How Not To Play God With Your Kids

In this series so far, we have discussed the importance of not playing God in business situations – with your clients, with your employees, and in your profession. But this tendency to play God isn’t limited to the career world; it’s just as rampant on a personal level. To start off this deep dive into what it looks like to play God in your personal life, let’s focus on your relationship with your kids.

The Consequences Of Playing God

Up to this point, we have been discouraging you to play God primarily because of the ego trip involved. Ego trips inhibit your growth as a person, preventing you from developing finer character qualities. In a business situation, playing God often leads to self-deceit and the incorrect belief that you are running the show. You end up acting like a mini-tyrant and your spiritual development is squashed.

But there is an additional factor to consider: in many business situations, people easily get away with being a tyrant. There’s just not enough of an incentive to become a better person and put yourself through the growing pains associated with self-improvement. Although we sometimes see tyrannical bosses paying a price for their behavior by getting fired, experiencing harassment accusations, and developing a reputation of being a jerk, none of these things seem to faze them. In their own mind, they are still a big somebody and all of the by-products of their actions are just the cost of them being themselves. To them, it’s worth it.

Paying The Personal Price

When it comes to your personal life, there is a much higher price to pay for being a tyrant and a whole lot more to lose. You can always get another job, start another business, and even rebuild your professional image, but you can’t replace your kids. Losing them can be permanent. And a guaranteed way to lose your children is to play God with them and pretend that you are the ruler of their universe.

You might think that you would never go down this path, but when you have a young child who is solely dependent on you for many years, it’s extremely easy to fall into this role. You provide for them and can force them to do many things. For the most part, they can’t resist your wishes. Physically, and to a great extent emotionally, you are the center of their lives. You have a tremendous amount of power in this situation, and the pull to abuse is very strong. Tragically, many parents do just this. We all know men and women who turned into tyrannical fathers and mothers and basically blew their families apart with their attitudes and behaviors.

Fortunately, there is an instant cure for the insanity of parents playing God – accepting and realizing that you are but a junior partner in the creation saga.

Who Is Really In Charge?

When you stop and think about it, you and your spouse can’t claim that the birth of your children was entirely up to you. For sure, the two of you formed the physical environment through which a new life could be formed, but when you decided to join together, you automatically engaged a third-party: the Creator of all that lives. Who, exactly, do you think designed the universe in such a way that when men and women have sex, a baby can be born?

The entire genesis of a new person is a rather astounding process that has clearly not been invented by people. Fertilization? Not a man-made process. Inception? Not man-made. Gestation? Nope. And on and on and on. You can start at birth and list every natural process that takes place throughout a lifetime – from growth, to maturity, to decline and death, with every biological and chemical process that takes place throughout each day – and you will see that this is not a man-made world at all.

What a humbling thought! You don’t have to be a religious person to grasp that there is a Creator in charge of creation. All of us creatures are dependent on the life forces with which it has been endowed. That includes our kids and it includes us.

On the one hand, adults have a lot of power to wield over younger and weaker creatures like our kids. But at the same time, they are not our creatures to rule. We are no less dependent on the life with which our world has been endowed than they are. Just like our kids, we have to find a way to thrive in this world that is governed by natural processes. Whatever command-and-control we attain in our life, it is nonetheless subordinate to the One who designed all those processes in the first place.

A parent who understands that is going to let God be God, and content him or herself with simply being a parent and loving the children God gave to them.

Make The Changes Before It’s Too Late

Did this hit close to home? It’s not easy, is it? It takes a lot of self-reflection and maturity to accept your true role in your children’s lives. But without this reflection, you risk losing those you love most. If you commit yourself to avoiding an ego trip in your family life, your children will thank you someday. Would you like some more thoughts on playing God and how to avoid it? Contact me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com or schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online to discuss this topic with me further!

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Sexual Addiction and Life Insurance

You can’t tune into the news these days without hearing a breaking story about sexual abuse. The #MeToo Movement has brought to public attention the travesty of sexual predation that takes place in many industries. While its initial focus was on show business, victims from other arenas, such as finance and community service, are now stepping forward.

The Corruption of Power

The popular quote by Sir John Dalberg-Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” often rings true in these types of circumstances. It strikes me that a major motivation of predators is the abuse of the power they have over their employees and others they consider subordinate. They seem to have this thirst for taking unfair advantage of people, and dominating them. This drive is so strong that they will lie, threaten, bribe, extort, and stoop to any and all illegal and immoral means to first conquer, and then silence, their target.

