You've gotta know your numbers
Russell Hutchinson reckons it's a good idea for risk advisers to know some the health stats off-by-heart and use them when talking to clients. Here he offers some numbers to start with.
Monday, June 25th 2012, 6:00AM 5 Comments
by Russell Hutchinson
As insurance advisers you have to tell people that risk is real and they should do something about it.
Telling stories and connecting with people about how risk works is a vital part of that process - probably the greater part of it. But every now and then you need to need to show some steel: a cold hard fact provides great strength to an anecdote and is the only way to reach your more analytical types of people.
Fortunately there are some great resources out there to help you. Government and voluntary sectors work hard to alert people to the risks of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and so many of the other things that can lead to poor health, disability, and death.
Their resources, being independent and completely without interest in your sales process, have rock-solid credibility.
Here are two from the Heart Foundation website:
- Cardiovascular disease (heart, stroke and blood vessel disease) is still the leading cause of death in New Zealand, accounting for 40% of deaths annually.
- Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from coronary heart disease (16 deaths a day).
There are many more. Learn some by heart or put them in a note on your smartphone.
They also have a link to a very cool site: http://www.knowyournumbers.co.nz this has an interactive calculator so that, if you are the type of adviser that likes to take people through presentations, you can demonstrate the client's risk of heart disease.
It's bigger than you think. Take the test yourself and then decide if you have enough Trauma cover. I bet you don't.
The Cancer society points us to this page: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/cancer-new-registrations-and-deaths-2008 which explains that there have been 20,000 registrations of new cancers in a year and that cancer accounts for 29% of all deaths. There is also a link to educational resources and calculators to enable you to assess your risk and change behaviour to reduce it. Another powerful tool.
Both sets of calculators achieve three things: they add credibility through a third party endorsement, they quantify risks, and they set up the underwriting process well by asking general health questions.
It's also good to remember what they do: they frame the issues positively.
Yes, it happens but there are things you can do now, and in the future which will make it manageable. Insuring will give the financial resources to enable that.
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