While most current sales come through the group market, individual plans are growing
October is National Critical Illness Awareness Month an opportunity for advisors and insurance agents to capitalize on the heightened awareness for this important protection.
“There are 100 million Americans who may need this coverage, most of whom have never thought about their risk and ways to plan,” explains Jesse Slome, founder and director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance. (AACII).
According to Slome there are currently 65 million individuals between ages 40 and 54 (Generation X) and another 72 million Millenials who are between 24 and 39. “Your mid-30s is when you start to become aware of significant critical illnesses, especially cancer,” Slome explains.
Critical Illness Awareness Month was initially established in 2011 by Slome and the organization. “We specifically left the word insurance out as the goal is to enlarge the effort beyond the specific industry,” he explains. “However, the designated month provides an outstanding opportunity for those insurance professionals marketing cancer insurance as well as comprehensive CI products to target their clients and prospects between the ages of 40 and 60.”
Five Million Policies In Force
Some five million critical illness insurance policies are currently in-force according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance website. “There were about 1.5 million new policies and group certificates sold last year,” Slome acknowledges. “Most of the sales are via employer offerings but the market for individual plans is growing and more insurers are starting to get behind this product.”
Slome suggests insurance agents use October as the opportunity to create awareness among those between 35 and 45 about the risks of cancer. “Nearly two million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year,” Slome reports. “The five-year survival rate is 67 percent which is great news but the financial consequences of a cancer diagnosis can be staggering. Even a small amount of cancer-only insurance can be the difference between bankruptcy and financial survival.”
Cancer, Heart Disease And Stroke
Targeting older individuals, those between 45 and 60, can focus on the three major critical illnesses, Slome advises. “Obviously cancer is a risk but at older ages people are increasingly concerned about heart attacks and strokes,” he notes. “That’s where discussing coverage that offers both options makes a whole lot of sense.”
“Throughout the month of October we will be working to create heightened awareness among consumers,” Slome concludes. “Awareness Month comes but once a year and we plan to capitalize and hope others will as well.”
To learn more about critical illness insurance, visit the Association’s website at www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org. The organization’s website provides a wealth of data and facts that can be of enormous value to insurance agents.