How do people get to this point? Most certainly, the syndrome of fame and fortune brings out the worst in people. It can disproportionately swell their ego and make them believe normal rules no longer apply to them. In addition, our society has corporate structures that consolidate power among an elite few. This dominant upper echelon controls access to jobs, money, and services, forcing people to pay homage to them. Then, of course, you have the masses of people who don’t play the game directly but know damn well what goes on, yet keep their mouths shut out of fear. Sadly, this even includes parties like the media who are supposed to uphold public standards and report to us when powerbrokers deviate from them.

But Is It More Than Just Abuse Of Power?

On top of all that, I think there is an additional factor at play. It’s noteworthy that many of these predators, once they are caught, end up going into sexual addiction rehabilitation. For some, of course, this is simply a public relations ploy and involves absolutely no introspection, treatment, or self-improvement. But for others, it really does transform their lives. It seems that addiction is a significant component in the makeup of power brokers who prey on their underlings for sex.

I have come across people with sexual addiction during the course of my life insurance career. One case, in particular, stands out in my mind. It involved a gentleman who was an executive with a major corporation who continually engaged in sex with women in his office. He was so out of control that he would do this when employees were in the next room or just before people were expected to meet with him. The possibility of almost getting caught thrilled him and he couldn’t get enough of that perverse excitement.

His wife found out about it and threatened to divorce him if he didn’t get help. So he spent a lot of money out of his own pocket and entered an intensive 30-day inpatient program. He came to me for help in buying life insurance soon after he was discharged. He was eager to rechannel his newfound energy and expand his business activity.

Life Insurance Challenges For Addicts

The truth is that anybody coming right out of rehab, whatever the reason for it, is in for a challenge when trying to get life insurance. Underwriters have a number of legitimate concerns, especially since one type of addiction can lead to another. People with an addiction to sex can also have an addiction to alcohol and drugs. Underwriters will want to know: Are any medications being used in treatment? What side effects or adverse impact on health can they have? Is the client fully compliant with his physician’s prescription for counseling, support groups, etc.? Have they had trouble with the law? What about financial troubles? What’s the possibility of relapse?

Fortunately, this candidate trusted the prequalification process and felt comfortable going through full disclosure. He told me about growing up in a war-torn country, where he felt his life was in danger every day. Living on the edge of death was both terrifying, yet thrilling. For him, these risky sexual encounters were a way of reliving that thrill. Plus, in his culture, children, especially young boys, were considered playthings by tribal leaders. His abuse at their hands, combined with the dangers of daily living, led him to become a sexual thrill-seeker as an adult.

To his credit, he became aware of this internal strife as he went to rehab and therapy. He worked hard at gaining control of his overwhelming thoughts and desires. His treating physician concurred that he had made great progress and had reached the point of control and stability. This backstory reassured the underwriter that this gentleman was indeed ready to take on the commitment of a life insurance policy. They gave him a very competitive rate and enabled him to buy the coverage he needed to keep building his business.

Addiction Is Not The End Of The Story

Sexual addiction is very real and a serious obstacle to overcome. But it is not the last chapter of your story. If you’ve struggled with anything of this nature, or know someone who has, be encouraged that you can conquer this and that life insurance is not out of the question for you. If you want to partner with someone who will respect your backstory and advocate for you through the prequalification process, schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online.

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

If I am using a loan to pay the premiums on a life insurance policy and I surrender the policy to take out the cash value, will I have to pay income tax on the loan and the accumulated interest?

Cash taken out of a life insurance policy is taxed if it is above your cost basis. The quickest way for you get to get an answer is to call… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is it better for a 34-year-old with a family of three to take a 20- or 30-year life insurance policy if I know that the premiums will significantly increase if I choose the 20-year policy?

If you think there is a possibility you will need life insurance for more than 20 years, then you should buy the 30-year term. You will probably spend less… Read More

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Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is whole life insurance a good option for my family of three if I have multiple retirement accounts and insurance policies already in place?

It could be a good idea if you want to have a guaranteed portion of your financial portfolio. Whole life insurance gives just about the best guarantees out there. Of… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Not To Play God In Your Profession

When you are in a position of authority and hold significant amounts of knowledge and experience, it’s not a big step to start taking advantage of your power and playing God. In previous articles in this series, we discussed the importance of not playing God with your clients and your employees. In both cases, you can avoid this temptation and tendency by knowing how to deal with others so that a win-win relationship can be developed.

