switched to self employed in 2019/2020. So far, as self employed, I only have a track record of 4 months of revenue, with no promise of ongoing income. The revenue could stop any moment.

I'm trying to figure out if DI is feasible at all. I asked my professional association, and they said that due to self-employment, their insurance would pay out max 16K a year which seems pointless. I can self-insure 16K a year, even for 20 years!

Do you think it's possible for me to get DI anywhere near my usual income level of 50K to 100K? My self employment income is currently ~ 75K, extrapolating the recent 4 months.

How does an insurer determine how much DI to give a self-employed individual? Do they look at my corporate employee life before being self employed?
 

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If you also know about disability insurance (DI), I'm still trying to figure out the following. I had strong employment income in 2018, and half of 2019 as an employee of a company. Then I switched to self employed in 2019/2020. So far, as self employed, I only have a track record of 4 months of revenue, with no promise of ongoing income. The revenue could stop any moment.

I'm trying to figure out if DI is feasible at all. I asked my professional association, and they said that due to self-employment, their insurance would pay out max 16K a year which seems pointless. I can self-insure 16K a year, even for 20 years!

Do you think it's possible for me to get DI anywhere near my usual income level of 50K to 100K? My self employment income is currently ~ 75K, extrapolating the recent 4 months.

How does an insurer determine how much DI to give a self-employed individual? Do they look at my corporate employee life before being self employed?
I'm pretty sure that the insurance companies will look at work history. But they will also look at the risk factor of your occupation. Like being a desk jockey is less than working as a construction worker.
You should talk to an Edward Jones advisor. They'll be able to give run an estimate on what you need and get the best price, since they quote through multiple companies.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
I ended up buying Critical Illness insurance. Some observations about the process:

I got the feeling that I'm not supposed to ask so many questions. The salespeople seemed like they expected customers to just go along with the info (and advice) presented, rather than delving into details.

The first salesman seemed to have ulterior motives to sell something specific. He was pushing very hard to sell one thing, and I noticed he disconnected / stopped being helpful once I made it clear I didn't like that option. I was told he's one of the best insurance guys around, so that gave me a pretty bad impression of insurance salespeople.

I had a much better experience after switching to a broker that was recommended by a close friend. He was quite helpful, and had access to products from a variety of insurers. I liked that he started by showing me the competing products (from competing companies) and giving his opinion on how they differ, his experiences with each.

It's true that 500K CI policies will require blood tests and all kinds of exams. I didn't know this going in. And since everything is shut down, there are backlogs, and probably has become impossible to get CI which requires medical tests.
I went with a smaller policy and am happy with it. It was non-medical for my age, so there weren't any COVID-related delays.
 

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I ended up buying Critical Illness insurance. Some observations about the process:

I got the feeling that I'm not supposed to ask so many questions. The salespeople seemed like they expected customers to just go along with the info (and advice) presented, rather than delving into details.

The first salesman seemed to have ulterior motives to sell something specific. He was pushing very hard to sell one thing, and I noticed he disconnected / stopped being helpful once I made it clear I didn't like that option. I was told he's one of the best insurance guys around, so that gave me a pretty bad impression of insurance salespeople.
... of course, he is an exemplary employee ... for the insurance company and his pocketbook.

I had a much better experience after switching to a broker that was recommended by a close friend. He was quite helpful, and had access to products from a variety of insurers. I liked that he started by showing me the competing products (from competing companies) and giving his opinion on how they differ, his experiences with each.

I went with a smaller policy and am happy with it. It was non-medical for my age, so there weren't any COVID-related delays.
... glad it worked out for you with the "broker = independent" and you're happy with the coverage. Just knock on woods and don't claim.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
... of course, he is an exemplary employee ... for the insurance company and his pocketbook.
I should add that the first "insurance expert" (the one I ditched) had designations: CFP, CLU, CHS. He was a financial planner.

Supposedly, the CFP is a top tier designation (link) and: "CFP professionals have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to examine their clients’ entire financial picture, at the highest level of complexity required of the profession, and work with their clients to build a financial plan so that they can Live Life Confidently™"

This almost makes me laugh. This CFP was trying to sell me incredibly expensive insurance that I didn't need (and couldn't afford), certainly putting his own career and bonus ahead of my financial needs. I would rate him 2/10 on ethics and I just imagined the other customers who came to him and took his advice, instead of being critical of what he was suggesting.

A financial planner (CFP) like this guy could absolutely ruin someone's finances. Now imagine what happens when he also advises people on investments and mutual funds.

My whole impression of what "CFP" means was severely downgraded during this insurance-buying experience.
 

