DI – The Best of Times

Many of us remember the 1980’s, which veteran DI producers continue to refer to as The Good Old Days. Hundreds of carriers were offering disability insurance, not only to their field force, but to brokers as well. It was The Best of Times.

It seemed like every week another comparison was sent out to brokers and field forces; Here's ours versus theirs, we've added this, reduced that and on and on. We all wondered where it would stop, yet as any producer knows, when the train is speeding down the track you just keep on riding it! OOPS! Train Wreck! Carriers and re-insurers fled the DI market; The Good Old Days were over.

Appears to me, the train is moving again. If you look closely it might remind you of the 1980’s. The remaining DI carriers are going after Physicians, creating programs to simplify the underwriting process, increasing issue & participation limits which is always a good sign for producers. Not only that, we again see the return of the famous term from the 80’s Leap Frogging as once again it seems like every month, one of the carriers tries to better the competition. Liberalized underwriting with Simplified Underwriting programs (No medical exams, no attending physician statements, no financial documentation), True Own Occupation definitions for Physicians and Dentist, Guarantee Standard Issue (GSI) and Guarantee Issue (GI) Programs, new individual DI products, Impaired Risk products, Excess Limit plans, Increased Business Overhead Expense and Disability Buy-Sell Issue & Participation Limits, Pension Completion DI products, Key Person policies, simplified multi-life discount programs …WOW! Hard to keep up with all of the changes.

I would argue that IDIS has had something to do with these changes. The International DI Society, www.internationaldisociety.com, was formed in 2005, it’s membership includes Insurance Regulators, Insurers, Educators and Purveyors. The mission of the society is to provide a facility for the DI industry and to assist in joining the segments of the industry to the common cause of best serving the disability insurance consumer. Every member is important and is encouraged to participate in every way. If one looks at our membership, we have the who's who of the current Disability Income Industry.

We need to continue to be heard and continue to build our membership as those of us who went through the 1980’s will attest to NOW Is The Best of Times for DI producers!

Experts Corner - Bill Barrett

Bill Barrett