Recognize And Respect

People are not pawns in a game. Whether you are selling them life insurance or employing them as administrators, it is incredibly important to treat people as the individuals they are. Create opportunities for them to be the best version of themselves and respect them and their efforts.

This is easier said than done. As anyone who has ever attempted to change their ingrained mindsets or behaviors knows, a shift of perspective requires a tremendous amount of work towards personal growth. But, if you are not the best you can be, how can you expect others to be that way? If you aren’t committed to getting the job done right, how can you expect a client to spend their hard-earned money on a substantial policy? If you want your employees to give you their highest level of effort day-in and day-out, you need to model the same behavior you desire of them. I’m not going to lie; it takes a big man or woman to step out in this approach.

Strive For Humility And Wisdom

Nowhere is this concept more true than in the area of professional performance. Professional life can lure you into thinking you’re “The Man,” the person around whom the entire business world is supposed to revolve. This is especially relevant in the world of sales.

My father was a life insurance salesman for decades and now I have been a life insurance salesman for decades. I personally know how sales achievements can cause a swollen ego. In the financial services industry with its lofty sales and sizable commissions, resisting the temptation to think you’re the be all and end all is not for the faint of heart.

Thankfully, traps like this can be avoided with discipline, self-awareness, and humility. If you have the proper perspective on your achievements and realize the limits of your own capabilities, you can avoid playing God in your profession.

It’s Not What You Know…

If you sincerely want to find success in your profession without succumbing to playing God, here’s a Golden Rule to follow: It’s not what you know – it’s who you know. This age-old business principle is true in our profession, but with a twist.

We have a tendency to become an expert in a particular product line, and then automatically think we are an expert in other product lines. If we know life insurance, then how hard can disability insurance be? The fact of the matter is that the two products are very different in all ways: how they are designed, how they are underwritten, and how claims are paid. Not only that, but each type of life insurance itself requires specialized knowledge. Can you really fully explain the ins and outs of a whole life insurance illustration? How about universal life? Isn’t guaranteed universal life a completely different creature from indexed universal life? What about all the riders that are now added to these products? Now we even have hybrid products with both a survivor and a long-term-care benefit.

From my point of view, the products in our industry are becoming more and more complex and require increasingly specialized knowledge, along with specialist brokers to sell them. If you want to provide the absolute best service possible to your client, then you need to collaborate with other brokers or a brokerage firm that can provide you with the product specialists necessary for every product your client requires. This applies to all forms of life insurance, and most certainly to the various other forms of insurance and annuities your clients demand.

Back in the old days, when insurance products were simpler and fewer, it was easier to become “The Insurance Man” for your client. But those days are long gone. Now, we need to realize that our clients are best served by a team of specialists and that they trust us to bring in the right specialist at the right time. More than ever, who you know in this business, in terms of who specializes in different products, is key to selling a wide array of insurance policies.

It’s Worth It

Overcoming our personal weaknesses or wrong ideas can seem overwhelming. But if you are truly dedicated to being the best at whatever you do – the best boss, the best salesman, the best business owner – you will see the value in respecting those around you and understand the wisdom in partnering with others and not trying to place yourself on a pedestal. Have you struggled with this? Would you like some more thoughts on playing God and how to avoid it? Contact me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com or schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online to discuss this topic with me further!

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Does the IRS consider a life insurance payout to a minor, my 6-year-old child, as received income that I have to report?

Truthfully, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this question. Are you saying that your six-year-old child actually received a check from an insurance company? I have never heard… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is purchasing a $300,000 life insurance policy as a single 53-year-old with no children a good decision?

I think it can be a fantastic decision. Life insurance is a superb way to leave a legacy of caring for someone you love and support. It’s a financial product… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Should I purchase term life insurance or whole life Insurance?

Permanent insurance is a unique product. Here are three reasons why you should buy it: 1. You are guaranteed to get a fantastic return on your money. Permanent coverage means… Read More

“Compare term life insurance rates at no cost from top rated companies in seconds.”
https://www.insurenowdirect.com/stevenkobrin/Default.aspx

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is it wise to borrow against the payout of a life insurance policy to pay for a bucket list wish for my mother, who is in declining health?

