Saturday, 23 March 2019

What If Life Insurance Were Mandatory?

CHICAGO — The law requires drivers to buy insurance to legally operate a vehicle. What if every person parenting a child under age 18 had to carry life insurance?

“If life insurance were mandatory for everyone, taxes would go down,” said Patrick Bet-David Thursday at the InsuranceNewsNet 2018 Superconference. “What if we did that?”

Nearly every demographic segment of the United States is underinsured. Speakers offered differing opinions on how to meet that market during Day 2 of the conference.

Bet-David is tackling the market need with his own manic energy, an unapologetic belief system and a diverse force of 5,200 agents at PHP Agency in Dallas. Mandatory life insurance is just one idea Bet-David wants to discuss. He is willing to try almost anything, as evidenced by the variety of content on his Valuetainment YouTube channel.

“We cannot sell things based on how we do things,” Bet-David said. “Advertising on TV like we used to and not changing how we do things is like trying to ride a horse on the freeway.”

Born in Iran, Bet-David served in the U.S. Army before starting a career in financial services one day before 9/11. He is a proud capitalist whose strategy includes turning people with no experience into successful agents.

“In our company, we’re 54 percent women,” he said. “It’s intentional. Women can challenge both men and women on a sales call. Men can only challenge men. Our No. 1 earner in our company is a woman. We’re 51 percent Hispanic or Latino.”

Sobering Statistics

Later in the day, Jim Kerley, chief membership officer for LIMRA, took the stage and provided the sobering statistics: individual life insurance coverage is at an all-time low of 44 percent (although that figure has stabilized); and 44 percent of Americans say they would have difficulty meeting an emergency $400 expense.

Bet-David added another big statistic: the life insurance industry spent $4.2 billion in advertising in 2017.

The numbers tell the story of a puzzle that shouldn’t be so difficult to solve, both men agreed.

“If you’re telling your story well enough, you’ll end up doing all the business you want to do,” Kerley said. “We have lots of options. You can solve lots of problems.”

InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.

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