Life insurance is traditionally a straightforward concept, you purchase an individual plan if your health qualifies or you get it as a part of a group through your benefits at work. If you die your beneficiary or beneficiaries get paid money in the form of a death benefit.  All insurance is meant to cover a loss, life insurance covers the ultimate loss which is death.  I guess you could refer to life insurance as death insurance in that it covers the opposite of what it sounds like, it covers your life but it pays when you die.  Some people look at the concept of life insurance as a morbid idea, but it is a necessary thing if you care about your loved ones or need it for business purposes.  As competition drives innovation down through time a new question has arisen in the past 8 years or so: “What if you could purchase life insurance that pays while you’re still alive if you need it?”  In the competitive realm of the insurance industry comes the newest type of life insurance on the block, life insurance with free Accelerated Living Benefits riders.  The purpose of this article is to explain what Accelerated Living Benefits are and how significant they can be in your overall estate planning.

We are all going to have an old person walk out of our body or we are going to drop dead, that’s what my pops used to say for many years before he passed away.  In other words, we will either die fast or we will die slow, but we all will die someday.  The insurance industry is highly competitive, go to www.millenniuminsurancegroup.comand enter your birthday on our free term quoting engine for any amount of insurance and you’ll see for yourself how close rates are from one carrier to the next.  Sometimes rates are different by literally less than a dollar from company to company.  As a consumer who has no knowledge of the industry how are you supposed to know why company A is better or worse than company B?  Many things go into why one company with similar rates maybe a better fit for your insurance needs, but for the purpose of this article its all about the Accelerated Living Benefits.  Not every company has these riders and even fewer companies have them on their term insurance product lines.  What are Accelerated Benefits and why are they so important?

Accelerated Living Benefits cover an insured individual in instances of a Critical, Chronic or a Terminal Illness.

  • A Critical Illnessis something that could happen to any one of us in our lifetimes which affects your life expectancy.Examples of this are:  heart attack, stroke, cancer, arterial aneurism, loss of limb, AIDS, organ failure to name a few.  Depending on the severity of these conditions you may be eligible to use your life insurance tax-free by settling out your life insurance contract prior to death.  Amazingly powerful stuff and our flagship carrier for these products allows one to accelerate up to $2 million of your death benefit for such instances.
  • A Chronic Illnessis more indicative of a long-term care feature in your life insurance. Very important feature in permanent life insurance concepts, but should be included in your term plan as well when available.  These riders accelerate portions of your death benefit to you tax-free when you can no longer perform 2 of the 6 Activities of Daily Living for a period of at least 90 days.  ADL’s are: Toileting, Transferring, Bathing, Eating, Dressing and Continence.  Chronic Illness riders are designed to be triggered like a traditional LTC plan, however because a Chronic Illness rider is an advancement of your life insurance proceeds the money is paid directly to the insured tax-free as an indemnity concept, whereas traditional LTC plans are re-imbursement concepts and money is never paid to the insured.  With a Chronic Illness rider, insureds can do whatever they wish with their tax-free money. A traditional LTC plan goes directly to reimburse medical costs and money is paid directly to doctors and hospitals for that purpose.  This is a major difference we look at with our clients in determining whether LTC or Life Insurance with Chronic Illness riders are a better fit for their individual needs.
  • A Terminal Illnessis something that has been widely available in many insurance products for several decades now.These riders advance death benefit proceeds prior to death when an insured is told by a medical professional that he or she has 2 or years left to live.  Some carriers automatically advance 50% of one’s death benefit, other carriers will get you closer to the full amount of coverage in-force.  Terminal Illness riders should be on any life insurance policy, but their availability varies by state and company, please contact us and one of our professionals will point you in the right direction depending on your situation.

In short, Accelerated Living Benefits change the way people should look at life insurance.  Having the ability to use your life insurance while you’re alive in horrible & unexpected circumstances is a powerful concept which builds brand loyalty.  I’ve personally seen these riders utilized with three different clients and in each instance it was hugely impactful for the families of our clients.  I lost my dad to cancer at 56 and I can only wish that these riders were available at the time.  I can see how it would have allowed for so many different potential outcomes for both me, my sister and my aunt, but also for my father who lost his battle in a little over 10 months to stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.  I’m a firm believer that many people are paying too much for the life insurance they have in place for their needs and they don’t have these riders as a part of their overall planning when they could and should if they use the right broker.  Millennium Insurance Group is proudly independent and we work for our clients, give us a call at (206)247-5360 or visit us at, we’re here to help.