The decisive factor here is not impacting the beneficiaries of the policy. That should be the priority if you’re considering reducing the face amount through a loan. If they would… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How can I estimate the cash value of a Variable Life Insurance Policy that I purchased in 1985 and have paid up?

There’s no reason to estimate the cash value. Simply call the carrier and ask them what is the current value. I assume that you didn’t buy a product that has… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Sexual Abuse and Life Insurance

We all have a personal history. This backstory of your life not only impacts your identity, your life situation, and your relationships, but it also plays a major role when applying for life insurance. In our introductory article about sexual issues and life insurance, we discussed how backstory helps people who have had to overcome personal issues gain favorable treatment when they apply for coverage. It can be painful to dig up the past, but it is in your benefit to share your story.

Why Backstory Matters

The backstory narrative gives proper perspective to the physical, psychological, emotional, and lifestyle challenges that may become factors in your life insurance application. The truth is that many people have these challenges due to sexually-related experiences. If you feel comfortable and confident talking about them, then you can serve as your own best advocate during the prequalification and underwriting processes. Your broker, general manager, underwriter, and case manager can then approach the situation with more sensitivity and understanding and the ideal underwriting assessment available can be provided.

Long-Term Effects Of Abuse

Let’s start with a troubling issue that has been in the news for months now: the sexual abuse of children. Our nation was shocked when it was revealed that 150 members of our national gymnastics team were sexually molested by their team physician. These girls were teenagers living away from home, training arduously, and putting themselves in the care of professional managers who they thought they could trust. Tragically, their vulnerability was exploited by sick predators and the abuse by these perverts was covered up by officials who didn’t want to rock the boat. This is a terrible story, and it’s made more terrible by all of the similar accounts coming out of schools, houses of worship, camps, and even families.

How will traumas like this affect these children? What’s in store for them as they grow into adults, and take on adult responsibilities? What challenges will they face, and how will they confront those challenges? And how will these challenges affect their eligibility for life insurance?

Backstory Case Study

Here’s a story from my files to explain how one survivor resolved her own personal issues with a very successful end result:

A number of years ago, a young woman called my office and asked if we could help someone with depression buy life insurance. My initial answer was yes. Of course, it depended on a number of factors, but depression in and of itself was not a dealbreaker.

So, I started to prequalify her and look at the various factors involved. I learned about her current medications and compliance with them and then began to look at her medication history. Knowing that people suffering from depression often self-medicate, I also asked about her history of drug and alcohol use. That’s when I found out about her substance-abuse and subsequent treatment for it. Clearly, she was someone who had been experiencing personal turmoil.

I sensed we were entering “private psychological property” and proceeded with caution. I emphasized that my only objective was to quote a rate at which I was confident she would be approved, and to do so, she would need to have full disclosure. I stressed that the information she provided would be treated respectfully and confidentially.

She felt comfortable enough with the process and told me about her history of abuse as a child. It was a sad tale, and as you can imagine, it threw her life off track for a long time. In her teen years, she began to have “ugly feelings.” At first, she attempted to assuage those feelings, or self-medicate, with drugs and alcohol. That eventually got out of control and she ended up in rehab. Once in treatment, she got the professional help she needed in the form of a proper diagnosis, the right medication, and the correct attitude. She emerged from rehab a new person.

By the time she entered adulthood and was ready to purchase insurance, she had a good track record of compliance with her medication and a high level of functionality. She was concerned that her history of drug and alcohol abuse would be held against her by underwriters. However, in my presentation to potential carriers, I was able to provide proper context. I shared her backstory as an abuse survivor, as someone who suffered trauma and tried to resolve her symptoms with drugs and alcohol. I explained how she sought help and is now on track with her professional management program.

A sad situation turned into a life insurance success story. A number of carriers understood and appreciated the honest account she gave and one, in particular, offered her a very low rate for her life insurance. This true story shows the value of presenting your backstory in the life insurance process.

Don’t Write Yourself Off

If you have a history that is less than ideal from a life insurance perspective, don’t give up and determine that life insurance is not an option for you. My hope is that this series encourages you to share your personal story so you can get the best life insurance options possible. My firm will treat your case with care and respect and work as your advocate as we walk you through the processes of prequalification and underwriting. If you or someone you know would benefit from our services, schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online. I’d love to hear from you.

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Not To Play God With Your Employees

In our last article, we talked about not pretending that you own your clients. You do this by treating them as the freethinking individuals that they are and not taking them for granted. This ensures that they do business with you voluntarily out of their perceived self-interest and keeps your relationship in a win-win mode.

