Traditional long-term care insurance may be foundering, but long-term care coverage isn’t. Although sales of traditional LTC policies have fallen sharply in recent years, life insurance policies and annuities that carry LTC benefits are surging in popularity.
Here is a brief synopsis from an article which appeared in Financial Planning this September. Read the full story here: LTC Strategies
Standalone, individual LTC policies fell to 91,000 in 2016 from 372,000 in 2004, according to LIMRA. Instead, Americans are turning to hybrid, or “combo” life insurance that can also pay for lifetime care. To a lesser extent, people are also using annuities that offer sizable payouts, if necessary, for long-term care.
New premiums for combination life-LTC insurance rose to $3.6 billion in 2016 from $2.4 billion in 2012, according to LIMRA, while annuity-LTC hybrids more than doubled in sales, from $210 million to $480 million.
Why the rush to LTC combos? Financial advisors quoted had this to say:
“Some clients are concerned about paying for standalone LTC insurance and not using it.”
“There is absolutely no acceptance of traditional long-term care insurance…The lifetime premium outlay is not predictable, and the cost may not be affordable.”
“The main reasons are that [hybrid life policies and annuities] have guaranteed premiums, offer lifetime benefits, and provide for money for beneficiaries if a client never needs LTC.”
“They’re effectively parking money where it will do its job, if needed for LTC…However, the death benefit will ‘bring those assets back home’ if the LTC portion is not needed.”
One advisor noted that a key element of the products he selects is a return-of-premium feature. With return-of-premium, if clients’ circumstances change and they need cash, they can get a refund after the policy is held a certain number of years. Kind of like a “money-back guarantee.”
Shurwest provides access to more than 35 insurance carriers, and dozens of hybrid insurance and annuity products. We can help you find the policy that will best fit your client based on multiple parameters. Ask Shurwest if a life-LTC insurance policy or an annuity-LTC hybrid might be right for your client: 800.440.1088.