If a person was born around the 1920’s in the Unites States they would know basically only one car that was widely available to purchase, the Ford Model T. In fact, from 1913 until 1927 there were over 15 million sold in the United States when the car was a relatively new invention. Now if a person from that same time period could only jump ahead a century later and see how many different choices there are when it comes to what vehicle they wanted to purchase they would be astounded at the options and companies to choose from. The Ford motor company combined with the innovation of assembly line production made them a household name and somewhat of a monopoly simply because there were no other choices. Now there are many domestic car manufacturers, dozens of international car manufacturers, and even now electric cars to pick from! What a change in perspective that person would have. After being in the insurance industry for almost 20 years now, this is how I look at life & disability income insurance. Long gone are the days when you would go to one company for all your insurance needs, yet many carriers still believe for whatever reason that they are the only car for sale on the road. The purpose of this article is comparing Independent Insurance Agencies to Captive Insurance Agencies.

Captive Insurance Agencies
Often representing Mutual Carriers which are owned by the policyholders, Captive Agencies push their name brand often at the expense of providing competitive products to offer to the consumers. Working for a Captive Agency means just that, you’re captive to their product line. These can often be the same place where you purchase your car insurance for example, however, by getting what you perceive as a group discount by bundling all of your property and casualty lines of insurance with your life insurance you limit your options and often pay more than you should for what you’re trying to accomplish. Be weary of a well-known name for your life and disability income needs, just because a commercial has a duck quacking at you to go to them know that the life insurance industry is a highly regulated industry. Paying to build a company’s name comes at the expense of being competitive in a marketplace where there are dozens of highly rated companies to choose from. Captive Insurance agencies are not the recommended place to go for your life and disability income needs. Their tactics are dated while lacking transparency in a world where information is power.

Independent Insurance Agencies
People often use the phrase ‘broker’ when it comes to describing Independent Insurance Agencies I think because they think of a stock broker, however, the appropriate term is independent when referring to the insurance industry. Being independent empowers an agency the ability to access various non-captive carriers and their full product lines. An independent agency has to access these various carriers through an Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) and by doing so allows them to get whatever product is appropriate for any person’s insurance needs. Whether it’s term insurance, permanent insurance, annuity products, or short and long-term disability products independent agents don’t have to pitch only one company’s product line. An independent agency doesn’t need their agents to work from the bottom of any totem pole for the sake of the company and their career with that company, but rather can focus on their clients’ needs in an ethical fashion that benefits their clients over the stake of any particular carrier. With the life insurance industry’s regulatory-diligence the highest-rated companies are all highly competitive and change with the times. Their products are just as solid as ones offered by captive carriers, but their prices are competitive and their products are more innovative to keep up with consumers’ changing needs.

In short, many an insurance agent gets their start in this industry being fed the cool aid from one captive carrier or another. They start at the bottom of the totem pole and are told to keep their head down and sale sale sale! Tell everyone how great that one carrier is and how their products have all of the answers for every consumer in order to work their way up in their career path to make that one company the best. There are a handful of captive carriers that have taken it so far as to attempt to turn the insurance industry into a pyramid scheme. I understand why people often have a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to saying the word insurance or even thinking about it. I’ve seen so many overpriced products, poorly-designed products, underfunded policies on horrible foundations, as well as underperforming products that I don’t blame people for not knowing who to trust. Considering the responsibility that is placed upon an honest insurance agent’s shoulders it takes the power of choice and transparency to lighten your path so that you know who to trust.

You need an Independent Insurance Agency in your corner who simplifies the process and is an advocate on your behalf not the company’s. Think twice when an agent tells you his one company has all of your answers for you and your family, it’s 2018, not 1918, and there are dozens of companies to choose from for insurance needs.

Work with an Independent Insurance Agency for your life & disability income needs and you won’t end up with a Ford Model T sitting in your driveway. Please visit or call us at 206-247-5360, we’re here to help.

Wall Street doesn’t like a sure-thing. In fact, anything that is an investor’s best friend is Wall Street’s worst nightmare. Is there such a thing that allows the average investor to capture as much of the markets’ gains as possible without downside market risk? The answer is Fixed-Indexing, and when it comes to permanent life […]

The best way to beat insurance companies at their own game, get your money back with ROP products! Your money looks better in your pocket than it does in the pockets of an insurance company. The purpose of insurance is to cover one’s exposure to risk, to protect against the unknown. It’s a responsible thing […]