When you are a business owner or manager, it’s easy to focus on the end product or the work being produced instead of the person doing the work. It’s tempting to treat people as your pawns since they are working for you and doing what you are asking of them. But is this the right way to go? Does playing God with your employees really help anyone in the long run?

The Golden Rule

Just as with your clients, you don’t own your employees and no one will benefit from you taking them for granted. Each employee is an individual with free will who could give you their best, day in and day out if given the respect and appreciation they deserve.

Respect and appreciation are not hard to provide and simple consideration and courtesy can go a long way. When I was a teenager, I had a job at a local pharmacy stocking shelves in the general supplies section. The store manager called every one of us kids who worked there Mister and Miss, speaking to us politely by saying, “Please bring these boxes to the warehouse, Mr. Kobrin,” instead of “Take these boxes now.” That had a profound impact on me. Even though we were all just starting out in business and, for many of us, this was our first real job, he treated us like adults. He could have just as easily bossed us around, following the example of many other authority figures. But the fact that he gave us a measure of respect made a difference. I know that I felt like a somebody in both my own eyes and his and that many of my coworkers felt the same way.

The Benefits Of Respect

If you want hard workers that respect you, playing God won’t give you the results you want. In the personal example above, I can attest to the fact that we all worked extra hard for this man. He was smart and knew how to put our eagerness and enthusiasm to good use, for both our benefit and his. When he saw that one of us was ready, he would give us a challenge, whether it was stocking an entire aisle for the first time or putting special merchandise in a prominent display. Each one of these challenges was an opportunity to show how good we were at our job and how far we had come in our training. While it could be nerve-racking at times because there was more on the line and you had to meet a higher standard of performance, our boss was encouraging and you could be confident he wouldn’t have asked you to take on this task if he didn’t think you were ready.

A Better Way

This pattern of appreciation and respect is the way to deal with employees, especially when they are young. This is how you groom them and grow them in your company and create an atmosphere of loyalty. You can’t demand respect of your employees. If you give respect, you will get respect. You can’t treat them like pieces on your personal chessboard. In all my years of working, I have known many employers who didn’t care about their employees and saw each man and woman as a commodity to be used and tossed away. Or even worse, to be continually used and abused. This type of boss thinks he’s God and can do anything he wants with you, just because you work for him.

The #MeToo movement shows us how malevolent and damaging this attitude can get. These powerful Hollywood elite think they can have their way with young actors and actresses, simply because they work for them. I really can’t think of a better way to kill morale and squash careers, as many survivors have attested, and it’s all because these moguls pretend they are God.

This is the lesson to walk away with: just because you have power doesn’t mean you wield it over your employees. Don’t let it get to your head.

I’m sure many of you also have stories where you have seen this principle play out. What were the effects on you? How has it changed how you treat your employees? Contact me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com or schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online to discuss this topic with me further!

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Sexual Issues and Life Insurance

One of the most talked about cultural and societal issues of late is that of sexuality and gender. The #MeToo movement supporting victims of sexual harassment has brought many secrets to light, with influential leaders in many industries being accused of sexual misconduct. Freedom and rights surrounding gender identity have become a national conversation, and abortion and controversy go hand in hand.

This is a highly personal, very provocative, and therefore often taboo, topic, yet it affects many people who apply for life insurance. You might be thinking, “I can understand how drinking and smoking affect my eligibility for life insurance, but what do sexual issues have to do with anything?” This next series of articles will focus on how sexual issues impact your quest for life insurance and will give you the tools you need to help you take charge of the process if you have personal experience in this area.

An Underwriting Review

First, a review. We know that life insurance underwriting is tremendously comprehensive. It considers your current medical condition, health history, family medical history, lifestyle, vocation, avocation, and legal, financial, and motor vehicle records.

Why is it so comprehensive? The simple answer is that whether directly or indirectly, all of these factors affect your mortality. We’ve discussed this in prior articles but it’s a point that bears repeating. In some cases, the connection to mortality is pretty obvious. If you are fifty pounds overweight, climb mountains, or drive your car recklessly, you know that you are tempting death more than people of normal build or those who play softball as a hobby.

Other risks are less clear. If you had a bankruptcy discharged last year, does that mean you’re closer to death? Certain carriers might think twice about insuring you for business reasons, but does it mean your life expectancy has been shortened? In truth, the answer to questions like this is that it depends.

