Expert Spotlight: Picking Policies to Meet Insurance Needs
At Yeske Buie, we believe that successful financial planning captures your life in a big-picture, holistic way. We do this by focusing on the Financial Planning process that includes identifying your goals and resources, establishing steps to harness those resources in pursuit of your Live Big® goals, and implementing and reviewing a plan specifically developed for you. We also do this by engaging with your strategic partners – the accountants, attorneys, and insurance agents who prepare specific analyses that affect your financial plan.
One of the strategic partners we work with closely in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area is Kim Natovitz, an insurance associate with over twenty-five years of experience in the industry. Known for her leadership, poise, and excellence at translating complexities into readily accessible explanations for her Clients, Kim excels at supplying them with an incredibly caring and supportive team and going out of her way to remove administrative burdens and obstacles. In this post, Kim shares her expertise on the process and approach she takes as she helps her Clients pick policies to meet their insurance needs.
Yeske Buie: How does your relationship begin with a new Client?
Kim Natovitz: The most important thing we do is collaborate with the Client’s other advisors to really understand what their current financial situation is and what the financial impact would be if they got sick, injured, or died prematurely. Then we look at what coverages they already have in place, where they are in their planning process, and evaluate the planning they’ve already done to make sure those vehicles are performing as they should be.
Yeske Buie: Once you have an understanding of the Client’s needs, what is the next step?
Kim Natovitz: There’s some “housekeeping” work that needs to be done. We look to see if are there existing opportunities of which a Client is not taking advantage, like their employer-provided benefits or a policy through a professional association. Policies provided by an employer can often be obtained at a significant discount because they are group policies. With regards to coverage obtained through a professional association, we spend time reading the contracts carefully because, although they’re generally inexpensive, it can be difficult to receive benefits when the need to file a claim arises. Once we exhaust all of the options a Client can obtain through existing avenues, we look to fill the gaps with products that are available in the market.
Yeske Buie: What do you look for when evaluating insurance policies?
Kim Natovitz: Our process is robust. We look at a number of things, including
- The Client’s medical history, the state they live in, their hobbies, and other things that make their needs unique – this information ultimately shapes the recommendations because the answers to these questions serve as filters to whittle down the universe of appropriate products
- Whether one product can do “double-duty”; there are lots of insurance products with great riders that can improve the efficacy of a solution by addressing more than one need (ex. a life insurance policy with a long-term care insurance rider);
- We will oftentimes go through underwriting with multiple carriers to assess appropriateness, fit, and costs; as the offers come in, we follow up with carriers who may not have been initially interested in providing coverage and see if they’re willing to make a better offer now that someone else has done the “heavy lifting”;
- Additionally, we look to see if there is someone who can pay the premium on the Client’s behalf (ex. for a Client who needs more disability insurance, we’ll ask if this is an issue that other employees in their organization are experiencing and whether their employer has a willingness to establish a program for the employees).
Yeske Buie: Once a Client selects a policy, what happens next?
Kim Natovitz: Our job is to make sure of two things:
- The Client’s coverage stays in force – we help our Clients keep track of their premium payments and will reach out to the Client and/or their advisors if we learn of a missed or late payment to confirm everything is ok and that the policy is still the best fit for the Client’s needs.
- When a claim is filed, we work to remove as much of the administrative burden as possible for the Client and their family – we’ll follow up with the carrier on their behalf because we know what to look for and what questions to ask, and we make sure to explain everything to the Client so that they can concentrate their energy on taking care of themselves and their loved ones.
Yeske Buie: What is an interesting observation you can share from your experience working with Clients?
Kim Natovitz: Virtually every Client we’ve worked with can tell us exactly how much life insurance they have, but very few can tell us what would happen if they became disabled or, post-retirement, if they have a plan for what would happen if they needed custodial care as they get older. So, although we spend a lot of time making sure a Client’s life insurance needs are met, we also focus on their disability and long term care insurance needs.
More About Kim Natovitz:
Kim is a member of the Individual Solutions team at TriBridge Partners. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the insurance industry, with a background in individual planning.
Kim Natovitz was the founder and president of former entity, The Natovitz Group, which she started in 1992. Known for her leadership, poise, and excellence at translating complexities into readily accessible explanations for her clients, she excels at supplying them with an incredibly caring and supportive team and going out of her way to remove administrative burdens and obstacles.
Kim serves both the Financial Advisor community as well as individual clients, and is constantly increasing her knowledge and education to better serve them. In 2012, Kim received her Certification in Long-Term Care (CLTC) designation providing training.
Professional Affiliations & Education:
- Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
- Certification in Long-Term Care (CLTC)