Monday, May 16, 2005

This is kinda cool…

A long-term client (and friend) recently referred his brother and sister-in-law to me for their life insurance needs. Aside from the fact that this is one of the best compliments one can pay an agent (any referral is terrific, but a relative is the highest kudos), this was an interesting case on its own merits.
An aside: I try to update this blog every few days. This past week, though, I hit an intellectual dry-spell. Thank you for your patience as I get back up to speed.
My client’s brother (whom I’ll call “Tom”) is a private pilot. But he is not an amateur pilot: he flies a corporate jet for a (presumably wealth) family. They travel extensively overseas, including England and Europe. While traveling, his employers pick up the tab for all his expenses (food and lodging, entertainment, etc). I think I’m jealous.
Tom’s wife also has an unusual vocation: she’s a free-lance news reporter. I must confess that, although I’ve insured media folks before, this is a new niche for me.
Tom and his wife had decided that they need additional life insurance. Because of his job, this promised to be somewhat challenging. I’ve written a few pilots before; carriers tend to make offers that include a choice of:
1) Increased premiums or
2) Aviation exclusion
This means that he could have coverage for all risks, including a plane crash, but pay a substantial premium for the privilege. Or, he could have “standard” rates, but no coverage in the event that his plane took a dive. This would be understandable, perhaps, for a weekend pilot with limited experience. But he has over 10,000 hours logged, which seems to take him out of the “amateur” category.
I called Tony -- a good friend and colleague – who is also a private pilot, although without Tom’s extensive history. He suggested a carrier that he’s used. And indeed, the quote I received from them was okay. Pricey, but acceptable.
I called Tom to go over the numbers, and he agreed with my conclusion. But he then mentioned that he had read, in one of his industry journals, of another carrier which specialized in this type of risk. One of the benefits of being an independent agent is the ability to take on new carriers for specific cases; this carrier offered a quote, based on Tom’s info, that included neither an excessive rate nor an exclusion. WooHoo!
The case is now with the underwriter. One of the best things about this business is the opportunity to meet interesting folks, and to tackle challenging cases. This experience satisfied both.
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