It’s Personal

This is what makes life insurance underwriting so complicated and so personal. For example, if you went bankrupt because a family member was diagnosed with cancer and you spent your life savings on medical treatment, you are in a very different boat than someone who filed for bankruptcy because they developed a cocaine habit and threw their income away. The questions on the insurance application could bring the personal backstory to light, and when an underwriter knows the backstory, it gives context to your disclosures on your application. This perspective can help you get a fair risk assessment and a reasonable premium.

You can see that the backstory highlights something deeply personal and significant about you, giving insight into your lifestyle, life experiences, and life choices. These factors together contribute to your insurability today. I have found that certain types of lifestyles, experiences, and choices can have a truly profound impact on us and greatly affect our insurability, especially if the impact has been negative. This is very true of sexual issues and problems.

How Sexual Issues Affect Insurability

Let’s look at the example of abortion. For many women, having an abortion is extremely traumatic, leading to anxiety, depression, addictions, and even attempted suicide. If you have had an abortion and consequently developed any of these conditions, then you will need to disclose them on your life insurance application. You may be doing okay now, but your backstory will need to be told in order to reassure the underwriter that your conditions are related to a past trauma and not due to an ongoing stress that could get worse.

Every day the news reminds us of the prominent role abortion and other sexually-related issues play in our lives. The #MeToo movement may be highlighting the danger of sexual harassment in Hollywood, but we all know it takes place in offices, factories, and every other place where men and women meet. It’s a big deal when famous celebrities and athletes go into rehab for sexual addiction, but how many of us have wives, husbands, siblings, and parents with the same compulsion? Girls on the US Gymnastics team were sexually abused by their team physician for decades and tragically, children are abused in homes, schools, and camps every day.

A common thread among the survivors of these various ordeals is the lifelong impact the experience has had on them. It’s no wonder that many have developed a number of psychological, emotional, and physical ailments. Fortunately, many have also overcome these challenges to lead productive and happy lives. These success stories have to be told when you apply for life insurance, and you must answer “yes” to the various questions about your mental and physical health.

What To Expect

In the upcoming articles about sexual issues and life insurance, we will share some of the success stories from both our files and elsewhere in the industry. Hopefully, they will encourage you to tell your own story openly and positively. Your backstory will be key to making sure you get the best treatment and pricing available during prequalification and underwriting. My firm specializes in life insurance cases that are high risk or difficult to place. We walk you through the entire process and advocate for you every step of the way. If you are ready to apply for life insurance but know that there are things in your past that may affect your eligibility,  contact me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com and download our free guide.

About Steve

Steven H. Kobrin, LUTCF, owns and operates a national life insurance brokerage. He is a life insurance specialist, and expert in helping clients that are higher-risk or need special handling. He is affiliated with a premier general agent and master general agency to distribute top-of-the-line financial produces and services. Through them, he forms strategic partnerships with insurance brokers, financial advisors, and financial institutions to expand client services, increase sales, and generate referral income.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Should I seek out legal services to attain the full amount of my father’s whole life policy, if the claims department determines I’m not eligible before the two-year policy standard?

I’m sorry for your loss. I also lost my father, a few years ago, and his demise started with a broken hip too. I don’t see any reason for this… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

What are the best investments that include an insurance component, for example life or medical insurance?

There are many annuities in the marketplace that provide a death benefit. This actually can be a value-added feature if you want your heirs to be “made whole” from your… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

What is a better vehicle for saving for my child’s education costs: a whole life insurance policy or a 529 plan?

I will answer this question from the point of view of somebody who sells life insurance. You can compare my notes to somebody who sells the 529 plans, and see… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How much taxes do I have to pay from a full surrender of $7,342 from a life insurance policy?

If the money is really a surrender of cash value, then you would be taxed on an amount above the cost basis. You can ask the insurance company for the… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Can my ex-spouse cash in a life insurance policy that she owns before our children, the beneficiaries, are legally adults?

The owner has control of the policy. That means that coverage can be terminated if she wants to. This raises a few questions: When you say “cash in,” do you… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

I have two whole life insurance policies; my payments are low and a portion of the premiums are paid by returns. Should I continue making payments on the plans until I die, or should I cash out at 59.5 years old?

There’s a lot going on here. Let me try to break it down according to the various concerns you might have: Need for the benefit Sure, you have enough invested;… Read More

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.