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I think one of the earliest question in dealing when any one in sales (cars, insurance, investments, furniture)....is “how are you compensated”?

we can debate the merits of any of these sales people....we choose to “pick-on” the financial industry because that’s what we’re passionate about. There are definitely some sleaze bags around. I find one of the major problems is the variety of “theories” that exist in financial planning.....and the average consumer has no expertise to question them. You should be saving 10% of your income.....you should have life insurance xxx times more than your income......you should have a safety net of xxx months. These “theories” often drive up costs and purchases. i find this with my home insurance Which I’ve questioned lately, why do I have a $2 million “simple” solution, rather than one much less.....cause it’s easy to understand....but I’m probably over insured and paying for it.

You‘ll passionate Gardner’s who will say...”you paid what for to tomatoes And peppers.....grow your own....they’re ripping you off”

passionate handy homeowners who say.....”you paid what for a faucet repair or a toilet install......watch a YouTube video and do it yourself”.

neither parties are wrong....We all pay for goods and services that we don’t want to do ourselves........I’m finding as I get older, I’d rather pay someone to do tasks I would have jumped at when I was younger.......I just got a quote to cut down 3 trees for $2000....it kills me that I may need to pay that much.......or it may kill me to do it myself. Lol. Another (more honest arborist?) said he could prune them for $625 to ”give them a few more years”. Either way, I’ll probably choose one of them.....something I wouldn’t have considered 5 years ago.
 

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I should add that the first "insurance expert" (the one I ditched) had designations: CFP, CLU, CHS. He was a financial planner.
...oh god, those kind with a slew of designations and every letter in the alphabet. To me they're merely "jack of all trades and master of none". [The worst type would be the one who is the wife or husband recommended by a friend of a best friend.] Seriously, any financially savvy person through years of experience (such as yourself) can "detect instinctively" the expertise of that person via a short conversation.

Supposedly, the CFP is a top tier designation (link) and: "CFP professionals have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to examine their clients’ entire financial picture, at the highest level of complexity required of the profession, and work with their clients to build a financial plan so that they can Live Life Confidently™"

This almost makes me laugh. This CFP was trying to sell me incredibly expensive insurance that I didn't need (and couldn't afford), certainly putting his own career and bonus ahead of my financial needs. I would rate him 2/10 on ethics and I just imagined the other customers who came to him and took his advice, instead of being critical of what he was suggesting.
... same here, perhaps louder. That's the key which these so-called "experts" failed to realize as Rule #1 (Having Ethics and Honesty) and yet woefully lacking these days. I guess they figured if they spin the soliciting in such a way to meet the regulator's minimum requirements, they can get away with it and will. I think in way, it's not their own doings but that of their sponsoring firm, if they're not self-employed or soliciting under their own firm. To gain a (long-term aka loyal) "client" takes practice of one simple word: TRUST.

A financial planner (CFP) like this guy could absolutely ruin someone's finances. Now imagine what happens when he also advises people on investments and mutual funds.
.. this guy/gal would most likely recommend segregated funds or one with the highest MERs ... and he/she'll tell you with a straight eye that all his clients (aka ethics is a word, not practiced) are so happy with his recommendations that he has no problem suggesting them to you.

My whole impression of what "CFP" means was severely downgraded during this insurance-buying experience.
... no doubt and the perception is not going to get better ... as customers/investors become more educated.
 

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I think one of the earliest question in dealing when any one in sales (cars, insurance, investments, furniture)....is “how are you compensated”?
... I like this right-to-the-point question ... and the answers with that question from a couple of "banks" financial /investment planners (full brokerage house) were 1. a silent dance-around, and 2. 2% of $250K of investments is $500 per annum (cheap!)

No wonder investors are going DIY by the droves as it goes back to saying of "who's more passionate about your money than yourself"? With all the moola$$$ saved can be spent to call-in the plumber, roofer and arborist who can "actually" or "physical" do some "work" other than blowing hot-air or worst wasting your time while giving you bad breath (pre-Covid19).
 

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Did they actually say $500, or is that a typo?

I am guessing the latter, but wouldn't be shocked if it was the former.
... no typo - the financial expert said "five hundred dollars" per year after I asked again.

Too bad I didn't have a handheld calculator at that time to verify (for him) as I was overwhelmed/loaded with his pitch of all the services available from his firm ( full services brokerage of a (big) bank) with its multiple specialty dep'ts.

At the end, back to square one: I asked myself "would I want to hire a financial planner who can't do simple math?" assuming it was not an intentional misled.
 

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Were they talking About MERs or a fee based charge?

perhaps the $500 is their trailing commission....ie. they earn $500 of the $5000 charged in MERs?
 
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